Why You Should Stop Writing Blog Posts (and What to Do Instead)

Blogging conceptYou may think this is a funny piece of advice for me to write on my blog.

But if you care about earning more as a freelance writer, then you might want to stop writing blog posts.

Why do I say this?

There are four big reasons I want to steer you away from blogging:

 

1. It’s a time-waster

One common affliction currently plaguing many aspiring freelance writers is that they start a blog because they’ve heard they should. Next, they fall in love with the blog, and then spend way too much time on it. All at the expense of finding the paying clients they need, and without examining what they’re blogging about or why.

Unfortunately, the typical diary-you-put-online type blog posts rarely attract many readers. And they don’t make a good writing sample for luring clients, either. Businesses want fact-filled posts written on a single topic, not random posts about your personal thoughts.

But it’s so empowering, pushing that ‘publish’ button on whatever you want to say…that it becomes addictive.

It’s not unusual for writers to tell me:

“My goals for this month include posting twice a week on each of my three personal blogs. Plus…um…guess I need to do some marketing to find clients.”

The blogging sucks up all your free time, the marketing falls to the bottom of your priority list, and next year, you’re still starving.

2. It has a crummy reputation

No client is impressed to hear that you’re writing blog posts.

Blogging is the entry point. The bottom rung. There’s no barrier to entry. Often, you have no editor — and your prospects know it.

That’s why blogging isn’t a prestigious type of writing.

If you can manage to guest post on a big, popular, brand-name blog, that helps your cred a bit. But it’s still not a byline in Vanity Fair or the New York Times.

3. It doesn’t pay well

Yes, there is an elite rank of business blogging clients that now pay $100-$300 a blog post and more. But even this upper end of blog-post pay is low compared to what you can earn from other types of writing.

And the vast majority of blogging gigs are still going for $5-$25 a post, which isn’t a living wage in any First World country, no matter how fast you write.

4. It’s a shrinking market

With the ongoing efforts of Google to exclude mass-content sites from its search results, the forecast is for less blogging-for-hire work in future. Most of the cheap, SEO-keyword driven, short-post assignments are drying up.

It’s a dying niche because semi-literate, half-baked posts you dash off in 15 minutes for search robots to index don’t work any more. They don’t drive traffic because they’re not turning up in search results. So businesses are not going to pay even $5 for them in future.

If you’re dependent on this sort of work for your living right now, it’s time to make plans to move into a new niche. You’ve got all your eggs in a vanishing basket.

What to write instead

If I’ve made you rethink your feelings about blogging, good.

I’m not trying to tell you to stop writing, of course. Just that blogging isn’t the greatest format if you’re looking to earn a living from writing (short of seeing a moonshot success on monetizing your own blog).

So what should you write instead of blog posts? Articles.

Here’s why:

  • Articles pay well. You can earn $1 a word and more, from better companies and publications.
  • Articles are a prestige assignment. You’re not ‘just a blogger’ anymore.
  • Article clips are respected. Editors and marketing managers alike are impressed when you show them article clips.
  • People love to read articles. This is a format that’s been around a long time, and readers ‘get’ it.
  • Blog posts are becoming articles. The call for 2,000-word blog posts on many top blogs and websites really means they want articles.
  • Businesses need articles. Increasingly, corporate clients are looking for article content for their websites, to set them apart from all those ordinary, low-value blog posts. I’ve earned $2 a word in this niche.

The secret of online writing success

I’ll let you in on a little secret that I think was key to this blog’s success: I never thought of myself as a blogger.

My concept for this blog has always been that I’m writing and publishing an online magazine, and these posts are the articles. And that has made all the difference.

That’s why while most blogs blather on about the author’s personal feelings or whatever strikes their fancy that morning, I do exposés, report on news that affects freelance writers, and discuss trends. Because this is a magazine for freelance writers.

When I started writing article-style posts back in 2008, I think I was a little ahead of the curve. But now, in-depth, fully reported blog posts — (cough) articles — are fast becoming the online norm.

If you like writing online, know that article format is the future.

Which makes sense, because readers want great stories and useful information. Fascinating interviews and unique facts. Always have, and always will. In the future, when they’re laser-beaming content into our brains, that’s what we’ll want.

If you don’t know how yet, you should learn to deliver this.

Reposition to earn more

To sum up: stop writing “blog posts.” Stop thinking of yourself as a blogger. Become an article writer instead. If that idea scares you — of doing interviews and finding facts — I just want to say: You can do this.

Sell what you’re writing to clients as articles instead of blog posts. “Instead of short blog posts, we should create better content that’s article quality, with interviews and research data — that’s what builds authority and really gets you traffic and leads.” Then, ask for $.50-$1 a word for it.

Ride the trend toward better, article-style content and you’ll be positioned to earn more as a freelance writer in 2015. Then, you can write whatever you want on your own blog.


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138 comments on “Why You Should Stop Writing Blog Posts (and What to Do Instead)
  1. George Donaldson says:

    As a newbie trying to start up a freelance business I’m glad I read this before diving into the task of creating a blog. I too assumed I needed a blog to get the ball rolling, but now I feel it may be best to put this off until later or just avoid it altogether.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Reread the post — not telling anyone to not have a blog, George. I’m telling people to not think of their posts as slapped-up junk, and to write the heck out of them.

      • George Donaldson says:

        I get what you’re saying. Given that I don’t currently have a writer’s website or a blog up at the moment, would you say I need to do both, or should I just put up a writer’s website and try to focus on getting some initial portfolio pieces? (Given what I’ve read online so far, this seems to be a debatable topic).

        • Carol Tice says:

          It is — it really depends on your goals and what sort of writing you want to do.

          • George Donaldson says:

            As far as my goals: I’m broke, but I don’t want to apply for a job at Walmart. As far as my “niche” I am basically a very nerdy guy. People tell me: “You sound like Bill Nye the science guy.”

            I love far-out science stuff, but I have no expert credentials in science. My career experience is in classical music and a brief foray into the I.T. world. I would enjoy creating a blog about subatomic particles and dark matter, but that won’t pay the landlord.

            I could write informative articles about most topics, but I’m not an actual expert in anything accept orchestral music (and I don’t want to write about that).

            It seems like the current trend in the online content market is for experts that can write reasonably well about their area of expertise. I would say I am the opposite: I can write well on topics about which I don’t have expertise. I can research a subject and create a nice, informative piece about it – but without credentials or writing experience, how do I sell that to a client?

  2. Jaimie says:

    Excellent information! Carol, yes I tried out a free blog once but decided it wasn’t for me. I have always enjoyed fact based content myself and can write articles in my sleep. It’s a cut throat business though and like logo designing its so competitive. I actually want to write articles for businesses but with so many doing it, it seems extremely difficult to get your voice heard. Right now am focusing more on my books on Amazon.
    I like writing books best but would have no issue writing articles as well. I just don’t want to waste my time and try to chase down businesses that are not serious about content. Any advice would be very valuable to me. You really saved me a lot of time today, I was going to start a new blog and start posting but now am going to go into article writing like originally planned. Your right its much more lucrative. I actually did a course on Udemy on this so I know.

