This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
The other night I found myself in the middle of a heated, yet friendly, debate with a room full of freelancers. We were gathered together for a local Freelancers Union Spark event (apply to be a co-leader in your city here!). The group ranged from freelance lawyers to landscapers.
The topic for the night was “How to position yourself as an expert,” and the event’s guest speaker, brand strategist and author Evan Karadimov, was leading the group discussion. One of his main points was that all freelancers can be seen as an expert by blogging.
Before Evan could finish explaining, one of the freelancers interrupted. “So you’re telling me everyone should blog? What’s a graphic designer going to blog about—how to crop a photo?”
The remark was met with a few snickers, but I was thrown off by the sudden sarcasm. Were these savvy entrepreneurs really failing to see what blogging and content marketing could do for their businesses?
Although initially confused, I understand the resentment. Increasing your social media and blogging presence is a time-consuming pain in the ass. Not to mention, it’s hard to see or reap the rewards right away—that’s why so many blogs are hanging out there, dead in the water. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one.
So, with the help of the fabulous guest speaker, I argued why freelancers, small businesses, your grandma, and EVERYONE who wants to make money as a business needs to have a blog. Here’s the rundown as to why:
1: You need to be a thought leader in your field
This is simple—if you’re in the business of selling ANYthing, it’s vital for customers believe that you know your shit. If you don’t, then why the hell should they bother to buy from you?
You can show them that you live and breathe your products and services by blogging about them. Having a blog with content centered on your business, will show those customers creeping around on your website:
- You’re up to date on the latest trends and innovations in your field
- You’re an expert in the field and can comment on any range of related topics
- You have the authority and passion to consistently blog and write about your business
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2: A blog will give your brand a human side
There are so many corporations out there that are desperately trying to “humanize” their business and brand. Why? Because people are getting tired of talking to robots instead of customer service reps or receiving emails that start with the “Dear %%FirstName%%” error.
Customers want to do business with people they can see and trust—and having a blog will show that side of your company.
You can achieve this in a few ways, but here are two go-to strategies:
- Write your blog posts in a personal tone of voice. This writing style will help customers feel like they’re connecting to an actual human being.
- Feature content that shows the lighter side of your business. For example, write a post about a company-sponsored family picnic or interview employees on their best tips and tricks in the field.
3: Blogging will enable customers to find your business
Of course, SEO is always a HUGE reason why you need a blog. The more original content you produce on your website will improve SEO rankings.
Need an example? Let’s go back to that question on whether or not a graphic designer should blog about how to crop a photo.
If someone were to enter “how do I crop a photo” into Google, guess who’s going to show up in the results? That’s right, the graphic designer who posted that as a blog topic has a much better chance of showing up in the results.
It doesn’t stop with increasing website visibility either–these kinds of blog posts could turn into a sale. What if the person who’s searching needs more than a cropped photo? What if they’ve been trying to DIY a huge design project and are completely frustrated? By the time they read your blog, realize you’re an expert, and a real live human who can help them out, then they just might be your next sale.
Janine Lucas is a freelance writer, storyteller, and general badass (only two of those may be 100% true, depending on the day). She runs her own copywriting business, JLCopywriting.com, and loves helping people and businesses tell and share their stories. Follow her on Twitter, @lucas7261.