Are you a freelance blogger with a full-time job?
Wish you could write for a living but can’t afford to just yet?
If you answered yes, then here’s what I have to say: Good.
Wait. Did she just say good?
Let me explain. As a freelance blogger, you’re in a unique position to help your company succeed. And more importantly, help your career succeed.
Here are 5 reasons why moonlighting as a freelance blogger benefits both you and your 9-5 employer:
1: You think with your whole brain
It’s tough out there. Jobs are hard to come by and people are putting in longer hours.
To truly succeed you’ve got to stand out.
Luckily, you’ve got what most people don’t have. You can think with both sides of your brain — the creative and the logical.
You know what SEO and conversion rates mean (because let’s face it, a blog isn’t really valuable if you can’t measure how it’s doing) and yet you’re creative enough to come up with a unique angle for your next blog post.
Don’t believe me? Then you’re probably using both sides of your brain without realizing it.
In today’s world, it’s important to be a jack-of-all-trades, especially since companies are streamlining (and in some cases eliminating) positions.
When you think with both sides of your brain, you can go more places in your career. You’re flexible and trust me, flexible is where you want to be in a world where job descriptions change as often as people change their underwear.
When I graduated college, the economy was in the toilet. My first job was unrelated to my career in public relations. While I was looking for a job in my field, I knew I had to keep my skills sharp.
So I started blogging. As I began writing regularly, I became better and better at it. In that time I landed a job and it was my writing and marketing skills that led to several promotions. My bosses liked that I was a blogger — it showed I was committed to cultivating my writing, both inside and outside of work.
As freelance bloggers, we have a tendency to keep our 9-5 and blogging separate. We go to work and put in our hours, often without thinking of how we can apply the skills we’ve learned as bloggers to our careers (or vice versa).
Don’t hold back.
Take what you’ve learned as a blogger and apply it to your job. Offer ideas that go beyond your job description. Drafting content for a website? Ask who’s tracking web analytics. Suggest keywords that will improve the SEO of your company’s website. Trust me, your boss and colleagues will be impressed.
2: You look human
Let’s face it: when we blog, we’re putting our innermost thoughts and feelings on display for the entire world. Some may say that is a detriment to your career, but I say it can benefit you. Here’s why:
There’s no distinction between work and personal life anymore — social media blurred those lines a long time ago. Now everything you do can be seen by someone else. And that’s good for your career.
Think about it. People gravitate toward companies that are transparent and real. That goes for the company’s employees too.
If a prospective client or customer checks out your company on LinkedIn, comes across your profile and stumbles upon your blog, what will he or she see? They’ll see someone who’s relatable. A thought leader in the industry. Someone they want to work with.
Suddenly your company is looking pretty darn credible. And that’s good for business growth. Not to mention your salary — studies show experts in a particular field are usually offered higher salaries.
Your blog can also help you garner credibility among those inside your company. A few months ago I was talking with an executive about the power of social media and how to promote the company on LinkedIn. I wasn’t just giving him information I had read somewhere — I was speaking to my own experience marketing my blog.
3: You know what the real stories are (and how to find them)
You’re sitting in a meeting brainstorming new ideas for that next campaign and naturally, there are other people in the room competing with your ideas. But you’re not worried. Why? Because you know how to tell a freaking great story.
In my day job as a public relations specialist, I tell stories for a living. Every time I pitch a member of the media, I’m telling a story. And since I started blogging, I’ve noticed that my pitching has actually gotten better. I know which angles to take to hook a reporter, just as I know which angles to focus on in a blog post to appeal to my readers.
But will *your* storytelling skills translate over to your career?
Sure. After all, you’ve been telling your own story on your blog for a while now. That makes you experienced enough to give your company suggestions about which ideas will resonate with consumers and which ones won’t. And when your boss and colleagues ask you how you know whether a certain idea will generate interest, just point them to your blog. You’ve got real-life experience to back up your ideas, which makes you a walking case study.
Your company really should thank you (and maybe give you a raise too).
4: You make shit happen
Even though you work full-time, you found time to start a blog, didn’t you? You know how to juggle 20 different things at once and still have time to brush your hair in the morning (maybe).
Many people have trouble figuring out how long it will take them to do something. Or they spend too much time talking about what they’re doing instead of actually doing it. Not you. You immerse yourself in a project, get it done, and then you’re on to the next. You don’t waste a second — because that would leave less time for your blog.
Because you don’t waste time and you’re super efficient at getting your work done, your employer trusts you. And when you’ve got your boss’ trust, you have more flexibility. More flexibility = more time for blogging. You get what I’m saying here, right?
5: You know how to market yourself like a pro
If you’re a freelance blogger with a full-time job, you add credibility to your company — simply by association.
As freelance bloggers we can’t rely on merely writing posts. We need to market our blog to the public. People aren’t going to read your stuff just because it exists. You’ve got to make them want to read it. And that involves some good old-fashioned marketing.
How does that help your employer? Well, you can translate the marketing tactics you use for your blog into your everyday work.
For example, next time you’re on a new business presentation, you know which ideas to zero in on to really wow the potential client. When it comes down to it, marketing is all about effective communication and since you can communicate in a way others understand, well, everyone’s just putty in your hands.
Here’s the thing. We all have to market ourselves at work, right? We have to let our bosses know how our projects are doing and tout our own success. It’s all part of the corporate grind — and if you’re not marketing yourself, someone else could get the next big opportunity you deserve.
The same thing happens in the blogging world. If you’re not out there pitching yourself and your blog, you could miss the next opportunity to snag a great client or write a sponsored post for a blog targeting readers in your niche.
Next time you head into work wishing you could just stay home in your pajamas drinking cappuccinos and blogging all day (if only the life of a freelance blogger were that glamorous), think about how blogging has given you the skills to totally rock your job, help your company make more money and boost your career.
And the further you get in your career, the more opportunities you’ll have to do what you really want to do — blog for a living.
Has blogging helped your 9-5? What tips can you share to help bloggers channel their skills into their day jobs?