As a freelance writer for the past six years I learned what clients are looking for when they hire a freelance writer.
Most of my freelance clients want my blog writing services. For small businesses this is the first step in their lead generation strategy (i.e. attracting clients). They use their blog to market their business in hopes of obtaining leads.
Hey, does that sound familiar?
This is exactly what I do to market my freelance writing business! And you can do that too.
Starting a blog is easy, but maintaining it while you have client work is a challenge.
But I encourage you to take up that challenge. The more you write — blog posts, emails, social media posts, free lead magnets, eBooks, course lessons — the better of a writer you will become.
And you will be much faster with content generation and idea generation.
To help you get going on blog post writing (for your writer website or for future clients) here is my expert guide to help you.
1. Research Your Topic Idea
Let’s pretend your writing niche is health and yoga. You love yoga and find that you love being healthy (and learning about it for your family).
You want to get paid in that niche so you need to find some great topics to show your expertise.
Here are some places to find engaging and popular topics:
Search a website or keyword and see what popular posts come up. BuzzSumo generates popular content based on social shares. For example, I searched “yoga for children.”
From this list it looks like list-type of posts are popular as well as how to teach this to your child.
From these posts I can come up with these ideas for my blog:
- 20 Easy Yoga Poses Mom and Child Can Do at Home
- Why Yoga For Children Is Better Than Riding a Bike
- How to Use Yoga to Combat Sickness in Children
These ideas can show your expertise in the knowledge about not only children but with yoga and the benefits of yoga — especially during a pandemic.
Google Trends looks at key words and the trends over time.
Clients want up-to-date and popular content on their blogs. They want a writer that is well versed in this knowledge. You can market yourself as “in the know” by using Google Trends.
For example, for your blog post you also want to talk about being healthy at home. In Google Trends you can search for some popular exercise trends (like at-home equipment). I researched at-home exercise equipment for the last 12 months.
To attract exercise equipment companies you can provide a blog post of the best at-home exercise equipment as well as an overview of developing a schedule to keep the motivation high when you do this at home.
I love Pinterest. It’s considered a visual search engine and everyone is on there searching gift guides, recipes, crafts, making money, courses etc..
And you can use Pinterest to search for blog posts ideas too. On there I looked up yoga for children.
Most of the results were infographics but some posts that got me curious were:
- Animal themed yoga ideas for kids
- Using yoga for sensory input
- Different yoga positions
- Yoga and meditation
You can use these ideas as a way to generate topics for your blog posts.
2. Outline Your Blog Post
Next comes outlining the subheadings and topics you will be writing about.
If you decided to do a list post then your structure would be:
- 1. First subtopic
- 2. Second subtopic
- 3. Third subtopic
But for other pieces of content you might need more sub headings and transitions. Let’s look at the post idea: Why Bone Broth Is a Power Food
- What is bone broth?
- Why it’s considered a power food
- How to make bone broth
- How to use bone broth in your meal plan
While the main idea of this post is why bone broth is considered a power food, it’s a good idea to branch out and provide some more ideas that you feel the person reading this post would like to know.
For people brand new to bone broth I figured they would want to know what it is as well as if they can make it themselves and how to use it in their cooking.
Clients value this type of writing and if you can show them on your blog or on your portfolio, you will land high-paying work.
One thing I haven’t discussed is the conclusion and call-to-action. It’s always a great idea to have a concluding paragraph that wraps up what you talked about.
Also, have a call-to-action statement in your conclusion. This is something you tell readers to do. It may be to contact you for freelance writing services or it may be a question about the post to elicit conversation in comments.
3. Write and Format the Blog Post
I suggest you focus on having an engaging introduction in your blog post. This is what will hook a reader in and make them want to read more. A lot of writers spend more time with the headline and introduction than the rest of their blog post.
You can start off with:
- A question
- A statement
- A shocking fact
- A story
These all help bring a person to the next sentence and to the next sentence.
When writing the bulk of your blog post, make sure to:
- Site examples by linking to the source. For example, On Pinterest, a pin is a 100 times more spreadable than your average tweet. I link to a statistic showing my credibility in this topic and helping readers find more information about what I’m talking about.
- Keep your sentences short. All too often I see paragraphs that are 6 or 7 sentences long. For online reading, this is very hard to read. Look at this guide. See how I break up my sentences into short sentences. Do that in your blog writing.
- Include bullets and numbered lists when you can.
- Include images under subheadings — if the post is long (over 1,000 words).
- Include images if you are talking about a tool or service as a way to show people what you are talking about.
Having a blog on your writer website is a place to practice your writing skills. Write engaging blog posts filled with great value. The more you practice the likely you will be hired for this type of writing (which is high-paying).