Guest Post: 5 Ways a Blog Can Boost Your Freelance Business

By Susan Johnston
Photo by Rachel Hadiashar, MergeWeddings.com

These days almost everyone has a website, and that can be a great way to showcase your professional accomplishments and list your qualifications. But to really stand out, I'd suggest blogging. Here are five ways that freelancers can benefit from writing a blog

1. Connect with others in your industry. Through blogging, I've "met" a ton of like-minded writers and other freelancers. Some of them have suggested new ways to market myself, and others have actually referred me to new projects. At the very least, blogging gives you the feeling of a virtual community, something that every work-from-home freelancer needs to fight social isolation or the occasional frustration over difficult clients.

2. Build credibility. Several months ago I contacted an editor about writing for her publication, and she emailed me back saying that she already knows my work from reading my blog. Who knew? Many other freelancers find that blogging helps them establish authority in their field, which can lead to referrals and even interview requests from the media.

3. Improve your online footprint. I'm one of about a million Susan Johnstons in the world. But since my blog is updated regularly and gets a lot of incoming links, it ranks #2 in Google's organic search results (my website is #1). When clients Google you (as many will), you want them to find relevant items that showcase you as the fabulous freelance professional that you are, rather than getting a bunch of outdated research papers you wrote in grad school or photos from your community newspaper. Blogging helps ensure that you maintain control of your internet image.

4. Hone your skills. The most obvious skill you develop while blogging is writing. But good bloggers are also savvy project managers, a useful skill for any freelancer who needs to meet deadlines or endure editing by committee. In the course of maintaining your blog, you might also learn how to edit and resize images, record a podcast, or tweak basic HTML. You never know when a client might say, "this is great, but could you add X?" Now you can. And of course, you can charge extra for the extra skill.

5. Show your human side. Your website and LinkedIn profile show your professional side, while blogging is a chance to let your hair down and show some personality. True, you probably don't want to get too personal and reveal details about poker night or that wild pub crawl, but you can write a bit more informally so that readers and potential clients connect with you as a person, too.
What about you? Has blogging improved your freelance business in other ways? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
Susan Johnston is a freelance writer/blogger who has contributed to The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Self Magazine, and Yahoo! HotJobs, as well as many other websites and print publications. She shares her tips and anecdotes about writing and the freelance life at The Urban Muse.


13 comments:

transtextuel on April 20, 2009 at 3:34 PM said...

Hello,

Would you mind my translating your article into Fr for my blog ? (with backlink towards yours of course)

Louise_J on April 20, 2009 at 4:32 PM said...

Hi Susan - nice post. I just started following you on Twitter (I'm @ThoughtsHappen) and followed your link. I'd be interested in your comments on a blog that's about writing vs. a blog that is more wide-ranging. I've currently got a more personal blog at http://www.thoughtshappen.net, and a "professional" blog at http://www.louisejulig.com that lists my clips and other short entries related to writing. I'd love to have more traffic to showcase my work, but it seems like a very slow process.

Anonymous said...

Susan, hi. Nice tips. What I would like to comment is that your site is down, at least I tried accessing it and I couldn't.

Renato - Brazil

Chantal on April 21, 2009 at 12:35 AM said...

Insightful post. I agree that blogging can really build a freelance business. It has certainly helped mine in ways I never would have expected.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on April 21, 2009 at 9:47 AM said...

@transtextuel: Glad you like the entry. Unfortunately, we don't translate into French, just out of French.

@Louise_J: We are not sure Susan is reading this. To make sure she does, we suggest you head to her blog or website and get in touch with her that way.

Thomas Gruber on April 22, 2009 at 4:18 AM said...

I think transtextuel asked for the permission to translate and post the translated Blogpost on transtextuels Blog.

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on April 22, 2009 at 12:49 PM said...

@transtextuel: Turns out we misunderstood. You were asking us if YOU could translate the article into French. Let us check with the author and we will get back to you! Thanks for your interest.

@Thomas Gruber: Thanks for clarifying. We were clearly confused.

kerry dexter on April 24, 2009 at 4:23 AM said...

Liked the points about additional skills. My blog Music Road has also helped me expand and maintain international contacts with both editors and readers.

transtextuel on April 25, 2009 at 1:48 AM said...

Hello,

Thank you for your emails allowing me to translate and publish on my french blog. I hope you'll enjoy the result :
http://transtextuel.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/freelance-blogguez-pour-vous-faire-connaitre/

Regards,

Susan Johnston on April 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM said...

Shame on me for not checking the comments sooner! Thank you everyone for adding your thoughts.

@Louise: I'm a big believer in choosing a niche for your blog. If you write about restaurants one day and writing the next, it's hard for readers to know what to expect. So I'd say that if you want to write about writing, then do it! If you want to write about something else, that's fine, too, but consider setting up a separate blog. The occasional off-topic post is fine, but it's easier to market a blog that has a clear focus.

@Renato: Not sure which site you're referring to (blog or website), but they seem to be working fine in IE. Maybe you're using a different browser and I should investigate?

Thomas Gruber on May 7, 2009 at 1:51 AM said...

There is an excelent post about branding your blog @ writetodone.com

http://writetodone.com/2008/11/06/branding-101-how-to-promote-your-blog-like-the-big-guys-do/

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on May 7, 2009 at 12:57 PM said...

@Thomas: Thanks for the tip! That's a good one; must read.

J. Carlos on June 12, 2009 at 5:22 AM said...

Hi, I found this related post which is also interesting. "Where to promote your translations and interpreting services for free":

http://babelanmicroblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/where-to-promote-your-translations-and.html

Good luck

Join the conversation! Commenting is a great way to become part of the translation and interpretation community. Your comments don’t have to be overly academic to get published. We usually publish all comments that aren't spam, self-promotional or offensive to others. Agreeing or not agreeing with the issue at hand and stating why is a good way to start. Social media is all about interaction, so don’t limit yourself to reading and start commenting! We very much look forward to your comments and insight. Let's learn from each other and continue these important conversations.

Subscribe by email:

 

Twitter update


Site Info

The entrepreneurial linguists and translating twins blog about the business of translation from Las Vegas and Vienna.

Translation Times