No, Freelance Writers, You DON’T Need a Blog

blogfaceSay you’re a new freelance writer. (Sound familiar?) You ask someone with more experience whether you should start a blog to help attract clients and let you use blog posts as clips.

Chances are, the other writer will tell you it’s absolutely, totally imperative that you have a blog. I even heard one freelance writer tell a poor newbie, “You only have a website” But that’s so STATIC!”

I’m here to tell you that if you’re asking whether you should start a blog, the answer is No.

And if you’re wondering what topic to start you blog on, the answer is that you shouldn’t.

If you start a blog, it need to be because you already have something you really, really want to say. Something you’re so passionate about that you can’t hold it back. Something that you can envision yourself writing about regularly for the indefinite future.

For example, Diana and I have written over 1,000 posts since 2006! That’s the kind of commitment you need. If you don’t feel inclined to write 1,000 posts on a particular topic, a blog may not be right for you.

Blogs are not an easy clip. If you start a blog, you will need to keep it updated, because nothing looks sadder to prospective clients than a blog that hasn’t been updated in six months.

Also, you’ll need to promote your blog if you want to get comments — so you don’t feel like you’re just writing to yourself all the time. Blogs are meant to be read.

And…what happens when you start getting some real published clips and no longer need the blog? Will you just let it die? Will all that work be for nothing?

It’s way easier to just start pitching clients based on your experience — for example, if you have a foodservice background you would pitch businesses in that industry — or to do a free assignment or two just to get the samples.

And don’t forget that your (static!) website works as a clip. If you have some kick-ass copy on there, prospects will be able to see you can write.

There is the issue that fresh content will push your website up in the search engine results, and blogs are of course perfect for that. But you can get a similar effect by updating your portfolio as you garner new clips.

If you have plans to monetize your blog and a topic you’re passionate about, go for it. And if you want to offer blogging as one of your services, you’ll want to show prospects that you can do that. But if you feel you need to blog just for the clip — there are better, easier ways to do that. Ways that won’t have you on the hook for the rest of your working career.

How about you: Have you wrestled with whether to start a blog? How did it end up? Or did you start a blog for the clips and later felt burdened with it? Let us know in the Comments below!

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84 comments… add one
  • I’ve had mixed results with blogs. About a year ago I started one in my niche area of gems and jewelry. After six months I had less than 10 subscribers. One was my best friend. One was me when I accidentally subscribed myself. Then after listening to one of your Thursday webinars I also added my cat to round it out to an even 10. But, I did start getting good work in my area. Eventually, I lost interest in the blog because I was contributing to several other places every week. I turned my blog (www.americanzenstone.com) into a static site just for jewelry writing, and I’m okay with that. I’ve had a couple businesses contact me from the site. Even though it didn’t quite pan out as a blog, I would say it definitely did help me find work.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! That’s another thing…it’s WORK to get readers, and not work you need when your main goal is to get writing gigs — not sell off your blog. I’m glad the static site is working out for you!

  • I have started a blog, but when I was teaching, I felt I never had the time to update it in a timely manner, so I never worked it in the right way. I started my blog, because I was told if I wanted to be a writer or author, I needed a website or blog. I would, however, like to update it and work on it, since I do have more time, being newly retired.

    • That’s the thing…if you feel you SHOULD have a blog, you probably shouldn’t. If you blog, you want it to be because you have something you’re dying to share — enough that you know you can keep it up indefinitely. I hope that’s the case with yours!

  • I’ve ghostwritten hundreds of blog posts for clients over the past several years but never had one I could call my own. Heck, even my 14-month daughter has one for family members!

    I finally got around to revamping my website after 10 years and I felt that I needed a blog. It nagged at me for years that I never had one. So I added my first post last week. Since that first and only post, I wondered whether I should continue with it. I definitely don’t need one for clips. I have hundreds of clips residing on my Portfolio page.

    One reason for creating one in the first place is to attract clients, particularly home-based businesses. A majority of my clients are/were home-based businesses or stay-at-home moms and dads (like myself). Work began to dry up this past summer and I felt that a blog is a necessity. But after my first post, I asked myself am I doing something to differentiate myself from other bloggers?

