For many of us, blogging is a rather complex term. It has many different definitions, and has been adopted as a niche marketing platform by many different industries over the years. From sharing beauty tips and lifestyle pieces, to curating business advice and delivering company updates, the idea of a ‘blog’ is still debated to this day.
Almost every individual I’ve worked with has shared a blog from their website. It didn’t matter whether they were a technology agency, a beauty company or a textile merchant, running a blog was a core part of their content strategy and I was more than happy to help them deliver it. This was their way to share indepth pieces of writing on topics of their choosing, promote their own products, share their news and updates and even deliver personal stories on the very orgins of their products. Fluent and consistent communication with their customers is always going to be a great way to retain brand loyalty, and so, for big businesses with plenty to say, blogging is a great and advantageous addition to their digital marketing.
So why should a personal brand start a blog? With already overwhelming workloads and chaotic schedules, running a blog seems like an extra job, an added pressure to an already loaded to-do list, right? Additionally, a soloepreneur or freelancer is just one person. We don’t have physical products to sell, we don’t have new employees to brag about or big company changes to share. What do we have to offer an audience of readers?
I’ve been writing a blog professionally for over five years. Even before that, I was blogging personal emo feelings on online journal sites like Tumblr, Xanga, and Live Journal since I was a teenager. Over time, it has changed from being a terrible and badly designed homewares blog, to a professional and useful business-focussed blog, with regular readers and a carefully curated visual aesthetic. I’ve long since discovered the benefits of blogging as a freelancer, and today I want to share them with you too.
Showcasing Your Knowledge and Skill
One of the best reasons to start a blog as a one woman show is to highlight your abilities and expertise in your chosen field. Whether you’re a designer, developer, marketer or artist, it’s important to translate just how much knowledge you have of your industry, and share it with your potential clients. As a marketing strategy for your services, it’s a great and creative way to present yourself as an industry leader, as an expert and as someone to be trusted in their market.
As you start to integrate your knowledge into your blog posts, it also becomes easier for readers and potential clients to find out about the depth of your experience, helping them to understand just how much you can deliver to them. Share your advice, answer questions, analyse a new industry update and talk about your job in a way that sounds passionate and intelligent. Without being restricted by service pages or social media character counts, you can talk in detail about your chosen subject, showcasing just much work you put into a topic you care about.
Whether you’re a first class deadline hitter, or take a more flexible approach to due dates, regularly updating a blog and following a post schedule is a great way to refine your scheduling skills. Teaching yourself to plan ahead, finding assets, creating copy and scheduling uploads is a useful skill to have, and one that can really impress your clients. By keeping your posts consistent and regular, new and future clients can see just how efficient you can be, how comitted and how dedicated you can be to a particular project — making you seem even more appealing as a freelance hire.
Blogging is also a great way to form your own routines. When you work from home, it can be hard to find a daily routine or timetable to stick to — with work often coming in sporadic waves and peaks. Keeping to a set blogging schedule can help to easily create a pattern of work in your head, allowing you to plan tasks better, organise your workload and have something concrete to look forward to.
Opportunities and Expansion
Once your blog is established, and you have a regular upload schedule, it’s important to consider the other opportunities that could stem from it. For example, many writers choose to submit some of their best posts onto much larger journal sites, like Medium, where you can be paid per article. You could work with magazines, e-mags and online publications to share some of your work, reach out to publishing sites and invite them to share your advice around.
Another way to utilise your blog is to upgrade it into a podcast, that can run alongside your regular articles. By narrating your posts, not only are you making your blog much more accessible and engaging, but you can share your epiodes regularly through your cast — creating another potential stream of income, and another platform for marketing.
One of the best things a freelancer can do with their blog is to use it to impress and connect with new potential clients. By taking the time to understand the questions a future client might have, the pain points they’re experiencing and the knowledge they might be lacking, you can use your blog to fill in those blanks and prove yourself through your posts.
For example, many small businesses struggle to find the time to schedule social media posts on a regular basis. You could therefore write a blog post explaining how you help clients to manage their social schedules. Or perhaps you know of a company who wants to make their website more accessible and user friendly. Your next post would explain how your skills and processes can deliver a UX-driven site, and the importance of accessible browsing in 2020. Do the research and find out what your clients need, and help them to find your services through your posts.