    • Carol Tice says:

      There are some big business platforms like HuffPo and Business.com that allow free guest posting from thought leaders — they might be a place for you to start breaking into the business-article niche. I gather Entrepreneur is taking free contributors on its blog as well.

      The authority you gain from appearing there can help you impress businesses or get into writing for business mags. Most businesses don’t need reported articles written…and if you read through the post, you’ll see I’m not telling people not to blog — just telling them to write article-quality work on their blog.

      That’s what gets you noticed and impresses business blogging prospects — that and getting a lot of views and shares on a big platform like those I named above.

  3. Hi Carol,

    I know I’m late to the party, but I had to chime in say well done. Quality trumps quantity every time. If bloggers want to blog every day or two, they certainly can — IF they’re willing to put in the time and effort to make those posts very high quality.

    Of course, unless your name is Neil Patel, this is easier said than done. Hence your advice: Only publish great work. If that means you publish less frequently, so be it.

    Thanks, Carol.

    – @kevinjduncan

  4. I realize this is an older post, but it came up in my Facebook feed today so I clicked on it. And I have some thoughts.

    First, I don’t see how blogging can actually hurt a writer. After all, writing is a practice. It’s like telling a runner to run less if they want to make more money running.

    Second, what if one’s blog is not just a random collection of poorly composed personal thoughts? What if it is a well-curated collection of articles about one specific area (a niche, if you will). And what if that blog actually has gotten you repeat clients and paid work? Because that’s what my blog is, and that’s what my blog has done for me. It has also taken me all over the world, introduced me to amazing people, and opened up opportunities I’d never have had without it. To assume that all blogs are just collections of diary-style ramblings is even more outdated than this post is old.

    And third–is this not a blog post? About writing fewer blog posts? I’ve scrolled through the comments and no one seems to have pointed that out. I find it rather humorous.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Tracy, I think you might want to re-read the post. I’m not telling people to post less — I’m telling them to write article-quality posts, if they’d like their blog to be a platform for building their writing career. In essence, to up their game, and use their blog as a showcase for better-quality work than the typical blog post offers.

      Sounds like you’re probably doing just that, and writing in service of an audience — which is how blogs succeed. So congrats on that! I’m certainly not assuming most blogs are random ramblings…but from my experience reading many of them for the many blog reviews I do, many, many of them are.

  5. Miles says:

    You are the bomb!

    Ever since I began to blog, I’ve been writing articles. I can’t help it, it’s in my blood. My current client wants me to grind out 50+ $15 posts per month and I just can’t become a mill writer. I put out quality work because to me, as you said, “readers want great stories and useful information”. I know I do when I’m searching for info. The funny thing is that Google is a tool meant to help it’s users and all of these lame marketing directors are trying to trick it. We should all be in the Silicon Valley mindset of trying to help our customers.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I hear from too many writers, Miles, who’re bringing their “A” game to those $15 blog posts, because they care…but that only makes you poor. You either have to accept that a $15 article needs to be written in about 20 minutes, or you have to find the clients that pay for sophisticated content.

      I think increasingly Google is NOT fooled by junk, keyword-focused content, so hopefully attitudes are changing about what kind of online content to create — and I’m hopeful that will mean rising rates, too.

  6. Awesome article. Really inspired me. But my question is, how do I find clients to sell articles?

  7. Bjørk says:

    Hi there

    Just want to drop a line and thank you for this very interesting and informative article. I have to start thinking of myself in a different way I’ve learned.

    Best wishes

    Bjørk

  8. James Edward says:

    Excellent post, I completely agree with your valuable article. Many thanks for sharing this article here.

  9. Alvin says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for this! You would be surprised what this simple little shift in mindset has done for me!

  10. Becky says:

    Great post. I’m mostly a long form writer (eBooks, white papers), but lately everyone is asking for blogs and I agree 100% with what you’re saying. I do get paid in the $100-300 range, but you’re right, if they viewed it as an article I would be making much more and I definitely do better on my rates when I write longer content. The trick, as you rightly pointed out, is how to get them to see these as articles. I haven’t figure that out yet, so would love any suggestions. Still dabbling a little in the blog world, hoping that taking these assignments will lead to bigger projects, but not certain if it will or it’s a good strategy.

  11. Good reasons and to be honest I experienced it when started blog in middle school ^^ :/

  12. Ingrid Cliff says:

    Great post Carol! The trend to long article form for blogs seems to have really kicked off in the past 18 months. People are searching more by full questions and not just keywords when they go to their favourite search engine these days. They are looking for answers and are not afraid to read something in depth to get them. The free line has definitely moved and things I now post as a blog article I would have charged for as an e-book 5 years ago. The changes are exciting and terrifying all at once and really forcing me to rapidly enhance my writing skill set.
    Ingrid Cliff recently posted…Content Audits: Content Marketing’s Least Favourite ChildMy Profile

  13. Wow, this is depressing AND illuminating at the same time. I’ve been veering off into E-book publishing. Do you have a take on that?
    kay ~ lifestylevoices.com recently posted…E-books and E-xplanationsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m not sure why it’s depressing…and I’d need to know more about your ebook publishing plans to have a ‘take’ on that.

      The vast majority of people who self-publish ebooks earn nothing. There’s a lot to know about marketing, and about building an audience to sell those books to (no, Amazon is not going to magically create a huge income for you from its browsers). I can recommend the site BuildBookBuzz for some good ideas, along with the Steve Scott Site.

      I’ve shared my own reasonably successful ebook publishing adventures here:

      http://www.makealivingwriting.com/tag/selfpublishing

      • I think by depressing I just mean that I love my blog, but I’ve known for quite a while that it’s taking up valuable time I should be devoting elsewhere. I will check out the links you provided. Thanks! 🙂
        kay ~ lifestylevoices.com recently posted…E-books and E-xplanationsMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well, if you read the post, you’ll see I’m not telling anyone to shut down their blog. I’m obviously still happily writing away on mine! Just saying that positioning yourself as an article writer can lead to better pay…and you can achieve that positioning by writing article-quality pieces on your blog.

  14. That’s a great distinction, in a writing course I also got to hear that you need to write about facts, write about a single topic, and not about personal thoughts.

    It also makes sense to write about things like news facts that affects your target audience and discuss trends. The trend indeed seems to be somewhat ‘de-personalizing’ you can also see it in the workspace with flexible-workspaces.

