Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Freelance Writers: Should You Be Blogging?

Not all writers are bloggers but blogging is what got me my start in freelance writing and is something I still use today to help me expand my writing career and my income on a constant basis. If you’re new to writing or want to expand your passive income streams and your marketing reach, you might consider niche blogging and the potential benefits.

I have about 12 of my own blogs or so (plus about another dozen free blogs) and they do a lot for me. They bring in a little bit of Google Adsense earnings every month (some of the sites make $50-$75 and some are just bringing in a few dollars a month). It only costs me $10 a year for each domain name (which I write off as part of my business expenses because I do claim my blog earnings at tax time) and my hosting is already paid for through my $10 a month paid to host my writing business site.

Beyond the bit of income they bring, the blogs also help me with my marketing, too. Here’s how I use blogging to help me in my writing career:

Link Building

I use blogs to build links to my business site and to the blogs I want to focus most on. This increases traffic and earning potential

Writing Samples

I use some of my blog posts as writing samples for prospective clients. If I want a gig in a specific niche area, I often have a blog to point the potential client to so that they can see my writing style and SEO writing abilities in their category

Selling Points

I use my blogs as a selling point with clients who want guest posts and links back to their site on blogs in their niche (and am sure at times this has won me bids). Some existing and past clients are in the blogroll on some of my niche blogs and many of them have linked to me in return

Blog Monetisation

I make money with Clickbank, Amazon, and Kontera on them (not loads but some money regularly and it’s passive income). One simple blog post I wrote in 2006 that was popular has probably earned me more than $1,000 in passive income.

A few of my blogs make other money through paid advertising banners. More than once I’ve had an email waiting in my inbox that says “I’ll pay you $100 right now if you put this link on your for six months.”

Blogging = Effective Marketing on the Cheap.

Adding a blog to my writing business site helps me with SEO as I write to potential clients and talk about areas I want to write in, therefore helping me rank for particular keywords, saving me writing gig hunting time and bringing clients to me. I don’t have to run a pay per click campaign or pay to advertise my services because what I do on my blogs equates to some pretty effective marketing. A few of my blogs have gotten me new clients because through social media or search engines, they've found the blogs, clicked through to the 'about', and found me.

Other Perks

I occasionally get emails asking me to review books related to blog niches. Because I blog about what interests me, this is a nice little bonus. Right now I have a self-improvement book and a parenting book on the way to be read and reviewed.

And, I’ve made some great friends via my blogs, too :) Blogging isn't entirely selfish, either. The Writer's blog makes me almost no money whatsoever but it has made me a lot of friends. Many of those friends have helped me further my career. Writing this blog has helped me pay it forward by sharing my writing journey with others.


Menandro Tomas said...

I remember when I started writing. i can finish one in one week! It's been improving. Your post gave me inspiration to keep on writing for traffic as well as self development. Thanks!

Dana Prince said...

I hear you, Menandro. I've definitely built up speed over the years as well :)
Keep writing!