5 Reasons Why Every Freelance Writer Should Have a Blog

Reasons to start bloggingAfter publishing my most recent article last week, sharing a very powerful weapon writers can use to take their careers to the next level, citing an example on how I’m now able to make up to $800 for an article in just 2 years of being a freelance writer, I’ve gotten a lot of a great responses.

A particular email from one of my readers stood out, and here’s an excerpt from the email.

“I had been blogging and writing for some sites. I had been running in DP and ODesk for several time to get a good writing job and has never got it. Till today, the highest rate i ever got for a post is $5 or $8…….

Your success stories are inspirational. But why aren’t any of them working for me ??

“My English is not so good since i’m not a native speaker, But I’m trying to improve day by day. But How do I get these kind of high paying webmasters who are willing to pay a good amount to their writers ???”

PS. The parts in bold were highlighted by me.

What is Wrong?

I’m very happy when I get these kinds of emails from readers, because it helps me know what my readers’ pain points are, and it helps me address them in details in my articles.

If you take a look at the above email I quoted, you will notice that something is wrong.

The ‘wrong’ element that stands out – based on that email – is the foundation.

The reader who contacted me is able to get a few clients who are happy to pay peanuts thanks to sites like oDesk, but is ignoring what it really takes to succeed as a writer.

A Platform

Yep, that’s what it takes.

I’m sorry, but reading through that email I can’t see any signs that the reader who contacted me is taking action based on any of my tips.

The fellow is probably inspired by my success stories or examples, but there’s no indication he is putting my tips into action.

I’ve said it over and over again on this blog, that the key to building a successful freelance writing career (without having to struggle like other freelance writers) is to have a blog.

I even created a presentation on it a few weeks ago, which you can see below.

Of course, there are many more ways to getting high-paying freelance writing clients, but I believe blogging is the best one there is.

Here are a few reasons why you should start a blog today, if you don’t have one yet.

1. It Makes You an Expert

While self-confidence is important, like I said in my last article, ignorant self-confidence is arrogance.

People won’t just pay you big bucks for being confident. They’ll pay you because you’re confident about what you know!

The difference between someone paying you $5 for an article or $50 for the same article is whether you’re perceived as an expert or not.

To be honest with you, people don’t go to freelance writing portals like oDesk and eLance to find “experts”.

People don’t post the same job offer for 20+ “experts” to bid on, looking to offer the job to the lowest bidder.

Why? Because experts don’t bid!

Having a blog makes it easy for people to get in touch with you directly, without a middle man, and without any distractions.

Instead of focusing your energy on getting the same job 20 other people are interested in on oDesk and eLance, why not focus that same energy on building your blog to attract quality clients.

2. It Takes Away the Competition

Real experts don’t compete, or at least not obviously.

A writing job that needs several people to compete for it is probably not the right choice for you.

The only acceptable option is to negotiate with your clients on an offer, not to bid with others.

To be more direct, clients who create an opportunity for you to compete directly with others who can do the same job as you, are playing mind games with you.

The idea is usually to gather people who have something to offer, and pit them against people who have little or nothing to offer. As expected, those who have nothing to offer will charge literally nothing for the job at hand. Those who have something to offer will think their pricing is normal, and will – as a result – charge a lot less than they are worth.

Blogging strips away the competition and lets you communicate directly with your clients.

Not all clients will be willing to pay your price, but being able to communicate with them alone is better than bidding with dozens of other writers.

3. It is Easy to Maintain, Effective and Long-Term

This is probably the reason why many freelance writers don’t have a blog yet.

They believe it is difficult to maintain, and that the chances of getting results are slim.

That belief is totally wrong!

Of course, blogging is a long-term strategy.

Even if you give it your all, you might not get any results until after 6 months of starting it, but start counting today and you’ll see how fast 6 months can go by.

Blogs are also very easy to maintain, not as difficult as most people will have you believe.

To show you what I mean, here’s a screenshot of requests I’ve gotten from my hire me page in the past few months.

Hire Me Page Screenshot

According to the screenshot, here’s the number of client requests I’ve gotten in the past 3 months:

May: 4

June: 4

July: 2

PS. The above numbers are small compared to my monthly average, but I intentionally used those numbers because I didn’t update my blog regularly starting from May. I got 7 requests in April alone.

Here are the number of articles I wrote for the months listed:

May: 2 articles

June: 3 articles

July: 1 article, at the time of getting the two client requests.

You can confirm the numbers for yourself by visiting the Archive pages for May, June, and July.

