The job profile of a freelancer is highly ambiguous even in 2018, specially in India. The fact that almost every creative professional can be a freelancer, is also lost to many. Most believe that a freelancer is someone who writes. Well yes, mostly. But! Photographers, marketers, analysts, coders, stylists, name it and you’ll find freelancers in the category! So firstly, if you cannot write yet wish to freelance, don’t fret. Think of your day job and it will lead you to what you can freelance in. And/or, your hobby. I have coder friends who freelance as illustration artists, or medico friends who freelance as writers! We are in 2018, who said you can earn your income only from what you studied academically? Experiment, go all out, see what works for you.
However, this post is about freelancers who write. Rather, writers who are freelancers or wish to. I get asked many a times if someone who wants to establish themselves as freelance writer, should be a blogger too? My answer is always a resounding YES.
Your blog is were you build your brand. It is an indirect investment you make towards your career as a freelance writer. Your blog will be your virtual visiting card. Let me explain in five simple reasons how having an active and relevant blog will help your career as a freelancer.
1. A blog is the best way to practice writing. To be a freelance writer, your writing skills need to be top of the class. And there is no secret in the fact that good writers are good at it, because they write everyday. Practice makes one perfect and while you could write offline as well, writing online brings in accountability. Knowing that people will read it, makes us aware that out writing needs to be good, relevant and enjoyable. Additionally, your mind will remain sharp with constant inflow of ideas.
2. Your blog will be read. Personally, I am strictly against creating a tribe and reading everyone’s posts and compulsory commenting but it works for a lot of people. I suggest you read who you love to and topics you enjoy loving, leave comments and a link to your blogpost you wish they’d read. That, not only increases your circle but also introduces you to bloggers out of your own territory. More people know about you. Your credibility increases i like minded bloggers and you are no more restricted to being a known name only amongst the small circle you are friends with. Share your posts periodically on relevant pages and groups. Let people read you. Let people know what you write and how.
3. Blogging also helps a lot in self-branding. You will be the brand and your blog will create it. I have been increasingly noticing new bloggers-cum-freelancers who want to write about a minimum of five topics which more or less includes every major topic out there. Sit back. Do you want to believe that your are a jack of all topics and master of none? I hope not! Create your niche. Restrict your blog to 1 or 2 topics and write on them. (e.g) maybe travel & breathing, or say, art & craft.
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4. Until you have a solid portfolio, your blogposts are what will work as samples of your writing. Write on the topics you want to make a career in. I always suggest that fresh samples are not written, instead prospective clients are pointed towards blogposts which might interest them.
5. And when a portfolio of blogposts has been created, you are ready to pitch to brands and agencies you would be interested to work with. In your pitches, your blog will work as what level of content you are capable of providing. This sets expectations with the clients and they too know who they are getting into a work relationship with. You blog and its subscription number could be your major tools while presenting your pitch to a potential client.
So, while blogging won’t get you freelance assignments directly, they are enablers which help you scout for assignments.