Why Blogs are Still Important for Freelancers

Do freelancers need to have a blog for their freelancing business?

Several years ago, we published a post explaining the benefits of having a freelancer blog. While the points in the original post are still valid, there is still a lively debate about whether blogs are worthwhile for freelancers.

Today, more than ever, some freelancers (and others) are turning to social media to create long, blog-like posts rather than creating their own blog. Others simply create a static website and never get around to any type of blogging.

So, the question today is: “Is it still worthwhile for a freelancer to have a blog for their freelance business?” In this post, we’ll take a another look at freelancer blogs.

Blogging Benefits

As a freelance writer and blogger, I’m admittedly biased in favor of having a freelance blog. I know that I’ve actually gotten gigs from people who discovered me through my blog.

However, the freelance blog benefits I mentioned in my earlier post are still valid for all types of freelancers. A blog provides:

  • A web presence for your freelance business
  • A place to describe and list your services
  • An opportunity to position yourself as an expert
  • A chance to network with potential clients

In addition to the benefits listed above, having a blog with high quality frequently updated content can give you an advantage in the search engines.

Keeping all of these benefits in mind, why wouldn’t every freelancer have a blog? Because of the drawbacks, of course.

Blogging Drawbacks

With all its benefits, blogging does have a few drawbacks for freelancers. The most obvious drawbacks are:

  • The time it takes to create a freelancer blog
  • The time it takes to create blog posts
  • The time it takes to update and maintain a blog

I’ve listed a few other compelling drawbacks of having a freelancer blog in the post, What Every Freelancer Ought to Know About Blogging.

However, some freelancers hesitate to create a freelance blog because of the following misunderstandings:

  • Believing that all blogs are the same
  • Not liking to write

Freelancing vs Commercial Blogs

Are all blogs the same? The answer is a resounding “No.”

A freelancing blog and a commercial blog (one created solely for profit) are very different. Yet most freelancers are unaware of the differences. Most of us are more familiar with what it takes to succeed as a commercial blogger and unaware of what it takes to succeed in creating a business blog for your freelancing business.

If the blog is your primary business, as in a commercial blog, then it’s very important that the blog get lots of traffic. The more traffic the commercial blog gets, the more money they can receive from advertisers–which is their primary source of income. It’s not unusual for a commercial blog to run multiple blog posts each and every day just to attract extra readers.

In contrast, a freelancing blog is created to support another business. While some freelance blogs run advertisements, most receive little or no income directly from the freelancing blog. The business income comes from the freelancing business itself. In fact, the freelancing blog is actually a form of advertisement for the freelancing business.

Instead of needing lots of traffic, the freelancing blog needs highly targeted traffic. Ideally, the blog would be read mainly by prospective customers.

Another difference is that a freelancing blog does not rely on frequent publication. It may publish highly relevant information once or week or even once a month and still be effective. A freelancing blog also takes much less time than a commercial blot to update and maintain.

What If You Don’t Like to Write?

Another misconception freelancers have is that a blog must always be made up of written posts. Freelancers who are more visually oriented may hesitate to create a freelancer blog because they don’t like to write.

Limiting a blog to written posts is simply not correct. A freelancer blog can be made up of any of the following and still be effective:

  • Video posts
  • Picture posts
  • Samples of the freelancer’s work

And, of course, a non-writing freelancer can hire a professional writer to help him or her create written posts if needed. So not liking to write need not be an excuse for not having a freelancing blog.

Your Turn

Do you have a blog for your freelancing business? Do you think it’s important to have one? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    In the online world, anyone should grab the opportunity for their business to be known. Blogging is really one of the most effective ways to promote your business. Client can communicate freely to the business owner and vice versa.

    And speaking of promotion, i suggest this sight : ebusinesspress.net. You don’t have to worry about writing and advertising because they can do all those staff.

    If you want a blog, go for it and if you want to have an easy way to make your business popular, then hire the site i have mentioned. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for your comment Charry! I do think blogging is important for freelancers, but blogging doesn’t have to be words. There are video blogs, photo blogs, and more.

  3. says

    I am a freelance writer who has been blogging for about seven weeks. It is a ball. I look at the use, misuse and humor of words. The site does not sell anything, I just want people to know who I am.

    One thing on my site that I don’t think was in your article is endorsements. Anyone who has sent me a note or email or recommended my work is listed.

  4. says

    I’m firmly on the side of blogs being a good thing for freelancers. I didn’t even create my blog with a view to getting freelance clients, and yet I get a steady trickle of enquiries!

  5. says

    I do not have one yet. But the more and more I see others with one, the more it makes me think it is a MUST if you want to get found in the search engines.

  6. says

    Great comments!

