It’s no secret that more and more businesses are starting to recognize the value of blogging. Companies now see that blogs aren’t just some “dear diary” sites for the self-absorbed; rather, blogging is a legit and highly effective marketing tool that can be used to engage customers, increase leads, and boost site traffic.
Indeed, business blogging has become so popular nowadays, that nearly half of my freelance writing revenue this year came from writing blog posts for companies.
So the question is, how can you, as a professional blogger, make the most out of this need? How can you use your knowledge of the blogosphere to find and keep clients? If you’re asking yourself these questions, read on. In this two-part post, you will learn tips and tricks that will help you put your blogging prowess into good use.
Let’s start with how to find blogging clients, shall we?
Find businesses that need your services
So how exactly do you find blogs that could use your services? One word: legwork. You need to devote a considerable amount of time creating lists of prospects and qualifying potential clients.
The first step to doing this is determining your niche. What do you like writing about? Which industries do you have the most experience in? Answer these questions then find lists or directories containing businesses that you’re looking for.
For instance, I love blogging for tech startups so my main directory of choice is AngelList, a top platform for such companies. I also have experience writing for mobile app developers, so I often browse through my phone’s app store and find the contact info of app makers from there.
What about you? Where does your target audience hang out? Find your directory and go from there. For example, if you have experience in real estate and are willing to write about the subject, why not find directories that list real estate companies, realtors, or brokers?
The same goes for any other trade, whether it’s medical, travel, or entertainment. These fields usually have industry-specific directories that you could peruse to find clients. Browse through them, check out the listed businesses, and then create lists of companies that you could potentially work with.
Quick tip: It’s best to go for companies that already have a blog in place. That way, you won’t have to deal with setting up their site or educating them about the importance of blogging because they obviously already see the value in it.
Personalize your approach
Do you have your potential client list? Good. Now it’s time to reach out to these companies and offer your blogging services.
Before you start sending those emails though, it’s important that you do ample research on each company and tailor your message to the business. Don’t just mass-email a hundred companies with a generic message; take the time to browse through their blog and make suggestions accordingly.
For instance, if you noticed that they haven’t updated their blog in three months, approach them by emphasizing the importance of consistent updates and tell them you’re a professional blogger who’s more than happy to take care of their blogging needs. Do their headlines suck? Why not suggest headline alternatives or topics?
Another way to effectively customize your approach is by tailoring your message to the website’s voice. For instance, if you’re reaching out to a hip fashion company, then your approach would be more casual and relaxed. On the other hand, you’d want to take a more serious tone if you’re approaching a medical facility.
Also be sure to include links to your blogging samples. Guest posts on other sites or articles on your own blog would work. The more relevant your samples are to the company that you’re approaching, the better.
Send it to the right person
Ensure that your message reaches the right hands by figuring out who handles blogging, content, or marketing in the company.
Browse through the company’s “About”, “Team”, or “Contact Us” pages and see if you can find its marketing or PR head. If it’s a small business, then it may not have these departments so you’d be better off contacting the founder directly.
If you can’t find a specific contact person, then just go for the general email address. (But do note that this should be your last resort.)
Increase your chances of getting a response
Personalizing your messages and making sure that they are sent to the right people already greatly improve your chances of getting a response. However, if you truly want to boost your odds, then you need to do more.
You know that famous saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”? The same principle applies here. Effective client outreach isn’t about emailing 10 businesses and calling it a day. It’s a continuous process and it takes quite a bit of work. When I’m reaching out to potential clients, I email 30 to 50 businesses at a time and get about 3 to 7 replies.
Will you be rejected or ignored? Sure. That’s part of the territory. But don’t let that dampen your spirit. Stick to it, learn from your mistakes, and don’t give up.
What are some of your best tips for finding blogging clients? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Also read: Business Blogging Part 2