The internet is well & truly the land of opportunities. This is probably why you see a lot of people these days leaving their full time jobs to start their own online freelance businesses. However, this naturally means that there’s a lot of competition out there as well.
But in my opinion, this competition is more about making yourself look different from the average crowd. If you can establish yourself as a reliable source of high quality services, then there’s no limit to what you can achieve as a freelancer.
This is why I believe it is absolutely critical for every freelancer to have his own website or blog where he can openly express himself and showcase his real talents.
Here are 10 reasons why you should immediately start building your website:
1. Brand Your Services – Differentiate!
Being an established brand is the difference between your services selling for $10 and $1000! Think from a customer’s perspective. There are literally thousands of businesses and individuals offering the same services as you are. What makes you different?
Branding is all about differentiation. Its about having your own face, looking different from others. Your website is the perfect place to do that. Its like having your own office building in real world. Build your website/blog with the objective of standing apart.
Freelancers without websites are like businesses without office buildings. And you can’t expect people to take a company seriously if it doesn’t have an office! Get the point?
2. Your Blog is a Ready Sample
Your blog is your real time work sample. Don’t make customers wait for samples of your work. Give yourself the best chance to get noticed. Take your blog seriously and keep updating it with the sort of quality that you would proudly present to any prospective customer.
Ask any leading blogger and he’ll tell you that most of his major clients come from his blog. That’s how important it is!
3. Stop Working for Pennies – Get the Rates You Deserve
As long as you don’t have a regularly updated blog, chances are that you will keep working for much lower rates than you deserve. The reason is simple. If you’re not prepared to invest time and effort in building your online presence through a blog, how do you expect your customers to value your work?
Once your blog has a decent following, you will be amazed how much impact it creates in getting you much better rates for your work.
4. Think Big, Build a Business
As a freelancer without a website or blog, you will never be able to build a business. You will always be working for others and getting paid for it. But that’s it. You won’t take anything else out of it.
Contrary to that, every word that you type on your blog and every new post that you publish on your website is an addition to your online presence. Its a step forward. Its an investment that will pay off much more than you can imagine.
There’s really no limit to the types of businesses you can start once your website starts attracting decent traffic. Don’t limit yourself as a freelancer. Don’t let your services be used for others only.
5. Get the Trust of Your Customers
A well maintained and regularly updated blog speaks volumes about the credibility of its owner. And there’s nothing more valuable in an online business than credibility. The more trust people have in your words, the more options you have for making money!
You can’t simply do that without a website.
6. Let the Customers Come to You
Stop wasting your time on freelance job portals like Elance and Odesk. Even if you do get a job over there, it will pay you much lower than what you deserve. One of the biggest advantages of having an established blog is that customers come to you themselves. They ask you to work for them and, therefore, give you the perfect opportunity to demand the rates that you truly deserve.
7. Build a Community Around Your Blog
Blogging is all about building communities of like minded people. If you are blogging the right way, every post on your blog should represent your personality and, therefore, allow people to connect with you. Ask any blogger and they’ll tell you how important their online community is for them.
You can’t imagine the sort of opportunities these communities can present you with. No freelancer can experience this without his own blog.
8. Make More Money, Diversify!
Once you have the trust of your readers and a reliable community of like minded professionals around your blog, you can jump into countless new services and money making opportunities. You can select any products or services that complement the nature of your blog.
I am no blogging big shot right now, but just recently one of my customers who wanted me to write some blog content for him, ended up getting a complete revamp of his website from me.
Why? because he had trust in what I told him about his blog. I told him why his website needed a new look and he agreed.
Again, this is just a small example of how you can diversify your earning options if you have a blog. It’s all interconnected.
9. Secure Your Social Media Following
I know a lot of people who do not have any website or blog, yet their social media following is huge. But in my opinion, they are just one policy change away from disaster. They have no control over their social following. Facebook or Twitter can take that away any day.
I recommend all such people to secure their social media following through their blogs. How? Simply route your social media traffic to your website and get them subscribed to your mailing list.
Your subscriber list is undoubtedly one of your most valuable assets as an online business. I’ll touch this topic in further detail in near future.
10. Your Source of Continuous Improvement
Blogging is a wonderful source of engaging your visitors and learning from their feedback. As a freelancer, you don’t have any boss to yell at you all the time. But you do need to improve continuously to stay relevant.
Use the feedback of your readers to gauge your progress as a writer. Ask them what they want you to write and what they feel about your blog posts. There’s so much that you can learn from simple comments and suggestions of your readers.
But of course, you can only do that if you have a website! 🙂
No Other Reason?…..
What I listed above, are just a few factors that came to my mind and that I consider as critical.
I’m sure you can find a hundred more reasons why all freelancers should start blogging and, therefore, would love to hear from you in the comments section.
What makes you think that blogging is critical for freelancers?……waiting for your comments!
Note: If you are having a hard time starting out your blog, you should Read This!