The delicate art of self-promotion for bloggers

By Nina Hendy

So, you want to be a blogger. Or maybe you already are. Presumably, you hope to make a bit of money out of it. But have you considered how you’re actually going to get found for work? After all, there’s some healthy competition in the blogging world, no matter what niche you choose.

As you’re probably aware, being blogger is different to a lot of other industries. You need to consider what your own branding looks like. How much you’re prepared to divulge about yourself in your blogs. You’ll also need to make it clear what you blog about, and why. After all, there’s nothing worse than posts that seem to waffle about everything else than the one thing they actually promote that they’re about.

Here’s some elements to make sure you’re handling your self-promotions with style and grace.

Be confident

If you aren’t inspired by your actions or ideas, others won’t be either. Be confident in what you stand for, and what you’re about. Talk about it with pride. Make your vision as clear and concise as possible. Remember, while your idea mightn’t be new, your expression and approach can be.

Branding

Behind actually being able to string a sentence together, your branding is the next most important element of successful self-promotion as a blogger.

Don’t forget, there’s more bloggers out there than you can poke a stick at. If your branding is memorable and says something about what you do, you’re going to have a far better chance of being remembered by potential clients. This is not a DIY step – it’s always best to hire a specialist such as a graphic designer and web developer able to give you an edgy brand, because it’s got a better chance of being remembered. Same goes for photography – make sure they’re professional and you’ve got a good variety of shots.

Steer clear of those sites that make freelancers bid against each other to get your branding created, because driving down price will affect quality. Accept that you need to pay for quality and seek out a freelancer that get define a branding that feels like a natural fit for you and create it for you.

LinkedIn

Of course, a decent LinkedIn profile an important step, but make sure you take the time to get this right. The mistake many make is not using the summary section of their profile to outline the sort of work they want to land and what their special skills are. This summary should be used to sell what you do well, as opposed to what you’ve done in the past. Some relevant posts can work wonders, too, so consider sharing your blogs on LinkedIn.

SEO

Once you’ve got your website built and you’re off and away with your blogging, how do you actually get your website found? Google may or may not deliver someone searching for a blogger like you to your website on any given day.

Be warned that paying for SEO can be expensive, and that the goalposts change regularly thanks to Google’s ever-changing algorithms.

Blog about blogging

You might also be committed to your own blog schedule, but squeezing in a few extra blogs here and there to share your knowledge and experience is a great way to generate traffic to your site and showcase your specific writing style and area of expertise. Try and share these with relevant titles.

Be an expert

If you’ve been blogging in your niche for a while, you can pretty much call yourself an expert these days. Therefore, look for opportunities to comment on articles and other blog posts on the subject matter you’re proficient in. Or, send out press releases to the media about trends in your area of expertise. Networking is also a great way to position yourself as an expert.

Other spots

If you’re going to monetise your blog, you want to find places to build your online profile.

Nuffnang’s Bloggerati offers a profile page to its top bloggers.

The Freelance Collective also offers talented bloggers the chance to create your own profile page in your own words, a link to your website, social media links – the works.

Profile holders also get a weekly newsletter of tips and freelance advice, access to private Facebook group for support and the chance to find new collaborations.

So remember. Blogging is only one element of your writing career. Self-promotion requires some time and effort so that you’re telling your story succinctly and giving your blog a fighting chance to stand out above the legions of others in the same boat as you.

Nina Hendy is the founder of The Freelance Collective, which gives bloggers and other creative freelancers the chance to create a profile on the site listing all their skills and add samples of their work, allowing clients to reach out and contact them directly with offers of freelance work. Freelancers in 23 categories are listed here, including journalists, bloggers, photographers, videographers and graphic designers. All bloggers are vetted before being made live on the site. It was created after an ongoing frustration of a lack of places to promote their skills to clients at the point at which they’re on the hunt for a freelancer.