    While I know I’m a good writer, I often refer my clients to other blogs (i.e. Copyblogger for copywriting, Social Media Examiner for social media, and even Linda’s blog to other freelance writers I’ve worked with). I guess I need to figure out what I can offer to my clients and prospective clients that they can’t get anywhere else!

    • Good point! Definitely good to share info with your readers they can’t get anywhere else. But failing that, you can also present your info in a different way. For example, there are a TON of baking blogs out there, but each one has its own personality. Can you differentiate yourself by HOW you share the information, or in what format — vlogging, photos, etc.”

      • That’s a little what I struggle with too: I sort of don’t feel like I’m an expert on anything, and/or I feel like the things I am an expert on are not things people would really *need*. But that’s at least in part because I’m too hard on myself (something I’m working on too).
        I’m trying to be better about keeping up with my blog, and I do like it, but it’s kind of tough. It’s good for those more introspective pieces that may be harder to sell. But perhaps I should be trying to sell them first. I’m not always sure which pieces to just put on my blog and which to pitch.

        • If you do want to do blogging for an audience, to sell products based on your expertise, etc. — Danny Iny suggests reading a pile of books on your chosen topic. That will put you ahead of 75% of the population, I’m sure!

  • Valid points, but it’s a great chance to write in a public forum with little startup time investment. Plus you can get feedback and tons of practice.

    • That’s true…but you need to be sure not to get stuck in the mode of writing for practice or feedback. You really need to do very little of that before you start going after paying work…and then you’ll have this blog that still needs to be maintained. But then again, some people like to have a blog just for fun, and that’s fine too! As long as you’re not doing it because you feel you SHUOLD have a blog.

  • I use my blog as a way to focus my interests for writing. I have a lot of technical writing experience and I am a ghost writer for several people now, however, I want to expend into freelance and copy-writing to allow me more flexibility of scheduling. I wasn’t sure I could meet the muster of writing more then 40 500-1000 word articles per month, so I started a blog to train myself to do just that and after about a month, I am beginning to see what I like to write about and to adjust my style. I am also working with some local web developers to blog on medical and technical data to keep their local websites near the top in Google, and they are looking at my blog for examples of my writing. So, while I agree that the blog without purpose is wasteful, I use mine as a focusing tool. Eventually, I will tighten the focus around my interests and monitize it.

    • That’s a GREAT way to use a blog — to plan to monetize it later. One tip: Start building your mailing list NOW, before you even have anything to sell. Good luck with your blog!

  • Cheers Linda. Good blog. What if you just enjoy writing, but don’t have very many people reading the blog? My blog has a combination of diary/living in a rural area theme since I moved to the country a couple of years ago – trials and joys and tribulations – but very personal. I started it to ‘keep writing all the time’, when I started up the freelance business. After a year of blogging weekly, I am now in the throes of deciding whether to kill it, start a new blog, continue with the wee thing the way it is with some tweaking, or what. I still love writing it, and don’t resent it, but it hasn’t done a lot for getting me gigs. My friends like it though. Will need to work on figuring this one out. Maybe I’ll put the question out on the Freelance Writers’ Den – where I always get good advice.

    • Definitely ask on the Den! I know others will have some good ideas for you. But if you have a blog you do just for fun and you love it, why not? Not everything has to be work-related. But if you’re wondering whether you need to start a blog to get clients, unless you’re pitching yourself as a blogger, the answer is probably No.

  • Thanks, Linda ?”I was getting myself worked up over starting a blog about a month ago, thinking that I ABSOLUTELY NEEDED ONE in order to get good clients in my niche (B2B copywriting). As I was checking out everyone else’s blogs I finally realized that almost all the freelancers I saw with blogs were trying to build audiences in order to sell books and consulting. Not my gig at all!

    It was such a relief to scrap that project! I’ve already got plenty of biz writing clips, and a portfolio of paid blogging to sell myself to clients. Realizing that I didn’t need to add the stress of building my own blog and audience was incredibly freeing.

    I’m sending this post to every other freelancer I know!

    • That’s so good to hear you scrapped the idea before you got too far into it. If you already have clips, you don’t to blog for the clips!

  • So interested in this topic, Linda, and delighted that you’ve got a conversation rolling. This is an issue I’ve been wrestling with as well. Not having one at present doesn’t seem to have hampered my ability to get magazine writing gigs at all. I have an online portfolio where people can see all sorts of examples of my writing, and that has worked well.

