A lot of people are asking whether it is possible to make good money offering freelance blogging services.
The answer in one short word is – yes. (Who can forget that Jon Morrow charges around 3K for a blog post, I certainly haven’t).
Yes, it is totally possible. However, that doesn’t mean it is also easy.
Most of the successful freelance bloggers, including myself, who have gone down this path have only started making money after putting in a lot of effort and tons of hard work
You can’t start blogging today, and make money tomorrow – unless you are a celebrity or have major connections in the blogging industry that will back you and make sure you get noticed
Why I became a freelance blogger
I am obsessed with two things in life: books and Internet. That’s what I live on, that’s what I devour.
When I left my full time marketing/teaching job in the education sector to raise my kids, I did not know that I won’t be coming back for a long time. Things took a turn for the worse (story for another time) at home front and my life was literally changed for ever.
I continued to stay home. Then I thought I would teach in a primary school because the hours were shorter. I already had experience teaching Business Communications, Business Writing and Interpersonal Skills, but on a higher level.
I went back to Uni to get a teaching degree, and also started my blog, known as Marya Writes. This was two years ago. For two years, I pursued my post-grad degree, did my teaching rounds, looked after my kids and wrote on my blog.
I was following all the blogs that interested me – mostly blogs about blogging, writing and marketing. I learnt to write like an A-list blogger. I started paying attention to headlines and spent hours looking at how to make my posts engaging, compelling and share-worthy.
Within 6 months, I changed the blog title, moved to self hosted wordpress platform, and chose a minimalist theme for my blog. And I did not make a cent from my blog.
I only started offering my freelance copywriting (I have a MBA – Marketing) and blogging services this January. I slowly started landing work and now I am making half of my income from blogging projects.
Other success stories
Do you think I am the only one? No, I am not. A lot of freelance bloggers are sharing their success stories all over the web.
For instance, Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind did this post recently at Daily Blog Tips aptly tiled ‘7 Lessons from a Full Time Freelance Blogger’. Not to be outdone, Oni of Young Prepro followed up with his story ‘4 Smart Ways to Get Freelance Clients from Your Blog’.
And finally the last post that caught my eye; the post on Freelance Switch with the title ‘How to Become a Freelance Blogger’ by Leo Babauta. The Leo Babauta. I was still scratching my head until I noticed the words that the post originally appeared in 2007.
The Question is: why do you want to become a freelance blogger?
Ask yourself, why you want to become a freelance blogger in particular? Why not other forms of freelance writing? (I am assuming you are a freelancer so not debating if freelancing itself is the right choice for you).
To answer my own question, I ONLY read books or blogs. I am not a magazine or (unfortunately) a newspaper person. This is the style of writing I enjoy immensely. This is the way I connect with people. So it makes sense for me to do this.
I also have experience of working as a business writer and I enjoy helping others market their services. This allows me to offer blogging as part of my overall copywriting services.
You might have a preference for writing in other genres where the tone and style requirements are different, and could explore other options. Blogging is not easier, by any means. The kind that anyone can do, will earn you $5 per post – if you are lucky.
So you are still interested? Good, let’s go further then.
What you need to become a successful freelance blogger
You need your own blog, of course.
You need to have spent some time – months – developing content worth referring your potential clients and readers to.
You also need a niche. What sort of topics will you write about? If you intend to write for businesses in the health care sector, you could identify a niche and write about that. If you want to go after companies that sell software, your blog will naturally focus around that sort of topics.
You should have some sort of a testimonials page. This could initially include a list of influential blogs where you have guest posted on. You could quote what the bloggers have said about you.
By doing this you are not only providing clips (samples) for your work, you are also establishing yourself as an expert. You are saying to companies that you have the industry knowledge and you know what you are talking about.
You also need mentors. I have a few but one of them worth mentioning in this context is Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing blog. She has tons of resources on how you can make money blogging and always has great advice on offer.
And finally, learn why businesses need blogs so you could offer consultancy service on top of your regular services.
How to find companies that will hire you
You have done all the ground work i-e, you have been blogging at a professional level for a while, you have your niche and great content on your site, you have guest posted on a few A-list blogs and you have set up a Hire Me tab with the necessary information.
Now is the time to start approaching businesses.
• The only kind of business that can pay you well, will have substantial marketing budget. Mom and pop operations, start-ups, one-person shows generally can’t afford to hire serious freelance bloggers.
• You can demand higher rates if you are a subject matter expert. Your niche will help here – tremendously. Because of my higher education background, I specialize in writing for e-learning, online educational and training businesses. This also helps to keep things in check and avoid overwhelm.
• Understand blogging as a marketing tool for businesses. Be prepared to educate them about the benefits of blogging for business, if necessary. However, it works better if they already have a blog that needs regular content.
The steps are simple really:
- Identify companies that meet the two criteria detailed above.
- Get in touch with them and enquire if they hire any freelance bloggers.
- Highlight your experience, qualifications and what you bring to the table.
- Make the pitch about them, how you can help them attract more traffic, leads and convert them into paying customers. Spell out all the benefits.
So there you have it. That’s how I did it, And I would love to hear your thoughts. Do leave a comment. If you think this will help others, tweet it.
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