The Way We Work
February 2, 2010 by Guest Blogger

By: Kristi Hines

Up until a year ago, I had never considered doing work as a freelancer.  When I started my own blog, I gained a wealth of experience and connections that led to my ability to offer freelance services in a variety of areas including article writing, web design, internet marketing, and social media.  I believe blogging is why I am able to be a freelancer today.

Blogging Develops Marketable Skills
Before I started blogging, my web design skills were very limited.  I could put together some basic HTML and PHP-based sites, but nothing spectacular.  When I started my first blog, I decided to build it on the WordPress platform.  After a year and a half, I gained a lot of experience with WordPress theme customizations and PHP coding.  I also learned about social media marketing and search engine optimization while promoting my articles.

This combined skill set led to my first two clients, two small business owners who were looking to have their websites redesigned.  I was able to provide both with well designed sites using customized WordPress themes, as well as a strong social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. I also boosted one client's website from the fourteenth page in search results to the first page for their main keyword phrase using techniques that I had applied to boosting my own site and articles in Google.

visit my portfolioBlogging Jump Starts a Portfolio
Blogging can be a great portfolio builder for both freelance writers and web designers.  For freelance writers, you can start by running your own blog on a multiple topics, or several blogs focused on particular topics.  To gain more credibility, you can branch out and seek out blogs that are looking for guest writers.  Then, you can have a portfolio that showcases your writing on your own site as well as others.

For web designers, once you have experience using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, or other blogging/content management systems, you will begin to see how easy it is to create simple websites.  With the cost of domains at $15USD or less, and hosting as low as $5USD per month, you can simply create a few websites using these systems, and then display your sites in an online portfolio, something which can also easily built in WordPress.  It's a great way to get your portfolio started so you can have something to present to your first potential clients.

Blogging Demonstrates Your Expertiseexpert
Even if you are not looking to be a freelance writer or web designer, blogging gives you the platform to prove your skills and knowledge for any profession.  A photographer could run a blog that includes a random daily snapshot, demonstrating his photography skills.  A marketing expert could write about the latest small business marketing strategies, demonstrating her in-depth knowledge of marketing.  The possibilities are endless.

Blogging Builds Valuable Connections
Whenever you begin to build a community around your blog, through blog commenting and social media, you will gain many valuable networking connections.  Through the community I have built around my blog and on social networks, I have received several recommendations by blog readers to companies that have resulted in gaining web design clients.

connectionI have also received invitations to become a paid writer for other blogs and websites.  A recent example of this was when I applied on Craigslist to become a paid writer for a popular website.  The administrator of the website replied saying that she was a longtime reader of my blog, and since she already knew the quality of my writing, she accepted my application.

 

Have you seen the benefits of blogging in promoting your freelance services or advancing your freelance career?  Please share your experiences and other suggestions when it comes to blogging.

 


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  • http://www.123contracting.co.uk/ Accountants For Contractors

    Thanks for sharing such a great post. I really appreciate it.

  • http://congressratings.com/ Marc

    Great points Kristi, for small business owners its such a great way to do some low cost advertising that I am telling everyone to give it a try at least.

    And I have seen it be a great first step to understanding how to advertise a small business online. In fact, advertising has already evolved to a point where it may be a necessary aspect if you want to be one of the best companies in your industry or location.

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

    @dimaks I had an autobot stealing my entire posts one time... fortunately, I was able to get the person to stop feeding it from my site.

    @Paul Definitely. I think giving your customers a way to build community with each other builds trust as well, which is very important in being successful.

  • http://1daylater.com Paul King

    I think encouraging blog comments also encourages a great community among your customers. And the transparency is great for loyalty and brand. We've had some great suggestions for our own software, which would have never surfaced otherwise. Paul, http://1daylater.com - time, money & mileage tracking for freelancers

  • http://www.skamid.com/news/ufc-109-live-stream-online-couture-vs-coleman-relentless/ dimaks

    i believe in the power of connection that blogging has made and it's just very powerful.

    and i hate those autobots, fetching contents from other legitimate blogs.

  • http://kikolani.com/ Kristi Hines

    @Mahmud You're absolutely right about the automated bloggers or ones that rip off other people's content (both articles and comments). That's definitely the wrong way to go about building any reputation, for businesses and individuals. Glad to see you're doing it the right way and that you have had measurable results!

    @Christie You're welcome! I hope that more freelancers see the benefit of building their authority and expertise through blogging and that it makes a difference in their careers.

  • http://introvertzone.com Christie

    Kristi, that is so exciting! I remember your blog from when it first started, and you've developed so many cool skills and also had the courage to take the next step and start doing freelance work, all in a relatively short time! Thanks for the inspiration and great tips!

  • http://thinkdiff.net Mahmud Ahsan

    I'm completely agree with Kristi. Blogging is a very effective way to promote oneself. I am a part-time blogger and in my site I mainly publish article/tutorials. I found some people copy others post and think by this way they are branding themselves. This is completely a wrong approach and they are ruining their creativity. Blogging is very helpful not only for web designer or writer but also for programmer. I got several clients from my blog.