    But the information I’m getting from content marketing types is that you *must* have a professional blog if you want to be considered a serious contender for jobs in that space. I’ve held off on launching one because I”m not at all sure I have enough to say to keep it going indefinitely, and as you said, it’s better to not have one at all than to launch and then let it languish after a few posts. Still chewing on this one…

    • Well, if you’re pitching yourself as a blogger it helps to have a blog…but if not, you can always guest post (for example, I know you’ve guested for my blog) and use those as clips. But for magazine writing, you really don’t need to commit to running a blog just to show what you can do.

      • No, not really focused on being a blogger. I can do it, but magazine writing is what I love, at least for now. 🙂

  • This is exactly the issue I’m facing now. I started my parenting blog as a way to get clips and demonstrate my writing ability, and then it took off! I’m set to get 30,000 page views this month, which is HUGE for me. But there’s no way I can keep up that sort of traffic without sacrificing a lot of time and effort. Thanks for this reminder that if my end goal is to be a magazine writer (which it is), I can’t let my blog become the focus. It’s a means to an end, not the end itself. Great post!

    • Holy moly! I know you weren’t expecting that kind of success, but have you thought about monetizing your blog? Do you have a mailing list? Can you run ads, sponsored posts, etc. — or is there an e-book or other info product in there somewhere? People obviously want what you have to offer. Congrats!

      • Your website looks great! Don’t back off on it now… I think there’s the potential there to turn this into a huge thing, especially with the page views you’re already getting right now. Magazine writing can always fill in the gaps 🙂

  • I’ve burnt myself out too many times trying to start a blog only to get next to nowhere with it. I feel this post has come at the right time for me. I’ve been thinking lately about how I should start another blog, but I know it’s not something I have the time or patience to start alone. Thank you for the reminder that I don’t need one to succeed. I prefer writing content for other people’s blogs.

    • So glad this post helped you, Alicia! I did the same thing a few years ago — started a wellness blog when I became a wellness coach, and put up only like a dozen or so posts before I got tired of it. A dead blog certainly doesn’t help get clients!

  • Trish

    How refreshing! I totally agree that it’s not imperative that a freelance writer have a blog. Editors are so busy reading so much material that many of them don’t even want to read clips–until they are on the verge of assignin. Mostly, they want to read a great pitch with a fresh angle to benefit their readers. The internet has become so grossly cluttered with information these days. So unless a blog has some dynamite in it, not really necessary.

    • Thanks, Trish! You know I agree with you on all that! 🙂 And you’re right…lots of editors don’t even ask for clips, at least not until they are pretty sure they want to hire you.

  • (Note to Katie M. I’ve been to your blog before, and it’s fabulous.)

    Thank you for this post Linda. It is soooooo relevant for me at this moment. Years ago (prior to the explosion of online content), I had a successful, full-time career as in-house writer and public relations specialist in a variety of environments.

    But then I stepped out of the workforce to raise a family (although I continued to write in the form of personal essays and volunteer projects). Now that my kids are well on their way to being tweens and teens, I’m ready to put myself out there again, but I am at a crossroads about whether or not this will include starting a blog. My reasons for starting one would be to:

    a.) create an online presence (I have loads of marketing and feature writing clips from past career, but they are all scanned pdfs and nothing online yet.

    b.)rebuild credibility as a professional writer.

    c)become more prolific and focused.

    This summer, thanks to motivation from you and Carol’s Den, I joined the world of social media, taught myself Wordpress and created a freelance copywriting website. I also watched Danny Iny’s recent webinar and now feeling very torn about whether I’m cut out to build and keep a blog going strong (I definitely don’t have 1,000 posts in me at the moment). It seems like a blog is a business in itself. I even signed up for Danny’s course (it sounds so dang wonderful) but am now thinking that may have been premature for my situation.

    I appreciate this conversation. And will stay tuned.

    • Hi, Julie! I’m sorry you’re feeling conflicted. BUt i think it helps to remember that even if you pass up doing a blog now, you can always start one later if and when an idea comes up that you’re just dying to write about.

      A blog can definitely be a business in itself — and a lucrative one. I earn at least half of my income (rough estimate) though my blog.

      If you’re worrying about whether you should have signed up for Danny’s class, definitely email him. He can talk you through it…he’s very approachable and is super responsive on email. Let us know what happens!