That’s an average of 4 client requests every month, with an average of 2 articles published in a month.

Most of these articles only take a few hours to write and promote, and this blog focuses on writers, who aren’t my ideal clients, so your chances of getting more clients will probably increase if your blog is niche-specific.

What I’m trying to point out in this section is that you don’t need to write a gazillion articles to get more clients; just writing a few of the right articles will go a long way to help you.

Of course, this will be different if you’re just starting out, as you need a lot of quality articles to grow your blog, but this number can reduce significantly as your blog grows.

4. It is Focused on YOU

Whether you like it or not, freelancing platforms like oDesk and eLance are focused on benefiting the owners, not you.

Of course, superficially, it looks like they are the ones helping you, but in reality they aren’t.

Let me give you an example.

Due to Payment issues (not being able to use Paypal etc.), I use oDesk for billing with one of my clients. In other words, I work for the client and send an invoice via oDesk.

You probably wouldn’t believe it, but oDesk takes 10% of any amount this particular client pays me.

I received $3k+ recently from this client and was charged $300+.

If I make $10k, I’ll be charged $1k; there’s no other way to go about it.

Just take a look at the above, and you’ll notice that while oDesk is helping me solve a problem that is very difficult to solve, it is taking more than it should from what I make.

This example is based on Payment issues, but the same thing applies to getting clients.

Blogging is different!

Everything is focused on YOU. You get all the clients, and you make all the money; no third-party!

5. It is Search Engine Friendly

The articles that resulted in most clients on this blog are articles I wrote months ago, and the top source of traffic to these articles are the search engines.

In other words, search engine traffic can be very powerful for you as a freelance writer if you can learn to leverage it.

Blogging makes this easy, because blogs are very search engine friendly.

The search engines are literally sleeping in front of your door waiting for your next content to arrive so they can index it.

Of course, it takes more than just writing content to get traffic from the search engines, but your chances of getting indexed faster and getting ranked better will be higher if you have a blog.

How to Start a Blog

Are you convinced about the benefit of blogging and want to start a blog today? Read How to Start a Blog: The Basic Step-by-Step Guide.

About the Author

  • http://www.tostartblogging.com/ Ahmed Safwan

    I hope i was able to buy the bootcamp.

    However thanks for this post.

    Please sir, if you can help me i will really appreciate it, if not then no problem

  • http://contentmarketingup.com Michael Chibuzor

    It’s a great post Oni. I like the fact that you’re encouraging people to start a blog. There is a point I like so much, a great secret by the way. “Experts don’t bid!”

    Now this is so important. When I started my freelance writing business, I would spend 4 hours bidding, but got nothing. Then I shifted my gaze on third-party sites and built my blog with cornerstone contents. Guess what? Clients began to contact me like crazy.

    The best paying gigs can only be possible if writers have a quality blog. I hope your readers appreciate this. Stay cool!

    • http://www.tostartblogging.com/ Ahmed Safwan

      you are right micheal.

      I liked your tip

  • http://msmarcie Marcie

    Onibalusi, these are great. Check out an article I wrote last year on why writers should blog.

    http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2011/08/13-reasons-why-writers-should-blog/

  • http://www.seobooklab.com rambabu seo

    Thanks Onibalusi for sharing these informative tips what every freelancer should know in order to keep concentrating more on this platform to become expert in their niche!

  • http://www.skyhitblog.com/ Avi Jit (@skyhitblog)

    I think every freelancer should have a blog of his own as it increase exposure and marketing. Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.abloggersbooks.com/2011/09/e-books-for-free.html Anne @ writing site

    Another helpful post, Oni. I’ve stopped going for those little writing jobs. I’m not arrogant, but I know I’m a lot better than that. I’m a great writer.

    I can’t write that many articles any more because I’ve just signed a second publishing contract this year. Following in your example, I’m looking for better paying writing or editing jobs, where I do a great job, the same amount of research and get paid a lot more. This way I save on my time and feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

    I work far too hard, (and long hours) to waste time on penny paying jobs. I hope to wean out the badly-paying jobs bit by bit. Thanks for all your advice.

  • http://www.abloggersbooks.com/2011/09/e-books-for-free.html Anne @ writing site

    con’t
    As you said, a blog is the home to which all potential clients can visit. You save so much time not having to send them individual samples of your work. Your ‘awsomeness’ is all there – in one please – for them to peruse. :-)

    I can’t understand why some freelance writers don’t have them.

  • http://realtimetricks.com Irfan Siddiqui

    Oni,

    Every time I read your article it gives me so much positive energy to me that even after 3-4 days I feel like – I can do it, I must do it, or I’ll definitively do it.