    (I even need to check the box below to prove not to be a robot :))
    HP van Duuren recently posted…WRITERS WORKSPACES That Inspire & Help Increase Your (Product Review Writing) SuccessMy Profile

  15. tess marset says:

    Thanks Carol for this article! I’m just catching it today, although I see that it’s been out for a while. I have a blog that I’ve been writing in article-style format since its debut two years ago. If clients shy away from the word “blog,” would it be better to call an article driven blog an online magazine instead? I mean, would they go for this?

    • Carol Tice says:

      The problem usually isn’t that clients shy away from ‘blog’ but from the word ‘article’ — because they know articles cost more. It’s up to us to make the case that what they want is more on the order of an article, and should be paid accordingly.

  16. Jun Mallorca says:

    Thanks Carol for sharing your thoughts on blogging or should I say article writing. Creating well-written articles on your blog site will not only attract the search engines but also readers (who will gladly share any informative and valuable post, just what you did in this post/article). I was actually browsing a freelance writing site where this article was mentioned.
    Jun Mallorca recently posted…Understanding Google’s Quality Content Pitch and Its Web Marketing ImplicationsMy Profile

  17. You make some excellent points here. I’ve never been very disciplined in terms of writing blog posts. My “current” blog is a holdover from my newspaper job where we reporters (and some others) were asked to maintain blogs in a system run by our parent company. I also maintained a hiking blog with another reporter that was more regular because we took turns posting on it every time we walked. I’ve been gone for nearly two years now and I think we’ve done all of two posts from walks we’ve had when I’ve returned for a visit. That was fun, and people liked it because we were out and about in the community, talking about and taking pictures of beautiful or weird or funny things we saw (we also had a mystery photo most days).

    I’m not a big fan of the idea of blog posts as articles. I applied for freelance writing and editing gigs at one site where I had to write a sample blog post on one of half a dozen topics. I thought for a bit and realized that my smartphone, my tablet and my Wi-Fi camera were all Samsung and could be integrated (I should have thought of that before buying my Phillips smart TV), so I wrote a post, in first person, about how these things could be integrated. A little voice in the back of my head wondered if I should be writing in first person, and it did turn out that they bumped me down a level because they really don’t do first-person blogs. I think part of me wrote in first person so I could point out that most of the blogs I read are in first person (which is true) and I now see that what they were looking for were more like articles. Then I gave them another post.

    I still do think of blogs as in the first or second person, but I recognize that blogs are no longer restricted to personal perspective, and I write blog posts for clients in third person or, fairly often, in second person (rarely, in first person).

    I’m not interested in the diary-type blogs except for people I know, like my friend in my former town who posts for friends and family, but I do like blogs where people share perspectives and observations. And I like blogs where they share expertise, like a gaming blog, or craft blog, or your blog.

    I thought a while back that if I had time I’d like to write three blogs: A blog about personal perspectives/observations, a humor blog, and a more newsy blog. It would be nice to develop a following, at least a presence, as someone who wrote for herself, and I could also use some of these posts as clips. Even if the writing was different than I would write for clients, it could show an understanding of their topics. But I don’t have time.

    I don’t intend to blog for money (outside of writing blog posts for others), outside of potential advertising. I blog, when I do, for enjoyment and sharing thoughts, perspectives, observations, information, etc. But when I blog, I can spend two hours on a post. I don’t have time for that. I wish I did. 🙂
    Laurie Swenson recently posted…Remembering Brad Swenson, One Year LaterMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m sorry you’re not a fan of blog posts that are article quality — because that’s where paid blogging for clients is headed. That’s also how most blogs that earn for their authors work, too. They go beyond spouting off in first person about something you noticed — they involve reportage. That’s where all the opportunity is to earn.

      Also…I think readers are fans of article-quality blogs. They have more credibility. That’s why they will win out.

      Short of some awesome humor blog like The Bloggess…blogs that offer useful information need to stand out, and they’re increasingly becoming online magazines. Personally, I love where it’s headed, and hope it offers more good-paying opportunity to writers. Maybe a year or two from now, the era of $5 blog-post requests will be over! I’m hoping.

      • I wasn’t talking about difference in quality; it’s apples and oranges. I’ve seen many blog posts, written in first person, that are as in-depth as any article but are more comparable to a newspaper column or op-ed. And writing in the first person isn’t synonymous with “spouting off.” Columnists have been doing this for generations.

        I get that a lot of paid blogging is going into third-person articles. But as a reader, I like blog posts written in first person, and I say that even while having written many blog posts for clients in the third person.
        Laurie Swenson recently posted…Relay for Life Honorary Chair Jim Ferden focuses on hopeMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Well, there is the reported essay format, which sort of melds the two — you start with a personal experience, but then get in put from experts, and conclude with something from your personal story.

  18. This is interesting: #longreads
    http://blog.longreads.com/tag/best-of-2014/

    I post on a personal blog once a week as a creative writing exercise. It’s fun and a work breakaway–rather than toil and trouble.

    And, yes, articles and blog posts differ. Good points.
    Catherine Hamrick recently posted…The Endless Beauty of Stairs, Books and KnowledgeMy Profile

  19. Carol, you’re totally right. The only articles I write on my blog now are articles. I slowly made the transition as a I got more experience, because articles were in demand. I couldn’t imagine just writing about my feelings all day, but sometimes personal experience is useful (like when writing a review).

    Marissa
    Marissa Richardson recently posted…Startup Guide FeedbackMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sure – definitely not saying we shouldn’t have an opinion — all great blogs have a point of view. But back it up with facts, bring other interesting voices into it.

  20. Hello Carol Tice,
    I am back again. I hope you are fine.
    Today I am so shocked with this blog post. Because I was thinking that we need only write the posts. But it is not true today, I realize. Frankly speaking according to your point of view we need smart work with our blog.
    But Carol Tice, this trick is not for beginners. Because they need hard work in the beginning. Truly speaking, blogging is very awesome platform for those persons who wants to learn and earn.
    I think I am right. But Carol Tice, I have a doubt. If we will not write the articles then how our readers will stay with us for new things.
    So according to me we need to write 2-3 articles per week. According to my suggestion it is good.
    But can you suggest me something with my answer.
    Thanks for the sharing
    Regards
    Monu Kumar

    • Carol Tice says:

      Not sure I follow…but the general point of this post is that quality has become far more important than posting frequency, and approaching your posts like magazine articles — with facts, interviews, research — is going to pay off better in 2015.

  21. Kyanna says:

    Oh boy,

    I am so glad I came across this post. I really really really need to rethink my priorities. Not that I post a lot…Though I have been posting a lot. Hahaha. I need to start promoting my webpage on social media sites. It’s tough when you’re just starting out. I need to do some digging. I’ve heard of people getting great results from marketing themselves on twitter. Hmmm… Thanks Carol.
    Kyanna recently posted…No DoubtMy Profile

  22. Shahrukh says:

    Great article Carol, i was thinking about writing a similar blog but you changed my mind for the good.

    I just have one question. Can you suggest any online forums where i can socialize with clients? I am looking for clients who require article writers.

