According to a Freelance Switch survey, only 15% of surveyed freelancers write a blog. To the 85% of you who are not writing blogs, I say a hearty thank you. Thank you for making my quest for more paying gigs that much easier by taking yourselves out of the race. Self-promotion is one of the most important parts of this crazy business of ours, and by not promoting yourself, your expertise, and years of experience in the game you seriously cut down the competition for yours truly. You guys are awesome.
When I read that 15% factoid as reported in Mike Gunderloy’s post at Web Worker Daily, I admit I was fairly surprised. I would assume a much higher figure. Any freelancer who wants to get paid should be taking a serious look at how they market their number one asset–themselves. If you aren’t pushing your skills, you sell yourself short. Doing a blog is not going to drive employers to your virtual doorstep in droves, they won’t be beating down your door just because you have your shingle out. But any time you apply for a new gig, you should use every tool at your disposal, every advantage over that other 85%.
None of us have time to maintain a blog. That much is certain. Too bad, too–because when I go up against you in competition for some high-pressure, quick turnaround assignment I might just edge you out. The editor will be able to see my abilities right away and decide if I’m a good fit for the gig. Are you forcing editors to hunt down your work at a variety of web pages, or sift through eight paragraphs of writing samples?
Never underestimate the power of instant gratification to cement your place in a gig. If an editor get get an idea of your style and tone with a few clicks, you might find yourself on the fast-track to a sweet assignment. Of course, when the editor clicks to THIS site and sees my snarky, smartass tone, maybe you will win by default because my tone is just too abrasive for them. So be it.
The bottom line is, you need to become one of the 15% crowd and start a blog. Promote yourself as completely as possible and you can go to sleep at night knowing you did everything you could to make yourself some money today. To the other 85%, well…see you in the funny papers.
(Ed. note–the original title of this article was “What The Hell Is Your Problem?” It was deemed a bit TOO snarky even for us. We blame a lack of caffeine and bad winter weather. Heh.)