One of the biggest concerns for a new freelance writer is: “How am I supposed to land jobs if I have zero work samples?” My first piece of advice and answer: “Start a blog to showcase your writing capabilities and much more!”
Think about it for a minute. You can start a blog for zero or close to zero dollars, depending if you choose self-hosting or not, as long as you have regular access to a computer and an Internet connection. You can research and create amazing ground-breaking content as little or as much as you wish.
A professional blog shows who you are as a writer, entrepreneur, and employee right away.
Not quite convinced yet? Keep reading!
1. Start a blog to discover your niche(s)
Do you know what you enjoy writing about? Whether your joy comes from writing about parenting, mental health, faith, or healthy eating, writing on your blog can help you hone in on which topic brings you the most joy.
As a freelance writer, you may want to choose a topic or two and write about just that one or two. The more you write about a specific topic, rather than trying to write about all the things the quicker you’ll become an expert in that field.
So, in the future when you get assigned a 1,500 word article on American’s struggling with the lack of affordable mental health care options, you’ll respond, “No problem. I’m a rockstar at writing about mental health issues in America.”
Also, once you discover the niche(s) that brings you joy, then you’ll be sure freelance writing projects will bring you joy for a long time.
Most importantly have fun with discovering your niche(s). You never know what new topic may interest you and lead to fun writing opportunities.
2. Start a blog to gain networking opportunities
If you start a blog to showcase your writing work, then you can network with other writers and bloggers in your niche to build connections and learn plenty of new things.
Facebook is a great platform to form connections with fellow writers. Just think of the people you can connect with thanks to the commonality of having a blog.
There are hundreds of Facebook groups pertaining to blogging and writing in every niche under the sun. You can learn a lot from seasoned freelancers, bloggers and writers depending on which groups you join.
Also, smaller size Facebook groups offer a true community for individuals who have questions, concerns or seek advice. You’ll often see questions or struggles posted on group walls, and shortly afterwards fellow members graciously answer.
You can also find opportunities to guest post on another person’s blog. A guest post usually means you write a blog post for another person in exchange for a short biography, a link back to your blog, and sometimes your social networking accounts to appear at the end or beginning of the post.
Guest posting is another way to gain exposure to your blog and your writing. Guest posts can also lead to payed freelance opportunities in the future depending on the site. Elna Cain, a freelance writer and blogger at Twins Mommy wrote a blog post about her personal experience with this.
All in all, more networking opportunities is a win-win for you and your writing.
3. Start a blog to further showcase your freelance work AND land new freelance jobs
Once those freelance jobs begin to roll in, then your blog will be the perfect platform to show off more of your hard work. Simply add a portfolio page to your blog menu, and people can easily see what you’ve been professionally working on.
If possible, show which companies you’ve been working with, what types of pieces have been published, and perhaps a link to the pieces in their entirety.
The portfolio page is also a great spot for testimonials. A testimonial is a formal statement, usually from your client, of your qualifications and work ethic. Once you’ve finished working with an individual, don’t hesitate to request an honest testimonial about how he or she felt about your work.
Publishing your positive testimonials on your portfolio page will show potential clients concrete evidence of your capabilities. It’s okay to let others brag about you!
Three main reasons to start a blog:
- Discover your writing niche(s)
- Gain network opportunities
- Further showcase your freelance work and land new clients
Already have a blog or wondering what a successful blog post should be like? Download the checklist below.
Are you a freelance writer with a blog? If so, leave your link below so I can check it out. If not, let me know how I can help you get started.
Jessica Kromer – Purposeful Writer