Categorized | contractor faqs, news

How frequently should I post content to my portfolio blog?

Whether you’re targeting B2B or B2C customers, you’ll want to let the world know that your service or product is for hire. For many contractors, creativity and expertise flow. But their blogs suck, certainly as a self-promotion tool; so what’s amiss?

Not all contractors like the risk of finding employment entirely under their own steam.

Recruitment agencies, umbrella companies, global freelance agencies and the old school tie network – all are viable channels to find that elusive contract when work is slack.

Cut out the middle man with your own blog

There’s a handful of contractors savvy enough to know that by creating a blog with a description of their freelance service, it offers a direct route to employment without the need for a third party.

That’s all well and good. But how do blogs work? What sort of content should I be posting and, equally as important, how often?

Two words in the English language describe what you should be posting and your content’s frequency: relevant and relevant. Let’s qualify that.

There’s a huge cloud of misconception surrounding blogging that conceals a whole host of thunderheads waiting to strike the unwitting ‘newbie’ upon first entering the blogosphere.

Wondering into that arena without an umbrella is tantamount to offering yourself as the sacrificial lamb in a biblical reenactment.

So let’s clear the mists, shall we, and dodge the biggest droplets waiting in the cloudburst?

Two major blogging misconceptions sit either end of productivity scale

Many believe that blogging in itself is a full time job and, for their efforts to be rewarded with success, a contractor has to produce reams of content daily to make their mark in the SERPs.

Conversely, there are those who set up a ready-made blog, fill in their about and contact pages, post an introductory piece that mirrors their CV and sit back and wait.

After a while, both types of contractor begin to wonder why they’re not being flooded with job offers. So why has nothing happened for them?

In the majority of instances, the content doesn’t work for ‘part-time’ bloggers because it’s not relevant. Think about it. Nine times out of ten, people use the web to search for answers.

If all you’ve done is post a CV, it’s not going to answer many questions that people in your niche are likely to be asking. Unless, of course, thousands of people are genuinely interested in your qualifications and experience.

Chances are, they’re not. Sorry to break that so harshly, but it’s the truth.

Even more likely is the nailed-on fact that recruiters are going to search for potential freelancers where there’s a concentration of them online.

They’re not going to scour Google for individual blogs containing CVs. It would take them forever.

If you’ve nothing new to say, listen to your audience, instead

At the opposite end of the productivity spectrum there are the contractors who believe they should be posting once or twice a day.

They soon run out of steam. Even those with the most genuine copywriting ability can struggle to keep their blog fresh when constantly posting to the same niche.

Rather than post an article for the sake of getting content out there, seasoned bloggers won’t post anything at all.

They’ll turn off their writing software, head deep into their niche and simply listen.

Before any blogger, whatever their level, decides what they’re going to write about, they must get into the habit of unearthing what it is the niche they’re targeting actually wants.

If you have an abundance of experience that could be useful to other contractors or to those in your social circles (on- or offline – don’t discount real-world experience) are constantly asking questions relative to your experience, that’s a ready made mrket for you.

Your copy will sound genuine. The content will be useful. People will start sharing your articles because they’re relevant to their personal issue and you will start to become an expert in your field.

Lack of experience no barrier to useful content

If, on the other, you’re a little wet behind the ears, approach the situation from the opposite direction.

Listen to what people in your circles are asking for, do a little research online and interpret the answer in a way that carries your opinion but still satisfies your peers.

Don’t simply copy what someone else has written. It is tempting when you see another blogger in your niche getting 100s of shares for an article to just copy and paste most of that information. But hang on a second.

If you’ve stumbled across that article, isn’t it likely that those you’re targeting for your contracting services have also read that author’s work?

People follow blogs because they can relate to the author. They are perhaps in the same boat, or have been. They face similar issues or, even better, have a more in depth answer than the one you’ve provided.

Encourage others to comment on and share your work. Yes, even if that means you expose yourself to contradiction sometimes or invite someone with a more concise answer than your own.

Why invite peers to question my blog post?

Don’t forget, you are the one who’s instigated the responses on your blog; people will remember where they found the answer to their problem.

If your article was relevant to them the likelihood is, if they’re in the contracting niche also, they’ll come back to the same place time and again for answers.

Don’t overdo it, publishing content for the sake of it. And don’t underdo it – you want to give visitors a reason to come back and share your content.

When what you post strikes a chord with the readership, adds value to other content they’ve found and can make them seem like an expert by sharing it, you’ll begin to gain recognition.

By all means, make sure you have a page in your blog that lists your career to date, qualifications and experience. But let people find that as a consequence of their visit, not the reason for it.

If they can connect with you, curiosity will make them find out more about you.

By the time they reach your CV on the about page, they’re already seeing you in a positive light and are likely to recommend you. Now that is advertising money simply can’t buy.

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