Do you often wonder how you can make some darn money from blogging?
I mean you probably add content to your blog each week. You’ve even worked hard to create a loyal readership and in turn, probably become quite the savvy marketer.
Yet, you haven’t seen a dime from your blogging. In fact, it’s probably costing you money to host your no-money-making-blog.
Well, I’m telling you that you can make money from blogging quickly, but there’s a catch. You have to write on someone else’s blog.
You might be wondering, well can’t I make money from my own blog by using affiliate marketing or selling my own product?
This is true. But the reality is, it’ll take a long time to happen and it won’t end up paying the rent any time soon. Any revenue you do end up getting from placing ads or from selling your own product probably won’t compare to the financial opportunity freelance writing and blogging presents.
So how much money can you really make from blogging?
As a fairly new freelance writer and blogger (I’ve been doing this for less than a year), I’m making, on average, $100 per blog post that’s between 500-800 words. And let me tell you, it’s fairly easy to do. With a little bit of confidence to back you up and a desire to be successful, you can make this much money and more.
How I Started Freelance Writing
I’m a mother with twin toddlers. Needless to say, my days are jam packed with outings, playing, cooking and cleaning up after my little ones.
As a SAHM nearing the end of her maternity leave, I knew I had to go back to work, yet I couldn’t see how, with twins. Putting them in daycare would just eat up my paycheck, so it seemed pointless to leave the house to go to work.
My husband, who is an entrepreneur and has his own e-commerce business, mentioned to me there’s a lot of money to be made online. He suggested freelancing. I didn’t take him seriously at the time, but he started to plant a little seed in my brain.
I spent the next three months looking online for different types of freelance positions and consistently came across moms who were freelance writing/blogging and earning a decent income from it.
Freelance writing sounded appealing to me because I enjoy writing and it comes naturally to me. I also thought my background in parenting and education could help with discovering what my niches, or areas of expertise, could be.
So, I started reading different blogging and writing websites to get a better idea about online writing. Some of my favorites are:
Each website has a wealth of information and I learned a tremendous amount when I first started freelance writing. I also signed up to various newsletters in order to get as many free eBooks on freelance writing, blogging and social media marketing I could get my hands on.
A final thing I did was research specific freelance writers to see how they advertised themselves and what type of information they put on their website.
Branding and Marketing My Services
In order to start my freelance writing and blogging service, I needed a home base online, so I created Innovative Ink – my professional website where I provide information about my services and show off my portfolio. This makes it easy for potential clients to see what I have to offer. I also have a blog with tips for new freelance writers and bloggers.
As for building my brand, I made sure to open up several social media accounts and created an image for myself as a freelance writer for hire. I also created a Gravatar, which places your picture whenever you leave comments on other people’s blogs.
For the New Year, I took my branding to a new level. I rolled out with a new logo, tagline and redesigned website! It represents more of who I am and how I write.
My First High-Paying Client
Many new freelance writers tend to move towards content mill sites like Guru or oDesk for a gig. It’s easy to set up a profile and easy to score gigs.
The downside to using content mills is they pay very little and most of the work you do for content mill clients is ghostwritten.
When something is ghostwritten, you no longer have ownership of your content. In my new blog series, Freelance Writing for Newbies, I advocate building a portfolio with credible sources as soon as possible.
Although I, too, started on content mills, I didn’t focus my entire business on Guru. I started looking at other job boards that provided listings from reputable and higher paying clients.
Applying to freelance writing jobs was a big learning curve. I had no idea how to pitch, how friendly I should be and basically how to sell myself. With many trials and errors I refined my pitch and whaddaya know? I got responses! Yay!
My first high-paying client came from a Problogger job board requesting an automotive lifestyle blogger. I was on the fence about applying. I’m not familiar with cars and the ad wanted a person who could represent their brand as an automotive enthusiast.
My husband gave me a pep talk and told me it wouldn’t hurt to try, so I pitched to them and guess what? They interviewed me on the phone (which I figured I bombed), and the next week hired me to write blog posts for $100 per post.
I currently write 1-2 blog post a week, but will shortly move to two or more per week. It usually takes me under 1.5 hours to write one blog post of around 800 words. I have to work around my toddlers’ schedule so the only time I write is during their naps and when they go down for bed.
While I usually find most of my clients online, this January I’m collaborating with a few local clients as I continue to grow my freelance writing business. Right now, my hourly rate is around $50. My goal is to bump that up to $100/hr.
Action Steps for You
If you are interested in blogging for cash, here are 4 actions steps you can do right now if you already have a blog:
1. Create a Hire Me page. Be specific on what services you can do (blog writing, press releases, copywriting, etc…) and why they should hire you and not some other blogger.
2. Reach Out to People. Tell your friends, family and businesses around town you’re ready to work. I would approach web development companies first as they have many clients who need content written.
3. Start Practicing Your Pitch. While you can hunt job boards everyday, most clients who will pay top dollar for your writing don’t advertise.
4. Guest Blog. Having your own blog is a great way to showcase your writing skills. However, if you want to give your portfolio of work a boost, consider guest blogging on popular blogs. This helps give you credibility and shows you can write on varying topics.
Freelance writing and blogging is a great way to score some cash on the side. It could eventually turn into a full-time business.
For more info, my blog has great resources for new freelance writers and if you’re serious, you can inquire about mentoring or sign up to my monthly newsletter.
Elna Cain (@ecainwrites) is a freelance writer for hire. Her specializations include parenting, health and career advice. Visit her site to learn more about her services and grab your free copy of 8 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Email When Pitching to Clients.