Are you just starting your freelance blogging journey?
Are you a little lost?
Perhaps you’re confused as to which advice to follow; there sure is a lot out there.
Maybe you don’t yet believe becoming a part-time freelance blogger is possible.
Or you’re not sure you’ll earn enough to make a living!
I’ve been using Cloudways since January 2016 for this blog. I happily recommend Cloudways to my readers because I am a proud customer.
Valid concerns, trust me, we’ve all had them.
Most writers have been where you are right now, me included, but hey, you’re reading my words!
This post is going to tell you how to become a part-time freelance blogger.
And remove those worrying doubts you’re having,
Are you ready?
Great, let’s do it.
1. Find a (Profitable) Niche
You’ve probably already seen contradicting advice with regards to choosing a niche. I know, I’ve read them all. Some say you must only write about something you love to succeed; others tell you never to choose a niche as you’re reducing your employment chance.
We can remove any confusion by answering the following questions:
- Are you becoming a part-time blogger to actually earn money?
- Will you be writing for other people while you build your own blog?
If it’s a yes, and a yes (it was for me), both opinions are wrong.
Sure, it helps if you like the subject you’re going to spend hours researching, writing, optimizing for SEO, editing, and perfecting before posting. However, that’s pointless if the niche isn’t profitable or if those employing you can’t pay you the rate you need.
My advice is to try the following:
- Choose 3-4 subjects you enjoy reading and talking about
- Do your research, ensure there’s a market need for them
- Dig deeper into each subject and choose your niches
- Make sure they’re profitable
Once you’ve found your profitable niches and are earning a crust, you can then choose one that YOU really want to write about. Now you can start your blog, building it over time, adding as you’re earning.
2. Research and Establish Competitive Prices
I hope you like research because you’re going to be doing a lot of it.
Quick and invaluable tip: Create a swipe file containing all you’re research from day one.
OK, onto the subject at hand.
Once you’ve found your niche/niches, set your price.
Now, you’re new. Does that mean you’re staring at the bottom and have to take what you can get?
Here’s something many bloggers forget to tell people, they did precisely that. Yep, even the great Jon Morrow didn’t start on a thousand bucks a post (and wouldn’t work for it now)! And Elna Cain was paid $1.62 for hers!
I’m not saying you have to do the same, and I’d prefer you started at the rate you want.
Start by researching writing websites, find writers in your niche and see what they’re charging. But be aware, writers who are advertising on these sites are usually pitching low due to high competition. Next, join a freelance community and ask them. You can also look at chat groups, and online forums can prove useful.
You’ve three methods of charging:
- Per Word
- Per Hour
- Per Project
Which you use is dependent on whom you’re working for. If you land a retaining gig or advertise on a writer’s job website, you’ll most likely be paid per word. Once you start landing clients based on your work, you should be charging per hour or preferably per project.
Regarding your portfolio, you’re going to need one, so let’s talk about that next:
3. Build Your Portfolio
You’re new; you might not have been paid to write anything yet, so how do you build a portfolio?
First up, every writer started where you are right now, so don’t worry, there’s a way around this.
It’s rare to be hired as a freelance blogger if clients can’t see what you’re capable of; your writer portfolio is how you convince them.
If you’ve yet to land your first paid gig, ask to guest post on websites connected to your chosen niches. Of course, these sites will request a sample of your writing before publishing, so select a relative topic, write a post, and then contact them.
Once you have a few published articles, create an account on LinkedIn and Contently and add your portfolio. Also, put your portfolio on your blog, with links back to any published articles.
Testimonials prove your worth, so always ask clients to provide them and put them on all your platforms. You can also show clients how effective your writing is by tracking shares and search engine rankings for your published posts.
All of this takes time, but that’s OK because you can raise your price and earn what you’re worth once you establish yourself as a proven writer.
4. Establish an Online Presence
Even if you are going to be a successful part-time freelance blogger, you need to establish an online presence. You’ll only make it in freelancing if you establish an online presence. And there are several strategies you can start with straight away.
Your blog is going to need a domain, so buy that first, preferably .com.
Sign up for any platforms you think will help your blogging career, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Each platform has its own style; familiarize yourself by reading other writers’ blogs and portfolios.
And there’s one proven way of establishing an online presence that every successful writer uses, branding.
Branding is how you’ll stand out and connect all your platforms together. Start by creating a logo and a website and use one profile picture for all your accounts. You can find freelance logo ideas on logo design websites and even create your entire brand and run it from the same platform.
Once you have your branding, treat your blog like a full-time job by creating a publishing schedule and then sticking to it.
This brings us to your next step:
5. Be Punctual and Realistic
It doesn’t matter how you’re being paid; the faster you write, the more you earn.
However, you’re not a machine, and if you put too much pressure on yourself, you’ll burn out. Trust me, most writers have danced on the edge of that particular cliff more than once.
So, be realistic with the number of words you can write or hours you can work.
Always give yourself plenty of time for research, writing, and editing. This way, you won’t let any clients down.
Use available tools that make your life easier, like Grammarly for grammar checks and Copyscape for plagiarism.
And check out one of my favorite writer’s posts, Henneke at Enchanting Marketing, on how to write faster.
Finally, stay present:
6. Network and Keep in Touch
The more you put yourself out there, the more people will notice you. For some writers, this is the opposite of why they started; after all, it’s just you and your computer, and for many writers, that’s just fine, thank you.
But if you embrace the writing community, yes, there is one; you’ll benefit from years of experience and make contacts that can prove helpful down the road.
Join freelance writing websites, comment on other writer’s and influencer’s work (always appreciated). Take a writing course, the best, have Facebook communities where you can ask and answer questions, and make contacts.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll build a helpful community that can support you on your journey on becoming a successful part-time freelance blogger.