18 November 2013
If you’ve never written a blog before, getting started can seem a little daunting. However, once get in the habit of posting on a regular schedule, you’ll find that you are rarely short of topics to write about.
Inspiration can come from anywhere: other blogs, items in the news, magazines, overheard conversations and your day-to-day dealings with clients. Get in the habit of carrying a notebook (or a smartphone also works well these days) and making a note when a great blog post idea pops into your head.
Not sure where to start? Use the following ideas as starting points.
Projects You’re Working On and Newly Completed Assignments
Your blog is the ideal place to showcase your work, talk about the original brief and how you approached the problem, and link back to your portfolio.
Blogging about your work tells the story behind the final design and can help clients to understand your creative process and the way you work. Your blog is a preview of what they can expect when they start working with you and is a great opportunity to gain their trust and respect from the start.
Industry News and Events
Blogging about upcoming conferences, new software, changing legislation and other news in the web design industry shows that you keep up to date in your field and you are a professional, not just a hobbyist. If you focus on creating web sites for a particular industry, keeping up to date with news that is relevant to your clients is equally important.
Tutorials and How-Tos
Understandably, you may feel that teaching clients how to do things for themselves when you could do it for them and collect a nice fee is madness. However, providing useful free information is a great way to build trust and make your name known as an authority.
By appearing helpful, approachable and knowledgeable, you are increasing the likelihood of prospective clients choosing you for more complex tasks that they need help with in the future.
Answering Keyword-Targeted Questions
Doing some keyword research and discovering what people are typing into search engines when they are thinking about hiring a web designer can be a great place to start. For example, you could write a series of tips articles for hiring a web designer including:
- How to Find an Affordable Web Designer
- How Much Does It Cost to Build a Website?
- 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Web Designer
- Things to Consider Before You Hire a Web Designer
There are two main benefits to writing articles like these:
- You have the opportunity to target various keyword phrases. This can help your article to come up on top when people seeking a web designer search for these questions in a search engine.
- It shows that you understand client concerns and that you’ve anticipated many of the questions they may have before they even contact you. This can help to build a feeling of rapport with the potential client prior to their initial email.
It’s best not to make articles like these overly “salesy,” which can reduce their effectiveness. However subtly referencing your own services as a solution within the copy can be a great way to gain new clients.
The Personal Touch
There’s a fine line when it comes to adding some personality to your business and making it overly familiar. Prospective clients most likely won’t be interested in everything you do outside of work (nor may you want to share it on your business blog!) but throwing in a reference or two to your personal preferences, opinions, family and other things unique to you can make you appear to be more friendly and approachable.
In general, people prefer to work with likeable individuals rather than big faceless corporations, so coming across as friendly, interesting and personable could help you to win more contracts.
Start a Blog Today
Get started today: write up a list of post ideas (use the starting points above and other blogs for inspiration), set a publishing schedule (once a week is probably enough when you’re starting out) and stick to it – a few months down the line you’ll have some valuable content, increased traffic to your website and hopefully a few new clients too.