How do you get paid to blog - Copify 1

How do you get paid to blog?

In the last two decades, we have seen a global surge in the number of people who are able to make money online. In fact, every day we see new examples of people who have left the 9-5 in an office and get paid to work remotely from any location.

One group of individuals who seem to be part of this trend are bloggers. To many, blogging may sound like more of a casual thing people do in their free time in order to share their thoughts and let off steam.

Though this may be the case for some, blogging allows others to earn a full-time income and treat their blogging like a business. Well, if you’ve ever asked yourself ‘how do you get paid to blog’, here’s everything you need to know.

What you need before you start making money from blogging

How do you get paid to blog - Copify 2The first lesson you should learn when it comes to making money from blogging is that it will not happen overnight. You need to first get a number of things in place before you can even think about making your first pound online. Here’s a rundown of what you need:

  • A following. Most importantly, you need to have people who genuinely care about what you write and who actually read your work. Only after you have built an audience can you then look to monetise it.
  • A good writing voice. You first need to find your blogging voice and identify what sort of a writer you will want to be. This is essential to building a personality around what you write.
  • A blogging platform. You will, of course, need a professional site on which you can publish your articles and start to drive traffic. Here’s a useful guide to building your first blog.
  • Something to write about. Being a successful blogger means being able to continually pump out new and interesting content each and every month. So you will need a topic that you are passionate and experienced in, and which you can write about week after week.

4 ways to get paid to blog

OK, so once you have all of these things in place, it is then time to start thinking about ways you can actually monetise your site and start to get paid to blog. If you already have a solid audience, then you can now look at ways to make money from them.

But if your traffic levels remain low, you will first need to look at building up the number of visitors on your site. Either way, it never hurts to have an idea of how you will eventually get paid to blog. Here are some ideas:

  • Affiliate marketing. This is where you promote other people’s products on your site and then get paid every time someone clicks through from your site and purchases a product.
  • Banner advertising. Banner advertising, notably Google AdWords, is a simple way to monetise your site. You get paid everytime someone interacts with an advert on your site. You can also advertise space directly to companies for rather sizeable sums, depending on your traffic.
  • Sponsored content. Somebody might pay you to publish an article or to review one of their products.
    Selling your own products. Many bloggers now sell their own physical and/or digital products directly through their blogs.
  • Earning freelance writing work. A great way to make money blogging is to then be asked by others to write content for them after they realise how successful your site and your content is.

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This last point is important and is another great avenue to consider if you’re wondering how do you get paid to blog. Once you develop your skills as a blogger, you can then look down the route of becoming a more established writer. Some people may approach you directly to write for them, or you could reach out to find clients yourself.

Either way, your blog could be a great place to showcase your thoughts and your expertise in an industry and then pick up writing work elsewhere. For more information on this, check out this article here on how beginner writers find writing jobs.

No matter which routes you decide to go down, do note that you can make some serious money from blogging. In fact, some bloggers regularly earn six-figure sums each and every year from their blogging. Though there’s no exact answer to “how much do you get paid to blog?”, this article helps highlight the potential that exists.

7 steps to getting paid to blog

how do you get paid to blog - CopifyIt’s worth noting that not every blogger earns money the same way, and their journies to blogging success may all be different. However, there is a general theme that you can look to follow if you want to start getting paid to blog yourself. Here’s the basic 7-step approach.

  1. Identify a topic that you have experience in and would like to blog about
  2. Build a site where you can publish your blogs
  3. Set up social media accounts where you can promote any content you write
  4. Regularly publish insightful and thought-provoking pieces that your target audience will want to read (you may want to get a content creation agency to help you with this)
  5. Engage with others in your industry and help to promote your content
  6. Build up a regular following on your blog
  7. Decide on a strategy for monetising your blog and selling to your audience

Remember, getting paid to blog doesn’t happen instantly, and instead means commitment and dedication to writing great content and promoting it effectively. It also requires you to read up on industry changes and learn important lessons, such as how to write well-optimised copy.

But, with a little bit of effort and determination, there’s no reason you can’t build a following and start upon your own exciting blogging journey. You may then have the freedom to travel the world and earn your income from your laptop in any location you choose. Others have done it and so can you.

 

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5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 5

Revealed: 5 glaring reasons people are not reading your content

As you may already know, starting a blog is one thing, but getting it off the ground is quite another.

