The other day I was chatting with a friend who is also a writer and she told me that she felt she owed her writing success to me. While I was very flattered by the statement I assured her that was not true.
This friend has had a lot of success. She’s had her work published in literary magazines galore and is currently slaying the freelance copywriting game, too. She also edits books and is working on writing a book of her own. But her talent and tenacity made all this happen — not me.
My friend, however, said that many of the opportunities that she’s had and the community of supporters that she has built happened because of her blog and she said she never would have started blogging had I not encouraged her to do so years ago.
Her words made me so happy. I preach the gospel of blogging to anyone who will listen because I, too, have built a wonderful tribe of women writers who have my back and have had several writing opportunities land in my lap because of my blog. And it’s so nice to know others are reaping the benefits of blogging, too.
Related Reading: How to Start a Blog
Blogging has definitely boosted my career as a freelance journalist. It helped me get the attention of magazine editors who offered me my own column. And sometimes editors even pay me to republish my blog posts in their publications.
Here are 3 other reasons why freelance writers should blog.
Your blog is your practice. In her book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg reminds us that writing is a practice. Just as musicians must constantly practice to get better at their instruments and athletes must practice to get better at their sport, writers must practice to get better at their craft, too. So don’t just sit around waiting for a publication to give you permission to write. Send that pitch, but in the meantime get busy writing for your own site. And with each post, your writing will get stronger and stronger.
Your blog is your proof. If you’re a new writer and you haven’t had any works published by any media outlets, yet, you can use your blog to show editors what you can do. Start writing on your blog the kinds of pieces you’d like to write for other websites, magazines, and newspapers and use those posts as writing samples when you pitch.
Your blog is your platform. Editors love for writers to share their published pieces with their networks, so it helps if you actually have a network to share your work with. A blog is a great way to start building a platform and a community of people who are eager to read what you write. If you dream of writing a book one day, a platform will help with that, too. If you self-publish, your blog readers should be the first folks you market your book to and if you want to go to the traditional route, a loyal fanbase will help you snag the attention of agents and publishers.
The benefit of blogging is one of many topics covered in my new online course See Jane Freelance, which is designed to help you get published and get paid and show you that you can break into freelance journalism even if you don’t have a journalism education or a lot of experience. Learn more at bit.ly/seejanefreelance. Enrollment closes October 1.