Must You Blog to Be a Successful Freelancer? A Minority View
I don’t have a blog. According to my marketing colleagues, this makes me either stupid or a non-entity. Sorry, though, I do quite well for myself without publishing a blog.
The main reason I don’t blog is that I love writing too much to do it casually. My overall writing output outdoes that of most bloggers. However, I prefer to spend my energy on carefully crafted books, articles and opinion pieces that have structure, coherence and style. The blog format encourages spontaneous sharing and minimal editing for quality.
Throughout history, authors have kept journals, written letters and dashed off occasional broadsides on the issues of the day. Normally, though, the best of such spontaneous writings got published after the author’s death. They weren’t themselves considered the author’s body of work or judged as indicative of his or her talent.
More to the point, for many of you who don’t consider yourself a writer but have heard blogging is a necessary way to attract potential clients, I am an introvert. I don’t feel comfortable confessing my moods and foibles or discussing details of my personal life on a regular basis. Not all bloggers do that, of course, but a blog that doesn’t get personal tends to come across as stuffy and overly buttoned up.
And third, any social media expert will tell you that your blog needs new posts from you at least twice or three times a week. Daily is best. I love to write, but my Marketing Minute newsletter, which I publish once a week on Wednesdays for 12,000+ readers, is pressure enough for me. With a properly maintained blog, I’d inevitably be posting half-baked ideas not expressed as clearly as I’d like.
I do have tons of content on my website–more than 140 articles, before-and-after tutorials and reference pieces. These attract new people from search engines every day, and folks who already know me often come back to learn more. Without the framework of a blog, I can add new resources (or update existing pieces) any time I feel like it.
I also write guest blog posts, a fantastic way to attract new fans into one’s circle, but not on any regular basis, only when I have something to say. I think of guest posts as articles or editorials and make sure they’re as polished as anything I’d submit to a magazine.
As a freelancer barraged with “musts” on how to be successful, have you too ever felt a major disconnect with conventional marketing advice? Your reasons for not wanting to blog may differ from mine. Perhaps you realize you speak more cogently than you write. Maybe family responsibilities make carving out regular time to blog too iffy.
More broadly, I encourage you to find your own marketing path to success. Perhaps that lies in videos, in face-to-face meetings and referrals or in Facebook or LinkedIn. Sometimes the consensus of the experts is dead wrong for you. Whatever you enjoy doing that the right people respond to is your answer.