I have been asked to write to you guys and tell you how to get an ‘excellent reader count’. I am going to go ahead and guess you are new to the freelance world and are looking for as many insider tips as you can get hold of. Me too. I am a newbie to writing, a small town girl with 429 Facebook friends, yet in 4 days my first published article has been read 10,191 times. That’s pretty impressive, right? So let’s get into it, you want to know how I did it and if it’s manageable for you to do too (spoiler: it’s completely manageable).
Believe in your own content
You may have been told somewhere along the way to cater to your audience, well your audience is who you choose to promote yourself to. The first person who reads your work is you, so write something you believe in.
Be honest with yourself and be honest with your audience. OK, so you’re writing about jam and you know everyone loves strawberry jam so you write about strawberry jam. Do you love strawberry jam? Maybe you love kiwi jam, so write about kiwi jam.
My point is if you write about what you think everyone likes or wants to hear you’ll be a needle in a haystack of people who have written a hundred variations of the same thing. You should write what you believe in, a lot of people read to discover things they didn’t know about before. Share your personal knowledge, it’s what makes you unique and why people will read your particular article.
Share your work
Share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media accounts you have, the more the merrier.
I know, to begin with, it can feel awkward to self-promote, but it is necessary. If you are genuinely not comfortable sharing your own work, maybe you should re-consider this path (sorry).
You have obviously shared your content on your own Facebook page and ‘liked’ the page of your publisher.
Now, I know it is a lot easier to just ask on your post, or status, for your friends and family to share your work, but you’re smart and you know I’m not going to suggest this approach. It is more effective to ask people individually to share your post. Additionally, in my opinion, it’s better for each share to come from the original post from your publisher, so ask your friends to take that extra step and make sure they realise why this is important to you, and of course, don’t forget to thank them afterwards.
Finally, you will reach a wider scope of people if you ask a few people from different crowds to share your post rather than all your besties who have very similar Facebook followings. Make sure your post reaches as many different sets of eyes and news feeds as possible.
Take your time a pick the right picture! Without a good picture, no one is going to click on your post let alone get to your article.
And for goodness sake, you are a real freelance writer now, only use relevant hashtags. You are here to get those clicks to your article, not likes and followers to your Instagram page (although this could be a nice bonus). Use hashtags that represent your article, and write something enticing as your caption. Remember you want people to stay and actually read the entire article, so don’t trick them with popular tags that have nothing to do with what you have written. Instagram isn’t as easy as Facebook, you have to lead potential readers to your bio so they can click on your link. Try that little bit harder.
You know how Twitter works, I’ll move on.
First things first, make sure you have installed the Pinterest browser button on your laptop, you should now have a little ‘P’ on your browser. When you have this you can instantly save anything from the entire internet onto one of your boards.
To save the link of your article to a board the article must have a picture in it, which of course your article has because you’re a professional and you know that pictures help grab and then maintain interest.
Again, we’re going to go up and re-read the advice from our Instagram section, pick a great picture and only use relevant hashtags.
There is no better place to showcase your work than on a site you control. Be proud of what you write.
Know your niche
What is your article about on the broad spectrum? What is your article about more specifically?
If you are writing about travel your broad spectrum is the country and your specific topic is the area/city/sights you mention. If you are writing about kiwi jam broadly you’re discussing food, specifically preserves/kiwis.
Knowing this will help you know where to share your articles. You should post in groups and forums targeted at both your broad topic and all/any of your specific topics. Remember it’s not embarrassing to do this, you don’t know these people and they don’t know you, you are just a writer doing your job. Post to as many groups as you can, but just post the once, you’re a freelance writer, not a spammer.
I know you’ll be excited that your content got published but let’s think about this. What time is it where you are? Is it a reasonable time for people to be awake and have time to read your work? If yes go ahead and share your masterpiece.
Take that a step further. What time is it where your target audience is? Maybe you live in England but you are writing something of interest to Australians, hold off sharing your work on those groups. If no one is awake where your audience is, you could get pushed down that news feed and miss your chance to reach your potential readers. Patience is a virtue.
I hope my little set of tips helps you, good luck with your writing. I look forward to reading your tips and tricks after you’ve got that excellent reader count you deserve.