You’re a freelance writer, so you’re a content creator. This year, I’ve received many questions from freelancers who find that it’s hard to maintain a good living from their content creation efforts.
It’s no longer enough to provide well-written articles and web content. A tsunami of content flows onto the web every day.
In addition, 2020’s lockdowns and social distancing changed the way companies interact, not only with customers, but with everyone else as well. As a content creator, think: opportunity. Going forward, no one knows what 2021 will bring, but changes will keep coming.
A tip: take heart. Your clients know that content pays off over time. Good content supports their advertising, so they need content. Want proof? Here you go: many larger companies now have content creation teams in-house.
Your challenge is making your content valuable from the time it’s created.
You’re a content creator: make your content valuable
One disgruntled writer asked: “I already do keyword research and create meta data for my client’s content. What else can I do?”
SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t as easy as it used to be. Time was when you could pay attention to the basics and be reasonably sure that a client would get search engine traffic.
That’s no longer the case. For just one of the reasons it isn’t see the “nightmare”, below.
To make your content valuable:
- Start with your audience in mind. Who’s looking for your client’s content? Why?
- Set goals for your content and get your client on board with those goals;
- Get creative: think base content and additional satellite content.
1. Basics first: start with who’s looking for your content? Why?
Every client has multiple audiences for his content, including: new customers, current customers and prospects. Each audience needs content created specifically to meet its needs.
When you receive a brief, ask your client to identify his audience, and what he wants the content to achieve for that audience.
2. Set goals: create a content calendar and schedule
After identifying the audience, set goals for the content you’ll create—get your client on board with those goals.
Remember to add a CTA (call to action) to each piece of content. When you create satellite content (see below), that needs a CTA as well.
Create a content calendar for each client. Schedule content.
3. Get creative: overcome a content creator’s everyday nightmare
You’ve created great content for your client. But Google has become very smart. From an article on the Content Marketing Institute:
“Google often provides so many basic facts on the results page that searchers don’t need to click. That happens nearly 49% of the time, according to a 2019 SparkToro report based on Jumpshot clickstream data.”
Goodbye clicks and goodbye clients, sadly.
How do you overcome this nightmare?
Think shotgun; rather than rifle. A shotgun scatters its pellets over a wide area.
Similarly, you need to create satellite content for each piece of content you create for a client. Post that additional content to social media networks. Use whatever works for each client: images, short videos, memes, quizzes, short customer stories, customer testimonials, etc.
Post the satellite content to sites your client’s audience uses. If you’re a content creator for B2B (business to business) clients for example, use sites like LinkedIn and YouTube, rather than Facebook and Pinterest.
Be a content creator who creates valuable content
When your content creates value, you become more valuable too.
Are you offering content packages to your clients? Excellent. Chat with your clients and experiment with satellite content: create samples.
If you’re a fiction author, or a small business owner, the tips in this article will work for you, too. Use them to build your audience and attract new readers and customers.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.