At some point a couple of weeks ago I passed the two million pageviews mark at my personal blog, Surviving and Thriving.
[I’m celebrating with a giveaway of six Amazon gift cards. More on that later.]
Given that I’m not a social media wizard I’m absurdly pleased with that number. While others are able to draw in tons of readers through YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, Blab and other virtual realities, I plug away with basic tweets and FB shares.
Right now I have neither the time nor the inclination to learn new formats, especially as they seem to morph every month or so.
You know what helps bring readers to your personal site? Freelancing. Every day I get hits from articles I wrote last week for Forbes, last month for NerdWallet or three years ago for Get Rich Slowly.
Sometimes that’s because people look me up after reading the articles and learn that I also have a personal website. But more often it’s because I gently insist on having something like “Donna Freedman blogs about money and midlife at DonnaFreedman.com” in the tag line.
It even works for the theater and food reviews I do for the local newspaper. So any time you sell a freelance piece, ask that your personal or professional website (which may be the same thing) be linked somehow.
That’s pretty basic advice but it bears repeating because newly minted freelancers might not know they can ask.
Self-promotion: A necessary evil?
If the editor says “we don’t do that here,” propose that you be allowed to link to one of your own pieces in the body of the article. That might fly if you make the link truly germane to the topic at hand.
It’s all about self-promotion, but not all of us are good at it. Me, I’d rather keep my head down and just write good stuff. Ignore self-promotion at your own peril, however. I’ve seen some fairly mediocre writers get headpats not because their work was good, but because they’d figured out how to package and sell it.
You don’t have to like it. You just have to do it. So promote your writing — and any other services you offer — through freelance pieces or guest posts that allow you to link to your own site.
(Speaking of other services: If you’re looking to jump-start/reinvigorate your writing life, use this code for to get 40% off my Write A Blog People Will Read online course. The discount is good until Dec. 15. I’m also offering price breaks on my writing coach packages.)
Another self-promotion tip: Read other blogs in your genre and leave comments if they allow you to link back. I get a fair number of clicks this way, too, and sometimes those curious tourists turn into regular readers.
Don’t be sleazy about it, mind you. Specifically, don’t throw out a lot of comments that sound like this:
“Great post! I wrote about the same topic recently on my own blog, www.imwritingthiscommentjusttogetwebhits.com.”
That kind of stuff may get you banned from commenting, and it’s also not likely to endear you to others. Incidentally, I also leave comments on blogs that don’t allow linkbacks, if the piece moves me enough to chime in.
The obvious advantage is increased traffic, which leads to more income through Google Adsense and such. However, it might also lead to additional gigs. Put that clickable link in your piece/comment and one day, perhaps, an editor looking for a writer like you will do the clicking.
Here’s the part where you get a chance to win: Head over to read “Two million and counting” at my personal website before 7 p.m. PST Tuesday, Dec. 8 and you’ll find several ways to sign up to win one of those six Amazon cards.