In a world like today, where blogging is absolutely huge, there can be some confusion between blogging and freelancing, namely because freelance blogging is such a large sector in itself. The overlap between these two categories mean that the lines are blurred between the categories of ‘blogger’ and ‘freelancer.’
If you are a writer that earns money through their work, it is important to have an understanding of the difference between the two, lest you end up settling for subpar blogging jobs when you could be earning much more. Not only is the extra money an upside, but writing the way you are meant to is so much more fulfilling.
Both blogging and freelance writing can be done part-time in addition to a full-time job. Both can be done from the comfort of your own home, or whatever environment you prefer to write in. Neither require an enormous amount of education (well you need to know some basics about copywriting of course); just a laptop, internet access, and a way with words. And finally, both require a good command of the language you are writing in – who would hire a freelancer or read a blog with atrocious spelling and grammar?
So, what actually are the differences between the two?
Freelancers don’t just write blogs
Since so many company websites have blog sections these days, a lot of freelance work that is available happens to be about writing blogs. This means that, really, all freelancers should be very capable of writing blogs, but they should also be skilled in other genres and capabilities. For example, freelance writers can usually conduct research and study and be able to complete a range of pieces including blogs, articles, transcripts or manuscripts.
However, bloggers write blogs. This is just one style of writing, which tends to be more personal and stylised.
Blogs have a niche
Blogs, and in turn bloggers, often have a specific topic. In order to be a successful blog, it must have a subject that appeals to a certain audience. For example, there are blogs for cooking, blogs for pet-lovers, blogs for fashionistas, and so on. And so, bloggers also have a niche, or a field of expertise.
Freelancers, on the other hand, write on a whole variety of topics. As mentioned in the first difference, they are capable of conducting research on any given topic to produce a high-quality piece, no matter what the subject (almost).
Freelance is balanced
The thing that you will learn quickly as a freelancer is that not every job is a dream come true. Some jobs seem perfect, because they are on a topic that you enjoy or know a lot about, and perhaps the client has given you freedom of writing style. However, a lot of freelance jobs that come your way are disappointingly boring or dreary, but they are a source of income nonetheless. As a freelancer, you have to know how to write on command. Furthermore, the field is often fraught with disappointment when you get bad feedback from a client, or when you get turned down from a job.
But blogging is more about inspiration and freedom. Since the blog is yours to run, you can pour your feelings out onto a page and publish whatever you like. This is why freelancing can seem more difficult at first, but it can be easy once you get used to writing on command.
Blogs are opinionated
Similarly, to the above point, bloggers have freer rein when it comes to writing, and thus blogs tend to contain more opinions. In fact, readers often come to blogs to receive opinions and form connections with the individual blogger.
Freelancers have to be more discreet with their opinions. Since they are hired by clients, they sometimes have to conform to the ideas of the employer, and often have to present a neutral take when writing articles.
Despite the rather large overlap between blogging and freelancing, the two are quite different when you look into it. Although both encompass a certain degree of creativity and good writing skills, blogging is more independent while freelancing is more structured.
A lot of people try both over the course of their writing career, so don’t be afraid to step out and try something new if you think it will further you in your professional journey.