As a freelancer using social media, only two audiences matter.

Social media crowdSocial media can be a wonderful tool for freelancers. But it can also be a time sink.

It’s all too easy to spend hours a week feeding the social media beast, without getting any measurable value in return.

All too often we focus on numbers. We want more friends and followers. We want more clicks and more positive feedback.

Once things start rolling and our numbers start rising at a healthy clip, it’s easy to develop a minor obsession. All of a sudden we are spending more and more time finding ways to increase the size of our social media audience.

If this is happening to you, you should press the pause button, sit back and ask yourself this simple question: “Who are these people?”

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Everything you forgot about link-building.

Web link buildingVisit a handful of online marketing websites and blogs and you’ll get an idea of the emphasis being placed on the various activities near and dear to marketers’ hearts.

You’ll find a lot about search engine optimization, in spite of the howls of people who say SEO is dead. (They’re wrong.)

You’ll find plenty about the benefits and rise of social media.

And you’ll find tons of information on content marketing.

But you can go for quite a while without finding a meaty page or post about link-building.

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Optimize each page of digital content according to its purpose.

Web content optimization.Content marketing is a hot topic, and for good reason.

Content is the lifeblood of most websites, blogs, video channels and photo apps.

A constant flow of new and compelling content gets visitors hooked and keeps them engaged.

What is content? Often it’s an article or a post. But it could be a review or a buying guide. It could be a video, a photo essay or a slideshow. Or an ongoing series of photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Or a podcast or a vlog. It could be a multimedia mashup.

Add together all those new pages, posts, videos, photos and podcasts – plus all the tweets and Facebook updates that are created – and you have hundreds of millions of new pieces of content uploaded each day.

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What would happen if you improved on everything you did by a factor of 10?

a ten times iimprovementLet me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re a freelance writer, focusing on Business-to-Business clients, and want to create a free report to offer your website visitors when they sign up for your newsletter.

We’ll call your report, “The 7 Secrets to Converting Prospects into Clients”.

You create a short outline. You do some research. Maybe you download a few reports from your competitors’ websites to see how they did it.

You then write the report. Let’s say it’s 14 pages long. You get a cover designed. You’re good to go.

That’s the “factor of 1” version.

Now let’s look at what a “factor of 10” version might look like.

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Optimizing a web page doesn’t mean it has to be all new.

Start from a blank pageClients like to feel they are getting their money’s worth when they pay you to improve on an existing web page.

This is true whether you are writing an online sales page, subscription page or some kind of content page.

In my experience, clients not only want you to completely rewrite the current control, but they also want you to base the new page on a totally new idea.

If you give them a variation on the current page or, heaven forbid, just make some tweaks to what they already have, they become very disappointed and will likely throw your draft back in your face.

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Without segmentation, email marketing just ticks people off.

email list segmentationWhen it comes to buying gifts for my wife, I’m pretty useless.

So I fall back on jewelry almost every time.

And I often buy her jewelry at a particular online store. I like their stuff, and so does she.

After over 5 years buying from them, I would consider myself a fairly valuable customer.

Which is how they fooled me, just for a moment, when they sent me an email recently.

Here’s the subject line:

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