    • Shahrukh says:

      Another thing, i don’t live in the West and the writing business in my city is close to nothing. This is why i am searching for online forums. Any help would be great.

      • Carol Tice says:

        I’d look at LinkedIn — there are topic groups there on almost every possible industry, Shahrukh. But besides that, look at proactively identifying prospects you’d like to write for and then marketing to them, via email/direct mail/phone or whatever your preferred method.

  23. Lake says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I just wanted to say that I love this site and I have found a lot of useful information here – it has really made me rethink a lot of things.

    I love writing articles much more than blog posts, and wish I had more opportunities to write them. I am fairly new to freelance writing though and it is hard to know where to look to find the right jobs. I have read here that it is best to approach clients yourself, but I think I would need more experience to have a chance of that working. Right now looking on elance and odesk seems to be the easiest way – even though I have read here that those are not good sites to use. And I somewhat agree – I did have a very bad experience there, where I was afraid I wouldn’t get paid for a lot of writing I had done. It turned out the client was a scammer. Somehow, luckily, everything turned out fine in the end. But now I am definitely looking for other alternatives as well.
    Lake recently posted…Example ArticleMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yes, Elance and oDesk are the ‘easiest’ way to get some gigs…that usually pay very little. And what sort of clip, if any, are you able to get for your portfolio through that platform?

      Try calling up your local paper and asking if they’ve got anyone covering the next protest/city council meeting/new shop opening…and you’ll be surprised how often they say yes. Then, you’ll have clips that impress editors that you know how to report a story.

      You have all the opportunities you want to write articles, Lake — write them on your blog. Then you have more samples of that type of work to help you get article gigs.

      • I’ve done all right on Elance (although I’m often astonished at both the low rates some clients want to pay and the low rates contributors are willing to take) here and there as a “don’t keep your eggs in one basket” thing (I also write for WriterAccess and have been happy there. I’m not a private freelancer; I’m a caregiver for a parent and have limited time so I write sporadically). But I’ve also picked up a newspaper story ($60 for a story on four new teachers) when the owner of my tiny hometown’s tiny newspaper owner was on vacation. He’s invited me to come up with other ideas for articles or events I’d like to cover. Another newspaper two towns away also expressed some interest after I wrote a couple of Relay for Life feature stories (that’s what happens when you stop being a reporter and join a community organization; you get to the be the one to write stuff). In a year or two after I’m done downsizing my parents’ lives (ugh) and selling their old house, I’ll probably pursue those ideas more. Having experience (30+ years for me) in reporting is a pretty good selling point to contribute to a local newspaper, because you know how to write the way they want you to write.

        (I also placed those articles on my rarely utilized blog and shared them on Facebook and Twitter.)
        Laurie Swenson recently posted…I’m Sad About Robin WilliamsMy Profile

  24. austen hayes says:

    Dear Carol,

    I’m a newcomer to your site. I cannot thank you enough for this post/article! It has altered my direction completely. I’m about to publish my little website and have been thinking so much about quantity/quality of writing. Not only for readers, but writer, as well. How do we give our best when we’re driven by numbers and keywords more than ideas? Everyone is shortchanged. With your words of wisdom I am now more relaxed, thinking it’s ok to take the time needed to create a more thoughtful, useful piece. Like a relationship, if it never goes any deeper than what it is in the very early stages, we grow bored and want to escape. Quality. Depth. Substance. Commitment. And still, time to market. Thank you so much!

  25. Elna says:

    Great point you made Carol!
    I always had the intention to write quality blog posts on a weekly or bi-weekly basis on my blog. I know that once I have more client work on my plate, I won’t focus on my blog as much.

    I never thought article writing would be more than blog posts, but I can see your rationale. Articles requires interviews and extensive research, much like a journalist. I will consider this angle when talking to prospective clients about their content needs.

    Thanks for this post!
    Elna
    Innovative Ink
    Elna recently posted…The Worst Thing You Can Do on a Blog Post (Hint: You are Probably Doing it)My Profile

  26. I agree that, at this point, the clients that pay well for blog posts (and I’ve found a few) are usually looking for something more like an article. But I think it bears mentioning that many are still calling them “blog posts.” Knowing the language your audience is using is important to finding those clients (or more to the point, making it easy for them to find you). So I’ll be sticking with the term for now.

    I second everyone who suggests only posting about once a month or so on your blog. That’s what I do. I think if it less as a marketing tool (I’d have to be doing way more than I am now to turn it into that) and more as a place to create additional writing samples and show potential clients what I know.
    Kristen Hicks recently posted…Unpopular Opinion: Why I Don’t Have an Email ListMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Totally agree that clients LOVE to call them ‘blog posts’ — because they know that they may well be able to talk a writer into doing it for less if they say that instead of ‘article.’

      My point is, know them for the articles they are — and get paid appropriately.

  27. Just read your guest post at BoostBlogTraffic on “tricks from the journalist’s playbook” (http://boostblogtraffic.com/writing-tricks); it beautifully complements this post. Hope everyone on this thread reads both!
    Katherine Swarts recently posted…7 Ways to Keep Christ in YOUR Christmas SeasonMy Profile

  28. My word – I have been thinking the same very thing – and out pops your words. Thank you!
    Martie Preller recently posted…POST 219: TAKING THE STEP TO THE STORY DIMENSIONMy Profile

  29. Raspal Seni says:

    I’ve been posting quite less the past few months, so it was like I was overjoyed, seeing the headline of this post. 🙂

    Last year I joined a one month writing challenge (started my main blog with the challenge post). I used to write 800-1200 word posts on two of my blogs, but saw others doing away with just a few sentences and call it a blog post.

    Some even pasting a short poem or and they were done. And here, I was working hard daily to write a long and interesting post. I felt I was wasting my time and energy and getting nothing.

    Certainly, such short blog posts can’t get you money. I’ve always liked long-form blog posts or what you call article type posts.

    I’m glad I am not wrong that I stopped posting on my blog every few days. I even let one of my blog domains expire and will be making the posts that were there, longer, and repost on my current blog. Also stopped posting on another blog I had. Will let the domain expire as well.

    This post of yours brought relief. So thank you for this post. 🙂 My energies are now diverted to guest posts and will be posting only once a month on my blog.

    I think this post is and will be like a life saver.
    Raspal Seni recently posted…Seven Free, Downloadable Headline Resources (e-Books)My Profile

  30. Julia says:

    “If I’ve made you rethink your feelings about blogging, good.”
    Rethink? No, Carol, you scared the hell out of me. I just parted with my hard earned money which was actually nicked from my savings account to enroll in a course to learn the trade of blogging so I can make some sort of income. I’m jobless for nine months now.
    However, I thank you for posting this eye opener and will keep it for reference. Actually my target or my dream is to write articles for magazines, but the information available on the internet is so overwhelming and some marketers are just darn persuasive. I wasn’t aware that I have totally steered away from my goal until I read your post.
    P.S. You know the guy whose course I enrolled to. I’ll finish this one and will take your article writing master class next.

