Freelancing 101: How to Generate Leads on Auto Pilot with Strategic Guest Posts

Lead generation is a huge part of any freelancing business. You can’t close deals when you don’t even have any leads. Guest posts are a powerful asset. You’ll position yourself as an expert and raise your odds of being “found” by clients. Here’s how to generate leads while you sleep.

Choose a topic that intrigues you.

Answer these questions to identify a theme or topic of interest:

  • How do you spend your money and free time?
  • What are your favorite hobbies and leisure activities?
  • Do you have several books about a particular subject?
  • When do you feel the most happy, engaged, or fulfilled?
  • Is there a certain cause that gives you a sense of purpose?

Are you an avid road tripper, couch surfer, or world traveler? Submit your best stories to travel blogs.

If you train everyday and spend a shocking amount of cash on workout gear, you might like to write about fitness.

Are you a frugal type who treats Dave Ramsey like your spirit animal? Share content with financial advice websites.

If you binge-read articles RE: relationships on Psychology Today (confession: I seriously do that), write about dating.

It’s okay to choose a less popular topic, but your options will be limited. There aren’t many blogs about raising cattle or riding horses. If you want to write about that, fine. Just don’t expect it to be a lucrative endeavor.

People will always want to get laid and paid. That’s why the categories of health, fitness, dating, relationships, business, and money management are safe bets. If you’re conservative like me, stick with those topics for now.

Find websites focused on that topic.

After you choose a topic of interest, find several websites that accept content from outside contributors. This is easy. Do a Google search for “write for us” + “(your topic goes here).” I’m fascinated by relationships, so I get this result:

Submit content ideas to those websites.

Your mission is simple. Get published on five of those websites. (There are 800,000+ results, so I like your chances.) I clicked the first Google result (MeetMindful), which redirected me to their submission guidelines. It looks like so:

There’s no guesswork. Most blogs tell you exactly what they expect. As long as you tailor your post to fit their needs, it’s not difficult to get published. To stack the odds in your favor, find a header that says “trending” or “most popular” blogs. Here’s an example from MeetMindful:

You have two options:

  1. Choose a popular article. Write your own content based on the same idea. Submit it to a different website.
  2. Read a trending blog. Ask yourself, “How can I explore the same idea from a different angle or perspective?” Submit it to the same website.

Tip: Read the comments. This might help you apply #2. Comment threads are a great resource for ideas. I clicked on “The Secret to Dating a Busy Partner” and scrolled to the bottom.

Notice the middle comment. Sophia shared an interesting idea. What if you wrote an article called, “How to Make Your Partner Feel Loved and Treasured (No Matter How Busy You Are)?” Hmm, I might do that… ;)

Leverage your author bio to generate leads.

Finally, we’ve arrived to the part where you attract leads on autopilot. Most websites credit guest authors with a bio. (If they’re not paying you and you don’t get a bio, don’t waste your time.)

Your author bio is a lead generation machine. To show you what I mean, here’s a screenshot of my bio on Pakwired.

If a reader (or potential client) clicks those links, they’ll land on my online portfolio and sales page. Believe it or not, this is how I’ve landed my most profitable freelance writing contracts. I love the serendipity of it! Three pointers:

  • Mention any blogs, magazines, or websites that have featured your work. It’s good for social proof.
  • Keep things professional. This isn’t a dating profile. Focus on what you do and how it will benefit clients.
  • Include a link to your portfolio and/or a page that describes your services. Make it easy for people to find you!

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Read More Articles in the Freelancing 101 Series by DANIEL WALLEN:

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