If you want to get discovered as a writer, there’s an elephant in the room we have to first address … search engine optimization, or SEO.
Not that into it?
Yeah, I wasn’t either.
But because it’s a topic I wasn’t initially interested in, I have three practical hacks to share with you.
These tips allow writers to take advantage of search engine results — without any keyword research.
Want to get discovered as a writer? Good SEO is good content marketing
I like being wrong, so I want to make it clear that I needed to get over my SEO skepticism.
Since, at first glance, SEO for content writers can look like sketchy tricks that fool search engines, it’s a turn-off for many creative people.
However, SEO is an essential part of content marketing because it connects you to your audience. That’s the bottom line.
Your audience wants to solve a problem or fulfill a desire. You can solve that problem or fulfill that desire. SEO helps you find each other.
Copyblogger CEO Tim Stoddart teaches all of the best SEO practices you need to know inside Copyblogger Academy, so I wanted to highlight a search engine result you can completely control without any other knowledge of the subject.
Your name: the foundation of your content portfolio
Your name is the most basic piece of information someone else knows about you after they find out you’re a writer.
And there are a variety of ways a prospect can discover you:
- Were you interviewed on a podcast?
- Did you author a guest post?
- Pass out your contact information at an event?
Don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing.
Anyone interested in hiring you is going to Google your name. Therefore, your content should appear on the first page of Google search results for your name.
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3 ways to get discovered as a writer in search results
When you claim spots in online search results that immediately demonstrate what you do, you have the opportunity to stand out as a subject-matter expert who meets the needs of freelance writing clients.
Let’s take a look at how search engines can start displaying you as a writer.
1. Your website
The first place I was regarded as a writer was … my own imagination.
It’s common for writers to acknowledge their creative abilities in their own minds before anyone else has a clue they want to write for a living.
The next step is getting out of your head and taking steps to get a writing job.
If you’re a writer and the first page of Google doesn’t show results that demonstrate you can actually write well, how is anyone supposed to believe you’re the best writer to hire?
Your own website with writing samples that gets displayed in search engine results for your name is the fastest way to establish yourself as a service provider and get discovered as a writer.
2. Your social media
You should consider anything you write on social media to be a part of your writing portfolio.
But not just any part of your writing portfolio — the most personal part.
Every tweet or LinkedIn update builds the know, like, and trust factors that people need to do business with you.
And let’s not forget the content format that gives a stranger the most complete picture of who you are: video.
Do you have YouTube videos where you share your expertise? How about a podcast?
Use your real name (or the only pen name you go by online) in your social media profiles.
You might have a brand name that you want to eventually become synonymous with your own name. Include it somewhere in your profile, but make sure your primary name is there as well for search engines to recognize.
3. Your supplemental samples
When it comes to writing for sites other than your own, start small.
It may be tempting to pitch articles to the biggest sites in your niche, but that’s not always the most productive strategy.
Smaller sites are typically more open to guest writers and their audiences are usually made up of interested, enthusiastic people who you’d like to eventually become members of your own audience.
In the future, when you’re ready to write for larger sites, these previous bylines show your credibility and experience.
Supplemental samples could also include writing you post on sites like Medium or Tumblr.
The first step to get discovered as a writer (when you don’t have an audience)
All beginner writers have something in common.
One day, they decided to stop overthinking and start writing. Rather than dismissing their little ideas, they knew it was time to thoroughly explore them with words.
After they make that decision, they work with their best possible idea at the moment and follow it through to completion.
There’s no more waiting for the “perfect topic,” “perfect angle,” or “perfect writing conditions.”
You have to build a narrative for people to check out and follow before you can grow an audience over time. That’s the first step for new writers.
So, if you want to get discovered as a writer, start building that narrative under the search term that no one can take away from you — your name.
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If you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills in practical and effective ways, we’d love to guide you to the best resources each week.
Because when you get the exact right information, you can immediately begin to up your game as a content writer. And that’s what’s going to get you the results you want.
The written word drives the web. It always has, and it always will.
Even if you’re working with audio or video, the right words are still what make the difference.
- Customer experience
- Sales, growth, and profit
And if you want to master the art of using words to drive business results, you’ve come to the perfect place — Copyblogger has helped accelerate the careers of writers just like you since 2006.