Approaching Blog Writing Like Freelance Writing

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to seek out new freelance writing opportunities. Things have been busy on a number of fronts and so I’ve been focused on maintaining what I have and doing the best job I can with the work I have in front of me. That’s taking up enough of my time and there’s little extra to devote to researching how best to pitch editors and sites with ideas. That’s alright and it’s likely there will be an opportunity to get back into that in the near future.

Of course I’m still writing. That much should be obvious. It’s just that instead of trying to package them up for someone else, I’ve been publishing them myself either here or on Cinematic Slant.

That is what these two sites are for, after all, to be a self-published portfolio of my work. They are meant to be representative of the kind of work I’m capable of doing. If someone reads what’s published here and would like to contact me about writing for them, that’s absolutely cool and I’m open to that kind of conversation.

In other words, as I’ve stated many times in the past, these blogs are part of an inbound marketing strategy for me. I’m hoping that building up a body of work – either my own stuff or the portfolio of agency and freelance projects I’ve accumulated – will bring in more work. It’s the very nature of “inbound” in that the point is to chum the water sufficiently to attract leads.

With everything I publish I work to be conscious of how it represents and reflects on me. A few weeks ago I was in someone’s office (helping them setup Tweetdeck and RSS, which was super-fun if you know me) and saw my Adweek author profile page open in a Chrome tab. The person I was helping had been checking out my work and had also recently followed me on Twitter. So I’m being evaluated.

That’s part of the inbound model, that you are the sum of what you put out there. Every new post, every new project, is another turn at the plate. Sometimes you’re seeing the ball well and are connecting with everything. Other times you’re gripping the bat too tight and trying too hard while nothing seems to work.

Just like in baseball, though, this is a long season. In fact it never really ends. Stunk up the place today? There’s another game tomorrow, another chance to be better.

So for now I’m treating these blogs like freelance projects, putting good stuff up that there’s no other outlet for at the moment. That may change, but it’s the model I’m working with. The option is not writing, or at least not publishing. And that’s not an option.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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