If there’s one rule about becoming a freelance blog writer is that you need to LOVE EVERY PIECE YOU WRITE and enjoy every topic you take up. But the cool thing about freelance blog writing is that you can do it anywhere at any time. So you can write late at night, during your lunch hour, or early morning, while traveling, or while sitting through a boring conference. The freedom to it is very appealing.
Freelance Blog – Starter Pack 2.0
So how to get started? Follow these tips:
Research. Research. Research.
To become an awesome freelance blog writer, you HAVE to know all about your topic. Once you’ve completed your research then start jotting down points and taking notes to make a complete structure of what you want to write. Each piece of good writing takes around 90 minutes – 3 hours so don’t let that research time go down the drain. Some of the best thinking is done while taking a shower, a walk or exercising.
Be a bookworm. You need to absolutely fall in love with reading, be it a book or a flyer or just the back of a shampoo bottle while showering. If you don’t then start reading because the more you read the more you expand your writing styles, thought process, creativity and vocabulary.
Don’t quit your day job. Even if you’d like to become a full-time free-lance writer and eventually quit your job, don’t do it just yet. Test the waters and sharpen your skills before you do anything drastic. We suggest free-lance blogging on the side for at least a few months (if you’re already an experienced writer) and for 6 months or more if you’re completely new to the game. Get good at what you do, develop a relationship with blogs that pay, and get a feel for the workflow necessary.
Create a blog. The first step to freelance blog writing is to create a blog of your own. This will serve as a showcase of your writing, and a way for you to practice your skills. Blog writing isn’t the same as writing for print – not exactly anyway. Many of the same rules apply, but you need to get a good feel for the medium before you ask people to pay you for it. Don’t just write any old thing on your blog – write high-quality articles that would serve as excellent samples to any potential employers.
Get noticed. No one will read your blog at first. Don’t expect the traffic to come immediately. But write great articles with great headlines; submit some of them to social media and you might get a few hits. If you get some popular articles, you could get some regular readers. Once you’ve got some subscribers don’t submit your stuff to the social media – let your readers do it for you. And they will, if the article is worthy. The effect of a popular article – or more accurately, a few popular articles – is big, in terms of becoming a freelancer. It gets you noticed by other blogs, and they’re your real market. Your personal social media handles are the perfect starters for getting an audience.
Guest blog. Another great way to get noticed. Write to a bigger blogger and offer to do a guest post. Suggest a great idea for a guest post, one that will do well for the blogger. Include links to some of your best posts as a writing sample. If you write to 10 good blogs (start with the medium-sized blogs at first), you might get 1-2 say yes. If so, rejoice! Now write an awesome post for them, with a link back to your blog at the end. Do a few of these and you’ll get a wider audience for your own blog, and even better, you’ll begin to get noticed more. And that’s how you begin to brand yourself as a good writer.
Write to good blogs. Once you’ve developed a brand for yourself, and gotten yourself noticed, and developed a good sample of writing on your own blog and elsewhere, take the plunge and write to some of the bigger blogs. Send a polite email, asking if they have any openings for freelance writers. Tell them a little about yourself (be very brief), include a link to your blog and a couple of your best articles. Offer to write just one article as a trial run.
Look on freelance job boards. Keep your eye open for blogs looking for writers, especially in a niche that you’re knowledgeable about. Feel free to post yourself as a writer looking for work, with a link back to your blog. Apply for a bunch of jobs, just to see what they have to offer.
Know your worth. Have a target per-hour rate that you’d like to charge. And charge a little below that when you first start, just to get your foot in the door. Once you’ve been writing a little while (a few weeks) at the lower rate, only take jobs at your higher rate after that.
Give your best. If you do get a freelance writing gig with a blog, or a trial post or two, be sure to submit your best stuff. A mediocre post doesn’t help the blog you’re writing for, and certainly doesn’t help you.
Meet your deadlines. This is an obvious one, but if you constantly miss deadlines, you will appear unprofessional. If we’re the editors with the choice of hiring one good writer who meets deadlines and another good writer who misses them, guess who we’re going with? And your reputation is all you have to go on.
Know your topic. It’s best to write about stuff you know. If you know nothing about a topic, you will probably look dumb. If you only know a little about a topic, research it like crazy until you know a ton. Writing about topics you’re already very familiar with will save you a lot of time, and will probably be a much better read. Love what you write and be as excited as you would be to write on a familiar topic. Your writing is everything you have to offer.
Professional details. As a professional blog writer, be sure to insist on a contract, and know the other details of a job before you start: the payment rate, when and how they’ll pay you, the desired length of the post, what format it should be submitted in, whether images or other media are required, the exact deadline, how to submit it, etc.
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