Blogs are a great way to add fresh content to your website, which can show up on search engines when people look for your brand or the products you sell. For this reason, companies have started to use blogging as a major part of their SEO strategy. Having a blog on your company website is almost as important, you could say, as having a website at all.
This is a golden opportunity for writers like you and me. In this blog, we’ll discuss making money writing blogs – in particular, how you can do it. I’ve been writing professionally for over six years, and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with new writers.
Preparatory steps – get yourself all ready for success!
Can you get paid for writing blogs? Absolutely, but not unless you’re properly prepared. Preparation is the name of the game. Here are some steps you need to go through before you start looking for clients.
1. Pick a language
This blog is in English, but yours don’t have to be! English is the language of the world, yada, yada, but people greatly underestimate the demand for writers who speak other languages. You could write in French, German, Arabic, or whichever language you speak.
2. Hone your craft
Practice, practice, and practice some more. It’ll make you comfortable with the writing process, with the language, and help you improve your skill. Writing is a skill that’s developed over time, so don’t be in a rush to find work just yet. Give it a few months.
3. Build a portfolio
Now that you’ve honed your craft, you need some samples of writing to show your clients. They’ll want to see your portfolio so they can get an idea of how you write, and whether you’re a good fit for their company. These can be blogs on your website, Medium articles, or even GDoc links. Just make sure you cover a variety of subjects and formats.
4. Start blogging!
It’s easy to build a DIY website, and I strongly recommend that you do, and start blogging. This’ll help you get your brand’s name out there, make you look more professional, and get you started on the slow journey towards netting a solid viewer base, which’ll come in handy if you ever want to turn to affiliate blogging.
Finding clients and making money writing blogs
If you’re interested in making money by writing blogs, you’ll need customers – or rather, ‘clients’. That’s usually the hardest part, so here I’ve listed 3 different ways in which you can find clients. They’re in order of how likely they are to provide long-term work, from least to most likely.
1. Platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer
These platforms are usually referred to as content mills because so much business is conducted there on a daily basis. A lot of people view these in a negative light, but for a beginner, I think these are ideal. You can choose from an enormous range of options, fill out your profile details, and find work immediately. I’d suggest taking some time to review different websites and make just a few profiles, instead of creating a lot of them. 2-5 would be the ideal number, depending on how much chaos you can handle.
Of course, you aren’t likely to actually snag a job immediately, but keep at it for a couple of weeks and then you will. These gigs are generally low-paying, but the upsides are that you can find work quickly at a time when you really need motivation, and most websites like these have a system for posting reviews, so once you’ve completed one job, however small, you can get a glowing review that’ll help you find more work.
You’ll be charged a fee when you take on a job, and the site may charge a membership or subscription fee as well. I’d strongly suggest that you take an hour or two to understand how the website works and go through their terms and conditions, so you don’t accidentally end up in a T&C soup.
2. Facebook groups
Facebook groups are a godsend for writers looking for work. The platform is great for finding work and for communicating with clients, and it charges you nothing! Making money writing blogs has never been this easy.
You can join several groups and scroll through their posts when you get a chance, to see if any gigs interest you. Some popular groups include Copywriting Jobs, Freelance Copywriter Collective, The Copywriting Job Hub, Cult of Copy, Blogging Boost, Indie Writers Unite!, and numerous others. There are several highly-specific groups as well – for instance, country or language-based groups. And of course, lots and lots of groups where you can ask questions and find valuable advice.
A lot of people think time is key and try to bid or contact the customer as quickly as possible to try and snag the gig, but that isn’t how this works. Reverse the scenario mentally and see if you’d go with the first writer who approaches you! Quality is key. Timing is also important because you don’t want to contact someone after they’ve had a couple dozen people send their portfolios, but I think that’s more to do with how popular a post is. Generally, vague or small-sum posts get less attention, so I would recommend focusing on those early on.
3. Local clients
Now, local clients are probably going to be the hardest to find, but once you have some you’re likely set. It’s easy to find stable work and trustworthy clients if you go looking locally, and can meet them in person. And it isn’t always difficult! You could broadcast the message to your social group, for instance, and find some work through them – or work pro bono for them!
Good communication is extremely important in a business relationship, and with local clients, you’ll find fewer hurdles in the way. Working for clients near you may be different from working for clients around the globe – you could work almost completely offline, so if you live in a place that has poor internet access, this is ideal. A little-mentioned benefit of working offline is how good it feels. Writing on paper, especially, feels very luxurious.
Another benefit is that while your goal may be making money writing blogs, for local clients you may very well be the only writer they know, so you may be able to find a lot more writing work through them – including referrals. It’s a solid foundation for your career.
Extra tips to make sure you don’t suffer setbacks
Now that you’ve prepared your portfolio and started looking for clients, it won’t be long before you find some takers. If you’re good at what you do, finding work won’t be too difficult, because the writing industry isn’t quite as oversaturated as some others, once you get past the casual writers. Now, here are some tips you’ll need to make sure everything goes smoothly:
1. Ensure there’s good communication
Initially you may be eager to take on just about any gig you get, and I’d say that’s the right mindset, but be careful there’s no miscommunication. You don’t want to get yourself into a nightmare gig when you’re just starting out. Make sure you’ve understood the project’s requirements, talk to clients to build trust, and provide updates when necessary. You don’t have to be excessively formal either! Just be you.
2. Vet your clients
Once you have a few reviews under your belt, you can afford to be more choosy, and at this point, you need to start vetting your clients. Even if the communication is clear, you will occasionally come across clients who set off red flags. A bad attitude, abnormally high expectations, sexist or racist tendencies, etc. Be prepared to turn down a good offer if the person offering it is problematic. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Follow the same modus operandi
Have a routine or modus operandi that you stick to, because a lot of clients may be new to hiring a writer, and they’ll want to know what you’ll do next, or how you usually work. In such a case, giving them a long-winded, vague answer will probably scare them off. So have a clear routine that you can share with them. It’ll also help you stay organized if you tackle all projects similarly.
4. Consider specializing
When you find you’re earning enough, or when you start having to turn down work due to a busy schedule, it may be time to consider specializing. If you’re particularly knowledgeable about a subject, you can slowly move your work towards that subject, so in time you become a ‘specialist’. That paves the way for more fulfilling, better-paying work, because now you aren’t just a writer or a blogger, you’re a specialist!
So these were some of our tips for making money from writing blogs. Now, is blogging a good career? That’s a difficult question to answer because online trends change pretty fast. And are there other ways to make money from blogging? Yes, there are a few. However, from what I’ve observed, blogging isn’t really a ‘trend’. It’s more like social media in terms of its importance. Some businesses will treat it as a trend and some will choose to ignore it completely, but on the whole, I would say blogging is a pretty lucrative career (at least for a while). And hey, if things change in the future, you can always adapt. Because you aren’t just a blogger – you’re a writer.