Freelance blogging is a great way to meet your blogging costs as well as create a substantial and regular source of income. Elna Cain earns full time income as a freelance blogger
But first, what is freelance blogging?
Freelance blogging involves writing blog posts for other blogs and getting paid for them. The only difference between freelance blogging and guest blogging is that the latter involves contribution of content without pay, but instead you get backlinks to your blog.
The good thing about freelance blogging is that you get to command your own rates and choose how often you want to work.
However, freelance blogging is not about resting on your laurels. It’s a bit of a grind, especially during your initial stages in the industry. This is another online business idea that you can leverage on to make money online.
Companies and publications are constantly looking for ways to communicate with their clients, readers, and customers powerfully. And that’s where your writing prowess comes in handy. Typically, freelance blogging is one of the most effective ways to earn a full-time living from your blog.
It’s all about leveraging your skills and knowledge as a blogger to power the content creation process for your clients.
What do you need to become a freelance blogger?
Many new bloggers do not leverage this method at the thought of not being good enough, or “no one will hire me” mentality.
Something great about freelance blogging is that you do not need to be Neil Patel to be paid $500 per 800-words blog post. And of course, you do not have to be paid $500 for your first post either. You start small, build an empire and scale up your rates.
With freelance blogging, the following skills are not necessary:
- Technical experience,
- Design Skills,
- Coding Skills
- Journalism Career or
- Degree in English Major
You however need to know how to write for the web, and so skills like content writing, seo, copywriting and language proficiency are key to being successful as a freelance blogger.
You also need a promising portfolio website, ready-to-learn mentality, consistency and a little marketing savviness.
Six Steps to Starting Freelance Blogging
Step 1: Develop an Online Presence
You need to get known, even if a little. The easiest way to do this is to start your own professional blog, which I believe you’ve got one already. If you have followed all the tips shared in all the previous modules, then your blog has a professional touch already.
Publish one or two crazily useful blog posts on your blog. There is no need to write 30 sub-standard posts when you can use that time to create three professionally written blog posts. These three will act as your first samples, and they will prove beneficial in the long run.
To create stunning blog posts, follow the steps outlined in the Content Creation Module.
One mistake that most new bloggers make is not having their photos show up alongside their blog comments. For branding purposes, it is important that your photo shows up next to your comments. To ensure that it does, signup for a Gravatar account. You will need a wordpress.com to do this. Then upload your photo and edit your profile accordingly. It’s a five minute but one-time task, and very helpful.
Also, connect with others on social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter. While starting, I committed to leaving 5 blog comments on others’ websites daily. I did this consistently for 60 days. I read blog posts on my niche and left relevant, useful and engaging long comments on them. And since I was using an email associated with my Gravatar account, the photo that showed up each time I left a comment was consistent and boosted my brand.
Of course, I also amassed hundreds of visits to my website, and some converted to paid customers. The best part of this approach is that I created great connections, some ending up requesting m to write for them at a fee
Step 2: Build Your Portfolio With a Guest Post.
When pitching to your potential clients, you will most certainly close the deal if you include a link to a great sample published on your blog. What if you could point out to a blog published on Entrepreneur, Social Media Examiners, Copyblogger instead? The results would be overwhelming.
To take your freelance blogging business to a new level, harness the power of guest posts. Guest post on authoritative blogs regularly. This way you get to build a stronger writer platform to showcase your work. Guest posts increase your credibility, expand your reach and help you get noticed in the competitive and noisy online world.
Step 3: Outsource Clients
Some of the best websites to outsource clients and get your first paid gigs are Upwork and Fiverr. With Upwork, you need to learn how to make irresistible bids that get replies.
Here is our extensive list of Freelance websites where you can find clients when starting off your freelance business
Step 4: Get to Job Boards.
One of the best job boards to get clients is the ProBlogger Job Board. Only apply for jobs that you are comfortable with, and which match your skills, expectations, and knowledge.
Remember you do not have to work for pennies in a race to the bottom of the barrel
Step 5: Scale Things Up
Every process that yields results need to be re-done, refined and reproduced. You will learn a few things that won’t work for you, and some others that will. Learn from them and keep going.
You will at this point know if you should increase your rates or not. Most likely, you will, since you’ve ‘up your game.’
Read also: Ultimate Guide to Starting Freelancing
Learn new skills as well. Take courses in SEO, copywriting, email list building, content marketing etc.
Step 6: Start Pitching to Clients Directly
Identify the sites you wish to write for, find relevant contacts and cold pitch your ideas to them. Since you have a great portfolio with you, it shouldn’t take long before you get a high paying client. You have to send several pitches a week though. Reaching out to 50 potential clients weekly should be your aim.
To succeed with cold pitching, you need to write irresistible pitches.
Ultimate Tip: Be Reliable
One of the grievous mistakes I made while starting was not being reliable, and hence disappointing the clients and achieving minimal productivity at best. But what does reliability really mean in the freelancing world?
- Prompt response to emails
- Meeting deadlines
- Doing what you said you would do
- Clear and succinct communication
- Not making false excuses
- Following editorial guidelines
- Working to the client’s expectations
A good place to start is to set up your portfolio website if you haven’t done so already. Then write epic blog posts on some of the topics you would be freelancing on. Use these as your sample work while seeking guest posting and freelance blogging opportunities
Want to Learn More About Freelancing?
- Master how to make your work unique, create a well-known brand, find clients, and increase demand for your products or services
Understand what it takes to be more than the average freelancer
Turn professional and make a commitment to finding better clients and doing better work