  • I agree with Linda. If you aren’t completely in love with your idea, don’t blog. Blogging takes time and if you’re not completely sold on what you’re writing about, it’ll come through in the posts. Do something else. Pour the energy into having a snazzy website that shows off your clips.

    I also agree that blogs can be completely unrelated to what you do because it shows a fuller side of who you are, your skills, and your personality. Who cares if it’s quirky? I write on about historical cemeteries around the world (what all the carvings mean, interesting places to visit, restoration efforts, etc.) Totally unrelated to my every day writing, but it sparked enough interest to where I won a couple of grants to help fund some additional research.

    And yes, I burnt out on it because original posts take a while to research, draft, and edit. But I left it static for a while because people were using it for genealogical research. Now, I’m feeling the itch to post again because it’s a topic that interests me. Awfully glad I left it up because now I can use it as part of my writer’s platform for a mystery I’m writing.

    Never figured on that twist of the road when I started posting.

    • Although now that I think about it, I could probably use a Danny course to better promote the blog!

    • Your blog sounds so cool! And it sounds like the perfect platform for a mystery.

  • I went back and forth and round about on this for a couple of years and made a couple of false starts. I now have a blog that is more a place for me to write about topics of interest to me than anything else, including topics that are part of a long term writing project.

    Having a blog forces me to regularly write something that will be publicly displayed and might be read by others. It’s a tough enough slog, but getting easier as I get more practice. I figure that at some point I will either put the work into making it successful or I will move on to something else. For now, it has its uses.

    • That sounds great! If you love doing it and the blog serves some purpose for you, I say keep at it. I just don’t want writers to think they HAVE to have a blog if they’re just not into it.

  • I’ve been wrestling with the idea of reviving my blog, and now I’m convinced that I should not. My plan was to give tips and advice for entrepreneurs/small businesses to maintain their own blog, but that’s actually want I want to do FOR THEM!

    • And there are SO MANY of those blogs put out by writers going after that same market. I think there are other ways to get gigs. Also, when you do a blog you have to work to get those prospects to read it — and if you’re already reaching out to these prospects, you might as well just pitch yourself as a writer directly!

  • Linda, thank you so much for this post. I’ve been struggling with whether to change my website layout to include a blog.

    I’ve had a website for five years where every other month my web designer posts one of my published articles. At that time we update the home page and completely redo what I call the Life Notes page.

    Because I write about some heavy marriage and parenting topics,I decided to have a Life Notes page where I share short pieces about the fun lighter side of life, which includes gardening tips, party ideas, recipes, and always a special drawing for readers.

    My personal essays have appeared in numerous print magazines in the inspirational market, and thirteen anthologies including six Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and two Dr. Gary Chapman books. Last year I also had an article in Mary Jane’s Farm, a general market organic living magazine.

    But now I want to focus on writing articles in the general magazine market and everyone I talk to says I need a blog. Everyday I deal with extreme fatigue from having MS, I’m concerned a blog will gobble up my energy and precious time to write magazine articles.

    I’m also an artist, and in January I’m launching a line of cards featuring my photography and art work (pen and ink sketch with watercolor overlay).

    This week I planned to make the decision to contract with my web designer to redo my site to include a blog. Because of your post I’m rethinking this. I really want to focus on writing for publication and on my artwork.

    Thank you again for sharing your publishing knowledge and experiences.

    • Are you kidding? With all those clips and your website, you have puh-LENTY of samples to convince magazine editors to hire you. If you have the time and energy to maintain a blog and a topic you really, really want to share with the world, sure — but it sounds like that is not the case for you!

      • Kathleen, your website is wonderful. I also browsed a couple of your articles and will definitely be revisiting to read more of them.

        Linda, question for you. Since Kathleen is more of a motivational writer and speaker, this obviously works very well for her site to mix in creative elements such as her Lifenotes. Does it ever work to mix in that sort of personal twist to a business website that is geared toward copywriting? To give a static site more depth? Or is it best to keep those separate? I love writing personal essays on various issues related to women and families. I am wondering if there is a way to incorporate that sort of thing into my existing site instead of creating a separate blog?

        • I am definitely not an expert in this…but I’d keep the personal essays on women/families off the copywriting blog — it would just confuse people and wouldn’t help in getting gigs. Maybe try selling your essays to magazines? I would start a blog only if you feel it will do you some good and you know you have enough passion on the topic and ideas to keep it going indefinitely!

