This week, I started work again on a blog I first launched over three years ago. At that point, I was really starting to take my freelance writing career seriously and I wanted a place where I could write regularly, as well as a resource that would have an array of different benefits, such as showcasing my work.
As so many things do, it fell by the wayside over the years. However, revisiting a few different projects lately, I wanted to get back into this one and so I’ve started to update it again.
Now the reason I want to talk about this today is that when I looked at it recently, it brought back a lot of memories about how much time I’d invested in it. I’d spend hours every day producing new blog posts, sourcing images, developing the blog as a whole and generally just trying to make it as successful as it could be.
And one of the most notable things to come out of it I now realise was the amount of contacts I made.
Through that blog (it’s a blog that essentially reviews other blogs, giving readers an insight into interesting blogs they may not otherwise have found), I reached out to various different individuals and made some great contacts. Of those, several turned into clients, two of which I’m still working with today and have been continuously for over two years now.
The work didn’t come as a direct result of my blog, but without it, I wouldn’t have made contact with the various different people (or at least not at the time I did – and if I’d left it later, there’s every possibility there’d be someone else stood in my shoes now).
The blog acted as a way for me to hone my writing skills. I’d aim to update it daily, each and every time writing a couple of hundred words about a different blog. This alone proved to be extremely beneficial, as it allowed me to try out new ways of writing and make mistakes without it having any major impact – no one was paying me to write about their blog and so if I used new phrases and they didn’t work as planned, it wasn’t a major issue.
But to me, the main benefit was the connections I made. It’s difficult to put a value on them, as I’ve carried out various pieces of work for two of the connections over the years, but they’ve undoubtedly paid for the time I invested in that blog initially.
In my eyes, writing for yourself is a necessary part of developing as a freelance writer. It gives you a blank canvas that you can utilise to hone every skill required to become the success you want to be.
It doesn’t take a lot of money and it doesn’t have to take up a substantial amount of time, but for the cost of a domain name and the time required to setup a blog and update it regularly, I practically guarantee you’ll see an almost uncountable number of benefits.
(PS – it’s also worthwhile pointing out that before I started updating the blog again this week, I’d updated it twice since 4th July 2010. However, when I checked the Google Adsense stats for it, I’d made close to £50 over the last two years – makes me wonder what the earnings could have been like if I’d updated it even just once a month!)