By Jovell Alingod-
The statistical value of your work published online (social shares) matters more than ever. Pay attention to how your articles are socially redistributed, shared, and liked.
Shivani Sharma, CEO of Firefly Creative Inc. stated in a Software Advice article for tech-savvy marketers and business owners that businesses should look for freelance writers who know how to write content that engages the target audience. What does this mean for you as a freelancer? It means it’s time you leveraged those social shares, or the impact, of your articles to increase your future income.
To get started, learn how to collect your social shares data:
1. Use spreadsheets
Excel or Google Docs should work fine. In your spreadsheet, list your published articles in the first column, then assign a column for each social media share option, i.e. Facebook shares, likes, Twitter shares, LinkedIn likes, blog comments, Google + shares, and other platforms that show on the share buttons of the site you’ve published on. Update this document at least monthly.
2. Use Contently.com
This free platform for writers can help you showcase a collection of your bylined articles and track their engagement growth at the same time. You just need to register, list, and link your articles within it. Contently will automatically pull the social stats from the sites where your articles are published.
Now that you have your data, use the data to increase your income:
1. Ask for a raise from current clients
Asking for a rate increase carries the risk of losing a client, but now that you have data to back up your demand, you can prove how your articles helped their site and more importantly, their business. For this particular purpose, you could track the articles you’ve written for that client’s site alone and show how your influence becomes theirs.
2. Justify (or negotiate) your rates with potential clients
Potential clients will haggle for lower rates. Next time you negotiate your rate, use your social shares data to show the impact of your work on websites and businesses you’ve already written for. You have the numbers to show your value, proof of what you accomplished for other websites which reflects on what you can do for the potential client. Show them you’re a business investment instead of just a writing expense.
3. Attract better paying clients
Lastly, use data to analyze which articles did well and why. Review the ones receiving the most engagement. What words did you use in your headline? Did you share personal stories or interview experts? Was the topic unique or controversial?
Then pitch a guest post to medium or big sites, writing the post with the same style and tone you used in your most engaging articles. Just remember to follow the guidelines of the site you’re guest posting on.
The types of post that receive the most shares are almost the same as reported by Buzzsumo in this post (http://okdork.com/2014/04/21/why-content-goes-viral-what-analyzing-100-millions-articles-taught-us/?hvid=41eiUq). So it’s likely your article with the headline and format similar to your most engaged article will receive the same attention.
With social sharing we see the effect our words have on readers and use it to improve our craft. But it can also be our means to earning more income.
Jovell Alingod is a freelance writer helping businesses create helpful content for the web. Grab her free resources to help you improve your web writing skills.