        • Thanks Julie, glad you enjoyed my website. I often receive feedback from regular readers who find my Life Notes page uplifting. Have you submitted any of your stories to Chicken Soup?

          • No I haven’t Kathleen. I’ve had a couple published in a regional magazine, but Chicken Soup is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Thanks Linda,

        Making the jump from personal essays to magazine shorts and features is new territory and a bit scary. I have my name on waiting lists to attend your next Article Writing class, Diana’s Idea Machine class, and to join Carol Tice’s Writers Den to help me make the transition.

        Recently I emailed an editor at a major magazine to ask about guidelines for their essay column. One of the main editors of the magazine emailed me the same hour and said she’d be glad to look at anything I wanted to write. When I asked about what rights they purchase, she said they do ask for All Rights, which I never sell all rights to my personal essays. I made that mistake once.

        Thanks again for sharing your valuable information.

        • Yeah, the sad news is that many, many magazines these days ask for all rights. You can try to negotiate, but a lot of them won’t budge.

  • I sort of use my blog as a website on which I occasionally post unique content. It seems to work well as a way for potential clients to access my resume and clips while also giving me the space to publish posts on my personal experiences while writing, teaching and living life.

  • Lisa Applegate

    Thank you so much for this freeing advice! I’ve got almost two decades of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, but feel guilty that I don’t have a blog (until now!).

    One question, though: My understanding was that blogs could be used to build a writer’s “platform” – showing a writer’s expertise and also that they’re up to date on current issues – which then gives them more credibility when they do pitch a story or send an LOI. Would you agree, or is a website with clips enough?

    • Glad to help!

      A platform is really necessary for book authors — to show publishers they have an audience, or, if they’re self-publishing, to have people to sell their books to. I don’t think a mag writer really needs to worry about this. I know I never did!

  • Lorraine Reguly

    I began a blog blindly… and then realized I could turn it into a freelancing and editing business. Due to my various interests and goals, I’ve now started a second site and blog! (On my author website.)

    I love blogging. However, what I’ve found it that it is very time-consuming, and involves learning about techie things (which I’m not great at). So there are drawbacks…

    Luckily for me, I’ve written posts that have hit the first page (some in the top spot) in the search engines, and so have monetized some of my posts with Adsense. Having passive income is great, and getting paid for doing nothing is great, too. Google sends me over 400 visitors a day to my site, depending on what people are looking for, and so having a niche blog isn’t always the best idea.

    It’s tough, though, to decide what to do with my site in the future. Right now I am offering blogging, writing, and freelancing tips, and giving a blogging book away for free to subscribers.

    I suppose only time will tell what will happen with it. But I’m sure enjoying the ride so far!

    • Cool that it’s working for you! Experts advise building your audience BEFORE you even have something to sell, so it sounds like you’re doin’ it right!

  • I have a blog but it is not related to my freelance writing work. It seems like to have a blog for freelance writing would indeed be not worth the effort. I think my time for freelancing is better spent doing other things.

    • Yeah, if you don’t want to do it — don’t feel you have to. There are other, easier ways to get work.

  • What a relief to hear this and read all the responses. I also felt compelled to start a blog in order to get “up and going” in the freelance world. It’s just too much to undertake when I am also teaching fulltime. I am still working on my website and trying to collect samples, clips to post. I like the idea of blogging as a way to hone writing skills and get in the practice of writing regularly. So I do hope to be able to do it, when I am really ready to do it right.

    • It sounds like you don’t need the stress right now! Remember you can write for a small pub or even do ONE pro bono piece for a small business you love just to get the clip. You don’t need a constant supply of fresh writing going out there for free to prove you have what it takes.

  • Thank you so much for this column. Even though I am far from a “new” freelance writer — I’ve been doing it for more than eight years — I have struggled with the idea of a blog. Experts always say you need one, but I write all day long and I sometimes don’t have anything else to say from what I’m saying for my clients. I will no longer worry that my website is blog-free (or that it does have a blog that is terribly outdated!)
    My next question: My website has a blog on it…would you recommend I just take it off? http://www.1bizzywriter.com. Thanks!

