When a classmate of mine in the MPW masters program at USC told me that I just HAD to start blogging, I thought he was crazy. Blogging’s not for everyone. That’s a fact. Some people just want to go about their lives, write in their free time and leave it at that. Personally, I had lumped myself into the “it’s not for me” category, without really thinking it through.
But then, I had professors and agents all tell me that the best thing I could do while finishing my novel was build my platform. Ug. What a distasteful thing to do. As a writer who considers this work an art form, starting a blog simply to promote myself felt icky. But, since I figured they knew more about it than I did, I set up a blog and started writing about the one thing I felt I could speak on with authority – writing. And here I am.
Since I haven’t yet finished my novel, I have no idea how this whole “building my platform” thing is going, but I do know one thing for sure: a large percentage of the freelance work I get comes directly from people who have seen this blog. It turns out I’m promoting myself in a way I never even realized.
Forget my platform. This little blog of mine is building my livelihood.
The truth is, as a freelance writer, you have to do a lot to reassure people that you can put words together in a coherent way before they’ll even pick up the phone to call you. So I have my business website, my LinkedIn profile, my Facebook page, blah, blah, blah. The number one thing new clients tell me over and over is “I read your blog.”
I tell you this, dear readers, because I know a lot of you are writers too. It’s hard finding clients, I’m here to testify. But it’s MUCH harder if you don’t represent yourself in some way.
So if you’re looking to start into this whole freelance thing – take my advice: start blogging. It doesn’t even matter what you blog about. You just need to put interesting (hopefully) words to your screen, again and again. And really, if you’re a writer worth a damn, that’s not such a hard thing to do.