Five Reasons Why Blogging Leads to Writing Jobs

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Daily Writing Tips has already covered Five reasons why blogging improves your writing. But once you’ve polished up your skills, and grown used to writing frequently and receiving feedback, blogging can also help you get paid for your writing.

1. It’s a free (or very cheap) way to self-publish your writing

Posting your writing on a blog is a form of self-publishing, even if you don’t think of it that way. After all, blogging software uses a Publish button to submit a post, and if you run Google Adsense on your blog, Google refers to you as a Publisher. In the past, to get published you either persuaded an editor to print your work, or you paid to have the piece printed yourself. Blogging allows you to self-publish for free (or at the small cost of hosting and an internet connection). If your blog becomes popular, you could run advertisements to make some money or invite sponsorship from companies – glance over to the right to see some of Daily Writing Tips’s sponsors.

2. Blogging helps you build up a portfolio of pieces

One of the hardest things about getting started as a freelance writer is getting together a portfolio of your writing to show potential clients. Having a blog allows you to build up a sample of published pieces that you can use to show your writing prowess.

If you’re intending to use blogging to start your portfolio, why not write guest posts for other blogs? For example, I have Daily Writing Tips, Diet Blog, Freelance Switch, The Change Blog, Dumb Little Man and Pick the Brain on my list of sites I’ve written for. Editors may take you more seriously if they can see that other people think your writing is good enough to publish.

3. You get to write about topics that you love – and build your expertise and credentials

Much has been said about the need to have a blog on a niche topic – one topic that you write regularly about, rather than trying to include everything that you’re interested in. This makes it much easier to build up an interested readership, but it also helps to build your knowledge about the topic. If you’re reading other blogs and books on your subject and writing original material several times a week, you’ll almost certainly be learning something new.

Having a well-established blog on a particular topic is a great way to demonstrate your expertise. For example, if you want to write movie reviews for a newspaper, pointing to your long-running blog with a weekly round-up of the latest releases could be a great way to prove that you’re up to the job.

4. A popular blog could lead to a book deal

In the offline world, the sale of “blooks” is rising – books based on blogs. Several bloggers who I read have signed book deals: Darren Rowse from Problogger, Shauna Reid from The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl and Jennette Fulda (aka PastaQueen) from Half of Me. And, of course, there are some very famous examples such as Belle de Jour’s The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl. If your blog becomes big, it just might catch the attention of an agent.

And even if the agents aren’t phoning you just yet, a blog could help you sell your own book. Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer (‘Liz’ or ‘DaMomma’) from Motherhood is Not for Wimps has self-published one book and has another on the way. Collis and Cyan Ta’eed from Freelance Switch self-published How to be a Rockstar Freelancer (in both ebook and printed formats) and have another book on the way, How to be a Rockstar WordPresser. Many other bloggers offer excellent free articles on their blog but also sell ebooks which go into more depth on the same topics.

5. If you’re a freelancer, a blog is a great marketing tool

Well-known bloggers who publish authoritative and well-written posts can use their blog as a mean of marketing themselves. Skellie does this brilliantly on Skelliewag, with a “Hire me” page and advertisments on the right hand side for her own services. Harry and James from Men with Pens have “Guns for Hire” which explains the writing and design services which they offer.

Make sure your blog tells potential clients how they can get in touch. If someone loves your blog’s style and content, they might well want to hire you. Also, blogs tend to rank well in search engines (due to the amount of content, and because other blogs often want to link to your posts), so you’ll have greater visibility online.

If you have a blog, has it helped you – directly or indirectly – to make money from your writing? If you’re not blogging yet, do you have ideas of how you’d like to use a blog?

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16 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why Blogging Leads to Writing Jobs”

  1. As to tip #4? I can’t begin to tell you how many knit-bloggers have gotten their own books lately. It’s like an avalanche. Apparently every blogging niche has the book potential … I’m just wishing I’d focused my knitting blog a little more closely to pattern design. Maybe I’d have my own book by now!

    Oh well, back to writing…

  2. I agree that having a blog does wonders for one’s career and business. In our business, we’ve used a blog to positively project ourselves and sometimes talk about provocative (though never rude) subjects that seem to occur over and over again in our web design and e-business industry. The power of a blog lies in the quality and strength of our writing which allows us to connect with our customers and prospects. Having a blog (or in my case, many blogs related to my own interest of writing and business) offered me good opportunities to branch into blog consultation, speaking, & writing for newspapers and magazines. I don’t think I would have reached this level of success had I not launched my blogs, some as far back as in 2002 when the word ‘blog’ would elicit a big question mark as to its feasibility.

  3. I smooth talked my current employer into hiring me. Having a blog helped because they could read some of my writing. Even though I had never been a copywriter before, they hired me because I can write well.

  4. Hey, thanks for the link!

    I can definitely say that blogging is the single-most best marketing tool we have to promote our business and service. We also love to write, so it’s a creative outlet as well, one that serves a nice purpose.

    I think there’s a wealth of opportunity for people to take advantage of blogging – and it’s relatively new to the ‘net, so there’s plenty to be done and discovered along the way.

  5. Blogs are excellent for writers, especially compared to regular websites, because it’s dynamic and forces those creative juices to flow on a continual basis. A regular website, on the other hand, can remain static for long periods of time with only occasional updates.

  6. Without intending to do so, my blog has helped land me quite an interesting freelance writing position. I had inquired about a freelance opening, and thought, “Hey, why not link my blog so I can display some of my writing skills.” The editor was able to evaluate my blog and I think this played a significant role in me landing the position.

    I think this post could easily be turned into another post titled, “Why blogging leads to Better Writing Jobs”. Blogging certainly gives you a place to practice and develop your writing – which I think will lead to even better opportunities in the future.

  7. This is the absolute truth. Since I started blogging, I’ve been able to get all the freelance work I can handle, and I’m finally able to raise my rates.

    I don’t know how someone can get better exposure faster (without a direct endorsement from an A-lister, that is).

  8. My blog is a freelance writing blog with the hire me thing too on the side. As I have noticed a blog I read, “Life of a Writer”, Misti Sandefur also uses this similar technique. That is where I got the idea from.

  9. It’s great to hear that, Dave (especially as I love Rock Your Day!) — I’m glad that you, as well as all your readers, get fantastic value from your blog. 🙂

  10. I thought you meant – get a job by blogging. The reason why I thought that is because that’s exactly what happened to my daughter! She writes a blog about horse courses she’s been on, or would like to do, and the travels she’s had around the world in the equestrian industry. A local college in our state found her writings last year and asked her if she’d like to teach a horse course at their college. She accepted (after checking with me in case it was spam 🙂 ) and this year she’s been teaching there which has helped considerably towards her goal of saving for a home.

  11. Absolutely! I have just taken on a job teaching journalism and started writing a weekly column in the local paper. Both were after a year of blogging for a growing number of sites and finetuning the education in communications I got YEARS ago that was rather dusty. The blogging has opened a whole new world of social connections and feedback I never thought possible.

    In my class on converging journalism, I plan to bring up blogging and how, like journalism, the pressure is on to know a little of everything from good photography to video (or vlogging now) to simply good writing with research to back it if you want to remain credible. Journalism and blogging can be so similar and yet so different. I can’t wait to unpack it all with the students. Any suggestions or resources I should use?

    Great post. Thanks.

  12. Blogging is another good way to earn online. To engage in blogging, one must have a flair for writing. It is also a good practice ground to writing what topics come to mind. It can become a showcase of your writing talent.

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