Building momentum requires a certain set of techniques that apply to your core website along with your published content. Unfortunately, a staggering amount of bloggers often fail with the latter, which often leaves their articles largely unnoticed by the masses.

As an editor, today I’d like to focus on the main reasons people are not reading your content as much as they should. And while there are dozens of potential factors, I’d like to focus on the five main issues causing the most damage to your long-term success as a blogger.

Your content is half-baked

5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 6I tend to accept the occasional guest post on one of my blogs, and most of them are actually pretty decent. Sadly, sometimes I’m forced to reject a piece even after the blogger in question took the time to write and submit it.

This is due to the fact that the article isn’t exactly helpful to my audience.

As a result of properly monitoring what gets through, my readers are always appreciative and receptive of all published articles.

On the other hand, do you think visitors would stay in the long-run if these pieces merely scratched the surface?

Here are some characteristics of half-baked content:

  • A blogger makes a bold claim but doesn’t reference an authoritative source
  • Tutorials leave readers with more questions than answers
  • The article’s formatting is excessively poor
  • A 2,000-word topic is condensed into a 600-word blog piece due to laziness
  • Bloggers don’t link to the product or service in question, forcing readers to manually search for it instead

If you truly want people to stick around, refrain from publishing shallow content and give these pieces all of your mental ability.

Don’t hit “Publish” until you have exhausted every possible option and solution and blow people’s minds every single time.

Your content doesn’t cover anything new

5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 4Just for the record: an article doesn’t necessarily need to bring something brand new to the table. If your blog post is dedicated to describing technical terminology, such as in SEO marketing or web development, for example, you want to ensure you focus on accuracy rather than uniqueness.

That being said, a traditional piece (which focuses on tips and advice) should always find a new angle to stand out from the rest.

For example, there are many published articles listing “websites to find writing jobs” out there. It’s common to see the usual suspects on these lists, but sadly that’s where the post author usually calls it a day.

Instead of just building another list, perhaps you could also teach some ways to pitch your skills and explain what you can bring to the table. How about publishing the Dos and Don’ts of applying to such jobs? Or perhaps offering a list of RSS feed readers so that users can stay better informed about the latest entries?

You get the idea. Always strive to rise above the noise; otherwise you’re merely another blogger repeating everything the last one said. Nothing more and nothing less.

You spend more time crafting than promoting

5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 2This is perhaps the most common mistake bloggers make. In fact, I occasionally fall victim to this trap myself, but it’s important to snap out of it and do things properly…

You see, it’s often much easier to write article after article because we feel safer this way. It’s certainly less intimidating than putting it out there, asking others to share it and potentially receiving negative feedback as a result.

I get it, I truly do…

However, remember that your blog is effectively your online business. As a business owner, you have to accept the fact that not everyone will be happy with your offerings – no matter how great they may be.

And, assuming that “fear of promotion” isn’t the issue, you still have to dedicate more time promoting regardless of circumstances.

Here’s something I highly suggest you start doing after publishing a new piece:

  • Spend at least one hour on social media instead of merely dumping your link and moving on.
  • Comment on your followers’ social updates, resharing their content and being a good sport in general.

In addition, get to know them on a personal level. Did you get a new follower? Don’t just accept him and move on; send him a personalised email and shoot the breeze. You don’t necessarily have to talk about business, but rather get acquainted and put yourself on their radar.

Repeat this behaviour as you gain new followers and ask for reshares when warranted, kindly reminding them that you recently did the same for them. Since you two should be more acquainted at this point, many will happily comply.

Your blog is frustrating

5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 1

Sometimes I visit a blog and have no choice but to leave and never come back, despite how much I enjoy its content. This is normally due to at least one of the following reasons:

  • The overall format makes articles hard to read. Paragraphs are too lengthy and/or there are no images or bullet points to break the monotony.
  • The font is too small. I occasionally resort to making my browser screen bigger (by using its built-in zooming option), but why would I need to do this in the first place?
  • The blog is unbelievably slow. A rule of thumb is to ensure all content loads in 1-3 seconds, at most. Sources like Pingdom can help you identify slow pages as well as their main causes.
  • The blog asks me to do something by force, such as sharing or “Liking” the content in order to read an article in its entirety.
  • A pop up keeps showing up every single time I visit a page or post, instead of simply detecting my IP address or installing a cookie to prevent further nagging.

