Freelance writing is a competitive field. While the rise of digital media and content means there are plenty of opportunities for writers these days, you still want to make yourself stand out from the pack. One way to do that is by creating a personal blog. When you blog, you not only show off your writing ability to potential clients. You also show that you know your stuff when it comes to a particular subject.
1. Choose How You’ll Host It
One of the first things you want to do when creating a blog is find a home for it online. If you already have a personal website, such as YourName.com, your blog can be a part of your site. You can also create an entirely separate domain name for your blog, such as MyAwesomeBlog.com. If money is tight at the moment, you can always go the free route and host your blog on a place such as WordPress or Blogger. In that case, your blog’s domain would be something like MyAwesomeBlog.wordpress.com or MyAwesomeBlog.blogspot.com.
Although you can build a blog from scratch, using a service such as WordPress or Blogger (even if you have your own, paid domain name) can be the easiest. These platforms have built-in themes and extra bells and whistles which can make your blog look great even if you aren’t technically inclined.
2. Pick a Subject
Around the time that you’re finding a home for your blog, you also want to pick a subject for it. What do you like to write about, or more specifically, what do you want clients to hire you to write about? Choose a subject that you’re passionate about and that you really know well. If you pick something to write about because you think it will lead to the most jobs, but you just can’t get jazzed about the topic, it will show through in your writing. Think of it this way: If you don’t want to be writing your blog, people probably won’t want to read it.
3. Put Together a Schedule
The Internet is littered with blogs that contain a few posts and that haven’t been updated in weeks, months, or even years. To keep your blog from becoming a ghost town, only visited by the occasional tumbleweed, set up a posting schedule and editorial calendar from the get-go. You might start posting once a week, to ease yourself into it. As your blog gains readers and you start to feel more confident as a writer, you can bump up your schedule.
4. Strut Your Stuff
Your blog is your place to really shine. Treat your blog posts as you would any work you are doing for clients. Proofread for grammatical and spelling errors before posting and make sure any information you are sharing is accurate and up-to-date.
5. Promote Yourself
Now that you’ve got a blog and a few posts, you want to start promoting yourself. Sharing on social media is one way to get people to look at your blog. Other ways to promote yourself include commenting on similar blogs and sharing a link to yours in the comment. To avoid coming across as a spammer, your comments should relevant to the post and actually helpful. Don’t say something like “I agree! MyAwesomeBlog.com.” Instead, set yourself up as a person who knows what he or she is talking about and who has relevant things to say, both on your own blog and in the comments on other people’s.
There’s another benefit of launching your own blog. It can give you samples and clips to use when you might not have them. Look at your blog as your own little home on the web, a place to meet new people and attract new clients.
Amy F has been a freelance writer since 2007. An avid fan of fashion, shopping, and sewing, she has a blog devoted to those subjects.