Using the Web to boost your freelance business is based on a talk given by Paul Lima to the Niagara Escarpment chapter of PWAC. The talk is based on the book, Do You Know Where Your Website Ranks? How to Optimize Your Website for the Best Possible Search Engine Results.
After his opening remarks, Paul asked a few questions, and then got into his presentation. Questions included:
- Do you have a Websites?
- Have you optimized it to rank as high as possible in Google?
- Do you know what that last question means?
Your Website: Getting started
- Pick a domain name
- Make sure it is available – you can do this on HostSellers.com under “Domains” or in many other places on the Web
- Register your domain name. Ideally, register it through your host or let your host register it for you.
- Pick a host. I recommend www.hostsellers.com or www.sunnyoasis.com, but there are hundreds (if not thousands) of hosts out there. Ask your friends and associates for recommendations
- Source a Website designer or learn to do it yourself; some Hosts will create sites or offer templates
Building an organized Website
All you need is five pages and you are in business. You can have more pages, but if you are a freelance writer or editor, that is all you really need.
- Main pages include: Home, About, Contact
- Secondary pages include: Writing Services and Writing Samples (or any other samples related to the type of business you are running)
- Tertiary pages include: Testimonials and a Site Map (a page that links to every page on your site). However, you can combine testimonials with your samples
Once you have written the copy for your pages,
- Create your Menu or Navigation Structure
- Include your Menu on every page so visitors can get from any page to any page on your site, or at least to your main and secondary pages
- Give your copy and Menu structure to your designer
Optimize your Website for Google and other Search Engines (how to rank high in Google)
- Key words/phrases are key; links are key too
- Determine your horizontal and vertical key words
Horizontal: Freelance writer; Vertical: media releases, case studies; Horizontal: Freelance writer; Vertical: Hamilton, Toronto
Meta-tags are not critical for SEO, but they get you to organize your key words. Also, the description tag is used in part under you Search Engine listing
Meta name=”description” – a description or your business: Paul Lima, Toronto freelance writer, copywriter, media interview trainer, and business writing instructor, can train you to become a more effective and efficient writer or media spokespersons. Or Paul Lima can do the writing for you – on time and on budget.
Meta name=”keywords” – a list of about a dozen key words and phrases: Paul Lima, Toronto, Toronto copywriter, Toronto freelance writer, media interview trainer, business writing instructor, etc.
- Blogging takes time; it’s not for everybody
- If you blog about your business, your blog will be filled with keywords
- If people comment on their blog about your blog, there will be links to your blog; if you comment on other blogs about posts, you can include a link to your blog
- Ensure your blog is part of your site – www.paullima.com/blog; not www.freeblog.com/paullima
- If you are going to blog, work with your host to ensure your site can support WordPress or other blogs
Consider PPC (pay per click)
- Start a Google Adsense campaign
- You can create three line ad and link it to all or some of your keywords
- Costs about $10 to set it up; you can set a per click payment rate – .05 and up; you can set a daily and monthly budget
- DO NOT link your ad to your home page; link it to a landing page – a page that is about whatever the ad is promoting!
Consider your Social Media options
Everybody is talking about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and, to a lesser extent, MySpace. Take a look at each of them. Create accounts. See what you can do and can’t do. If you think networking on the sites might pay off, invest a bit more time making friends and contacts and consider joining appropriate discussion forums in LinkedIn and Facebook. However, make sure you do not spend hours (and hours) on each site when you could be developing your website or using more traditional marketing methods to generate business.
Paul Lima is a freelance writer, business writing trainer and the author of Do You Know Where Your Website Ranks? How to Optimize Your Website for the Best Possible Search Engine Results.