One of the best ways to become a freelance writer is to start a weblog, or blog for short because it is very easy to get started and does not cost anything. You can set up your blog in ten minutes flat at http://blogger.com or one of the other providers free of charge.
Of course, just because it is easy to start blogging does not mean that it is easy to make money from your blog. Don’t expect to see any cash in your account straight away. Blogging for profit, certainly for the equivalent of a living wage, is an activity that will take time. It would be a good idea to get started as a side job or part-time activity while you are working on other freelancing options or doing your day job. However, given time and regular attention, your blog – or blogs – will grow into a viable business.
As a professional blogger, it is important that you pay close attention to how you present yourself in your blog. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, with more being set up every day. It is more than likely that there are already several hundred well-established blogs that are related to the theme of your blog and aimed at a similar niche market. It is therefore vital that the look and style of your blog appeal to your potential readership. If people find your blog difficult to relate to and have trouble reading it, they’ll swiftly move on never to be seen again.
Here are a few tips to make your blog more user-friendly and help you gain readers who will eagerly return to your blog again and again.
First, pay close attention to the format of your blog. Remember to KISS: “Keep It Sweet and Simple”! Visitors to your blog want to understand how to navigate their way through it right from the start. Most blogging platforms have similar formats, with links on the left or right margin, and posts listed with the most recent at the top. Make sure you use the links wisely. Only put links up that are truly related to the topic of your blog. The point is to give your readers additional information on your topic. Again, the KISS rule applies: “Keep It Short and Simple”!! There is no sense in overwhelming your readers with a mass of links to other sites; they will only click away from your blog more quickly and most likely not return again.
Secondly, think carefully before choosing the background and font colour of your blog. Although there are a lot of colours to choose from, it’s best to stick with a light background and dark text. Studies have shown that the human brain can process dark text against a light background better than a light text against a dark background. A black background with a white text might look striking, but readers might not want to read it for long. One other thing, stick to a solid background colour instead of trying to use a pattern or design because the patterns inhibit easy reading and are, quite frankly, annoying to the reader.
Thirdly, don’t just write and post your blog entries without proofreading and editing them first. Remember, there is nothing that reduces your professional authority in the eyes of your readership more than bad spelling and grammar. If spelling and grammar are your weak points, write your articles on Microsoft Word or a similar word processing program and use the spell-checker before you post your article. The Internet is still largely text-based, so make a point of learning commonly misspelt words and grammatical errors. Also, use the “Preview” button to see how your article looks before you post it. Finally, check how it looks once it is uploaded and makes any necessary edits until it is completely satisfactory.
Fourth, keep your blog fresh and interesting by posting at least once a day. With so much information available on the Internet, your readers may go elsewhere if you fail to keep them supplied with interesting daily content. If you don’t know what to write about, try posting a poll, a book or magazine review, a link to another blog, comment on a news story or post of list of helpful tips or useful sites related to your theme. Bear in mind that not every post has to be long and complicated; in fact, a stream of short and punchy posts is much better than less frequent but overly long articles. For the third time, remember to “KISS” your blog: “Keep It Short and Stimulating”! And commit to posting something every day.
By following these guidelines you will keep your blog readable and interesting and that will be attractive to your visitors. The more visitors you get, the more your blog will grow in importance, and that in turn will enable you to get a profitable return from your blogging activities. Just make sure you present yourself in a professional way and keep your readers coming back for more new content each day. Within a short space of time you will have be running a profitable blog and will be ready to move on to create another, and another, and another.