I’m already swamped with client work. Why should I even think of my own blog?
Oh, and did you know that I have had a personal blog for eons, and it hasn’t been updated for more than a year?
I’m preaching to the choir here, people. I believe that freelance writers should have their own blog while having client work.
Why You Need an Online Portfolio; Yes, You!
The belief is strong. How to convince and motivate you (and myself) to actually do it is another thing, but let me try anyway.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a professional online portfolio. I’m talking about good old-fashioned personal blogging. That blog you’ve had when Netscape was still on everyone’s computers.
So why should you, who spends a lot of time on paying work, “waste” time on that blog?
Let’s make it simple and weigh the “pros” and the “cons”. I’ll start with the negatives first so that they’re out of the way.
There are some factors that you might consider downsides to blogging for yourself on top of client work – and you could be right! Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Technical aspects of running a blog on your own. You have to worry about your own URL, hosting, setting up the blog depending on the platform, and so on – that is, if you’re starting from scratch. If you have an existing one, then you have fewer things to consider. At the end of the day, though, when a technical issue arises, then it’s you who needs to take action – not the client or anyone else. However, once everything is set up, and you have taken on the right service providers, then this isn’t really much of an issue. They’ll take care of everything for you.
- Cost. Related to the technical side of blogging, you’ll have to shell out some bucks. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. And, if you really don’t want to spend a single cent, you can always go the free route with platforms such as Blogger or WordPress.
- Time and effort. Ah, time. There’s not much I can say about this because if you really want to, you’ll find time for blogging. If you don’t, then there will never be any free time. The same goes for effort.
- Venting venue. Back in the day, blogging was a great way to journal your experiences and sharing them with the whole world. It was a way to make friends, too. Your blog can still be that, and it may bring back the fun in writing when you’ve had way too much of technical work.
- Therapy. As we know, venting can be therapeutical. Vent via your blog, and you’ll save money on a therapist. Just make sure you don’t get into trouble with clients…
- Fun. Venting is fun, but there are other types of fun that personal blogging can bring. I blog about my vacations, restaurants I go to, food I eat, and so many other things that may not matter to others but matter to me and my circle. Sure, this can be done via Facebook, but there’s something about writing entire paragraphs, inserting photos here and there, and chronicling your life one blog post at a time. An as I said earlier, writing for yourself is a healthy break from writing for work.
- Revenue. This is optional and a perk. If you use your own URL and hosting, you can earn some money. There are ads (you need lots of traffic, though) and sponsored posts among others.
So are you going to blog for yourself now?
Cat DeCenzo says
Great article. And thanks for the reminder! I’m in the “haven’t posted on my blog in months” category. I also wonder why I should waste time posting on my personal blog when busy drumming up writing gigs. But I agree it’s mostly a venting process. Sometimes I just want to ramble and not worry about themes, deadlines and impressing publishers, etc.
Fun is great, but remember your potential clients are watching.
The most important reason for freelancers to blog is it provides the opportunity to DEMONSTRATE your talent and PROVE your expertise.
Demonstrate your talent: Getting clients takes more than just saying “I’m capable,” especially if you’re promoting yourself as a digital content writer. Luckily, proving your writing skills has never been easier, thanks to blogging.
Prove your expertise: Writing about writing/content, topics you specialize in, and related topics (such as SEO for digital content writing), will clearly demonstrate your level of knowledge.
You’ll be amazed at how many clients will approach you if you have an active, high quality blog. The same applies for guest posting and social media.
I agree 🙂
Proving that you’re able to deliver great content is important for potential clients and what better way to show off than having your own blog?
Plus, if you do use your own personal blog as a tool for getting clients, it’s less likely you’ll forget about it for months 😀