In the hard times of economical crisis and general saturation of the market it's quite hard to pierce through competition and offer customers your services. Recently market have gained literally thousands of self-employed business holders with absolutely no design knowledge. Everyone can outsource the work to poor quality design companies and disregard his customer's true needs. Finding success as being self-employed graphic designer can be pretty difficult task. It's a constant lesson that never ends. But...fear not ! With the constantly good quality work and proper SEO strategy you are able to achieve success in this field. Here are a couple of interesting tips that you can bring to life in no time.
Build a loyal audience
Even though you have your web site set up and sitting it's still a good practice to integrate it with a blogging platform. "But why I would do it, I have already enough on my head" you may say. However, please follow my train of thought. Interesting articles, freebies (especially), tutorials and other materials will open doors to a better recognition of your company. They'll bring traffic and possibly conversion. Not only Google loves content but normal users too ! Before you begin, think how much time you can devote to this task and start writing ! I assume that you know quite much about the work you do so it will be easy for you to share it with users.
How much is enough?
There is no answer to that question as there are no limits. Theoretically if you would be able to write 5 great quality articles each day then it would mean that your website would become quickly popular and loved by Google. This means increased exposure to potential users and that in turn - possibility that they'll link to your post from their social media account or even website. Wouldn't it be great?
Focus on quality not quantity
Now hold your horses and think again very well how many articles can you publish on your blog each day. Don't go for quantity but for QUALITY only. You may ask how big should be a post. Theoretically again there are no limits. However you should think about your readers and Google at the same time. Try to share condensed knowledge and respect your reader's time. A good article will defend itself from being dropped only if it's interesting and provide at least 60% of what user expects to see after entering on your website. A good practice is to write 600 - 1200 word articles. Of course tutorials can be shorter as they generally contain more images than text. The same concerns freebies giveaway. They do not need to be excessively long.
What goes around...usually comes around
Write in an interesting way and always focus on giving your reader what he may be interested in. Seek problems and write about their solution. Seek popular freebies and create your own ones. Think what people would like to know, then share your knowledge and experience in the form of tutorial. Just think of it this way - by doing so, you are not wasting your time. You are actually building your authority and present your business as a professional one.
Share your knowledge and help other people on social media sites or forum boards. Remember to mention about your posts or services in good moments. Don't be too intrusive. In one word - Participate. Whenever you can. However, I'm aware how busy graphic designer's life can be so I suggest that you allocate around 30 minutes of your time each morning, right after your delicious coffee to participate in discussions. Don't spend too much time on it as forum boards or social media sites can be pretty much time consuming. Remember that personal discipline is something that have lead normal guys (or girls :) ) like you to achieve success in various fields.
General promotion and advertising
Include your website name and link to it in your forum board signatures, social media and generally everywhere you can. You'll gain some tasty backlinks and bigger exposure to the people. Remember that no one will come to you if you are stil waiting for your users to make the move. It's always 'your turn'. If you have some money prepared to rev up your online business then invest in good and smart advertising. I do not recommend google adsense (OH BUT WHY?!) in the beginning as it can be pretty much money eating on even less popular keywords. It happens like that because there's a huge competition around in the design market. What would I recommend instead is investing in what I call 'smart advertising'. Find out a medium popular blog in the niche that you think is linked with what you offer and seek for little square boxes with the 'Advertise here' sign on them. They usually appear on left or right sidebars as well as somewhere between paragraphs in blog posts. Usually the rates for 1000 clicks are pretty little money. Even if you'll make a mistake in chosing a place to advertise, it's still a good practice to have at least a temporarily increased traffic to your site because there's a big chance that Google will look on it with a more friendly eye in terms of exposure on wider range of keywords (Search Engine).
Have a SEO strategy that works !
Don't go for 'quick and easy' in terms of SEO. Forget about black hat or even gray hat technicques as today they can work and tomorrow not. Not to mention about upcoming penalties from Google for using such ones. White hat takes more time, is less effective and you need to sweat to see results but your rankings will pretty much stay at their place. Define a list of methods that are Google friendly in current year and read more detailed articles about them. Know 'what' and 'why' as well as 'is it safe with google'. You don't want that penguin slap after a year, right? Again, personal discipline is your only friend. Make it your habit and do it regularly. After 2 months you should begin to see effects of your hard work.
Great that you did stay so long with me. Believe or not, with a proper strategy everything is possible. No matter how difficult it looks in the beginning, make a deeper breathe, drink your favorite coffee and get back to working. It's important to always designate your objectives for the current day and stick to them no matter what. Once again I say - Personal Discipline have brought many to million dollar fortune. Don't give up and keep doing your thing !