If you’ve gone through Zac’s free, but hugely valuable, blogging course (if you haven’t, sign-up from the sidebar) I’m sure you understand the huge earning potential that full-time blogging offers.
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But reaching that stage requires time, effort and a lot of sweat. Almost every successful blogger has years of hard work behind him.
One smart way to keep the cash flowing while you build a full-time blogging career is to start offering services as a freelancer.
Depending on your skillset, you can offer services like article writing, web design, logo design etc. You can even get clients for services that you can’t personally offer, but can outsource them to other freelancers.
However, since there are hundreds of thousands of freelancers competing for clients on different platforms, the only way to acquire really high paying clients is to build a strong brand image that elevates you above ordinary freelancers.
Not sure how to do it? Here are a few tips you can start using straight away.
1. Don’t Call Yourself a Freelancer
Because doing so will immediately reduce your perceived value. The prospect will think of you as one of the thousands of freelancers that offer cheap services on freelancing portals.
As Seth Godin often says, calling yourself a freelancer will make you appear as just another cog in the system that has nothing unique to offer.
So start differentiating by not labeling yourself as a freelancer.
There are plenty of other catchy titles you can use.
For example, instead of calling yourself a freelance graphic designer, use the title “Creative Artist” or “Creative Media Consultant”.
If you’re a freelance copywriter, call yourself a “Creative Storyteller” or a “Corporate Wordsmith”
This immediately separates you from the crowd and makes potential clients think about you.
2. Adopt a Professional Outlook in All Business Operations
What’s the general perception about freelancers?
- They’re unreliable
- They’re lazy
- They’re not professional
I’m a freelancer myself, so I obviously hate the stereotype.
But it exists.
To counter this, and appear reliable, you need to adopt a professional outlook in all your business operations.
This starts from having a really professional website that has details of your services, your professional background, your portfolio, client testimonials and other details.
For example, Neil Patel, a six-figure content marketing and SEO consultant, started off as a freelance SEO. But look how he brands himself on his website now.
You can set up an attractive and responsive site using a WordPress theme or any other leading website builder.
Similarly, your email communication with the clients, the way you submit projects and how you send invoices, all these things represent your brand and have an impact on the client.
Always use a professional email address hosted on your domain name. Similarly, instead of creating plain invoices in MS Excel, without any branding, use invoicing tools like WorkFlowMax to create stunningly beautiful invoices that make an immediate impression on the client. It gives you several pre-designed templates that you can use to create professional invoices within minutes.
These seemingly small changes can help you establish a strong reputation with your clients and prospects, and help you grow your business in future.
3. Target a Specific Niche And Build Your Image as an Expert
If you’re branding yourself as a freelance writer or designer who can serve any clients from any industry in any part of the world, you’re setting yourself up for failure and mediocrity.
You’ll have a MUCH better chance of landing high-paying clients on a regular basis if you establish yourself as an expert in a very specific niche or a specific region.
This is the same approach that Glen Alsop (ViperChill) used last year to generate more than $1.4 million in 2015. He and his partner, just two people, created niche specific digital marketing agencies and acquired several clients in excess of $50,000.
For example, instead of branding yourself as just a freelance copywriter, you can brand yourself as a specialist real estate copywriter.
Or you can take the alternate route and focus on a specific region. For example, this web design agency even mentions its target region in the URL, Webdeveloper.Sydney
The third approach is to target both, a specific region and niche.
When you brand your services for specific regions or industries, you immediately increase your brand’s perceived value. This gives you a better chance of landing high-paying clients because you’re perceived as a specialist.
4. Create High-Quality Niche Specific Content
There’s no better way to build your authority in a niche than high quality and actionable content marketing.
According to HubSpot, content marketing produces 3 times more leads for every dollar spent, as compared to outbound marketing.
Creating high-quality content not only puts you ahead of other freelancers but also helps you generate traffic and leads for your business.
However, to make your content effective, especially blog content, you need to have the right strategy.
Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Identify high performing and proven content ideas in your industry, using BuzzSumo or Ahrefs, and model your content accordingly.
- Perform comprehensive keyword research before creating content.
- Create eye-catching and attention grabbing headlines. Websites like Viral Nova and Wellness Nova have become million dollar businesses just because of their content headlines.
- Use high-quality images in your content.
- Use frequent data references and stats in your content.
- Link to other influential bloggers and content marketers.
