As a freelance writer, your blog can be one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal.
Don’t have a blog yet? Well, here are 8 great reasons to start one…
8 Great Reasons to Start Blogging
1. Blog clips are better than no clips.
If you’re truly a newbie, chances are you don’t have any clips (writing samples) to show off yet. If you stick with it, you’ll have some soon… But what do you show prospective clients in the meantime? Your blog!
I ended up getting a job working in the marketing department of a TV mini-series thanks to my personal blog. Yeah. It wasn’t even my super awesome business-y blog. It was my silly diary of day-to-day events. But it worked because…
2. Maintaining a blog shows you’re able to meet deadlines.
Ideally, you’re going to be updating your blog on a set schedule. And, if you succeed in doing so, that’s something you can show off to potential clients.
A big part of being successful in the writing biz is having the ability to meet deadlines–to write on a schedule. Proving you can meet regular deadlines (even if they’re self-enforced) is a HUGE plus!
3. Blogging shows your ability to focus/stay “on brand.”
The best blogs are the ones that tackle a consistent theme, week after week after week. Are you able to stay on track? On message?
Potential clients need to know you can do this. Even if your blog isn’t talking about their particular product/genre, they like to know that you could. Branding is very important to businesses…and great branding is consistent.
4. It shows your level of dedication.
Related to the above, if you can get your blog up and keep it going, it goes a long way toward showing your dedication level. Do you miss updates withoutstating why? Does your blog gather cobwebs for weeks on end before you suddenly make a reappearance?
Having a neglected blog is worse than not having one at all!
Whether it’s true or not, people will see you as sloppy and undependable. (Aka: Not someone they want to work with).
On the flip side, if you have a well-maintained blog with regular updates and audience engagement, expect to turn some heads.
5. You’ll (slowly) build a following.
Blogs are a wonderful way to grow your business and engage your audience. What could be better than that? How about… the potential for a book deal? 148 bloggers landed book deals in 2012. Why? Because they had agents. Why else? Because they already had a built-in audience, someone to market to. And that is very appealing to publishers.
6. It’s a must if you want blogging gigs.
What kind of a blogger doesn’t own a blog? I mean, come on! Carol Tice recently pointed out that you technically don’t have to blog. But, if you want blogging gigs, you really, really do. It’s a must.
Also, if your excuses for not blogging include “I’m bored” and “I don’t know what to post/write about” then are you sure you really want to be a writer?
If you truly love writing, blogging should be fun!
It’s the chance to write about whatever you want. As a writer, that’s the most fun, rewarding experience you can have! As Dana Sitar recently said, “Why do you need motivation to write? This isn’t required of you. This is the passion you chose to pursue. If you don’t want to do it, do something else.”
7. Blogging shows your competency as a writer.Think spelling and grammar errors on your blog are “no big deal?” Think again! I’m going to quote myself for a second to save time:
“If you make a spelling or grammar error (or any sort of typo), your readers will notice. It’s a distraction. It’s a blip of static during their favorite song. Or a rock on an otherwise smooth path.
The real problem comes when they don’t stop noticing.
Once a reader/potential customer comes across a spelling/grammar error, they start looking for other spelling/grammar errors in your writing.
What they aren’t doing? Reading your message!
There’s no way for your readers to fully absorb your message if they’re caught up in a tangle of errors.”
And these are the mistakes you’re making on your blog. On your passion project. On your ongoing portfolio piece.
If you’re making careless mistakes on your own work–the work you supposedly care the most about–how many more errors will you make when working for a client?
Sure, maybe you do “better” work for your clients… But how are they supposed to know that?
On the other hand, if you make an effort to keep your blog looking polished, clients start to think “I wonder if he/she could do the same for me…?”
8. Your blog shows who YOU are.
These days, one of the quickest ways to get familiar with a freelance writer’s writing style (and personality!) is to read their blog. And that’s a wonderful thing.
You don’t want clients to hire “any” freelance writer, you want them to hire YOU.
Why wouldn’t you want to make use of an easily accessible platform that shows them just that?
What Elements Does a Great Blog Need?
If you’d like to know what I consider to be the most important elements of a freelance writer’s blog, please check out my guest post on Anthony Dejolde’s The Write Freelance: “How to Blog in 10 Easy Steps.”
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of bylined posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers. Thousands if you count all the articles she’s ghostwritten (but she’s not allowed to talk about most of those).