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s nothing wrong with learning the basics of good blogging, Julia. I have an e-book about freelance blogging myself.

      I’m just telling you to reframe what you’re doing and take it more seriously. If you want to write for magazines, write article-quality blog posts, and then you’ll have samples.

      Obviously, with 700+ posts here on my blog, I don’t mean people should stop blogging…they should just stop writing crappy, low-value blog posts and write article-level material instead.

      I’m not sure when we’ll do Article Writing Masterclass again after January — we only put it on 1-2x a year, but hope you can join us when you’re able, Julia!

  31. Hi Carole,

    Honestly, I always thought that the term “blog” or “blogging” seemed a bit informal and hobbyistic (and yes I just made that word up). In fact, I always thought it appealed more to a social discussion then to have a professional aspect to it.

    The term “article” however, rings with a more professional sound. And it seems to cater more to the professional audience then your typical “blog” audience.

    Instead of telling people that I am blogger I most often tell them that I am a article writer and content creator. To me, these terms sound more professional and business sound then term blog or blogger.

    Great article 😉
    William Ballard recently posted…The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Dominating Your Writing Market – Part FourMy Profile

  32. Williesha says:

    Hey, Carol! Everyone has already posted my sentiments about blogging. Did you know I only have about 40 blog posts TOTAL for my blog? I realized early on that it’s great to do and brings traffic to your site, but that it’s also very time-consuming. I blog about once a month on my personal and pro blogs.
    Williesha recently posted…12 (More) Blogging Lessons After Year Two (Part 2!)My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Awesome, Willi! Wish I had been that smart at the start…really worked myself to the bone posting 3x a week for way too many years. Now that I’m down to 2x, and one is usually a guest post, life is a lot more sane. 😉

  33. Carol,

    I read this article last night and mulled over it a long time. Then I came back to it again this morning, a sure sign that what you wrote really hit home. I’ve been working on my strategy for the new year, and this confirmed what I was thinking. Thank you for it and I look forward to your next article.

    Best,
    Jeanne
    Jeanne Grunert recently posted…The Importance of Tagging Images with KeywordsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Glad I made you think, Jeanne!

      If there’s one big tip I could give to help writers, it would be to blog more intentionally. We tend to just be off to the races, and not thinking critically about WHY we’re posting what we are, so we can use our time more wisely.

  34. Virag says:

    I am so happy finally somebody put this out there. I have just recently attended a blogging class at NYU and when I said I don’t call my site a blog and I am not writing blogs per se nobody seemed to get my point 🙂 I am happy to get a reassurance that I was, indeed, right on my approach!
    Virag recently posted…I refuse to encourage stupidity: I refuse to be trendyMy Profile

  35. Angie J. says:

    I completely agree that personal blogs will do very little – if anything at all – for your writing career.

    The exception that’s worth noting, though, is that you can use a blog to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert. It builds client trust right off the bat when they see that you’re a real person and that they can interact with you.

    I think your blog serves that purpose, too. We know that you know what you’re talking about because you’re willing to open up and show everyone.

    In some niches, blogs are extremely necessary marketing tools. Now, if you’re a hardware wholesaler or something, not so much – but if you’re a lawyer, a cosmetic surgeon, or another highly specialized professional, and if you’re sharing “inside” info on your blog… not “My dog ate an entire cheesecake today” stuff, but things that your readers want to know, you can make it work to your advantage. Maybe the difference is professional vs. personal.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I think the different is reader-focused vs self-focused. 😉

    • melissa says:

      Hi Angie, I am reading all these views from last year do you all have any up to date views? how do I get my foot in the door for this? writng has always been what I love. I want to make income from this I know read lots of stuff that you cant get rich, over night. I just want a decent income and I want to do it from my home on my computer. any suggestions reply back melissa

  36. I have to admit, your article scared me at first! Stop writing blogs? What was am I doing writing on the internet at all? After I read further, I realized that “blogging” for money is expected to be like writing articles at this point in the game (at least in my experience, clients have always wanted long, in depth blog posts, much like Kinya mentioned). Now I can confidently call myself a writer, rather than just a blogger 🙂 I try hard to just post relevant, quality content on my own site, and am thankful to hear that you don’t have to post everyday, whew!

    Thanks for the continually great help.

    • Carol Tice says:

      “Post everyday” was a strategy that was effective many years back, but it’s not important now. Posting something unique, in-depth, and super-valuable to readers is increasingly what matters.

      I wish every freelance writer who’s trying to get more clients would vow to only post once a month on their own blogs! Would really clear the decks to get some marketing done.

  37. Chelsea says:

    Such a good post Carol – and so true.

    I almost NEVER update blog posts on my freelance writer website… and it seems that prospects don’t really care. Like you said, they’re far more impressed with the blog posts and articles I’ve published on big-name websites and are ready to pay good rates for my writing regardless of whether I’ve got blog posts regularly coming out on my own site.

    I’d say it’s much better for your ROI to write five pitches than it is to write one blog post – not only is their more monetization potential in it, but it’ll make a huge difference in building your portfolio and credibility to your prospects.
    Chelsea recently posted…Use Free Courses to Increase ConversionsMy Profile

  38. Kinya says:

    My first real “blogging” client this year wanted me to write posts that are longer than 500 words. In fact, the instructions were something along the lines of “Write it as long as it needs to be. Include quotes, reputable sources, etc.” That’s when I realized he wanted articles. Real ones, like the kind you find in magazines. Good thing I took your J-School course 🙂

    It sounds intimidating for newer writers (I was intimidated by the thought) but it’s not. And article writing is actually more fun than writing blog posts. I have all the freedom I want to write with the information and reader in mind, not the word count. It’s a great new skill to have. And, as a bonus, the work I did got me another new client. So yeah, you’re right. Articles are where it’s at.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, thanks for another great article-writing story, Kinya!

      The trick is getting paid appropriately for these article-posts. But that’s what clients increasingly want. And it’s great that you learned the skills to do these gigs.

  39. Hi Carol,

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this article’s advice contradict an article you wrote some time ago on how much money you’ve made – and how much money you said there is to BE made – writing blogs?

    Respectfully,

    Erich

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Erich —

      Great point!

      I think you’re referring to my post on how I made $5K a month as a paid blogger.

      That was several years back, when there was a lot more work to be had writing short posts for $50-$100 per. I think there’s less of that work now.

      Also, if you read through that post, you’ll note that it’s non-sustainable work — I was writing 75 posts a month or so!

      There’s still plenty of money to be made on blogs — writing *article quality* posts at $100-$300 and up. If I were trying to earn a living purely from paid blogging for others right now, I wouldn’t approach it the same way. I’d be pitching fewer, longer posts at higher rates — more like writing 25 $200 posts that are longer and more detailed.

