When I come up with an idea for a post here I often google my proposed title. Partly I want to know if the idea is likely to be a popular one and I also want to see if the exact title is shows up in the first couple of pages.
I chuckled this morning over the first page results for “Do Freelance Writers Need Blogs?” The answer is clear – you either do need a blog to be a successful freelance writer, or you don’t, or maybe you do, or maybe you don’t…
Which just goes again, freelance writing is anything but an exact science.
Blogs are not professional websites
There’s still lots of confusion about what a blog is and isn’t. Part of that confusion comes from the fact that content management systems like WordPress, which were originally used to make it easy to create blogs, also make it easy to set up a website that’s easily edited. For example, this site and my professional site, both use WordPress; this is a blog, my pro site isn’t.
A blog, at least the way I’m using the term, is a website that’s updated often and deals with the thoughts, ideas, feelings, experience, etc. of an individual or of a company. That’s a very squishy definition, but then blogging gets harder and harder to define all the time. The key, I suppose, is the regular updates.
No matter if you blog or not, you absolutely must, in my opinion, have a professional website. It really is easier than you think.
Yes, a blog can help
If you’re writing in a particular field, a blog can help you build your writing business. This one helps me get coaching clients and also tends to lend me authority with clients who want to hire me to write. Jenn Mattern had a great blog for writers at AllIndieWriters and I’m sure it helps her attract clients who want to hire her to write. Princess Jones has the wonderful Diary of a Mad Freelancer and I suspect it helps her generate clients as well.
Cathy Miller shows off her business expertise at her SimplyStatedBusiness. It’s specifically designed to bring her the kind of clients she wants. She attracts them by sharing what she knows about the best ways to do business.
Susan Wells has turned her love of ebay into a real business at EbaySellingCoach – a blog on exactly that.
You get the idea – if you want to blog about the expertise you’re offering the world, you can, and it may help.
Blog about what you love
Paula Hendricks, well known writer about TV shows, also blogs about needle craft, cooking and life at her Create From Scratch. I occasionally update my WhenGrandmotherSpeaks, which I still find hard to define. There are blogs about everything from aardvarks to zoos done as a labor of love with little or no thought for making any money.
So… do freelancers need blogs?
The real answer is maybe, or only if you want to blog. They can be used to enhance your authority or you can skip the whole drama of creating and updating a blog on whatever. Like most of freelance writing, it’s up to you.
If you’ve got questions about blogging as a freelance writer, post ’em in comments and I’ll do my best to get them answered here.
Write well and often,
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