Social media provides an excellent opportunity for freelance bloggers to promote their writing and draw traffic and exposure. Many paid writers assume their job is over as soon as the post is submitted. However, a little bit of extra effort to promote that post with social media could make a world of difference in the success of the post and in the amount or work that you get. Blog owners are paying for results. If you can outperform other freelance bloggers by delivering some extra traffic with social media, your services will be more complete and more effective.
Why is Social Media a Great Fit for Freelance Bloggers?1. Portability – With social media you can build profiles on various sites that will help you with just about anything that you write. You can essentially build profiles and take them with you from job to job. Whether you write for one blog or for ten, your profiles with social media can help you to promote it all. When you start a new gig writing for a different blog, your social media profiles are ready and able to produce results right away.
2. Noticeable Results – Many blog owners that are paying writers are routinely watching stats to see which writers and which posts are producing the best results. With social media you will be able to generate enough traffic to your writing that the blog owners will take notice.
3. It’s Free – Promoting your work with social media will cost you nothing. Once you have been active, learned how the sites work, and built profiles, you can quickly promote your work at no cost.
4. Exposure – There is almost no other way to get your work in front of as large of an audience as you can with social media. If you’re using the most appropriate sites and categories to promote your work, the visitors that arrive will be fairly well targeted.
My Experience Promoting Paid Blog Posts with Social Media:5. StumbleUpon is Key – A decent StumbleUpon profile is extremely valuable. I’m not one of the top users, but my profile is effective enough that I can submit or review one of my articles and get the ball rolling. If the article is worthy, several of my friends will wind up seeing it and giving a thumbs up or a review, leading to more traffic. StumbleUpon is also very flexible. Almost anything you produce will have a place on StumbleUpon if it is high quality. Best of all, you can start using StumbleUpon and producing results amost immediately. It’s not like Digg where you have to have a very strong profile to have a good chance at drawing traffic.
I almost never give a thumbs up to content on my primary blog, as I leave it up to readers to determine whether or not it is worthy of a stumble. However, very frequently I’ll give a thumbs up to my work on other blogs. Submitting your own content to social media can be a sticky issue for some people. I personally don’t see any problem with promoting your own work on other blogs, but I would be interested to hear your opinions on the subject. From my perspective it’s just a little something extra that I am able to provide to the blog owner that is paying me for my work.
6. Don’t Ignore Niche Sites – If you tend to cover specific topics or industries in your various projects, niche social media sites can be another great resource. While niche sites will not be able to drive as high a volume of traffic as the major social media sites, the quality of traffic will be much higher and visitors will generally be more interested.
7. Sharing Can Help – Most social media sites allow some type of functionality for sharing links with your friends. When appropraite, be willing to share your work with friends that you think will be interested. Many bloggers do this regularly for their own work, but not too many do so for their paid writing.
Some Tips for Getting Started:8. Start with Major Sites – Unless almost all of your paid writing is highly targeted on a specific niche, general social media sites will give you the best results. Building a profile with a site like StumbleUpon will allow you to promote a higher percentage of your work. If you are just getting started, focus on what will give you the best all-around results.
9. Go for the Most Noticeable Results – One of your goals should be to create results that will get noticed by blog owers. If they notice that your work is typically bringing a lot of traffic, your work will be more valuable to them. This is another reason to focus on major social media sites. If you’re writing for a blog that draws decent traffic, the blog owner may not think very much about a niche social media site that send a few hundred visitors to one of your posts. On the other hand, a few thousand visitors from a major social media site would be very noticeable.
10. Become an Avid User – Take the time to use the social media sites that you’ve targeted on a regular basis, not just when you need to promote one of your posts. Being a strong social media user involves much more than just promoting you own work. Get to know the site and be looking for opportunities to help others as well.
11. Don’t Force It – Not every blog post will be a good fit for social media. When you write something that just isn’t likely to draw much interest from this audience, don’t force it. You’ll have better results when you stick to promoting your best work that is well-suited to social media.
12. Build a Network of Friends – Regardless of which social media site you are using, friends are a significant part of your success. Be sure to dedicate enough time and effort to build up your social media relationships. Networks of friends aren’t only important on the social media sites themselves. Many bloggers are able to help promote their work by emailing a few other blogging friends to request social media votes when they need them. Building a strong network of other bloggers can be a big help in this way. Of course, you need to be ready and willing to help others whenever you can.