Every website needs content, so if you enjoy writing, and have the grammar and research skills necessary, consider a career as a freelance writer. The versatility of topics and jobs in the freelance writing industry are endless. You could focus on technical, blog or SEO writing, expert how-to articles, fiction e-books, or even product manuals and descriptions.
The startup costs are practically nil, because all you need is a computer. The internet is your handy source of writing tools, opportunities, and communities that you can use to help you all along the way. Working as a freelancer also means you must be able to self-motivate, work and solve problems on your own, and be highly organized.
If you plan to freelance as a small business, come up with a catchy name, and register it with your local government first. Once you have your business license in hand, set up a business banking account. From there, you should get yourself a website, and start a blog to illustrate your writing style and skills.
The main thing is to start writing. Create a few blog posts to use as samples. They can be about any topic; however, focus on your area of interest and expertise for the best results. There are many options for online writers; however, some pay well, while others do not.
Potential clients and employers will request samples of your work, so the first step is to get writing and build up an impressive portfolio.
Your Website and Blog
Your website is the most important initial investment to make in terms of building your writing career. A personalized domain name will make your marketing and branding efforts more effective, as long as you can get your business name in the .com form. You can find them for as little as $15 or less. Hosting plans are inexpensive, too, costing approximately $4 per month or more, depending on your choice of provider.
Creating a website is not for everyone. If you know you can write content, but have no clue about how to make a professional-looking website, consider hiring a website developer. You could also start with a simple drag and drop website, like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace.
Most writers use an online portfolio site, such as WordPress, Pressfolios, Clippings.me and Journo Portfolio to promote their freelance writing skills. You can link your portfolio site to your personal writing business website, as well. If you decide to go with a web hosting service like HostGator, GoDaddy or DreamHost, make sure they allow you to install your portfolio site on your website easily.
If you are unsure of what you want your website to look like, examine other writer’s sites to see what’s out there. No matter what you choose, focus on a clean, uncluttered website design with links to make it easy for potential clients to access your writing samples.
Many writers start out by networking to friends and family, or on social networking sites, like Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Many people have ideas for e-books, but don’t know how to write them, so you can make a lucrative living from ghost writing e-books and other types of publications, both fiction and non-fiction.
Many blogs accept articles from guest writers, too. They may not pay you at first, but the experience and exposure is invaluable. By building up a solid reputation as a guest writer for several blogs, you can make a decent paycheck.
There are many freelancing job sites available online. As a newcomer to any of these sites, your rates will need to start on the low side, but as you gain feedback and build your portfolio, you can raise them. Some of the largest include:
- Upwork: Internet job greats, Elance and oDesk, recently joined forces to create this enormous international network consisting of more than 10 million freelancers, with approximately five million job posts per year. Upwork is free to join.
- Freelancer: Another large freelancing site covering a range of workers, Freelancer has more than eight million jobs posted annually, as well as 20 million registered users. They have a number of membership options from free to Premium.
- Contently: A relatively new addition to the freelancing job market, Contently works exclusively with experienced writers to provide content and marketing for international businesses.
- Scripted: Although their application process is a tough one, their rates are higher than most, and they offer steady work.
- ArticleBunny: Another tough writing job site to gain entry to, once accepted to the ArticleBunny team, you get to set your own rates, plus you get paid for your revisions, as well. The job availability is low but rising as the site grows.
Remember that with the larger online portals you will be competing with more people for the available jobs. Some deeper online searching can also yield good results for online freelance work. Companies like Razorfish, WhoIsHostingTh
If you are new to freelance writing, consider doing it part time at first while you keep your day job, so you can test the waters safely. Once you acquire a steady following or a couple of loyal clients, you can consider going full time. If you love to write, the opportunities presented to you are endless. All you have to do is work hard and be organized, so you don’t miss those all-important deadlines.
1 Often Ignored Factor for Blogging Success
Successful blogging expands on a foundation of trust.
People must trust you before they hire you or buy your stuff. Bloggers must trust you before they give you admin rights to guest post on their blog. Zac Johnson gave me publishing rights 4 years ago. Over 1000 guest posts ago, he trusted me enough to offer me log in credentials and the right to publish posts on his blog. Did earning that trust occur easily for me. No; of course not. Hundreds to thousands of hours of blogging factor in to gaining both skills and exposure enough to land publishing rights on perhaps the top blogging tips blog on earth. But did earning his trust seem worth it? Yes, of course. I circle the globe as a pro blogger, living a life of fun and freedom. Publishing guest posts here factored into my globe trotting lifestyle.
New bloggers often mean well but seem deluded. Newbies believe they can guest post anywhere, land clients any time and attract eBook customers within days or weeks of buying their domain and hosting. Impossible. Why? Newbie bloggers seem highly unskilled and lack massive exposure. Makes perfect sense. If you have 40 hours of blogging practice under your belt, how can you earn any reader’s, customer’s or client’s trust? You cannot because you have no clue what you are doing yet, possessing few skills and virtually no exposure. Do not worry, newbie bloggers; put in the generous effort and time, and you will gain skills and exposure enough to be trusted, and with trust comes increasing traffic and increasing blogging profits.
Time to put my kindle down. Bought 2 books today on finding your writer’s voice. One is by @chrisbrogan and the other is by @RyanBiddulph . Reading them at the same time has been inspiring ideas through the ways they differ.
