I talk to a lot of people on a regular basis who want to make money with the internet, and blogging is often the preferred method. While it is certainly possible to earn a living with your own blog, it’s a lot more work than most people anticipate, and the percentage of bloggers who stick with it long enough to make any real money is very small.
One of my typical recommendations to these people is to start building a blog of their own, but do some freelance blogging at the same time. Building a profitable blog takes some patience and a willingness to put in the effort with the hope of being rewarded for it in the future. Very rarely does a blog sprout up and become a big money maker in a short amount of time. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be making money while your blog is in the early stages.
For more the two years now I have been doing some freelance blogging for a wide variety of blogs, and it has been an amazing experience for a number of reasons. While there are some downsides to selling your posts to others, there are also a number of reasons that I think freelance blogging is a great option that should be pursued by more people.
Here we will look at 10 reasons why freelance blogging can be a great opportunity.
Although the money may seem like the biggest reason to work as a freelance blogger, I have found that the networking aspect has proven to be much more valuable in the long run. Most (although not all) blogs that pay writers are already successful. And many times the editor or contact person that deals with the writers has played a very large role in building that success. This means that as a freelance writer you will have the opportunity to get to know some successful and very influential people that have already accomplished what you are hoping to accomplish with your own blog.
Having a solid network is extremely important for bloggers, and this is a great way to make it happen. Many of these people are very busy and would be difficult to connect with through other means, but as a writer you are a major contributor to their success. Do a good job for them and they will take notice.
Obviously, getting paid is a good thing. The amount of money that you will be paid for freelance blog posts will vary depending on the blog that you are writing for, the types of posts that you are doing, and your ability to produce results. Some pay very small amounts that may not be worth your time, but others pay quite well. Personally, I started with some lower-paying gigs and worked my way up over time. This was a nice way to do it because the thought of writing for major publications was pretty intimidating at first, so I was able to improve my work and build my way up to it.
As I mentioned in the intro, making money with a blog takes time. I am a big believer in the need to develop your own assets and take care of your own properties first, but freelance blogging doesn’t have to prevent you from doing that. For many people not making anything as a blogger can be quite discouraging. If that’s the case, you can keep working on your blog and have some patience for it to develop at the same time as freelancing and actually see some income.
Most freelance bloggers are able to write posts as their schedule permits. I have had some assignments where I need to get a post published on a particular day of the week, but I could work on that post whenever I had the time. I found it helpful to work ahead and have a few posts ready so that if any given week I didn’t have the time, it wouldn’t become a problem.
With this type of flexibility you can prioritize the work on your own blog and fit in some extra paying work as you have time. Many blog owners that pay freelancers are very willing to accept posts with the understanding that it will be done as the writer has time.
Getting your name out there to readers can be extremely valuable. If you are writing for a blog that has a similar audience to yours, freelance writing is one of the best ways you can get in front of that audience. This gives you an opportunity to develop your reputation, and if the readers see your name attached to several different posts at various blogs in the niche, they will see you as a leader and influencer.
5. Link Building
Many blogs that hire freelance writers will include a brief author bio with the post that will include a link back to your site (this will vary from one blog to another, so check the details with the editor). This can be a very effective way to build links to your own blog. While you will get some click-through traffic from those links, the more important benefit is that you can build some strong links from blogs that have a lot of authority in the search rankings. If you write for a number of different sites this can add up over time.
6. Experience (as a writer)
Writing for other blogs can be a lot more challenging than writing for your own. At your blog you can write whatever you want, and usually that tends to lead to writers taking more liberties and being less careful. When you are being paid to write for another blog you will be challenged to do your best work in order to be asked to write again in the future. Plus, many blogs that hire freelancers have a large audience, so you know your posts will be seen by a lot of people. While this can be a little intimidating, it is a good challenge that will push you and help you to improve as a writer. Those improved skills can then be used on work for your own blog in addition to your freelance work.
7. Learn While You Earn
In addition to improving your ability and gaining experience as a writer, you’ll also learn some things about what it takes to run a successful blog. Most likely you will be getting some feedback on your posts from an editor, and that feedback can be priceless. You’re getting a great opportunity to learn from someone successful, get feedback on your own work, and your being paid for it.
8. Diversify Your Income
Even if you are already earning some money from other sources, like ad sales on your blog or affiliate marketing, freelance blogging offers a way to diversify that income. In situations like the current economy where advertising sales slow down in most industries, having some diversity can make your income more stable.
9. Learn from the Best
This has already been mentioned in some of the other points, but it’s important enough that it deserves its own point. Many of the people who will be running the blogs that you are writing for have already accomplished, or are well on their way to accomplishing, exactly what you hope to accomplish with your own blog. Don’t simply view the freelance blogging experience as a way to earn some extra money. Pay attention to the feedback that you’re getting and notice how they run their business. You can pick up a lot of valuable bits that can be used in your own work if you get involved with people who are already successful.
10. One Job Leads to Another
When I started as a freelance blogger it was basically an accident. I emailed a guest post to another blogger with the intent of getting a link to my blog and a little bit of exposure and he wrote back to offer me an opportunity to be a paid writer on a regular basis. After I had written a few posts for his blog I started to get emails from other blog owners who were looking for writers. And as I wrote for some of those people, it led to even more opportunities. For blog owners who are looking for content, finding qualified writers is not as easy as you might think. Doing a good job with one assignment can often lead to more work even without dedicating any effort to finding it.
What’s Your Experience?
Have you ever done any freelance blogging? Would you consider doing so in the future? If you’re looking for freelance blogging opportunities the best place to start is the ProBlogger Job Board. Also, you may be able to find some opportunities by simply contacting some blog owners in your industry. Focus on those that are clearly earning some income through the blog and try to see if they publish posts from multiple authors.