Why Every Writer
Needs a Blog

©Paul Callaghan– All Rights Reserved

 

There are probably thousands of different ways that a writer can make a living with words. One of the best ways to show prospective clients that you have what they need is to write your own blog.

It’s easy to set up your own blog for free. The two biggest blogging platforms, Blogger and Wordpress, are very simple to understand and allow you a wide range of styles to choose from. Which one you pick will come down to personal preference. Some people like the look of Wordpress more, others are swayed by the fact that Blogger is a Google product and so might make it easier to rate in their searches.

 

Why should you choose a free platform for your blog?

 

If you are already making a living as a writer then it is possible that a paid platform, with your own domain, will be more suitable for your blog. If you are just starting out then it makes sense to keep your outgoings as small as possible. When I became a full time writer I made myself a promise.

 

I would have to earn the money from writing to invest in my business. But how could I earn money without being able to show prospective clients my work? The answer was a free blog. I chose Blogger simply because I already had a Google account and so it was more straightforward for me.

 

What should you blog about?

 

There are blogs on just about every subject under the sun. My initial plan was to blog about my journey from wannabe hopeful to fully fledged freelancer. I still blog about some of that. But, to be honest, the hard work required to make a living writing does not always make interesting reading. So I branched out. I have to admit that it doesn’t follow the “rules” that the blogging gurus put forward about becoming an expert in your niche and concentrating on that.

 

However, clients have viewed my blog before offering me work as an editor, a guest blogger, a newsletter writer, a proof reader and much more. Even if I discount the reader of my blog who comes every day whether I have posted or not (thanks, Mum!), quite a lot of people visit and some want to buy different parts of my writing.

 

More important than what you blog about is how you blog. A blog should be informal like most of the internet. That means you can throw away some of your high school English lessons. What it doesn’t mean is that you can chuck out all the rules of grammar and spelling.

 

If you regard your blog as your shop window for prospective clients, you will realise that you need to have a top quality product to get them to part with their hard earned cash. Read lots of other blogs to see what people are doing well and also what they are not. Make your blog the best that you can.

 

Can I Make Money From My Blog?

 

The answer to that is yes but don’t expect to get rich just from blogging. It is possible to have affiliate sales through your blog and you can also monetise a blog with something like Google Adwords or other pay per click advertising. From my own experience I have found that the income from these sources, while welcome, is actually quite small.

 

Where the money really comes from is the clients who read my blog and then ask me to write for them. My blog address is part of my email signature, so when I approach a prospect they have the opportunity to check out my work before they actually contact me. It takes the heat out of the initial sales talk. Because I make sure that the work on my blog is the highest quality, I don’t have to prove myself as writer.

 

There are also opportunities to be paid to write on someone else’s blog. Some of the bigger blogs are making good money through their advertising and affiliate sales so they have a constant demand for new content and they are prepared to pay for it. The rates are often not great, but they can be a good start on the road to making a living from your writing.

 

One of the key factors in being able to make money, either directly or indirectly, from your blog is how you promote it. The link in the email signature is good. Everyone you contact by email will at least see your address. Some will even visit. A link back to your blog from everywhere else you publish is better, as it raises your Search Engine Optimisation so that more people will find you ‘organically’. And then there are the social media platforms. But that’s a whole new article for next month.

 

 

 

About the Author: Paul Callaghan is a freelance writer, blogger, editor, proof reader, social media strategist and general word nerd. You can see his blog at www.callaghanwrites.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

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