      And even that…the thing is, I wrote one feature article recently for a national magazine that paid $2,000 for 1200 words. Articles pay more than blog posts — which is why I’m steering writers in that direction, especially as the world of low-paid blog writing shrinks.

      • Thanks for your response, Carol.

        Yes, that’s the post I was referring to. I tried to find it before I wrote, to determine the publication date.

        Things do change quickly in a few years, don’t they. I’m glad there’s an increasing focus on quality content. And I’m certainly happy to hear your advice on “pitching fewer, longer posts at higher rates.” As a journalist, I like to get to the heart of a matter and not just rip off a 300-word piece of (relative) junk.

        I’ll bet you look back in amazement at having the fortitude to write 75 blog posts in a month. It’s certainly not sustainable work.

        Thanks for being out there to steer writers in a positive direction. I’m new-ish to the freelancing world and overwhelmed by much of it. I’ll be watching for more of your articles.

        Cheers,

        Erich
        Erich Schmidt recently posted…Interviewing Tips and TacticsMy Profile

  40. Arpit Roy says:

    Well, I quite like your take on this. However, I feel that even blog posts can match the revenue that you can generate as a freelance writer. Writing content for your own blog has a different level of satisfaction. All depends on the quality of your content. I think Jayne very rightly mentioned – “concentration should be on writing top quality “anything”. Have a good day !

  41. Oh, the irony 😉

    I do agree that personal, diary-type blogging isn’t helpful for getting clients. I also see the trend towards fully reported articles.. but as long as businesses don’t see the value in it (I wish I knew a company that did!), they’ll still pay content mill wages.

    I would like to write fully reported articles… not sure where to start though.
    Anabelle Bernard Fournier recently posted…Review: On Writing by Stephen KingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Local alternative papers, daily papers, city lifestyle magazines, city parenting magazines…hit the local newsracks and you’ll be surprised how many local mags you’ve got! I was actually in a doctor’s office today and discovered there’s a “Seattle Health” magazine I’d never noticed before.

      Those smaller glossy mags and alt papers can be a great place to get some interaction with editors and better clips.

  42. While I do not disagree with you Carol, I think we are getting entangled with semantics. One talks about posts, the other about articles and the third about content marketing. What are the differences among these? They are all writing pieces that emphasize different expertise.

    I think the concentration should be on writing top quality “anything.”Freelance writers should stop for a minute and evaluate and analyze their expertise.

    First they should review the way they write and publish. Do they sit down at the computer and start writing? Do they decide on a topic, conduct a thorough research and then start writing? Or they like to review other blogs and summarize their readings? And so on…

    Next they should identify a niche expertise, like I am a medical writer, but I also write about food issues. My friend is a food writer, but she also writes about traveling. So the emphasis should be on specialization and matching one’s style to the site they are writing for.

    This topic could be analyzed, discussed and argued to death but not under the comment section.

    So I just want to summarize my principal point: we should not get bogged down on “labels”; rather concentrate on expertise, quality and keeping up-to-date.

    Please forgive me, but my sites are down due to the revamping and starting anew for 2015. The domain name will remain the same: medicalwritingcoach.com and chocolatesandfigs.com

  43. Lis says:

    Excellent advice, especially the part about writing articles! I have been writing a personal blog for years and would like to transition into paid freelance writing – since I daylight as a marketing content writer, I think I have the chops. But the problem with saying I “blog” is that there is a negative connotation to it: ANYONE can blog, and there are plenty of lousy blogs out there. However, getting an article published or calling oneself a “writer” rather than “blogger” indicates a different sense of credibility. I’m definitely going to take the article angle – thank you!

  44. Anne Hunter says:

    Thanks for this informative article. I’ve been blogging for less than a year. I’ve worried what to blog about and I’ve gotten behind in my blog posts. Now I’m re-evaluating
    my goals. I need to spend more time sending out queries and researching article ideas.
    Anne Hunter recently posted…Cheating at UNC: A Scandal Not Worth RepeatingMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Anne, I think you were the writer I created this post for. 😉

      You’re never ‘behind’ in your blog posts. Remember, you set the schedule! Now, set it to once a month, and spend the rest of your time on marketing.

      • Taylor says:

        Wow, I was just beating myself up for getting side tracked from my blog at the end of last month because of some other writing assignments. Finally the validation I needed that it’s okay!

        • Carol Tice says:

          Definitely is.

          What cracks me up the most is when people don’t blog for a while and then they write a post that says, “I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while.” Almost always on a blog with no comments or evidence of subscribers.

          Secret: Nobody cares, or wants to know why you haven’t been blogging. Just put up good stuff that helps readers, when you can. If you need to take a break, do.

          • melissa says:

            ok I assume you anwser my comment before there that makes lots of sense there but were can I start to get my foot in the door at what webpage? and some ask for a domain name how do I get that set up and they charge for them? melissa

  45. Excellent article Carol. I agree with your point that digital writers should see themselves as publishers of online magazines.

    We should make less time for personal ramblings and more time for valuable articles.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jon Morrow taught me all I needed to know: “Write in service of a reader.”

      When you do that, your career — and your blog — will move forward.

  46. I totally agree with this after spending way too many hours on a blog no one looked at. It did help me attract a few clients early on, and it wasn’t a total waste of time because I learned from it, but these days I don’t blog at all and am keeping busy writing articles for both print and online magazines. Only one of my clients is for an actual blog.
    Leslie Jordan Clary recently posted…HomeMy Profile

  47. Ken says:

    Interesting.

    It’s funny this should land in my email inbox. I have been spending the last year learning how (not) to blog and build a business.

    It felt great when my blog was online. It was ‘cool’ that I now had a blog (with a nice website theme), but when I was asked what I do for a living, I often reply that I am a writer.

    But rather than be ‘intimidated’ by the concept of being a writer rather than a blogger, I find I embrace it.

    Alright, I’m not a writer in the sense I am a professional writer who writes books, novels, articles for magazines, etc., but for some reason, there’s something about the word ‘writer’ that has a certain air of authority, compared to simply being called a blogger (though the latter is not a bad thing by itself as there are different types and styles of blogging).

  48. I had a personal blog when I was first starting my writing business where I did what you described…wrote about my musings. Mainly parenting and fitness which were the areas I was targeting for new work.

    It was an outlet for me to write regularly and use humor which wasn’t something I’d used in my previous business writing. It was useful because it allowed me to show a different “voice” to potential clients. I sent selected links to a couple of different clients who liked them, when It was appropriate for that voice, but it was mostly for me.

