I recently received an email from a reader on the topic of networking and advertising. In essence, she wanted to know the best method for networking with other freelance writers and getting the word out about her new blog.
I prefaced my response by saying that I’m probably not the best person to ask about networking, advertising and getting the word out. But, I did say that I would post the question here because I have a great group of knowledgeable readers that can answer the question better than I.
My Thoughts on Social Networking
Social Networking is a great tool for getting the word out if you know how to work it right and do it often. There are some freelance writers who are very successful at it and earn a lot of money as a result. I’m not one of those writers.
I like to write, I like to earn money, I like to meet solid interesting people and I enjoy sharing what I have learned with other writers. No hidden agenda (I’d make a lousy politician).
If They Really Want it They’ll Find it
I’m old fashioned and believe that quality will be discovered over time. A few people found this blog because they were looking for information and found it; no media blitz, no flooding the social networking sites, no paid advertising. I probably could have a larger reader base if I went on a social networking blitz and paid for advertising, but I’m not sure I really want to do that.
In my experience, posts that have been Stumbled get a huge influx of traffic for a short period of time and then die off. The momentary high is nice, but it takes work to sustain it. Then there are those pieces that have been submitted to Digg, Reddit and Mixx. Their traffic is steadier, but it’s a steady trickle, nothing too impressive. I think it takes time and constant effort to make Digg, Reddit, Mixx and the like truly work.
Product, Service or Just Plain Talk
Since I’m not selling a product or service (and really offer nothing but freelance writing talk), I guess my thoughts differ from someone who has a product to sell. Maybe if I had invested money in creating a product and wanted to get it out to the general public to help recoup my expenses, I might view everything differently. Since my expenses are extremely low and easy to recoup, I don’t have that type of urgency.
Bringing it Back to the Point
Forgive me; I got a little side tracked. The original questions were:
- How do I network with other freelance writers?
- How do I quickly spread the news about my new blog?
Here’s what I came up with and I welcome additions to this list:
Networking with other freelance writers:
- Join Freelance Writing Groups. I recently received a LinkedIn invitation from Robin Margolis to join her recently created group Freelance Writers Working For Internet Content Mills. If you haven’t done so already, check it out. Robin has assembled a group of high-quality writers and artists from various backgrounds who share their experience and expertise in an attempt to help fellow writers become more successful in their online writing endeavors.
- Check out a few forums. I say this with bated breadth. Understand the caliber of forums before you enter. Forums, if run correctly, can be a great source of information. If not run correctly it can be a breeding ground for strong opinions, bickering and negativity.
- Contact freelance writers directly. Most online writers have links to either a website, blog or email address. If you find someone you respect or would like to contact, do so. That’s a fine way to start a networking relationship.
- Follow a few worthwhile blogs. I’ve found that the most popular blogs are not always the most worthwhile blogs (I tend to like underdogs). Check out Master Dayton , Write Moms, My Online Income and Freelance Home Writer just to name a few.
- Here’s a link I found on networking effectively. There are at least 5 more tips there
How to quickly get the word out if you have a new blog/site:
- Write free articles for places like Ezine Articles
- Write guest posts
- Add meaningful comments on blogs that offer linkbacks
- Use Google AdWords
- Submit to search engines
- Use Social Networking sites
- Write a press release
- Try blog carnivals (I’m not too familiar with blog carnivals, but I understand some folks have been successful with them).
- Check out these sites for more tips: Seth Godin’s 56 Tips on How to Get Traffic and SEOmoz.org’s 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic
These lists are a great start and are by no means all encompassing. I’d like to hear how some of you guys network and gain traffic.