Reading the header you must be thinking, blog? What does freelance writing have to do with starting a blog?
Well, I agree. Blogging is not a part of the standard freelancer business. Of course, you will write blog posts for your clients but writing and maintaining your own blog is a whole different thing.
Then, why this post? Well, blogging might not be mandatory but it is a great way to showcase your talent. Maintaining your own blog and writing about things that interest you helps showcase your knack for writing.
Blogs are like your personal “Portfolio”. It contains samples of how you write and can be used as a tool to pitch to your clients.
However, is writing and maintaining a blog easy? Not really. That’s where this post comes in.
In today’s post I am going to share my experience with writing and publishing a blog and the things I should have known before starting it.
What is a blog and how does it help a freelance writer?
Blogging is basically a weblog. You enter posts and they’re displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogging is mainly done as a hobby by people who love to share their views and knowledge about a topic with others.
It is not necessary to have a blog in order to be a successful freelancer writer. But, is a blog helpful? Yes, it is.
Blogs are a great way to engage with people. By publishing a blog, you can showcase two primary things – a.) Topics that interest you & b.) Your writing skills.
By maintaining a blog where you publish regularly, you can connect with fellow writers, potential clients and even create your own reader base. If you work hard enough, you can even make money from ads placed on your blog pages.
However, one thing that you must remember is – “Never blog with the sole aim of making money”.
Yes, that’s right. Blogging is a passion. It is something that you enjoy. It is true that some people make a lot of money by doing it but it is not the sole purpose of starting a blog.
To maintain a blog is a task and you can only keep at it if you’re really into it.
The 4 mistakes you should not make while starting a blog
Back when I started blogging, I had little idea of what I was getting into. At that time I was interested in doing an MBA right after college.
I thought, why I don’t share the knowledge I am gaining about various colleges and courses and help others who are looking for the same.
Hence, I started writing about a topic I was interested in (i.e. MBA colleges, admission process, college rankings etc.) without researching much and the result was that I was not able to get much traction.
So, to sum up my experience during the starting days of my blog, I would recommend all new bloggers to stay away from these 4 mistakes
I. Choosing the wrong topic
The first thing to take care of before starting is – blog about something you really love. I chose MBA related topics because I was searching and reading about them at that time. That topic, though interesting, was not something I loved.
Today I write about marketing, freelancing, content creation because I care about these topics. I love reading about these topics, engage with others and have ample experience to share. This topic is something which I can write about for as long as I want to – simply because I will not get bored of it.
So, the topic you choose for your blog is the most important factor in deciding your fate as a blogger.
While choosing a topic you love is the primary motivation, the topic so chosen must also be something worthwhile for the audience.
II. Engaging in Plagiarism (even if unknowingly!)
Even though I did not copy anything blatantly from other websites, I did make this mistake out of ignorance. I never checked my content for plagiarism and was not mindful of citing sources while using pictures & / or infographics.
This is something I would highly advise against. Plagiarism will ruin your reputation as a blogger. Copying content also damages your SEO ranking and it will result in your page not getting ranked higher by Google.
Always give due credit to anything that you pick from another site or blog. Try to make your own graphics, infographics and images using Photoshop or use stock images with proper permission.
III. Being anti-Google
Being SEO friendly is very important if you want to grow organically. Without proper SEO, your blog will never be ranked higher and people will not come to your site through Google / other search engines.
Hence, you have to be Google friendly, use keywords wisely and share your content over the social media to gain readers. At the end, keep your content interesting enough so that people return to your blog or better still, subscribe to it.
While starting my first blog, I did not have the required SEO knowledge and it never got into the eyes of the people. Do not make this mistake.
IV. Writing for money (read advertisements)
As I have already stated in the beginning, you should never write with the sole aim of making money. Though it is true that you can make a lot of income using blogs, do not expect it to happen anytime soon.
Monetization is a secondary benefit of blogging. The primary aim should always be to create good content and connect with people interested in the same domain.
As a freelance writer, think of your blog as a showcase. While reaching out to any potential client, you can cite your blog and ask them to read. This will help you get better writing gigs.
You should also use it as a means to share valuable information about the topic you write with your readers. This way, you can create a community of readers who read and engage with your blog.
When you’ve gained an audience who frequents your blog, adding a couple of ad spaces will not do any harm. However, remember to never overdo with ads. This makes the readers annoyed and they may stop coming back to read your content.
So guys, that is all. These are some of the things which I did not know when I started blogging. I wish I knew them so that I would have done a lot better in this field.
However, I hope this post will shed some light into the factors that help in building a better blog. There are many other factors too, like analyzing your readers, etc. but I’ll cover those in a separate post.
Just stay away from these 4 basic mistakes and you will be good. Do not forget to market your blog over your social media channels to get more readers. Until next time – Stay Home Stay Safe!!
Want to know the mantra to write awesome content always? You should definitely read this.
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