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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Even worse is old contact information that is no longer valid.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I’ve shared 14 essential elements of a good freelancing blog. What elements would you add?
Share your answers in the comments.