Suggestion: visit some of your favourite blogs – as well as popular ones in your niche – and draw inspiration from them. Don’t do anything they aren’t doing.

You’re not establishing enough relationships

5 reasons people are not reading your content - Copify 3You have surely heard about the importance of networking. As cliche as it sounds, it is by far one of the best ways to drive quality visitors to your content.

It’s simple logic if you think about it. Let me give you this quick example:

You’re acquainted with big names such as Brian Dean, Neil Patel, and Darren Rowse…

Thanks to the effort you’ve put into your posts (by following the aforementioned tips), one day they decide to casually mention you on their own blog. They write some great things about you and that post goes out to their mailing list and/or social media.

What do you think will happen as a result of all this? Whether you receive 50 new visitors or 10,000, you’re still coming out a winner here.

Now, do you think this would have happened if you weren’t acquainted with anyone whatsoever? Of course not.

That’s why it’s so important that you become more social – not just on social media, but everywhere in general.

Suggestion: make a big list of authoritative blogs in your niche, save them to your browser’s bookmarks and develop genuine interest in them. Interact, comment, send them a quick “Hello” email; let them know you exist.

Rinse and repeat. Never stop.

Going forward

The main takeaway here is that gaining loyal readers takes work and effort. Whether you’re merely looking for tips on starting a blog or have been publishing for a while, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and treat your blog like a business — because it is.

I would love to hear additional tips from you. What other techniques have you implemented to gain more readers and increase loyalty over time?

 

Noemi Tasarra-Twigg is the editor of Splashpress Media.

 

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how to become a copy editor - Copify 2

How to become a copy editor

As a copy editor, you might work for a publishing company, a magazine or even a small business, or you may set up your own business and work for authors as well as a variety of different companies. It’s up to you which way you go and will depend on your skills and experience, and quite simply, your preferences.

But if you’ve never worked as a copy editor before, how do you get started? Read on to find out how to become a copy editor:

First of all, let’s talk about what a copy editor is…

What a copy editor does

how to become a copy editor - Copify 3A copy editor is someone with a high degree of accuracy and an excellent grasp of the English language (or whatever language you work in), grammar and punctuation.

Copy editing takes an author’s draft novel, a magazine’s article, or any other form of copy and turns it into a final finished product that’s ready to be published.

A copy editor checks for grammar, spelling, errors, repetitive phrasing, inconsistencies, missing information, missing words, and more. They check that the piece is easy to read, suitable for its audience, completely accurate, error free, and the best finished piece it can possibly be.

Does that sound like you? Does finding all those errors and correcting them set your grammar nerd heart aflame or are you bored already at the idea of painstakingly going through manuscripts and other pieces of copy for the rest of your life?

If you’re bored already, chances are this isn’t the job for you, but if you’re thinking you could do this and it might just be what you’re looking for, read on!

How does copy editing work?

A copy editor will first look over the copy as a whole to check everything that’s needed is present. Is the copy finished? Is the index or table of contents complete and does it match the chapter titles throughout the piece? Are there any images or graphics to go with the copy, and are they all present and correctly listed in the work?

The copy editor will then remove any redundant or unwanted formatting, set up the pages, fonts and spacing correctly and produce a stylesheet to work from.

An overview of the copy gives the editor a good idea of what the piece needs before they begin to focus on the tiny details.

how to become a copy editor - Copify 1

The copy editor will then go through, as above, checking for grammar, punctuation and spelling, passive voice, paragraphs and sentences that are too long, use of exclamation marks, bold and italics, etc. They’ll fact check, sort out numbering, make sure everything is consistent in terms of punctuation marks and tenses, and look for consistency in description. That last one is particularly important in fiction, where no one wants to find the character was called Nancy for the first 3 chapters and then Nelly for the rest of the book!

Think you’re done there? Afraid not. A copy editor needs to also look at the piece as a whole, including the structure and if the piece reads logically and in the right order.

