This week on the podcast we spoke with Sarah Li Cain from the site High Fiving Dollars about how to leverage your blog for freelance work.
This was a very insightful conversation seeing as how we’re all freelancers and built our blogs up to establish more freelancing success.
When you start a blog, you should realize that it can open so many doors for you professionally in terms of transitioning from blog to business, launching a freelancing career, establishing partnerships with brands, selling your own products and more.
In order for any of that to happen and for your blog to evolve, you need to focus on leaving an impact. Memorable blogs are successful and resonate with people.
If you’re trying to break into freelance writing for example, quality clients will be looking to hire writers with a proven body of work and your blog can act as your portfolio if you don’t have much experience.
Clients want to hire freelancers who not only write well but can deliver quality work that will boost engagement among their audience.
Therefore, you must start by building a blog that leaves an impact. Here are 3 things you can do to make that happen.
Be Open About Telling Your Story
There are millions of bloggers out there, and probably tons who write in your desired niche. What will set you apart from other bloggers and leave an impact is your personal story.
Every blogger has a story whether it’s a challenge or obstacle they’ve overcome, a unique experience they’ve had, or a journey toward a successful result.
You can reach and connect on a deeper level with your readers by being authentic and sharing your unique story on your blog. This also allows your audience to become more willing to trust you.
One day on my blog, I shared my story of being a teen mom and working my way out of poverty. I felt nervous about putting myself out there at first, but I realized my story actually helped people and resonated with them.
Someone who worked for a corporate website that hires writers also happened to read my blog post and ended up reaching out to me to see if I could share my debt story on their site and become a regular staff writer.
At $300 per post, they became one of my highest-paying regular clients and I love that I can pitch topics on anything that’s important to me.
Telling your unique story might not always result in a shiny new writing gig, but it can help you impact your readers, build your brand, earn trust from your audience, and set you apart when applying for freelance gigs.
Provide Value to Your Readers
You can choose to blog for many reasons – blogs can be a personal journal of sorts, where you’re mostly writing for yourself, or blogs can be a platform you use to reach others with your message.
If you want your blog to be memorable, I suggest keeping in mind that everything you write should provide value to your readers in some way. That doesn’t mean that each and every blog post needs to have an obvious takeaway, though.
Yes, you can write list posts and “how to” posts, but there are other ways to provide value that your readers will likely appreciate more.
For example, I 100% agree that your blog needs to be a reflection of you. Authenticity can be rare in the sea of blogs that exist because it’s so easy to be anonymous online, but when you open up to your audience, you’re providing value. As Chonce shared, being vulnerable on her blog made her readers feel less alone with their debt and struggles. That’s value.
Your story can serve to inspire others to take action, whether it be to pay off their debt, start saving, or make a career change. In that case, your blog is serving a great purpose. You can tell people how to do this, you can show them through your own stories, or you can feature other success stories.
But your blog can also serve as entertainment. People love to escape the mundane of their everyday life. That’s why vlogs are so popular (they’re like reality TV), as well as books and video games. So if you have a knack for making people laugh, perhaps your blog can serve to do that as well as inform and inspire. Again, not everything needs to be “10 ways to do X.”
The point is, you need to start your blog with a mission, and that mission should serve yourself and your readers in some way. After all, people are taking the time out of their day to come visit your blog and read or watch something you’ve produced. Don’t they deserve to get something out of it?
The more value you give, the higher the chances that you’ll build an awesome community of raving fans. Just make sure you’re providing value in an honest way. It should come from your willingness to help people.
Would You Read Your Blog?
Lately I’ve been trying to make sure that when I write for my blog that I’m writing about topics I’d want to read about and in a way that I’d like to read it.
This means making it entertaining, personal, and unique. Just as Chonce and Erin have said above, these are the best ways to connect with your audience.
When you’re not sure about how what to write about, think about what’s going on in your life that could impact your readers. You don’t want your whole blog to be stories of what you did that day – no one wants to know that you ate ramen for lunch – but you can use your life experiences to connect with your readers by sharing funny things, sad things, happy things, etc. that have happened what you learned from them.
When you’re writing for your blog, make sure it’s something you’d want to read too. Make it valuable, make it personal, and make it fun!
What steps are you taking to build up your blog so it leaves a positive impact? Do you have any general questions about blogging or starting a blog? Be sure to email us!