Note: In our last post, we looked at a letter written to a fictional person, Freelancer Fred. This is the second part of our advice to the WordPress freelancer.
This sentence from the last post applies:
“Today, I am going to share a letter I am writing to Freelancer Fred, fictional of course. You may have to put on your imagination cap.”
Dear Freelancer Fred,
Last time I wrote about some basic things to help improve your freelancer career. I hope you found them helpful.
As I said, there are a few things you need to do.
I reminded you to change your mindset from freelancing to that as of a business. This a very important distinguishment to take.
Second, I think you should build yourself a team. A team can be employees, or, it can simply be mentors and colleagues.
Finally, I mentioned finding a way to improve your skills in many areas.
I followed up this advice with a series of resources that can help you improve your skills in various areas.
I want to follow up on the skills once again.
This business that we are in is related to online business. We do business online, so, you will need to be adept in online marketing.
Areas that are often a little foreign to developers include Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing and social media marketing.
I hope to provide you with some resources that will help you learn more about these areas.
Content Marketing is the thing everyone is high on right now, and it should be. Basically, in most cases, it works if you give it time and you do it well.
If you are a WordPress Entrepreneur and looking to improve in this area, here are some good resources.
Content Machine is a book written by Dan Norris, a WordPress developer who used content to grow his WordPress company, WP Curve to a seven figure business which was recently purchased by hosting giant GoDaddy.
Not only does Dan provide you with a book, he has other resources available to those who buy the book.
Copyblogger is one of the internet’s most successful blogs on online copywriting. Founded by Brian Clark over ten years ago, it has become a pillar for content marketing. Clark eventually joined with Brian Gardner, the developer of the Genesis Framework, and the two built a high functioning Software as a Service.
Clark’s blog will give you some great pointers on writing for the web.
Blogging – ProBlogger
If you still aren’t quite comfortable with writing blogs, you can pick up some great resources from Darren Rowse at his blog Problogger.
Unbounce Landing Page Course
Do you need to do a better job writing copy for landing pages? This is a free course put together by some of the best conversion copywriters in the industry.
Speaking of copywriting, you can learn tons more about copywriting from Copyhackers. Joanna Wiebe and her team have some really good resources.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization has changed a whole lot in ten years. Google has worked to crack down on those who use deceptive practices to “game the system.”
Therefore, it is more important than ever to know you can turn to for the most reliable information.
For SEO and backlink info I like to keep up with Brian Dean at Backlino. He sends out some jam packed actionable blog posts and emails.
Rebecca Gill educates the wider WordPress community on the basics and some advanced topics of SEO as it relates our platform.
Rebecca teaches an online course as well as a bootcamp type course. Additionally, she writes about SEO on her company’s website, Web Savvy Marketing. Finally, she is a frequent presenter at WordCamps.
While the Yoast plugin may not be the everyone’s favorite SEO plugin, his team does offer a lot of information. He has books, courses, a good blog.
Additionally, it is best to check out the best resources for SEO that Google offers.
Finally, don’t forget to bookmark Moz.com. They offer some of the most comprehensive info on SEO. Many of the blog posts are written by well-trained community members. Also, they help you make sense of local SEO.
Like many of the other subjects here, email marketing is, essentially, composed of various elements. Often, people are experts at one or more of these elements.
Some are expert email copywriters like Ben Settle, Joanna Wiebe, or the CopyMonk.
Even more, there is what is often refer to as the funnel. Basically, you are getting users to go from one place to the other, and it starts with the page or the optin form.
Dive into his blog and get his emails. He sales a product that helps you write better emails. Here is a caveat you should know.
Danavir Sarria, the CopyMonk, advocates sending emails daily. This is not for the faint of heart.
This works best when you are selling a product. Even if you are just selling services, you can learn a whole lot about the mechanics of email copywriting from Sarria.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a big fan of Copyhackers. Wiebe does a fantastic job of making copywriting more accessible to the rest of us.
Here is a cornerstone page on her site which links to some of their best articles on email copywriting
There are plenty of WordPress plugins that help you convert users into subscribers. One of the most popular is Sumo (recently changed from SumoMe).
Sumo offers a suite of plugins, however, they have written some very good articles on email.
At Sumo, you will find fantastic articles like these:
- Why Your Website NEEDS an Email List: A Sumo-Sized Guide
- 13 Insanely Clickable Email Subject Line Examples (Backed by Psychology)
- The Sales Email Manual: The A-Z of Writing Emails that Convert
- The 15 Types of Emails You NEED to Send to Your Email List
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is difficult for many business owners because it is counter to the traditional way we do marketing.
Traditionally, we have a message and we find or purchase a platform to send that message out. Traditionally, companies control the conversation.
Social media has flipped this on its head. Companies don’t own the conversation on social media. This becomes a problem for many business owners once they start getting negative feedback for services or products.
I always tell business owners to start by buying a copy of Shama Hyder’s book the Zen of Social Media Marketing, now in its 4th edition.
Hyder sets gives you a primer on how to use social media for business.
- 37 Free Marketing and Social Media Classes to Elevate Your Skills Today
- How to Learn Social Media Marketing: 41 Resources for Beginners
Freelancer Fred, I hope some of these resources will help you improve as a freelancer. The key is to keep learning and adding to your skillset. Another important thing is to network with other developers to help you fill in the gaps.
Freelancing is hard, hard work. You do have to treat it like a business.
One more thing.
In the spirit of open source software, we choose to give back to the community. One of the best ways you can give back is by advising and encouraging new freelancers.
It takes all freelancers to help all the businesses.
Godspeed Freelancer Fred.