And most importantly, spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% time promoting it on social media and other channels.
That’s the key.
5. Build Your Credibility With Guest Blogging and Self-Publishing
Guest blogging might not be the ideal way to generate traffic to a new site, but it’s certainly effective when it comes to branding and networking.
When you’re featured on the best blogs in your industry, your credibility immediately skyrockets. You can use this as a differentiation point while negotiating with prospects.
Similarly, if you’ve authored a book on any subject related to your core services, it immediately makes you look like an authority figure in your industry.
And self-publishing isn’t a big problem these days thanks to Amazon. You just need to write a decent enough book and publish it on Amazon so that you can call yourself a published author.
Your prospects would rarely buy your book to see what’s inside, but it’ll make a strong impression on them.
Freelancing is multi-billion dollar industry and there’s a lot of money to be made in it. But to really stand out from the crowd, and acquire high paying clients, you need to work on building your brand image and differentiating yourself from the thousands of other freelancers who’re offering similar services for pennies.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
What Are 2 Powerful Qualities of Top Bloggers?
John Chow and Bigfoot.
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No correlation exists save this post. Although John is super tall. I met him in person during Affiliate Summit East.
Both JC and Bigfoot taught me 2 incredibly powerful qualities of top bloggers.
John taught me how to think abundantly.
Bigfoot taught me to be open-minded and to think for myself.
A while back I recall reading a post on John’s blog.
He explained how being an Amazon Associate creates a steady passive income stream.
For an example, he showed how linking to a product your audience finds useful – in the proper context – leads to blogging profits. At the time, I admired his strategy but could not get why you’d link to an affiliate product for a measly $2 commission. But of course, John thinks like, feels like and is a multi millionaire so he thinks of acquiring increasing wealth versus thinking of how little he makes on certain commissions.
$2 adds to the John Chow millions. Plus, even if JC began blogging yesterday, at zero, he thought like a millionaire well before becoming a millionaire, so he would have made his first $2 on his way to millions.
These days, I think, feel and act abundantly. I celebrate every penny I make online because where your attention and energy goes, grows. Top bloggers think abundantly. If you think, feel and act abundantly, at year’s end, the $2 commission per sale yields $500,to $1000, to $5000 per a single income stream because the more you celebrate money and feel rich, the more money you make.
Top bloggers think: money. Open 5, 10, 15 or more income streams. Seize every opportunity to prosper. $2, there, and 100 sales later, you made $200. Top bloggers think abundance – versus lack – and make money.
Be Open Minded and Think for Yourself
As you know, I love studying the creature Bigfoot.
Most humans are closed-minded and follow the herd, being lazy thinkers, and simply agreed with the herd; naturally, these folks believe Bigfoot is a myth.
A handful of YouTube videos of Bigfoot scientifically breakdown:
- the size of these creatures: 7-10 foot tall, up to 5 feet wide, and 500-900 pounds
- the physiology of these creatures; compliant gate, 90% knee flexion, absence of neck, hulking trap muscles, heavy brow ridge
- the sounds these creatures make; clearly not within our current animal kingdom
If you are open-minded and think for yourself, you clearly see a huge, primate-type creature with some human-like qualities appears in these videos. Truth reveals itself to clear, deeper thinks.
But if you are closed-minded and agree with the herd, you become blind to the truth and see a guy in a suit, or hoax, in these handful of legit Sasquatch videos.
Like the small group of humans who know Sasquatch exist, top bloggers are both open-minded and do their own thinking. Successful bloggers open up to new strategies and new income streams. Plus these top folks never agree with the herd just because most people think a certain way; these pros think critically, for themselves.
I think incredibly deeply about blogging, and mindset, and see parallels no blogger on earth sees, save me. Why? I am open-minded and do my own thinking, for myself, never being swayed by the general public and its poisonous, limiting skepticism.
You almost have to be insane *not* to believe in Bigfoot after scientific video breakdowns and tens of thousands of credible eye-witnesses prove these encounters are with large primates, not humans in suits. Even a 300 pound, pro bodybuilder would look like a 5 year old trying to fit in his dad’s suit if he tried to wear a suit with dimensions for a 9 foot tall, 800 pound being.
In the same breath, you really need to be out there, if you are so closed-minded and agreeing with the poor masses, that you are blind to the truth of abundance around you, as a blogger.
Open your mind.
Think for yourself.
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