How To Build Your Own Buzz

 How To Build Your Own Buzz

When you start out in freelance writing, one of the issues you have to face is that no one knows who you are. In fact, you’re invisible, which means that it’s difficult for people to find you and it reduces the writing opportunities available to you. However, there is a way that you can raise your profile quickly and start to get the word out about your writing skills. Here are some of the ways to build your own buzz.

Get A Blog

First of all get a blog. I used to advocate getting a website, but getting and maintaining a blog is even better, because blogs are indexed quickly in the search engines. If you use WordPress, you can create static pages with links to your bio and clips, while using the blog as a place to showcase your writing.

Promote Your Blog

Getting a blog is just the first step. Once you have got your blog, you need to:

  • write great content
  • claim it at Technorati
  • burn a feed with Feedburner
  • submit it to writing directories
  • start talking to other writers on their blogs
  • respond to all comments on your blog
  • link to your blog in your email signature

Since your blog is a showcase for your writing work, only include content that you are happy for everyone to see and that will enhance your professional image. I depart from this on my creative writing and fun blogs, but on this blog, I try to keep it focused. Even on those blogs, I assume that when people search for me they will find them, so I try not to upload anything I would be ashamed of or regret.

Bookmark Your Blog

Your next step is to delve into social bookmarking and social networking. This involves joining sites like delicious, blinklist, facebook and myspace, among others and bookmarking your content and other web content that you find interesting. StumbleUpon is an excellent source of traffic, so make sure that you encourage your visitors to Stumble your posts. The social aspect of these sites is important. People will usually review your site or send you a comment; return the favour and you’ve taken the first step in building a fan base which will read and promote your stuff.

Get Social

In addition to submitting your blog to directories, consider joining MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. Both of these will bring a new audience for your writing. Use some of your best blog posts to create a Squidoo lens with links back to your blog and portfolio. Join forums related to writing, post occasionally and comment often. This is all part of building your online reputation. (I have to admit that forums are my weak point; I never seem to find the time to visit and post regularly).

All of this stuff works. I didn’t set out to do any of it deliberately. A couple of years ago I started a blog, then I started another one. Through the second one, I met people who liked my writing, put me in contact with people who needed to hire writers, gave me a showcase for my writing, and worked with me. These days, I get many approaches from people who have seen my site and my lenses.

I’ve only scratched the surface with this post, as each point could be an essay of its own. But I hope this will give you a guide to some of the ways that you can build buzz and enhance your reputation as a freelance writer.

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on sharonhh.com. Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.

Comments

  1. Great advice, all of it! I haven’t delved into squidoo lenses yet and am still thinking about building my own website but my free to create blogs have done great for me so far!

    Great post!
    Dana

  2. This is good step-by-step advice. I haven’t done the Squidoo lens yet. I keep meaning too, but never seem to have enough time.

  3. This is great advice and you’ve provided a wonderful lowdown on the basics. Of course, you’re closing is entirely right, each of the points need another essay to explain them further.

    I’m still in a bit of a daze when it comes to feeds and social bookmarking. There are so many that it’s hard to know what to get behind and time is swiftly eaten away attempting to stay on top of even just a few.

    How do you find a sense of balance between building a brand/presence, continuing to add new content to a blog AND working on the paid commissions and a backlog of content to submit for publication?

  4. This is great information, Sharon, and very true. Since I joined StumbleUpon, my blog traffic has increased tremendously. Even more recently, I tried Squidoo. I think I wrote my first lens a few days ago, and already I have a new client who found me through Squidoo. Amazing! This stuff works!

    Michele’s last blog post..Freelance Writing from Home

  5. Squidoo is more effective than you would think. I think the time I spent on building lenses was well invested, Michele. Glad it’s working out for you too.

  6. Yes, Dana, if you follow all the great advice that’s out there, you can do very well with free blogs. For me, putting what I’d learned into practice on my own blog was the next step, and it’s working well here so far.

  7. It took me ages to do my first Squidoo lens, but after that it was easier, Laura. I’m nowhere near as prolific as some, though. :)

  8. Balance? What’s that, lol? Seriously, Rebecca, it’s hard to find time to do all the things I should. I just do the best I can. Sometimes if I’m in a deadline crunch I will let promotion slide, though I usually try to update my email sig weekly at the very least. And I’ve reduced my posting frequency on this blog slightly, both to help with time management and to give time for people to see the posts rather than bombarding them. Submitting for publication sometimes suffers, though I am working on rearranging my time.