    Once I got more work I abandoned it. My friends ask about it from time to time but I am way too busy with paid writing to maintain it. Since I didn’t consider it a real marketing tool, it no longer earned a spot on my to do list. I’d much rather get paid to write, even if it was fun!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sounds like your priorities are in the right place, Cathie! Too many writers get hooked on their blog, and don’t ask themselves whether it’s still serving a constructive purpose in their career, or whether it’s time to move on.

      Just because you start a blog doesn’t mean you have to write it forever.

  49. Great post, Carol! I love the idea to think of blogs as online magazines. I recently landed a great paying blogging gig for a local real estate company pitching case studies on clients, tourism/attraction guides for the area, interview-based posts to address common questions etc. Not the typical “so this is what we’re up to” type of blogging. I think I’ll actually start using the “online magazine” comparison when I’m pitching clients, because it does drive home the value of what I’m offering.

    I’m still trying to move up to more sophisticated types of writing, but I’m finding that a few blogging gigs on retainer covers my basic cost of living while I market for more.

    • Carol Tice says:

      I love regular blogging gigs — nice reliable income! But you’re smart to be focusing on positioning yourself more as an online magazine writer. That’ll lead you some better places.

  50. Elke Feuer says:

    Great post! I love what you said about writing your content as if it’s for an online magazine.

    Stop blogging! Definitely something to think about as I’m preparing my goals for 2015.
    Elke Feuer recently posted…A Deadly Race to the Finish LineMy Profile

  51. Steph Weber says:

    Agree 100%. I’ve quit updating the blog on my writer’s site, initially simply due to time constraints and client load. Now, I see that my time is better spent marketing in other ways.

    I’ve also started talking to clients about their blogs and the need to produce more article-like content. At first, it did seem like I was talking myself out of work because I was their “blogger”, but surprisingly, it didn’t. I’m now taking on longer content gigs for companies. So while I’m writing fewer “blog” posts, I’m netting more income and have more satisfied clients.

    Actually, one such client just mentioned she shared the article I wrote for her in a LinkedIn group. She received a ton of comments, likes, shares, etc and also ended up connecting with nearly 100 new contacts. She was thrilled…and so was I! That was all the proof I needed.

    • Did you remove the “blog” tab from your website’s visible menu? I’ve encountered a lot of sites that prominently displayed a blog where the last post was over a year old (usually the existing posts are, indeed, for “online diary” stuff), and it gives the impression that a writer can’t be trusted to stay up to date and stick to a task. In my opinion, a blog should either post at least once a month, or disappear altogether from the website’s easy-to-find sections.
      Katherine Swarts recently posted…7 Ways to Keep Christ in YOUR Christmas SeasonMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow — thanks for sharing this success story of *exactly* what I’m talking about in this post. Think articles, sell articles to clients — because they get results. Then, clients want to keep you writing for them.

      I think many writers lose track of the need to get results for clients. The results are what turn it into an ongoing gig. The project has to be successful.

      For instance, I used to get a lot of reachouts of someone who’d ask me to write one blog post for them. And I’d say no. Because that’s never going to be successful. It takes a package of content, spread over at least a few months, to start building an audience, getting leads, and seeing the traction. So one-post assignments are doomed to fail.

      You want to be associated with successful projects — they lead to more successful projects. 😉

  52. Vicki says:

    I think it depends upon what you blog about. As you said, post that drone on about the author’s feelings are useless. However, those that are more newsworthy, can be important.

    I blog for one reason and one reason only: It’s a fantastic marketing tool. I always track where my new business comes from, and each blog post that I do has resulted, on average, in about $6,000 worth of new business. I usually blog twice per month, and usually on high traffic industry blogs, although my own personal blog has resulted in fairly good sales as well.

    So, as you pointed out, if you are going to blog, be strategic about it.

    • Vicki, now I am super curious to read your blog! $6k per post In new business is impressive! Can you add the address here? Thanks!

      • Vicki says:

        Sure. Keep in mind though, I specialize in high-end e-learning development. So, in addition to writing the courses, I also do the programming and 3d animation and graphics.So, my project fees are much higher (usually in the five figures because of the programming and 3d animation aspects) than a typical writing assignment.

        I do most of my blogging at elearningindustry.com.( in fact, I have a new intelligence trends report that will be posting there in a couple of days.) I also blog on my own site at Digitalwits.com.

        I also want to clarify that I don’t necessarily get that amount for each blog post. For example, I may write a blog post that results in no direct sales, but the fifth blog post may result in a project that is worth $30,000.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Wow, nice results there, Vicki!

      I’ve had regular guest-posting gigs that were great sources of referral business, too — that’s the sweet spot for blogging in my view.

      And of course, when you’re guesting on a big blog, you tend to write more sophisticated *articles* for them, yes? Not 300-word junk posts.

  53. John Soares says:

    Carol, I agree with both of your main points: too many freelance writers focus on writing their own blog posts when they should be marketing to high-quality clients, and too many writers focus on writing low-paying blog posts for low-quality clients.

    Over the years I’ve come across many freelance writing blogs with hundreds of posts that have few if any comments and few if any social shares. Some of these bloggers have put a couple hundred thousand words on the Internet. Just think where their careers would be if they had focused that time and energy on marketing.
    John Soares recently posted…How the Internet Can Hurt Your Freelance Writing CareerMy Profile

    • Allen Taylor says:

      Ha! John, you beat me to it. I’m one of those writers who should have been marketing instead of blogging. That’s why, when I kicked off my new business last year, I consciously chose to not blog more than twice a week. Right now, I blog less than once a week–only when I have something to say.

      And I am moving away from calling myself a blogger. I write articles. I just spoke to a prospective client who found me through an article I wrote on a third-party website over a year ago and who found a weekly column I write on a popular business website, which I get paid for writing.

      Instead of spending an hour or two a day blogging, I spend that time prospecting. And when I get a new byline, I add the link to my LinkedIn profile, which I use as my portfolio. I’ve acquired more clients in the last month than the previous three combined.
      Allen Taylor recently posted…How To Start A Freelance Writing BusinessMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Man, I’m glad you bring that up, John…if you’ve posted dozens of posts and no one’s ever commented…why do you do it? Stop and think about how you’re spending your time, and what you’re writing about.

      Also…promote your blog, if you want to build it! A lot of bloggers never do, and then wonder why they have no comments.

      • John Soares says:

        Carol, about three years ago I decided to spend less time actually blogging and more time promoting my blog posts on social media, and also networking with other bloggers. It made a big difference in readership and overall reach.
        John Soares recently posted…The Top 27 Ways to Boost Your Writing WillpowerMy Profile

      • Carrie says:

        That’s another good point, Carol. I cannot fathom why a writer would create a blog and write daily posts and not promote their work. Unless they are only writing a personal blog for a few friends, self promotion and networking is absolutely essential for any online writer to be successful. Some writers don’t like to self promote their own work, but it’s really not any different than promoting your own business. There are literally millions and billions of people internationally who might like your writing, but will never see it if you don’t promote it effectively.

