Monday, January 19, 2009

To Blog or to FAQ?

Meet our guest blogger, Anne Wallingford, as she shares her musings on whether to launch a blog (She has at or focus on frequently asked questions about the business of freelancing (She has done that, too, at Anne is an experienced freelancer and an expert in permissions editing who integrates information from many sources into one viable marketing tool. She works with various publishers, development houses, and businesses to write and edit a wide range of material, including science articles, catalog copy, permissions, and journals.

My thanks to Bobbi for inviting me to write a guest blog. I’m fairly new to the blogging world; I’d put off undertaking this ‘new’ computer skill because, as I kept telling myself, I didn’t have the time. But once I caught up on my work and met my deadlines, I ran out of excuses for procrastinating. Except for one excuse that I think is still valid—my own web site.

I’ve had my own web site for several years now, and I’m proud of the fact that my site covers many different aspects of my life, from career through personal. There is one common thread though, that connects all the pages of my site, and that’s my love for writing. Which brings me back to my dilemma of blog or FAQ?

One section of my site is called Freelancer’s FAQ, and I’ve spent a lot of time and energy over the past few years in creating this page. My goal was to address many of the questions fellow freelancers have asked me, and topics include writing contracts & proposals, setting rates, and other issues related to the business side of freelancing.

Within the past year, though, I’ve had several colleagues say to me, “You should write a book” when I’ve told them stories about my work in permissions editing. Write a book? That sounds like too much work. Besides, would the people I wanted to reach ever buy the book? And this is when I started to think seriously about starting a blog.

With a blog, I could share my stories as well as important information about copyright and permissions. Since blogs are popular these days I could also tell colleagues about my blog and they would be more willing to browse to it for a look-see. My hope was that if I wrote something worthwhile about this topic, word would get around to others working in the copyright/permissions field and my blog would accomplish my goal of instructing while entertaining.

And that brings me to what I’ve found to be the biggest difference between writing my blog and writing FAQs for my web site. Writing a blog, for me, is like talking to someone, and offers a chance for immediate feedback. Writing a FAQ is definitely more ‘third person writing.’ So for now I’ll keep both my blog and my FAQ page. Hope to see you around at one of them!