    • I can’t tell you whether you should remove a blog you’re not updating or leave it there so people can see the archives…that’s a question for someone who’s more of a blogging expert. Anyone?

      But yes…you HAVE tons of clips and don’t need to slave over a blog for free to get more!

  • I decided to only blog on my freelance writing site once per month. Why? Because I don’t think my ideal client is paying that blog (nor my email list, for that matter….) any attention to it. So now I focus on 2 other blogs that I have that are monetized. My time is limited so I put my focus where I can make the most money. I find that that is a great way to prioritize my writing activities.

  • Manasa

    I love a good article that manages to prove conventional thought wrong!

    I chose to take the plunge and create a blog because a blog allows me to become a instantly published writer, lol. But in truth, web design is a hobby of mine and blogging allows me to pair that passion with my even deeper passion for writing. Naturally, this meant my blog had to be about writing, in its all glory and perpetual frustration. 😉

    I admit there is a high investment of time and energy to maintain a blog, forget growing readership of the blog which is another effort unto itself. But I also cannot lie that it is nice to have a tiny piece of the web all to myself, where I have utter control over my words.

  • For those who *do* decide that a blog is the right way to go, this article just landed in my in-box. http://bit.ly/1pkIpvQ Thought it provided some helpful tips.

  • Blogging is a labor of love for me. I blog about being adopted and not discovering this truth until adulthood. I enjoy having an outlet for writing about something I care about vs. writing what people pay me to write. I’ve been blogging for a year and I have managed to attract a small following during that time. If you visit my blog (http://lynneamiller.com) you’ll see a fair number of comments posted by readers. I love connecting with people through blogging. However, as much as I love the work, it’s still work that takes time and energy. Linda, you make an excellent point about not blogging unless you have a solid idea for a blog and the time to keep your blog going. Good advice for writers.

    • That’s very cool! It sounds like blogging is perfect for you: You love it, you have a lot to say, and you’re attracting an audience.

  • I really needed to read this post! I have my freelance writing site where I post once a month, but I have it because the clips I have are from content mills and feel I should blog until I have clips from established publications. I was about to publish this month’s post, but should I keep going this route? This one post per month is easy for me.

    • If you enjoy doing a post per month and you think it will attract work, why not? It’s not a whole lot of work at that frequency. However, do make sure you have time to go out and pitch clients and publications that will pay you better than the mills.

  • joseph

    Linda,

    I started two blogs because I thought that’s what no-names needed to do in order to get themselves heard and their work seen. But after seeing this they’re both going down. I realized I’m no the blogging personality either. What a waste of time on my part. I had a lot of interesting things that I desperately needed to say but in reality that feeling was satisfied when I put them in a journal. Thanks for everything.

    • I’m glad this post helped you make a decision, though I’m sorry it’s going to cause you so much trouble!

  • I blog because I want to build a community and I am nostalgic for the days when the main form of entertainment was story telling. I thought this could lead to freelance writing gigs but I have since learned different. I am creating a dedicated freelance site and will definitely add clips to it because at the moment, I do not have a portfolio (apart from my personal blog which I have learned is not what editors are looking for). I am thinking that adding clips would not be the same as a blog on the freelance site since really all I want is to highlight my style of writing. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Regarding my personal blog, I have yet to reach the ideal of building a community and I do have plans to maintain it indefinitely. Not because I have something I am dying to say but because I want to tell stories and as mentioned build of a community that likes to read them and perhaps tell a few themselves.

    I discovered your site today after taking part in the introduction to the Pitch Clinic. I have signed up and look forward to learning more.

    • Thanks for your comment! Yes, adding clips is different because clips are published pieces — they went through some sort of vetting process by an editor…as opposed to blog posts, which show your writing style but not that you understand the publishing process, can work under deadline, etc.

  • I’m in the process of revamping my writer site and this was one of the first questions I asked myself!

    I have another site where I can blog when I feel the urge and I intend to use Guest Blogging (a la Jon Morrow’s course) as one marketing avenue.

    The bottom line for me is that if I’m going to write for free, I’d rather be creating marketable clips.

    Thanks for the affirmation!

    Brenda

  • I had only posted once in the year that my blog page was up. Since it was just one page on my website, I removed it after reading this. I felt like I needed to show potential clients that I could write a blog if I was selling the service to them. But it was a case of “the shoe maker has no shoes” and my one post looked so sad. I feel much better without the pressure that I SHOULD have a blog. Maybe I will revisit at another time, if I think that I have more to say.