        • Carol Tice says:

          There’s a place in this world for people who hate marketing — it’s at a day job.

          I’ve heard “I loathe marketing” from so many writers. Do you want to do this for a living? It involves marketing. Think about which you hate more, working for the man, or getting out and hustling gigs for yourself. And then decide what to do here.

      • melissa says:

        thought you said that you cant make good money blogging all these reviews im reading here there into the blogging for there business seems that they are making money doing that, I wrote Diarys and journals all my life and wrote about nature science stuff poems.

  54. I agree. I recently trashed all my blog-posts and decided to re-do everything from scratch because I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out. I mainly write articles as a passive form of marketing for my website. It was kind of discouraging the other day when one of my friends shared one of his articles on Business Insider and he doesn’t even work as a freelance writer! That made me realize that I should focus on getting my articles published elsewhere as well.

    Thanks for this article! It came at a right time because I’m completely re-doing my website.
    Timothy Torrents Writes recently posted…The Search for Eyeballs: Online Marketing ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, that’s pretty radical! I always say just improve going forward — I’ve never had the heart to dump anything.

      But definitely, you want to be getting published beyond your blog, ideally in a scenario where there’s an editor. Then you have a stronger sample, and prospects know there was a gatekeeper there you had to please.

  55. Hi Carol,

    Great advice. I was already applying this without really knowing as such, so it’s good to hear someone successful highlighting that I was accidentally doing a good job!

    Thanks for pointing this out,
    Jake.

  56. Amel says:

    I totally agree with your approach. I enjoy blogging and do it for both personal and professional reasons, but I never allow my blogging activities to take precedence over paying assignments and necessary marketing tasks that help keep a steady stream of paying projects in the pipeline. Neglecting your “real” work in favor of your blog is total madness and does not make sense unless the blog itself also generates a substantial amount of revenue.
    Amel recently posted…155+ Markets that Pay Freelance Writers 10 to 15 Cents per WordMy Profile

  57. Hi Carol

    It just so happens I recently interviewed six top UK copywriters for a forthcoming blog post of mine.

    These were all successful writers, who are highly in demand, have great client portfolios and have a strong search presence.

    Yet none of them were particularly prolific bloggers.

    While most felt it was good to at least keep their blog ticking over, they all thought it was far more important to focus on the things that actually got them money in the bank.

    As far as my own blog’s concerned, I don’t now write posts for months at a time. But, when I do, I try to contribute something meaningful, useful and valuable.

    And I’ve noticed a big difference with those longer in-depth articles/posts. You find you still get comments, shares and links a long, long while after you first published them.
    Kevin Carlton recently posted…10 super simple strategies copywriters use to find a sizzling-hot USPMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Exactly Kevin — post once a month on your personal blog. Spend the rest of the time doing writing for clients, or writing that *gets* you clients.

      So many writers get sucked into the whole “I need to post every day on my blog” syndrome, and it’s a disaster. You’re dashing off short half-baked thoughts, and really just spinning your wheels as far as building a writing career.

  58. Jane says:

    That’s really a piece of bold advice Carol. Even though it sounds counter-intuitive at the initial glance, I can totally relate with what you are saying.

    A blog could easily swallow a freelancer’s time and yes since the writer is also the editor of his/her personal blog, he/she cannot be “proud” of the writing – or can show it as a prestigious sample to the client.

    The times have changed a LOT and attracting traffic to a blog and THEN converting that traffic into clients is a tedious task since one has to churn out high quality content on a consistent manner – and for a freelance writer, since writing is his/her sole mode of earning, wasting that mode on writing for the personal blog doesn’t make sense.

    I appreciate you for putting this out Carol. Well done 🙂

    Cheers,
    Jane.
    Jane recently posted…Tutorial to add Google Analytics to your WordPress websiteMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well, I’m not saying don’t have a personal blog — just saying if you do, write it like a magazine. Not a diary you stuck on the Internet.

      You’re reading my personal blog right now, for example. 😉

      • Tess says:

        Hi Carol!

        I have recently subscribed to your blog and the first thing I read is this! It’s so amazingly informative and it got me thinking. I have a blog (lakwatserangparuparo.blogspot.com) but I also write for an online chronicle (Www.thepoc.net). But they don’t pay well. I would appreciate it if you can take a look at my blog in your spare time and tell me if I’m writing the right things. I live in the southern part of the Philippines.

        I appreciate your time reading this. Thank you.

        Warm regards,
        Tess

    • Diana Price says:

      This doesn’t seem counter-intuitive to me at all, but right on mark! To sum this up in the simplest terms, it STILL comes down to creating good content, not half-baked posts your rush through to get up as much quantity as possible, with no regard to quality.

      I sort of knew that, but really needed to hear it in straightforward terms.
      Diana Price recently posted…Woody Harrelson Can Play the Good, the Bad, and the Delightfully DerangedMy Profile

      • Diana Price says:

        And is this some kind of nifty plug-in for wordpress that pulls our photo and a link to an article from our blog in comments? I mean our “Personal magazines.” 😉
        Diana Price recently posted…‘Melancholia’ Artfully Mixes Pain and WonderMy Profile

      • Carol Tice says:

        I’d say it’s beyond ‘not half-baked,’ but doing the work of creating something that’s magazine quality — a piece with interviews, real data, fresh news and insights we haven’t seen elsewhere.

        You could spend all day writing a post that’s your opinion of something and it might well still be low-value. Or yet another post about how some basic thing is important to do that we all already know…or you could take the time to deliver something unique and useful to your readers, based on what they need to know from you.

      • Carrie says:

        I wholeheartedly agree that good content is where a writer should focus his or her efforts. Blogging can be considered good content if it is relevant to the blogger’s audience. I have been noticing a trend away from the short posts to longer posts that are more meaningful, which I am very happy to see happening. I’ve always enjoyed having a personal blog for my own creative expression but I never felt compelled to spend my personal time and energy writing a bazillion short posts to capture an audience’s attention, unless that’s what a writing job entails. A technique that has always served me well no matter what format I am writing is to think like my reader. What is my reader interested in? What does my reader like/not like? Some people don’t like reading lengthy pieces so they gravitate toward Twitter and short blog posts. I have been primarily a feature writer most of my writing career, so I prefer writing in depth pieces. I have also written plenty of short pieces as well but I really like to offer something thought-provoking, unusual and interesting with everything I write. More people (readers and editors) are now looking for content with substance, and that’s really a good trend to be a part of!

        • Carol Tice says:

          I think I scared some people with this post, but I’m with you — I love digging into an in-depth topic. Now, we just need to advocate for appropriate pay for these longer, feature-style blog posts.

    • Well, I kind of agree that blogging is a waste of time if you’re hoping to impress people, but:

      It’s a way of expressing your thoughts which is good for the soul

      Put a link in to your website and it will help your SEO. This is the main reason why I blog

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