Freelance writers who are looking to make money from writing online often think that all they need to do is know how to write quality content, and find clients. While this might get you off the ground, and even build up a decent income, it is unlikely to really take you to the next level. One of the things I’ve found is that if you want to find and keep the best clients, you need to be their ‘partner’ in success.
With my best paying clients, I don’t simply write out the articles they request. They come to me and ask for advice on what topics to write about, how to best use the articles for content marketing, and how to optimize for search engine optimization (SEO). Of course, they still make all the final decisions, and a lot of what they request is still 100% from them, without any input from me. When they are feeling stuck, however, I always make sure I’m available to them in any way I can be.
One of the ways I build up a trusting relationship with clients is by making recommendations to them. If, for example, they are asking for an SEO article that is optimized for an awkward keyword, I might suggest a way to rephrase it. This can help to rank for the keyword, while avoiding any Google penalization. Another fairly common situation is when new clients ask for an article to be SEO optimized at 7-10%. Of course, this is not a good idea, and can get you slapped for keyword stuffing by Google.
While I certainly could just write the article as they request, I know it won’t help their business in the long run. I want to be writing for them for years, so I will typically reply to them letting them know that while I am happy to write the content for them, it won’t get the results they are looking for. I then explain why, and offer suggestions on how to improve. Sometimes the clients don’t care, and want me to write it the way they request, and I do. Most of the time, however, the clients are appreciative, and take my advice. They see me as someone who is working for them, toward their long-term success rather than just a contracted out ‘employee’ who doesn’t care about their actual business.
Keeping Up with Trends
In order to offer beneficial tips and tricks to clients, however, you need to keep up with the latest trends in content marketing and SEO. I’m lucky in that I have one client who has me write for him on a regular basis on this topic, so I am getting paid to stay on top of it. Even if that weren’t the case, however, I’d want to work hard at doing my own research in this area. It is well worth the time you’ll spend learning about the trends, as you’ll be able to provide a much better service to your clients.
Keeping Clients in Business
The bottom line with all of this is that you should not only be working to provide your clients with high quality content, but you should also be working hard to keep your clients in business. The better your clients do with their business, the more work they will have for you as a writer. Obviously, this means you will make more money for your freelance writing business as well. It is a very symbiotic relationship, and what benefits your client will, over time, benefit you as well.