Over the past few weeks I have been on a little bit of a push with my design freelancing, trying to get my name out there a little more and spread the word about what I do and how I do it.

The way I went about it is looking at what I have already that I can simply improve on, and then I did heaps of research around this. It has improved my traffic massively, I have a lot more followers on twitter now and my site hits are up 10 fold. With that kind of exposure you can imagine what its doing for business around here.

First up!

MY SITE (http://www.agkdesign.net)

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I guess the best place to start is with my website. It’s already there and just needed a little more direction and entry pages.

Your website should be the formal place for people to come check out your work, drop you a line/email and generally get a good idea of what you do and how you do it!

The first thing I did to my site was whip up a Silverlight page (http://www.agkdesign.net/silverlight), specific to any work I do with Silverlight, making sure to throw in plenty of keywords that I imagine people would be googling. This includes all the text, meta data keywords and alt text on the page. I did the same for my home page (http://www.agkdesign.net). E.G. the big image at the top with the overlaid text, even though the text is actually an image (therefore not readable by google or other search engines) I have put some mad alt text behind it which pretty much says the same thing as the picture if not a little more.

I will admit though, I have been a little slack on my site but any spare time I have is spent fixing this stuff up, and looking for ways to improve it.

My Blog (Your are here)

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My blog is a great way to generate traffic and probably the strongest point of contact for everything I do. I started this blog about a year ago, just posting little bits and pieces of things I learn and create, and over time I started to refine my post styles and work out what people want to read. Again, it’s still only young and will continue to be refined throughout it’s life.

Tips to help your blogging

  • So First, If you don’t have a blog, GET ONE!!! it’s free! What have you got to lose?
  • Have some content on there to start off (maybe 2 or 3 posts at launch)
  • Post regularly (every 2 weeks or more if possible), I know it might be hard to find time, but it will pay off…
  • Make your posts count, don’t rush them out, look back over them when your done, add links to them, make the content strong and meaningful. Spend time to delete all the rubbish that isn’t needed.
  • Lists are always a winner when writing a blog. People love dot points and hate slabs of text.
  • Post links to other peoples blogs in your posts, they will be notified of this and in turn check out what you said about them.
  • Keep it social. You blog should be a social thing, write about your experience, don’t just advertise your company directly, show them something cool and how you used it on your lastest and greatest project.
  • Get involved. In the blog community I mean. Read other peoples blogs that are in the same profession as you, and then comment them with a link to your page. Most of the time they will check you out.

Just keep in mind a good blog is a massive point of contact and will generate lots of sales and traffic.

Check out this great vid from the guys @ “from the couch” on how blogging will change your bussiness here. (also hit them up on twitter @obox, they post some great stuff)

My Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/agkdesign)

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A lot of people still don’t really know what Twitter is and it’s sometimes pretty hard to explain exactly how useful it is. Basically, its blogging with a limit of 140 characters. Quick, simple, and useful.

Imagine this, you have 50 people following your tweets, you say “Hey check out my latest blog on Silverlight + Link”, that’s 50 hits. Good start, but then those 50 people send it onto their friends, called re-tweeting (RT).  Its pretty much an exponential marketing strategy, if your content is good.

Tips to get into Twitter.

  • Start an account – its free as well (so no excuses!) Go there now! (http://www.twitter.com)
  • I would suggest getting a Twitter client so you can post, and follow posts from your desktop while you are busy doing other things. Check out TweetDeck or Twhirl
  • Find some people to follow that you are interested in, most people link their Twitter from their blogs or websites.
  • Another good way to find people to follow is by lists people compile. 50+ Designers to Follow on Twitter is a great one, or just google to “designers follow on twitter” or what ever your into.

Alright so now you have a good list of people to follow.

Now all you need is people to follow you

  • Post about what your doing, people follow the stream and pick up on keywords. “I’m working on some new Silverlight stuff”, people see Silverlight and are interested so they follow you
  • Get involved with all the people you are following, by simply adding @theirname, they will see the message even if they aren’t following you. Just don’t spam them, they will just get angry.
  • Spread the word! Re-Tweet other peoples posts/links that you found interesting. People you re-tweet can see this and are usually pretty happy about the fact you liked their stuff and re-posted it for them. All you need to do is copy their post and put RT @theirname at the front. You client will most likley have a button for this too.
  • When you post a new blog, tweet about it a few times, don’t just spam it out though, leave a fair few hours in between and change your tweets, “hey I just blogged about Silverlight + Link” and then “my blog on Silverlight is doing great thanks everyone + link”.
  • Remember your followers are from all over the world, so time zones matter. Do some research to hit the key markets/countries.

Ok, so that should be plenty to get you started on your web/social marketing strategy. Just remember to try and be yourself, not a corporate business, people will connect with you better.

And last of all, link them all together, connect your blog to your website/twitter and your website to the blog/twitter as well, and use your twitter to constantly promote everything, just don’t spam! that’s not cool.

I hope this has helped a bit, and would love to hear about how you have increased your traffic in someway.

I would also like to thank all the bloggers out there who have helped me learn all this great stuff!!!

Thanks!

Alex

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