For the uninitiated, writing for an audience is terrifying. You’re being told to jump into the deep end of the pool with nothing but the simple instruction to not drown. Only imagine the water in this scenario is actually the thousands of other freelancers blogging on the web. The only way to not drown in that sea of digital static is to attract the attention of the one lifeguard that’s on duty… but spends most of his time looking through vacation photos on Facebook.
While I’ve just painted blogging as this incredibly daunting, scary and nerve-wracking experience, it doesn’t need to be. In fact, the less you fear it, the easier it’ll be to blog and the more effective it’ll be to your business. Because at the end of the day, the biggest reason for any freelancer to blog is always the same: It’ll help you make more money.
###Who Are You?
I’ve watched the original CSI far more times than I care to admit and as a result, the Who Are You intro has been drilled permanently into my mind. For those of you lucky enough to avoid my sad fate, let me ask you this: Who are you? Really, because I don’t know, and I imagine the vast majority of your potential clients won’t know either. Sure, you might have a portfolio, a website or a resume, but that’s not you. That’s what you do, and as well as you do it, there’s probably someone else who does it just as well.
Until Google inevitably lets us download our entire minds to the cloud, we’re stuck having to detail ourselves through old fashioned means. A blog, fortunately, is one of those means. While it doesn’t replace person to person interaction, it provides a good substitution with infinitely more reach. It’s a way to carry your thoughts through your own voice, and lets people read you for being you.
###The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
Common ground is important. It lets people, communities and countries come together in situations where they would have normally stood apart. If I had to choose between two identically delicious sandwiches to take to work, I would be more likely to lean towards the one that can also appreciate my love for Weezer.
The same applies for multiple freelancers competing for a contract. As much as clients want someone qualified to take on their jobs, they also want someone they’re able to mesh well with. People are naturally more comfortable around those they already know, so a blog that’s able to project you as a real person is a fantastic way to create that comfort.
###Anyway You Want It
That’s the way you need it.
This should be your motto when it comes to blogging topics… and alternatively your own personal theme song. Never feel compelled to have to talk about something. People will always see through it. The idea here isn’t to write about what you think people will want to read. It’s about writing what you want to write and letting people see how you think. Just remember to be reasonable when it comes to negative or controversial topics. You want to endear people towards you, not scare them away.
Writing can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. We have conversations almost every day, and a blog can be as simple as a snapshot of those conversations. They’re not the end-all be-all of your personality, but they can be an important piece of it. As a freelancer, you should be doing everything possible to create connections with people and put yourself out there in a good light. While a blog can’t guarantee you success, it’s a great step in the right direction.
Those looking for freelancers are also looking for people. You’ve got the freelance side of that handled. Now just make sure the world knows you’re a person too.
This is a guest post by Jesse Shen, a writer, communicator, and current Marketing Intern for Full Stack.