Speechwriters who blog tell exactly why they do it

In my last post, I confessed that my year-old blog on speechwriting has not brought me any business. I asked readers to let me know if their blogs brought them business and, if not, what value they saw in blogging. I got some great responses I’ll share with you now.

Ian Griffin, who writes a wonderful blog called Professionally Speaking, said that his five-year-old blog has generated about half-a-dozen inquiries from potential clients. But he sees many other benefits from blogging, including:

· “Establishing my professional reputation. Blog articles have led to speaking engagements at conferences.

· “An archive for articles and topics I find of interest, which I can easily refer potential clients, and others, to.

· “Participation in an on-line debate on speaking and speechwriting.”

Tim Hayes, an award-winning speechwriter who always has interesting things to say in his posts, wrote this: “I have been posting blogs for roughly the same amount of time as you, I think, and I’ve gotten about five or six paying jobs from people who receive them.“

But here’s the catch—none of those projects have been from those seeing the blogs on LinkedIn. They all have been from people on a self-built and privately maintained e-mail list, including past and present clients, those I’ve met at local networking events, and the like.”

That’s something I haven’t done and think it’s a very smart idea.

Colin Moorhouse, who runs “We Need a Speech,” a web site for freelance and corporate speechwriters, wrote this, “My speech writing web site is much more a traditional web site rather than a blog, and it’s fairly static, meaning I don’t post that many articles. That said, about 15 percent of my speech work comes as a direct result of my site, and 90 percent of my sign-ups for my online speechwriting course come via the site.”

Colin continues, “The other question to consider is do you pay a price for not having a web presence? That is much tougher to answer because you would never know. And that is precisely the point.“

On balance,” he concludes, “I think having some sort of electronic presence, even a relatively static one, is a vital part of your publicity efforts. If nothing else, it provides a marketing tool for your signature lines in your e-mails, as well as a quick reference link for potential clients who want to see your work.”

Rusty Fischer, author of Freedom to Freelance and eBook Promotion Made eEasy, wrote, “I think I went into blogging…to establish an online presence and generate leads, but more than that it was designed as more of a showcase and a place to close leads.“

All my prospects want to see samples, and as a ghostwriter/ghostblogger, I can’t necessarily show them 99 percent of my work so I had to show them something.“

In that sense, blogging has given me a place to post copious amounts of sample work…and if a client is wavering between me and another ghost and they at least give my blog a cursory glance—i.e. read a post or two or three—I feel pretty confident they’ll make the right decision.”

Rusty also mentions he doesn’t ask his clients where/how they found him and that they might not even know because he is “online at not only my own blog but at Guru.com and Elance.com…”

Echoing others, he concludes, “I can say this much with confidence: I feel in my heart I’d have a lot less work if it wasn’t for the blog …”

Allison Wood, a professional communicator and speechwriter, at letterperfectspeeches.com, wrote this: “Rather than a direct job source, I see my blog as maybe one of the best examples of my writing that I can offer publicly. The URL is listed on all my promotional materials and I know that folks read the blog as additional background material on me and my writing style…”

She continues, “Even beyond the label of “speechwriter,” I am a communicator before all else—and the blog is a wonderful way to highlight and finesse my communications skills free of assignment requirements or restrictions. I sometimes dread the ‘obligation’ but always delight in posting once I’ve hit on one of those ‘can’t-resist’ topics.”

Wonderful and insightful responses, and useful information too. I always knew my readers were smarter than I was. You’ve proved it yet again.

Cynthia Starks is a freelance speechwriter based in Central Indiana.

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