14 Essential Elements of a Good Freelancing Blog

Do you know how to create an effective freelancing blog?

While most seasoned freelancers know that blogging is an important way to promote their freelancing business, quite a few freelancers don’t have any idea how to create an effective freelancing blog.

You see, freelancing blogs are unique. While freelancing blogs are business blogs, they are not like corporate blogs. Nor are they like commercial blogs.

As a freelancer, you probably don’t have the resources of a corporation to pour into your blog. You can’t afford to hire a staff blogger or IT specialist to manage your blog. You have to handle all the blogging tasks yourself.

And unlike a commercial blog, you don’t expect your blog to be a primary source of income. Instead, you want your blog to serve as a source of leads for your freelancing business and as a way to interact with clients and potential clients.

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of blogging for freelancers, but in this post we’ll focus on the elements that your freelancing blog needs to become successful.

Elements Your Freelancing Blog Needs

Many posts that provide blogging tips are not geared specifically to freelancers. They target either commercial bloggers or large organizations such as corporations.

Unfortunately, good advice for commercial bloggers and corporate bloggers doesn’t always work for freelancers. In this post, we address the needs of the freelance blogger specifically.

In no particular order, here are 14 elements that every freelance blog needs:

  1. Regular updates. Blogging frequency is a source of confusion for many freelance bloggers. You may have heard that you should update your blog daily, or at least several times a week. However, as a freelancer you probably don’t have enough time to write a daily blog post for your freelancing blog. Adding a new post to your freelancing blog at least once a month should be enough.
  2. Great About page. Your freelancing blog’s About page needs to tell your prospective clients how you can meet their needs. The About page should be about you and your freelancing business, but in a way that’s relevant to your clients.
  3. Current contact information. A surprising number of freelancing blogs have no contact information, or the contact information is buried somewhere within the blog. Even worse is old contact information that is no longer valid.
  4. Updated design. Don’t use a default theme for your freelancing business blog. Instead, your design should look crisp and professional. Avoid design problems like light colored text on a dark background. Also, keep the look of your freelancing blog uncluttered.
  5. Loads quickly. It’s a sad truth, but most readers are rather impatient. Statistics show that you have about eight seconds to grab your reader’s attention. Unfortunately, some freelancing blogs take longer than that to load. Most readers will click away when they encounter a slow loading blog.
  6. No popups or other distractions. While popups are commonly used on some big name blogs, keep in mind that a significant number of readers dislike them. Also, don’t set your blog to music or have a video automatically load.
  7. Excellent portfolio. Your freelancing blog should include a link to your portfolio or samples of your work. That portfolio needs to be top-notch. Revisit it regularly to make sure that your best work is highlighted. Replace older portfolio pieces regularly.
  8. Attention. To be effective, your freelancing blog needs to get some attention. The best way to draw attention to your freelancing blog is through an active social media presence. Be sure to share your own content as well as relevant content from other blogs.
  9. Great content. Your freelancing blog content must have some value to your readers. Make sure that it’s worthy of being shared. It should also be on topic and relevant to your freelancing business. Avoid personal diary type posts and rants.
  10. User friendly. A reader should be able to find what he or she needs on your freelancing blog. This means good navigation and links that work. Make sure the links are labeled clearly. If you are not sure, ask a friend to find something on your blog.
  11. Indicates you are for hire. A surprising number of freelancers leave this information off their blog. However, you can’t count on the reader to assume that you are for hire. Many bloggers blog for fun. Your freelancing blog should make it clear that you can be hired.
  12. Has a URL and name that’s easy to remember. Shorter URLs and blog names are easier to remember. Ideally, the blog name and URL should be the same. Also, choose a blog name that is relevant to your freelancing field.
  13. Reader engagement plan. As a freelance blogger, you want to get to know your readers. Invite them to make comments and answer them when they do. Include elements such as social media buttons on your posts so that they can readily share your content.
  14. Branded. You’re ahead of the game if your freelancing blog reflects your brand. Admittedly, it can be hard to discover what your brand is, especially if you are new to running a business. You can learn more about branding your freelance business here.

Your Turn

I’ve shared 14 essential elements of a good freelancing blog. What elements would you add?

Share your answers in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    You always write good stuff, what happened to you today? :(

    All these tips were general! These could be applied to any possible blog, except for the tip which told to be for hire, and to have an excellent portfolio…

    What happened so suddenly? :(

    Also, in this, you wrote ‘clearly showing that you are available for hire’. Any tips on how to do that?

  2. says

    Namanyay Goel–

    I’m sorry that you did not like the post, but read it again, more carefully.

    I think that you’ll agree that most of these tips definitely do not apply to a commercial blog (blogging for money). Nor are these tips applicable for hobby bloggers. They only apply, specifically, to freelance bloggers.

    As for clearly showing that you’re for hire, there are at least three ways to do that.

    1) Create a “Hire Me” page.
    2) Add a “Hire Me” button to the margin.
    3) Make sure that your “About” page indicates that you accept projects.

    Best wishes to you.

  3. says

    Great article, Laura. I, for one, found it both helpful and relevant. I just ended my day job to go back to freelancing full time and jump-starting my blog is at the top of my To Do list. A follow-up post on generating content ideas would also be helpful–that’s where I’m stuck. I can’t think of anything to write about.

  4. says

    I actually get waaaaaay more client leads from my personal blog than I do from my freelancing blog. My hobby is food photography and since I started it, my client inquiries have tripled. They’re all food bloggers, cookbook authors, bakers and other food industry types. They like my photography tips, read my About page, see i’m a web designer, check out my portfolio and contact me. I’ve since discovered that they’re not interested in posts on web design or wordpress or SEO. That’s why they hire me. They’re more interested In focusing on food. My advice? Blog about your hobby with awesome content and let readers know how you earn your living. They’ll be excited to work with somebody who “gets them”

  5. says

    Melissa–Ideally, your freelancing business blog should contain topics that are relevant to your clients (who are the audience for your blog). If your niche is food blogging, then a your freelancing business blog should be a food blog.

    One mistake that too many freelancers make is directing their freelancing blogs to other freelancers. This only works well if your services are geared towards other freelancers.

    That being said, if you don’t already have your contact information on your hobby blog I’d put it there.

  6. says

    Hi Laura!

    I think one essential I’d add is — great blog content, and written in blog style.

    If you’re using your blog as a writer to audition for blog-writing gigs, you need to show you know posts should stick to your niche topic and be scannable for web readers.

    Clients will want you to do these things for them, so show you get it on your own blog. Too many have posts that are one giant blob of text…which no one is going to read!

  7. says

    Re your comment above, I think it’s still worth blogging for other freelancers. After all, in many freelance-based industries a lot of work comes via referrals from other freelancers working in the same field. At least that’s my experience from the translation industry. Though I guess it’s probably the same in editing, proofreading, copywriting and may others.

  8. says

    One of the key components of your personality and unique voice is your opinion on topics related to your blog’s overall subject matter. Don’t be afraid to inject your personal opinions into your blog posts. Without your opinions, your blog posts will read like news stories. What makes a blog interesting is the personal opinions of the blogger behind it.

    Thanks
    Shital

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