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To blog, or not to blog, that is the question

The thought comes to many of us at some point in our freelance lives that we really should start a blog. As editors and proofreaders, we spend a lot of time correcting and rewriting other people’s words – that’s the job. So why not use our vast knowledge and experience – not to mention a treasure trove of anecdotes – to put together a few words of our own?

Let’s assume you already have a website. It contains information about your background, your experience, the range of services you offer, pricing, contact details and maybe some testimonials from satisfied customers. These details probably won’t change much over time. You might update with a few more testimonials or training accreditations, but that’s pretty much it.

On the other hand, writing regular blog posts brings your website to life. It makes it more personal, which in turn makes you more approachable. You give prospective clients a more rounded view of you as a professional, and this can help them to decide whether you are the right fit for their editorial project.

Use your blog posts to educate, inform and delight

Think of your blog as your personal online newspaper. You can use it to market your services by writing about your specialism; entertain with stories about your day-to-day life as an editor, and use your knowledge to educate visitors to your website.

Many people put off starting a blog because they worry about terms such as ‘keywords’ and ‘search engine optimisation’. Is it even worth starting to blog if no one’s going to see it anyway? Well, luckily for us, Google (other search engines are available) rewards good writing.

Hummingbird, the codename for Google’s most recent search algorithm change, favours natural language over keywords, which means well-written, fluent, more conversational content will be ranked more highly than mundane articles stuffed with keywords. Well, we’re all wordsmiths, so this is a gift.

Rising up the search rankings won’t happen overnight, but to improve your chances there are certain tricks and protocols to follow, as shown in this blog post checklist I’ve devised.

Ticking off this list as you go will help to optimise your blog for search engines. This, in turn, will draw more visitors to your website. Once you have informed, educated and delighted your visitors through your blog posts, it’s only a short step for them to become clients.

Remember, even if they don’t need your editing services right now, they may know someone who does. And it may just be a matter of time before they get back to you as well. Blog on!

♦ I’ve put together a list of handy blog post ideas which can you can adapt to suit your business. It’s called 25 Content Ideas for your Blog, and you can view and download the pdf here.

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