As a freelance writer, it's imperative that you have a blog. Your blog should be a reflection of your freelance writing business. Don't worry if you have low readership (although you should work on building your blog's traffic once it's established) - just worry about getting one started. It may be one of the best business decisions you've made so far in your freelance writing career.
Other than the original 7 benefits of business blogs, there are other benefits particular to writers.
Freelance writers' blogs:
- establish expertise in a niche
- are a creative outlet
- provide a constant stream of writing samples
Your blog can be about anything you'd like - that's not what matters. What matters is that you have one for the three reasons above. If you're really good at cooking and love all things food, create a blog about that. If motorcycling's your passion, that's what you'll write about.
The reason it should be centered on something you're good at and passionate about is that you're unlikely to run out of things to write about - and you're going to need ample blog posts later.
How do you create a blog?
Many blog services are free. Wordpress and Blogger have thousands of templates you can use, and there are step-by-step guides all over the Internet. Google "free Blogger themes" - you'll see what I mean. Once you've chosen a template for your blog, start posting on your chosen topic.
I never stick to this rule, but blog posts should generally be 300-500 words long (less if you can get away with it!) so you don't lose the reader halfway through.
When you're writing blog posts, do so with SEO in mind; when search engines pick your blog up, you'll be glad you did.
What will you use your blog posts for?
Your blog posts are setting you up as an expert in a niche. If you're writing about hiking in Hawaii with an authoritative voice because you know what you're talking about, you'll be viewed as the go-to for people who want to hike in Hawaii.
When a client contacts you (or when you contact a client, depending on your methods of finding freelance writing clients), you can refer them to your blog:
- so they can see that you can indeed write.
- so they can see your expertise in the field.
- so they can get a sense of your voice and make sure it matches the tone they're looking for.
Remember that your blog is a reflection of your freelance writing business. You can have a personal blog in which you complain about your dog doing business on the living room floor or your kids spraypainting the local elementary school - but there's no room for it on your business blog. Ever.
Your business blog should never, ever, ever (ever!) contain:
- rants, raves and complaints about your personal life
- gripes about clients (believe me, they're reading - and that's the last thing you want them to see)
- your personal address or anything too close for comfort
- photos of your kids, their names or school information (that's common sense, but it needs to be said)
Keep your blog related to its core subject. Create a personal blog if you need to tell the world those things, and keep it separate from your business.
Do you have a business blog? Does it have a particular niche? Have you used it to entice clients to work with you?
(and that's just not good business).