  • A copy editor will check if a glossary and a bibliography are needed, look at the placement of those items and any appendices, check clickable links work, make sure headings make sense and check if there are enough of them to break up the piece and make it more readable.
  • Illustrations, images, graphics and tables all need to be properly labelled and captioned, and a copy editor will also check that they’re in the right place in the text and that the copy adds to the inserted elements rather than just listing what the tables, etc, already say. A good copy editor will also know if the graphics, etc, are of high enough quality for the web and for printing, and will check that permission has been given for use, or licenses bought, and that any acknowledgement wording is present and correct.
  • Dates and references and quotations, oh my! Copy editors have a very good eye for factual errors, inaccurate quotations, incomplete references, wrongly spelt names and more.
  • A copy editor will also need to know enough about the law and about the company or publishing house standards they are working to so that they can query or flag anything that’s a problem. Copy editors will note plagiarism, obscenity, incitement to racial hatred, libel, and copyright breach, as well as picking up on house rules, such as particular subjects that the publisher won’t accept.

Here’s a handy copy editing checklist from Writer’s Digest to get you started.

That’s only some of what a copy editor might do, but it should give you an idea of whether the job is for you.

If you’d like to explore other types of editing, either to expand what you can offer clients or because you think you’d like to try a different editing job, read our earlier article on what you need to know howto become a freelance editor.

Copy editing courses

Looking at the job description above, that’s a whole lot of knowledge you need to have before you can become a copy editor, so here is a list of courses that should help you get started:

What writers look for in an editor

how to become a copy editor - Copify 4Obviously, no matter who you work with, they’ll expect you to have the skills outlined above in the job description, but in varying degrees to suit the role. Fiction writers, for example, usually have less need for glossaries, bibliographies and references, though there are exceptions there, such as high fantasy or science fiction novels, with detailed world building.

You’re also going to have to be very good at working with people and at persuading them to consider and accept your changes. Writers – particularly fiction writers – can get very attached to their words and you’ll need to be able to listen, suggest, and be adaptable to bring the copy to an excellent finished state.

You should know that fiction writers also get very attached to their characters and their worlds, and can be sensitive to criticism. Not everyone’s like that, and in fact, some writers will tell you to be brutal and to utterly shred their work to make it the best it can be. That’s why you need to be adaptable and a brilliant people person to do this job.

Writers want someone who is reliable, accurate and can keep to deadlines, but also someone who understands their genre and can work with their writer’s voice and style to polish it to excellence, rather than out of existence.

Getting started and finding jobs

You’ll first have to decide whether you want to work for someone else or set up on your own as a freelance copy editor.

Either way, you’re likely to need a degree in English Language, Literature or Journalism, as well as taking practical courses like proofreading to give you the skills you need, and any experience you can get is likely to stand you in good stead, too. Perhaps you could do some free chapters for a few authors or work for a favourite charity to get some practice in.

If you want to work for someone else, it’s a case of applying for jobs like you would with any other career. You’re likely to be up against quite a bit of competition, and you may need to take an entry-level position to get started, before working your way up.

If you want to work for yourself, you’ll need to set up a website and build a portfolio showing examples of before and after copy that you’ve edited.

After that, you’ll probably want to find your own clients by pitching to companies or authors. Another place where you may have some success is Copify.

Think about what type of copy editing you want to do. If you love reading fiction, it makes sense to work in a publishing company or with authors directly, rather than wading through technical and legal copy that would have you poking your eyes out with a sharp stick within a few months. Play to your strengths and your interests to find the editing job that’s right for you.

 

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How to break into freelance writing - Copify

Ever wanted to know how to break into freelance writing?

Freelance writing can be a fantastic and fun career, with plenty of freedom in the way you manage your life and your time. It does, however, have a bit of a reputation for being hard to break into. One of the reasons for that is that there’s so much advice out there on the internet – much of it conflicting – that it can be difficult to know who to trust and how on earth to get started.

The other difficulty is that there isn’t just one way to get your freelance writing business going. We can’t give you a neat and tidy checklist that works for everyone, where if you follow all the steps in order and tick everything off you’ll have the freelancing career of your dreams in 90 days. Sadly, that checklist doesn’t exist. It can’t, because there are so many different paths into the writing business – as many different ways as people who want to do it.

You could look at that as a negative thing. You could get stuck on the fact that it’s not neat and tidy, and all sewn up in a bow. Or you could re-read that paragraph above and take away the huge positive that if you really want to write for a living, there is a way in that will work for you.

