With many writing assignments ending up online, traffic is significant factor. But is it the writer’s responsibility to drive visitors to the client’s site?
As a writer, you may have faced this question yourself. If you’ve dealt with this issue, I’d love to hear how you handled it in the comments.
Personally, I often share something I’ve written for a client using my own social media accounts. However, sharing through my social accounts isn’t always the best way for a client to get the most traffic.
In this post, I’ll explore the issue of building web traffic for clients. If you’ve been sharing content through your own social accounts, I’ll explain how to draw more targeted traffic for your clients.
Expectations Do Count
First of all, know that your client’s expectations count.
If you are writing for an online publication, some clients assume that you will take active steps to drive traffic to the piece you’ve written. Others may expect that a well-written piece naturally attracts a large audience without any effort on anyone’s part.
To find out what your clients expect from you in the way of content promotion, ask them. The best time to ask about content promotion is when you develop a work agreement with your client. In fact, you should make the social sharing conversation part of the work agreement discussion.
Here are three things you and your client should discuss:
- How often you’ll share the material after you’ve written it.
- What social accounts you’ll use to share the content.
- What pay you’ll receive for sharing a post or article.
While you’re defining the client’s social sharing expectations, don’t forget to discuss the target audience.
The Audience Counts
Clients may request that you use your own social media accounts for social sharing, but often your account isn’t the best way to drive traffic to their site. That’s because your social media accounts may not be optimized for their target audience.
Just as you need to target a post or article to a specific audience, make sure the channels you use to share your content are targeted to your audience. (If you have questions about defining your audience, take a look at Why You Must Know Your Audience.)
While sharing through your own social channels may bump traffic up a little bit, it’s almost always better if content is shared through the client’s own social channels. Here’s why:
- Targeted audience. The client’s social channels can be tailored to their intended audience. Your social channels are naturally tailored to the interests and needs of your target audience.
- Consistency. If the client changes writers, their material is still being shared through the same channels. If your client relies on your social channels for sharing, they lose continuity if you stop writing for them.
- Control. The client can exercise more control over social sharing if it is done through their own account. If social shares are scheduled in advance, your client can even approve them before they go live.
- Building relationships. Social channels can be used for more than sharing content. Your client can use social media to answer questions from prospective customers, announce promotions, and more.
As you can see, it’s to a client’s advantage if they share through their own social accounts rather than the writer’s accounts. After all, a spike in readership doesn’t help if the readers drawn to the site are not the right readers for your client’s needs.
If your client doesn’t already have social media accounts set up, setting them up may be an add-on service you can provide for them. (And an extra income opportunity for you.)
5 Content Sharing Resources
What tools and resources are available for sharing content? Here’s a quick list of five of the most powerful resources:
- Social media. Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. These basic platforms are musts for many clients. Depending on the client’s audience, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Pinterest may also be helpful.
- Online forums and communities. Is there an online community related to the client’s business? If so, it can be helpful to find out if the community allows content sharing from active members.
- Content sharing communities. Some communities are set up primarily to share content. Examples include Triberr, Viral Content Buzz, and JustRetweet. Make sure to read the community’s rules.
- Boost Blog Traffic blog by Jon Morrow. While Jon’s blog is written for bloggers, there’s good information here for other small businesses as well.
- QuickSprout blog by Neil Patel. Neil’s website is specifically geared towards brand awareness and building a larger audience.
Important–remember that none of these resources are a substitute for high quality content published on a well-designed website.
How do you handle social media sharing of content you’ve written? Do you include it with your writing services? What other content sharing resources would you include?