By Linsey Knerl, Founder
I used to play a game in my freelance blogging career called "beat the keyword." I would find out what keywords were driving traffic to competitor's blogs, and write better articles then they did based on those words. I thought, "Hey, if I have a better Google Page Rank, use clear titles, and actually answer people's questions, I can't lose!"
Turns out, I did lose.
I never got traffic from those terms, even though I ranked rather high on the list. No one wanted to hear ME talk about popular terms like credit cards, payday loans, or fantasy football. I decided to research a little on what terms were already bringing people to my blogs, and the results surprised me...
They were coming to my blog when they couldn't find reputable info anywhere else. You see, I couldn't compete with black-hat SEO, well-paid consultants, and those with major blog network deals (not on common search terms, anyway.) But I could compete with the entire blogosphere on topics like "improve the photos quality of pictures on blogger blogs", "does Tide Stain Release really work?" and "best uses for instant mashed potatoes."
I was unique. My topics were unique. My search traffic was equally unique. This is what caused my blogs to grow in readership and my Page Rank to climb rapidly. (Not by trying to directly compete.)
So what does your freelancing or blogging have to offer the world? It's likely not perfect conjugation or a masterful understanding of SEO. It's your story of the time you made DIY dried cherries or all of your cheap and simple sunburn remedies.
Remember, in the end, it's your personal brand that sells... (almost) any Native English speaker can string together a relatively understandable written sentence. What unique topics and wisdom do YOU have to share through your blogging?