Blogging is big business these days, but getting started on the path to success isn’t always easy if you don’t know where to begin. Once you understand what opportunities are out there, you’ll find that there are plenty of routes into freelance blogging. But first, let’s take a look at what that really means.cli
What is a freelance blogger?
Unlike traditional bloggers, freelance bloggers write content for other people’s blogs, rather than their own. This means that they don’t need to worry about the monetisation of their own site through things like adverts and affiliate marketing, as they’ll be getting paid for the blogs they write for clients. These are often businesses who have blogs alongside their main website to improve SEO or customer engagement.
Freelance bloggers sometimes have a specific niche they specialise in, or write repeated posts for the same companies over an extended period of time.
How to become a freelance blogger in 4 simple steps
There’s no set path to becoming a freelance blogger, but following these simple steps can help you to find your own way into a fulfilling career.
1. Brush up on your skills and be prepared
Before offering your services as a professional, you need to ensure your skills are up to scratch, as substandard writing will send your fledgeling reputation spiralling in the wrong direction. Whether that means taking a blog writing course online or interning with an agency, putting in the hours and building up your knowledge will do you and your career the world of good. However, at this stage, it’s advisable not to leave your day job. Although it might be a lot of work to use your free time to freelance in the beginning, you’ll eventually come to a point where you feel secure enough to write full time if that’s what you want.
You’ll also need to do some thinking about what areas you’d like to specialise in. If you have a niche you’re particularly interested in, it makes sense to hone in on it rather than stretching yourself too thin. Doing a bit of everything is fine, but you need to know where to draw the line, because if you’re not comfortable writing technical instructions for machinery, your clients will be able to tell.
2. Build a portfolio
Before starting your hunt for clients, you’ll need to build up a portfolio of work. This often leaves many beginners feeling stumped, after all, how are you meant to build a portfolio without clients? Well, you can build up a selection of work by starting your own blog, whether by using a free service, like WordPress or Blogger, or an alternative hosting plan at a low cost.
It’s important that all your posts are of a high quality and showcase your skills to their full potential, as you’ll have no testimonials to back you up yet. If you’ve already done some blogging in the past, you could use a portfolio website like Clippings.me to showcase some of your best pieces.
Alongside your own blog, you may want to consider guest blogging on established websites. This means approaching blogs that are accepting submissions and having your work featured on their site. You probably won’t get paid for this, at least not in the beginning, but it’s a great way to increase your exposure, especially if your name and contact details are featured under your posts.
3. Finding paid work
You might have already scored a few clients through your web presence or guest blogs, but it’s unlikely this number will be very high and it’s definitely not sustainable in the long term. But the good news is that there are a few different ways to find quality jobs, one of which includes guest blogging to bigger blogs that can afford to pay you for your submissions. This will be something you’ve had practice in, so it’s not a bad way to proceed in the beginning.
You can also have a go at cold pitching to various companies or publications. It can take time to get this right, and you may suffer a lot of rejections before you strike gold, but these types of jobs can pay more than others, making it worth your while.
For a chance at more regular work, agencies and job sites are your new best friends. Agencies like Copify have orders ready and waiting for you to accept from their clients, meaning you won’t have to spend precious time marketing and pitching yourself.
Job sites like Freelance Writing Jobs and Problogger are a bit different, as you’ll have to apply to jobs that are posted or provide clients with a proposal. This can take longer, but it sets you up more as an independent freelancer rather than tied to an agency if this is what you’d prefer.
Eventually, after having used various third-party platforms to find work, you’ll be able to set yourself up as a completely independent freelance blogger with your own website. This will mean handling your own invoices and payments as well as drawing up templates for clients to make proposals via. It takes more work, but you’ll be more in control of how you work and what you earn.
Even when you’re starting to get a steady stream of clients, networking is essential to maintaining and growing your presence as a freelance blogger. Whether it’s creating a profile on LinkedIn, being more active on Twitter, or joining online support groups, it’s important to reach out to fellow bloggers and potential clients.
Building relationships with other writers can give you more exposure, especially if you share each other’s work or have public conversations on social media. You can also learn a lot from those with more experience, so don’t be afraid of asking people you admire questions about their freelance journey.
So when asking yourself how to become a freelance blogger, remember that you’re not limited to any of the routes mentioned above. In fact, you’re more likely to succeed if you try a bit of everything, especially in the beginning. There’s no reason to stick to just writing for agencies or cold pitching; instead, mix them both with guest blogging as well to build your experience and client base.