Blogging has brought me many benefits - many which have led directly to cash in my pocket. Following are the things that have led directly to more income from my blogging efforts:
a) Wholistic Body of Work: I recently picked up a client who came across my blog while surfing the web.
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Without even asking, he told me that he liked by conversational style of writing and could tell that I "knew my stuff." He was talking about my marketing ability.
No marketing, no persuading, no samples - he handed me a project right off the bat. All because he was able to read through almost two years of blog posts, which gave him an idea of what I could do for him.
b) Better Writing Style: This kind of ties into the aforementioned point, but blogging has made me a better writer. Before I sweated over every word and really didn't have much confidence in my ability as a "saleable" writer.
I thought copywriting was some type of rocket science that I just didn't do well. But, the more I did it and the more clients were pleased with what I turned in, the more confidence I gained.
I've written e-books, postcards, web copy, newsletters and sales letters - and almost everything in between. Blogging has innately given me a "feel for the right words." It's hard to explain. But, I no longer feel intimidated or panicked by a project.
Because I write a lot, I'm confident in my ability to do a project.
2 Tips To Better Writing Skills
Write Headlines: What do I mean? Many times, I will write down just a headline without having any idea of what type of copy I'm going to write. But, 99% of the time, I am able to come up with copy to fit that headline.
I think this comes from working the old brain muscle. Eg, the more you write, the more ideas you will be able to flesh out.
Write Tight: As in, develop the habit of saying what you want to say in as few words as possible. Cut, cut, cut! While this skill may take some time, it will pay off when you have numerous projects on your desk that have to be done, and/or if you work in advertising.
Many commercials (radio and TV) require tight copy. When the client is paying $250,000 for a 30-second spot, they're not going to want Shakespeare.
c) Speed: When I first started blogging, I would spend anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours on a post. Now, I knock it out in 30 minutes or less - without sacrificing quality.
This has increased my income because I apply the same rapidity to rote client projects (eg, those projects I consistently handle for clients). Again, without sacrificing quality.
d) More Self-production: Blogging forces you to focus. When I sit down to write a post, I almost always finish it because I have in my head what I want to say and I want to get it out before it disappears.
I apply this same intensity and rapidity to client projects wherever possible. While it's not possible to finish all client projects in one sitting, I do focus more when I am working on them and am able to get more done in one sitting than before I started blogging.
Again, I think it's a matter of working some portion fo the brain. Like any muscle, the more you use it, the better it performs.
e) More Product Sales: This is kind of obvious, but I sell more stuff (my e-books) because I've cultivated a loyal readership who trust my opinion. So, when they need the type of info I offer, they purchase from me instead of the gazillion other freelancers on the web.
Blogging is not an immediate way to make money. And, it's hard work. But it's those who blog consistently, write well and become an authority of sorts, who turn blogging into cash.
Tomorrow's Post: Not exactly regular blog fodder, but equally important: How to Get Out of Debt on a Freelance Salary
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