The Value of Blogging to FreelancersAugust 30th, 2008 by Michael Kwan
As a freelance writer, I make my living by writing for others. While my freelance writing business certainly makes a lot more money than Beyond the Rhetoric ever has, I still feel that having a personal/professional blog like this is of great value, especially to freelancers like me.
There are many reasons why all freelance writers should have their own blogs. In fact, anyone running any kind of freelance business — whether it be freelance web design, website coding, or photography — should have a blog. It doesn’t have to be particularly spectacular, but having a blog can do wonders for your business.
Personable and Approachable
One of the major advantages to having a blog, perhaps as an accompanying feature to your business’ website, is that it offers customers an inside look at the person (or people) behind the work. They can see you as more than “just” a freelance writer or “just” a freelance artist. They can see you as a complete person with real interests and hobbies. This is one way that you can stand out as a freelancer, because you’re not just a content-creation machine; you can more easily build relationships with clients in this way.
A Dynamic Portfolio
Generally, a potential client will want to see some sample work before they will hire you as a freelance writer or artist. They want to see what you can do and the best way to do that is to seen what you have done. Most freelancers’ websites have a portfolio section, but having a blog can effectively create a portfolio that is ever-expanding and public. A client can not only look to my official portfolio, but they can read posts like these to see how I handle feature articles. If you’re a freelance photographer, you can use a blog too, highlighting some of your recent work. The same goes with web designers, graphic artists, and so on.
Exploring Personal Interests
When you write for others, you have to adhere to the specifications provided by the client. They want you to write about XYZ topic in a XYZ style. When it comes to a personal blog, however, you have complete freedom (relatively speaking) to write about whatever you want. For example, I explore quite a bit about personal development on this blog, although I don’t write about that topic professionally for any clients. By exploring these personal interests, it is possible to earn passive income and to develop a portfolio in an area where you may not have any writing samples.
Practice Makes Perfect
Do you know what is the best way to improve your writing ability? That’s right: practice! The more you write, the better writer you will become. Again, this applies to other kinds of freelancers as well, because you’ll be practicing the craft of taking pictures, developing artistic concepts, and so forth. Also, because you’re exploring your own personal interests, you should be more motivated to keep at it.
Building Your Reputation
As a freelancer, it’s important to make a name for yourself in the business, not only in terms of improving your ability to find more work, but also to maximize your freelance income. Having a blog can make it a lot easier to connect with potential clients and it’s a lot easier for potential clients to find you.
If you run a freelance business of some kind, consider adding a blog to the equation. You can thank me later. Or, you can thank me now by nominating Beyond the Rhetoric for an award.
Filed under Freelance Writing.