Do you think you are capable of producing compelling content, are somewhat along the lines of a grammar Nazi, meet deadlines, cater to a vast array of audience and reach out to people? Then why are you still struggling to hang onto your job for a pittance of a paycheck or find a new one in these dreary times? Fire up your laptop, get a high-speed internet connection, spruce up your ambitions and there! Be the owner of your own business.
Your writing skills alone are not enough to make a cut however, until you incorporate an efficient strategy to turn your penchant for prose into a full-time freelance blogging business. If you are a newbie, you need guidelines on how to start from ground zero, build your own portfolio and start earning money and to avoid pitfalls that befalls bloggers. Start in on these tips for starting your freelance blogging business and find a middle ground for success and prosperity:
1) Identify Your Niche
Don’t be the jack of all trades. The uphill battle to master proficiency in myriad generalities is not everyone’s cup of tea. You’d do better to identify a genre that suits your style of writing and build your authority in it. Prove your competency in a given industry and gain leverage over writers who have an eye for those clients and be eligible to demand higher payments. If you stick your foot the right way inside a particular market and grow your value subsequently, you can secure higher profits in the long run and land fat paychecks.
Your ideal work would be an intersection of what you like to do plus what generates your freelance income. Be it web copy or writing for magazines, stick to what you do best. Writing for topics you are already familiar with, also helps save time and research resources.
2) Build a Portfolio
Your clients can’t dream of your writing prowess. Freelance bloggers get hamstrung when they have got nothing to show for it. When you bid for freelance jobs or approach a client, the very first thing they’d want to see is your writing samples. Try to show the clients your mock-up works which are pertinent to the industry of the client.
Getting noticed is the Steppingstone!
The best way to communicate your writing expertise and provide a practical demonstration of the skills you flaunt, maintain your own blog first. Aspire to produce top notch content that appeals to the audience. This is the best way to catch the eye of prospective clients. Do not share your work to social media sites yourself. Build a readership that does that for you. This establishes the authenticity and the credibility of the author.
Do Guest Blogs
Another viable solution for freelance bloggers is to post to a bigger guest blog. Offer invigorating content and intriguing topics to carve out a place in the guest blog. Try to embed links to your blogs whenever possible without seeming overwhelming for attention. This serves as a referral machine. This will ensure a wider audience for your own blog and if that happens, rejoice! A client might soon be on the way.
Develop a Website
Radiate professionalism! Build a website for your freelance blogging business in addition to the blog to demonstrate your commitment to what you do. For non-geeks, it is extremely convenient to build a website on wordpress.com using any of their custom themes.
3) Put a Price Tag to Your Value
The prospect of setting rates is a dreary cloud, looming over the horizon, for most startup freelance bloggers but is in fact very simple. It’s ok if your first blogging gig is not very lucrative. It’s always prudent to keep your costs low at the beginning but once you have got the hang of things and know that your clients want you around, step up and generate maximum income!
You beef up your own paycheck in a freelance business and thus you set your own rates. For starters, dig deeply into what the other bloggers are charging for services, what the clients are willing to pay and keep adjusting accordingly.
4) Land A Client
The primal way to gain attention is to spread via word of mouth to friends and family. Don’t be abashed by asking them to refer you to any probable clients or companies in their networks, looking for freelance blog writers. You can also nurture online relationships with other people in the industry through social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
A lot of websites and blogs have job portals like freelanceswitch.com. Be sure to visit these portals as much as you can to stay in the loop about latest job postings. Look for prospective blogs looking for freelance writers in your niche and keep applying.
Set up a Profile on LinkedIn
Sign up on Linked if you haven’t already. It is the best way to foster strong networks and be on the alert for job postings and email notifications if something of your interest comes up.
Stick To Regular Clients
It’s also a good practice to keep going back to old clients. Time is money and each time you land a new client, getting to know them, coming up to their expectations and gaining mutual trust requires vigilance. Working with long term clients is very lucrative down the road and promises a steady generation of freelance income.
5) Make Money
So now that you are all set up and your business is in bloom, it’s time to make the most of your credibility. Why not think up monetizing your blog while focusing on making it infallible. There are countless other ways to generating income via blogging than writing for other businesses:
Pay Per click
Have you paid attention to the previous steps and constructed your own awesome blog? Have you managed to inspire followers to yourself? If you checked off those former questions, you are ready to embed advertisements in to your blog posts.
Clients pay you to post ads to your blogs and anytime your blog visitors click on that ad, you receive a small amount. These PPC ads could be decent earners to your blogs. The more high traffic your blog becomes, the more money you make off PPC ads.
Web Advertisement Space
Another way to monetize your blog/website is to sell advertisement space to clients who are interested in reaching out to your follower base. Brands chose your blog if they believe you have a loyal reader base and they will get their money’s worth. The more mesmerizing your blog posts become, the more traffic is directed to you and the more your client benefits. The web ads could be placed in the header, footer or in the side bar of the blog so that not to become a nuisance for readers.
Sell Your Own Services
Successful bloggers can start mentoring or tutoring their expertise on their blogs. This not only promises monetary gains but also uplifts your repute. Any time you have something valuable to offer or communicate such as creative entrepreneur workshops or simply your own recipes like Nigella Lawson, post it on your blog. When people are in awe of your expertise, they would be overly keen to work with you in person and contact you.