When it comes to building your brand, Google giveth and Google taketh away. While you can read all about how to make a better website, rule social media and network your ass off, there is really no way to guarantee which freelance pieces of yours rocket in popularity and end up populating the top slots when someone searches for your name.
But despite what we all know, many freelancers seem to think that they need to break their backs when writing the “serious” pieces for their highlight reel and throw out some mediocre listicles for the sites they don’t much care for. And what happens when you search for them? Is their trenchant, heavily-researched piece on Ukraine highlighted? No, it’s on page three while “17 Puppy Fails” is the first thing prospective employers see.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’re too good to write those kind of articles, but it is your chance to show you that even the work which is more paycheck than Pulitzer can be done as best as you can muster.
It’s simple: every time your name is connected to something that gets thrown to the wolves of the Internet, you better be proud of it, or at least not humiliated. Like every job applicant who was smart enough to not post photos of their homemade beer bong on Facebook, you don’t want your career’s success hinging on someone discovering those press releases you repurposed because writing real stories wasn’t worth your time.
Remember, this is not just about the quality of the content, but what kind of worker you come across as. If you put forward that extra effort to make a throwaway piece a little less disposable, you will not only seem like a better writer, but you will be seen as the kind of person who, regardless of what’s in front of them, tries to create the best thing they can.
There are no guarantees when it comes to search results, but if you truly want to flourish in freelance then you need to take on every assignment as though it’s headed straight for the portfolio.
If you’re starting a freelance career, or looking to grow your existing business, download our Free eBook, The Essential Guide to Launching a Freelance Career.