1. What do you want to write?

One of the best things about a freelance writing career is the huge variety of things you can write and people you can write for. If you’re bored with what you’re doing or want to learn something new, then there are so many more options out there to choose from. When you’re looking at how to break into freelance writing, the first thing you need to do is decide what type of writing appeals to you, and what type of companies you want to work for.

How to break into freelance writing - Copify 4

So, what do you want to write? Blog posts like this one for different companies? Magazine articles? Travel blogs? Business writing, like web copy and white papers? Long form sales copy letters? Technical writing, such as maintenance manuals? The list really is endless.

What topics are you knowledgeable about or good at researching, and what do you enjoy writing? You could choose a niche and only write finance articles, engineering blogs, or books on pets, or you could choose to be more of a generalist.

Then consider what sort of companies you’d like to write for. The big corporates are often the ones with the huge budgets, but does your style of writing fit with what they want, can you adapt to their tone, and will you be happy forcing your writing style into ‘management speak’ if you’re more of a chatty, ‘write as you speak’ blogger type?

Startups can be great fun to work for and highly appreciative of your writing skills, but do they have the budget to pay your going rate?

Ideally, what you want is a good balance of interesting work that you enjoy and will want to keep doing from companies that have the budget to pay.

At first, you may need to take work that you don’t enjoy quite as much in order to get started, bring in testimonials, and more importantly, money! But eventually, you should be able to shape your freelance writing business into something that suits you down to the ground, where most of your jobs are the type of writing you prefer to do on topics that you enjoy.

You can read more about the different types of copywriting in our blog post.

2. Start where you are

How to break into freelance writing - Copify 3You could spend 3 years taking a technical writing degree before applying for tech writing jobs, or you could start off writing on subjects you already know you can do now to bring in money while you learn on the job, get those all-important testimonials, and build up your portfolio and experience, while taking a degree part-time.

It really is up to you but starting now with what you have will get you earning money and building your business a lot quicker.

If you don’t have any experience or really don’t know what you want to write, try signing up to a site such as Copify, where you can find a variety of job types on different topics for a whole host of companies. You’ll gain experience, find out what jobs you enjoy doing, and start to build your testimonials and your confidence.

Why not check out Copify’s guide on how to become a copywriter?

3. Talk to other writers and follow their work

One of the best ways to learn is to follow what successful freelance writers are doing. They’ve already done what you want to do, and if you keep reading and learning from them, you can shorten the time it takes to build your own successful business by avoiding their mistakes.

How to break into freelance writing - Copify 2

Check out our blog on the top copywriting experts to follow.

Don’t be scared to chat to other freelancers and build relationships. Join some writers’ groups on Facebook, read the posts and learn from them, and comment when you can to help out other writers. It’s a great way to learn, you’ll feel a sense of community and know that you aren’t on your own, and as your reputation grows, you may even get referred work when other writers have too much on.

Here are three groups that you might find useful:

This is a paid option, but you could also join Carol Tice’s Freelance Writer’s Den. It’s around £20.00 per month, but the forums are highly active and incredibly helpful, and you can get advice from Carol herself on your website and your pitches. She also includes a whole range of courses inside the Den that are perfect, whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been writing for years.

The Den isn’t open all year round, but sign up for Carol’s newsletter from her other site, Make a Living Writing, and you’ll be notified when it’s open. You’ll also learn a great deal from her site for free, so do take the time to browse and learn.

4. Build your portfolio

This is where it can get tricky, because if you don’t have previous writing experience, how do you get a portfolio to show potential clients?

Well, there are some solutions to that, too:

  • You could start a blog and use your posts as examples of your work at first
  • You could guest post on other people’s blogs and include those in your portfolio. Check out Kissmetric’s guide to guest posting or Quick Sprout’s video below on the subject of how to find guest posting opportunities.
Courtesy of Quick Sprout
  • You could approach a local charity or two and write some posts for free to get clips
  • Approach some local businesses and offer to do some work for a lower rate to build your portfolio. And if you’re wondering how to put a portfolio together in the first place, our article has you covered.
  • After all that, it’s a case of learning to pitch and market to your ideal clients, then continuously learning to hone your craft.

Building a freelance writing business is a marathon, not a sprint, so buckle up and settle in for the long haul, creating a career and lifestyle that you’ll love.

 

Main image credit: Mabel Amber
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