Why Blogs are Still Important for Freelancers
Posted June 21, 2012 in Marketing
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.
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.
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.
Do you have a blog for your freelancing business? Do you think it’s important to have one? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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