While writing a client’s blog post recently, it struck me how beneficial my own blog has been for my freelance career. I started my blog in 2009 because I wanted to gain experience. The job boards were seeking bloggers so I figured it would be a good way to learn. My first efforts were not stellar but I quickly learned by trial and error.
While the benefits of blogging for freelancers seem obvious (we are writing, after all!), there are additional layers of skills gained in the process. They complement our pursuits with valuable career boosting skills.
Here are my top 8 blogging benefits:
1. Polished Writing Skills
This may seem obvious but, when writing for others, especially potential clients and colleagues, our writing becomes purposeful and polished. We put our grammar skills to good use, and become more proficient with words. It helps us to better target our audience, and write faster. Blogging also helps showcase our work, especially if we don’t have many clips yet.
Blogging helps develop/refine our voice, experiment with other styles and genres, and allows us the freedom to write what we want. We brainstorm, experiment, and play with words. This generates creativity that can be reflected in future freelance work.
3. Sharpens Self-Editing Skills
Not everyone is a natural born editor, and that’s okay! The more we work with words, though, the sharper our editing eyes become. Our editing “ears” improve, too, and will recognize interesting, effective prose. Good self-editing skills are one of the greatest assets a writer can develop. Your editors and clients will thank you. Trust me.
4. Valuable Connections and Colleagues
I cannot say enough about the people I’ve met through blogging. Committed followers are treasures, enriching our professional journey in wonderful ways. Their insight, support, and loyalty are priceless.
My followers have included readers, authors, freelancer writers, photographers, and other creative professionals from around the globe, many of whom I had the privilege of interviewing. I enjoyed a delightful camaraderie, and gained referrals, clients, endorsements, and friendships that continue to this day.
5. Practical Skills
Prior to blogging, I knew about SEO and keywords, but had no clue about tags, themes, and numerous other items that make a blog work, look good, and attract readers. I used Blogger because it was free and, at first, muddled my way through. Before long, I knew how to schedule posts, insert html, add images and videos, moderate comments, and so much more.
This valuable experience was a huge asset when my first blogging client needed me to put their posts online. Although my experience wasn’t with their blogging platform, I knew enough to easily complete the task. Following that, another client asked me to edit their educational course site, and my blogging experience was a huge asset there, too.
6. All the Details
Titles, paragraph headings, good transitions, formatting, openings, and closings – when blogging, these seem like little details. But, they help make our work look polished and professional. A title grabs a reader’s attention, paragraph headings and good transitions guide the reader smoothly through. Openings draw the reader in and closings offer a satisfying conclusion, as well as additional take away value. Sure, we learn these as we write elsewhere but a blog offers the package deal in one place.
7. Interviewing Skills
Interviews were a regular feature on my blog and I hosted followers, authors, and other professionals. Not having done much official interviewing beforehand, it helped me develop journalism skills. I was interviewed by others as well so it was a fun and educational to experience both angles. Contests and giveaways, blog hops, and other special features added additional interest and layers of experience to my portfolio.
It goes without saying that having a professional blog can bring business to YOU! Don’t be shy about advertising your services and products in and under your blog posts.
Could Blogging Be for You?
Blogging truth – it takes time and effort to maintain a blog. It’s not a 24/7 job but it still takes consistency and commitment. Whether posting once a week, biweekly, etc., you need to show up. Otherwise, your readers won’t come back. It is a rewarding venture if you’re interested, and worth a try, even for just a year. It’ll provide helpful experience that’ll complement your freelance pursuits, provide more value for clients, and help you earn more throughout your career.
Karen Lange is a content creator and editor who’s taken numerous writing courses over the years, but is certain that her blog provided comparable hands-on experience. Though not currently as active on her blog, “Write Now” she invites you to stop by and visit if you like. Karen specializes in writing for the home improvement industry, but has the privilege of writing about other fun and exciting topics too. Feel free to connect with her on Linkedin.
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