    • I’m so glad this post was helpful to you! You certainly don’t need that kind of pressure.

  • I have a blog, had one for years for MikeFook.com. I have 30 other websites. I have Facebook and other social media accounts. It is very hard for a writer to build the blog up to amount to anything. First of all, who is your audience?

    If you are not a bestselling author, or at least have something to crow about that you do better than other people – what are you going to talk about?

    I wrote a 9,000 word post yesterday – The Essentials to Writing a Fiction Novel. I’m hoping to hit aspiring novelists that just haven’t taken the step yet. I don’t want to compete directly with the big names in writing, because honestly, I don’t want to play in that space. I don’t want established writers at my blog. I want readers.

    If your audience is readers – you must write something that makes it fun for them. I try to write human interest type content. I try to keep it light, very light, and lighter than that still. I try to hook people on my weirdness, because I don’t know why else they’d come to see my blog. I write books about Thailand mostly. Not many writers in the USA that care at all about novels set in Thailand.

    I wrote 27 books. I can crow about that, I guess. I have had some success with selling books. I write about that sometimes. I have much more success on YouTube than I do with any of my websites, and that too – is just fun stuff that makes people laugh.

    So, all that to say this one thing… I agree. Most writers don’t need a blog for anything. If you’re not churning out amazing content, nobody will care. Don’t listen to the idiot marketers that tell you all you have to do is follow your passion and blog about something. Please. I have 1,000 posts at one of my Thailand sites. I had some limited success, but other sites have 30,000, and 3 millions posts because they have successful forums.

    When you start a blog, you’re competing with the world. It’s a tough game to win!

    If you create a blog, make it informational in nature. Make it about you so readers can get an idea who you are. If you can make it funny – by all means, do so. If you can make it a resource for professional writers – go for it.

    Overall, few need a blog that they post at once in a while to tell readers what they did that week or what’s on TV. Save your breath.

    Write a book instead!

  • I personally seemed to impress the potential clients through my work on my blog because I write regularly. I think the personal blog is a good idea if you have a passion to write your thoughts down, but for merely impressing clients, there are other better options.

    • I agree, Danyal! I would never recommend starting a blog if you’re not passionate enough about your topic to be able to write hundreds of posts on it.

  • I’ve never had my own blog, and probably never will. But as a fairly suiccessful copywriter, I regularly write blog posts and articles for businesses – and have been paid up to $450 apiece for these. My philosophy is: why blog for free when I can blog for money? This idea that ‘you HAVE to have a blog’ to succeed is like the one that says you HAVE to have an online newsletter to suck in people’s email addresses so you can bombard them with info about your services. I don’t do either, and have plenty of writing work – because I do good work, and word of mouth really works in this business.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Casey
    kevincaseycopywriter.com

  • Bolu

    Hi,

    If I write a paid post for a blog,can I have it posted on my blog also?

    Thanks.

    • Hi, Bolu! That depends on the agreement you have with your client. Check your contract, and if it’s unclear, ask the client.

  • Thanks for the post,

    For my new portfolio website, I was going to start a blog for a way to show my writing skills to potential clients.

    I then realized that my past blogs didn’t go anywhere, nor did I want to commit to starting and planning a new one.

    So i said no to blogs.

    I decided to opt for uploading a high quality and informative article each week. I figure it was worth it to put a solid effort into a single article, rather than 5 short posts that with thin content.

    There is also my portfolio itself that can come in handy to create new content.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Darcy Cardinal

  • LoyAnn Sherwood

    Your post is so negative. It does not matter if you feel they should not have a blog, its not your call, only your opinion. People should go with their heart, they will certainly find out sooner or later that running a blog or any site for that matter takes pure dedication, and it may not even take off, and it is not common that by just setting up a site that it will take off in six months, it may take 1-5 years because competition is very stiff, and it does not matter which niche you choose either. I am not going to do something because you think it is best for me not to. I will certainly try, and if I do not make it at that point, then I tried, maybe I dont like it, then move on, at the very least, I get it out of my system and move on.

    • You need to read more thoroughly. I never said people shouldn’t have a blog…I said they don’t NEED one to get writing gigs, so they shouldn’t stress about it. Which is true.

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