We article writers, SEO writers and content marketing authors are used to following client instructions as to tone, keyword density and sometimes even article structure. As our clients, they are entitled to have their instructions followed. The problem is that we get so wrapped up in meeting client instructions and deadlines, the primary desired result becomes having the piece approved and paid for. A commissioned piece is hardly the time to begin developing a writer’s personal style and writing tone.
But that is one of the many advantages to writing your own blog. While it is anathema for most users of WriterAccess to write for no pay, maintaining a blog could give us a chance to improve our writing style and our personal lives. (And, by the way, blogs can be monetized through Google Ads and similar services.)
Here is my list of five good things that blogging can do for writers:
1. Improving Research Skills
The first benefit of maintaining your own blog is that your research skills can be improved. If you are maintaining a blog on Technology Advances in Electronic Cameras you certainly would not use a resource from ten years ago in your primary research about today’s digital camera. In order to get repeat business your client wants current and actionable content. This skill is important for maintaining a blog as you prepare to respond to contrary posts. In my experience, whether writing for myself or for a client, I spend more time on research than I do on writing. Have you ever noticed the wide schism is customer reviews for products, restaurants and other businesses? These reviews are gold mines of information. The same is true of responses to blog posts—one post may generate 15 different opinions. Some written so well that it may sway you to reaching the opposite conclusion of your starting point.
2. Developing Your Voice
The best writers have a distinguishable voice—which, of course, they can put away when writing for clients. Allow that voice to direct your personal blogging. Your tone will evolve as you write. When I began writing I was very didactic, even dogmatic. Just the facts; it was not a friendly style. Here’s what I mean:
Didactic: The backpack has three zippered storage compartments.
Friendly: The backpack has three roomy zippered compartments to stow your gear.
If the didactic writing is reminiscent of my college economics professor who taught strict step-by-step calculus telling me the functional qualities of a new product; the friendly writing makes me think of my friend explaining the stuff he likes about his new bag. Clients will respect your diversity in abilities, and you’ll be able to write for several kinds of companies.
3 . Improving Everyday Communications
To blog you have to get your thoughts in order before translating them to the written word. As content writers, we know that engaging yet concise information is important to maintain a reader’s interest. The same applies to everyday speech. By trying to use the skills of order and conciseness in everyday conversation, it will not take us ten minutes to tell a one-minute story. This improvement of your communications can assist you in pitching yourself to clients and actually gaining these paying jobs, on a professional level.
4. Learning Discipline
Writers should be writing as much as possible. By adding blogging into your everyday (or every other day) schedule, you learn that it is an important piece of your life. When freelance writing for pay, deadlines and scheduling are imperative. If a part of your day is already learned to devote to writing, the discipline to complete on deadline will come more naturally.
5. Facing Challenges
Continuous blogging will naturally evolve and mold your writing. This concerns both your writing techniques and your styles, but also what you write about. As you continue blogging some of your beliefs grow stronger while other may change. One of the major benefits of blogging is its interactive component. Everything you write can be commented on by friends, family, and complete strangers. You can learn opposing views and be challenged to confront them with your writing.
Writing your own blog can be an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for folks who want to improve not only their professional lives, but their personal lives, too.