    Remember this. More and more people are using the search engines the way that they used to use the yellow pages. So, if they are looking to hire someone they are like to type something like this into the search inquiry: “Service Needed, Name of Town”

    The names that come up are the ones that they consider. Yes, even if the service is only lawn mowing…

    How do you make sure your business name comes up in that list so that you can be considered for the work? Blogging is one great way.

  7. says

    Great post Laura! Blogging has been of great importance to my freelance consulting business because it increases my visibility and helps establish subject matter expertise.

    My most recent blog post is on 10 tips to increase comments on your blog. Hope you and the readers of this post find it valuable: http://wp.me/p1LHj0-bX

  8. Lyne says

    I have to applaud your clarification, Laura. Freelance blogging and commercial blogging are two different things.

    I tried freelance blogging a few years ago, but burned out. I’d followed the advice of people who told me I need to update my blog at least 3 or 4 times a week with mostly written content. Big mistake. Big. Maintaining a blog seemed to keep me from doing more important things — like actually working on my paying gigs.

    I’ve been toying with the idea of using Tumblr. It’s fresh and (fairly) new, and perfect for lots of video and picture posts.

  9. says

    Arthur Catalanello–Nice Post! Thanks for sharing it.

    Lyne, Wow! I’m sorry that you had a bad experience at first. Glad to hear that you’re now considering blogging again. :)

  10. says

    Excellent piece and blogging is in my experience one of the best ways to get traffic to your site.

    These days with the increase in social media you can get your content out to a much bigger audience.

    Really great to see too that you show people that it does not need just to be written content. As well as video, audio is a great option too.

  11. says

    I’ve found that blogging by myself wasn’t going to work. A lot of people participate in community blogs, but I choose to blog with my sister:

    http://peevishpenman.blogspot.co.nz/p/about-us.html

    I also accept a lot of guest posts, but what makes the difference is feeling like I have “coworkers.” Sure, blogging with other freelancing writers can drain a lot of time, but I can chat too much in a job where I show up physically, too.

  12. says

    My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  13. says

    My main website doesn’t get many hits so I thought the only way to get known was to have a separate blog using my name Colin Crawford so hopefully people would check me out and see if I’m genuine or not.

    All of the pages have a link back to my main website so hopefully this should generate some traffic. There’s obviously no call for websites where I live in Skelmersdale Lancashire UK.

    With the blog as well I can develop new techniques and try out new plugins in WordPress and I have started to get involved solving other peoples problems on WordPress.org’s Forum.

    Again hopefully someone notices me and I can get some work from it.

  14. says

    I have a blog, Writing from the Heart, Reading for the Road http://wingedword.wordpress.com that I use in to help me in my work as a freelance writer, editor, and teacher of writing and literature.

    I don’t have time to post in it all that frequently, so I guess I am breaking one of the cardinal rules about blogging right off the bat.

    However, I have found blogging to be an enormously useful (and fun) tool that can be used in a variety of ways. I use it to post materials I use in class, to answer client questions that come up over and over again, and to draw attention to various aspects of my business. Sometimes I use it to publish something that I really want to see published and can’t get published any other way, or at least not as quickly as I want it to be.

    The statistics on traffic to my site suggest that others are finding it useful too. A win-win situation!

  15. Andrea Altenburg says

    I have a blog all about transitioning from corporate to freelance. It has brought a lot of traffic to my business.

  16. says

    I’m an editor, transcriber and writer and I blog about language, Word tips and small business stuff. Helps me share information and get known and it’s fun, too!

  17. says

    Having a blog is more than just about promoting your business, it is about promoting yourself – your lifestyle, your particular strengths and showing how you keep track of your weaknesses and work on them. You can extend the blog from merely showcasing your work to showcasing YOU.
    Agreed – this is an excellent way to attract new clients!
    Ultimately, however, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t spend a lot of time online, then blogging might not be for you – although you probably have numerous real-life ways of doing exactly the same thing.

  18. says

    You still need one, it’s like your own personal portfolio. Unlike linkdn and other similar services, a personal blog still gives a more personal touch.

    And if you have a great professional looking blog, it’s a great way to attract more clients.

  19. says

    The thing I have noticed from my blog is I might not see a benefit right away, but I seem to get a new customer from my blog often – and it was a specific post that drew them in. I make sure to recommend blogs whenever I create a website for a client – especially freelancers since I know how important it is.

  20. says

    Great post and I agree a blog can be a great tool to pull visitors in. I have had leads through my blogs even when Im not offering a service as such.

  21. says

    Possibly the very best of these portable electronic book readers, and the first ereader, is the The amazon
    online marketplace Kindle. When searching for gift ideas for boys or toys for 3 year
    old boys you do not want anything that consists of small, breakable or small easily removed parts as
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  22. says

    I think the biggest thing against having your own blog is the fact that you have to deal with creating content, driving traffic and focusing on learning SEO. With blogging on social media sites, you don’t have to worry about that and can focus on your actual freelance work instead.

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