    Just because of you, I’d done well in my field and doing so every month. Don’t know why you’d stop sharing your monthly income, it was an inspiration for many of your readers.

    Well, I must say the article was really interesting. Thank you for it, and if you wish to be a part of my blog’s FREE Givewaya, cost $114. Please follow the link here:

    http://realtimetricks.com/giveaway-unlimited-license-maxblogpress-plugins-cost-114.html

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  • http://franciscajemeni.blogspot.in Francisca Jemeni

    Hi Oni,
    An inspiring post, it is a pity I will miss this boot camp, wished it was possible. I would have loved you to overhaul my blog, just started. http://franciscajemeni.blogspot.in

  • http://www.probloggertips.com Yeremi Akpan

    Great idea, Oni!
    Having a platform is the single most important step a writer can take. The rat race of bidding for jobs is just that – a rat race. As you say, only the freelance sites benefit from that arrangement.

    I wish I were able to take you up on this offer, but I will have to pass for now.

  • http://glorisurban.com Glori Surban

    I can definitely relate to what you say about oDesk. It really hurts when they take away 10%… Hey Oni… Maybe you can come up with a platform to compete with them! Hehehe… Just an idea.. :)

    Anyway, I’m working on my blog’s pillar content. Thanks for the confidence booster!

  • Eric Ogero

    Hi Oni,

    Great blog you have here. I actually stumbled upon it from a guest post you had written on another blog and I just had to subscribe.(Goes to show just how powerful guest posts can be)
    This post is very powerful. I especially like the part where you say “The difference between someone paying you $5 for an article or $50 for the same article is whether you’re perceived as an expert or not.”
    So true.
    An online platform is a must have for every freelancer who wants to upgrade his career and be treated as a professional.
    I’m starting my blog as soon as I’m done commenting here.
    As soon as it starts growing maybe I’ll contact you to critique it for me.

    Thanks for the info.

  • http://www.techbreach.net/ Arbaz Khan

    It’s the best way a freelancer can get some good clients. Having a blog opens up some great opportunities. From getting new clients, he can surely earn some extra income via advertising to pay off his bills. Thus ensuring that his freelancing payments are just pure profit.

    Thanks for such a great article, Oni :D

  • http://www.howtomakemoneybloggingtoday.com Emmanuel | How to Make Money Blogging

    Mr Oni,
    Thanks for this great information, just what i needed to launch my own freelancewriting service on my blog.
    Keep up the good work. I have bookmarked this post already.

  • http://www.carnivalgoa.com/casino/ Goa casinos

    Hi,

    We can see lots of blog on search engine but all are not good and no doubt in that many readers are want to get something special which is the perfect for every blogger. But before this all process every blogger should know very well what all qualities are include in their own blog. So these are the nice tips which every blogger should follow and show their identity in blogging.

  • http://www.jobsinayurveda.com Bill @ Jobs in Ayurveda

    I’ve been following up on my vow to get more guest posts after reading your guest post on joining the A-list conversation and it’s been working quite well. I’ve gotten two guest posts in the last month and I’m working towards two more this week. It was good stuff and it’s been helping me increase my traffic.

    Now, with your most recent post and a post I received through a newsletter subscription, I’ll be aiming my posts more towards monitization, helping land magazine articles, and paid presentations.

    I’ll be out of town the week of the bootcamp, but I’ll follow Ms. Tice in search of another opportunity.

    Thanks for your encouraging article.

  • http://www.ikenstore.com Neha

    I agree with you that a freelance writer must have their own blog because they can showcase their work and their skills on the blog.

  • http://www.spatme.com Mohammed Abdullah Khan

    Hi,
    I think a Freelancer should not rely on any other blogger to post his gigs or any other marketing stuff as advertisement.
    So, it is better to have his own blog with good ranking.

    Thanks.

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  • http://stylishblogger.com/ Sourya

    i am A Freelancer and Now I have a Blog Too…. Isn’t that nice.. BTW thnks For The Tips…

  • http://morningtadka.com Joel

    Hi Onibalusi,
    Crucial and most important point is Blogging makes one to think creatively and express his/her thoughts.It allows a blogger to show his expertise in a particular niche.Great content and keep up the good work

    Regards,
    Joel

  • http://www.wisestep.com Jemma Taylor

    A blog is a great way to connect with your audience and/or customers on a more personal level and even attract more potential leads at the same time. I can serve as a sort of home base for all of your online activities!!

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