— Eric Cole (@EricColeBlog) January 22, 2020
Eric bought our eBooks because he trusts us. He trusts us because we both put in tens of thousands of hours practicing, creating and connecting, giving much of our lives to serving people and building our businesses. Note; Chris has been at this game far longer than I. We practiced, gain skills and exposure, popped up on the blogging radar screen, and more awesome folks notice us.
I did not kill myself by working myself to death, to gain trust and to earn credibility, but I had to follow my fun – blogging passionately – and nudge into fears to do enough creating and connecting to the point where I became skilled and known enough to earn credibility. This is the eBook of mine Eric bought:
At one point, this was the highest rated eBook in its category, with 59 reviews, almost all 5 star reviews. Why did Eric buy it? Why did it become the highest rated eBook in its category on all of Amazon? I spent thousands of hours writing, gained skills and exposure, earned trust and success flowed to me. No way could I write this eBook 2 weeks into my blogging career. No skills! No exposure! No trust! How could I teach people how to find your writing voice? I could only write 300 words back then before crying in frustration, LOL 🙂 If I could only write 300 unclear, not too confident, words, nobody trusted my writing or blogging skills. Every single blogger you meet struggles through a similar journey as a newbie.
Never overlook the trust factor. Practice your butt off. Create and connect for thousands of hours. Trust will come. Credibility will knock on your cyber door. Steadily earning the trust of more folks accelerates your blogging success and oh yeah, it’s definitely worth it.
How to Deal with the Overwhelm of Blogging Success
I am no blogging billionaire. Currently.
But some days, as success builds, I feel overwhelmed. How do you devote time and energy to blogging and live a rich life offline too? Do you feel overwhelmed by slow, steadily increasing blogging success? Even though experiencing success feels good, the increased responsibility may feel daunting. I love my gig. But in moments, I fear being up until 1 AM to complete my work day.
Follow these tips to deal with the overwhelm of blogging success.
1: Address the Overwhelmed Feeling as Being Fear
Feeling overwhelmed is fear, plain and simple. Feel the fear. Fear passes. Overwhelm vanishes.
All successful business owners need face, feel and release fears to accelerate their growth. Every successful blogger faces, feels and releases overwhelmed emotions to proceed from a calm, abundant energy. Face your fears. Feel and release overwhelm to proceed from a calm, peaceful energy.
2: Trade Overwhelm for Gratitude
Change your perspective. Trade the overwhelmed feeling for a feeling of genuine gratitude for money flowing freely to you. Even if you love your gig, taking on increased responsibility feels uncomfortable sometimes. But receiving more and more money for your increased responsibility frees you from financial stresses like worrying about paying bills. Dwell on gratitude. Overwhelm dies quickly in an appreciative environment. Making more money and largely enjoying the ride feels fun, good and freeing. Remember this any time overwhelmed, swamped emotions flood your mind.
3: Ask for Help
Hire someone to help with specific blogging tasks. Outsource. Hand off certain tasks to free up your schedule. Reduce overwhelm by hiring someone to help you or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement which lessens your blogging load. Hire experts to help you in your business. Outsource intelligently to relax, to leverage and to let go the feeling of being completely burned out with your blogging business duties.
4: Simplify Your Interactions
A few folks pitched me sponsored post opportunities today. I responded with 2 sentences. I used approximately 9 words and 8 seconds to respond to each email. Release overwhelm by simplifying interactions. Seven figure bloggers sometimes respond only to 1 or 2 sentence emails. Pros often respond with 1-2 words. Otherwise, pros become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of business opportunities flowing to their inbox daily. Use a few words to make your point and to dissolve the swamped feeling plaguing successful bloggers.
5: Reduce Interactions
Iconic, fictitious trader Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: “100 deals cross my desk every day. I choose one.”
As the sponsored post pitches, partnership pitches and overall work volume builds, you need to physically respond to only a small handful of engagements daily to leverage, to keep increasing your traffic and to keep increasing your blogging profits. No highly successful bloggers responds to 1000 plus interactions daily through email, Twitter and Facebook because you need to give most of your time, attention and energy to creating content and building bonds versus desperately trying to respond to every retweet, at least if you want your blogging business to keep growing.
Surrender. After responding to a handful of emails and retweets, let everything else go, to focus your attention and energy on what brings the greatest scale, what benefits the most people and what benefits your blogging business. Tony Robbins gives most of his attention and energy to inspiring millions through live seminars, through doing TV interviews and by writing books; he ain’t responding individually to 5000 emails daily. Be 100% committed to your blog and business growth by giving your time and energy to what matters most.
Do you need a nudge to become an author? Buy my eBook:
How About Helping Versus Pitching Top Bloggers?
I often get pitched guest post ideas from bloggers I do not know. Although I appreciate the offer I never take up these folks on their offer because I do not know them, their brand or anything they do. No way do I have the time to actually research the individual; I am a busy bee. Another email bites the dust. I either ignore the email or note guest posting closed long ago on my blog, then include a link to one of my eBooks, like this branding eBook.
Who guest posts on my blog? People who generously helped me, asked for nothing, expected nothing and relaxed. Relaxing is key. Bloggers who help me from a chill vibe often befriend me if they practice writing to hone their blogging skills. From there, opportunities multiply fast. Sweet backlinks on top blogs often flow your way. Traffic and profits increases slowly, steadily expand over time. Blogging buddies supply you with blog post ideas through their questions and problems. Everything grows because you helped top bloggers versus pitching them aka asking them for help. Even if you pitch a valuable guest post idea, the guest post idea serves no value unless you publish the guest post on a trusted, authority blog boasting a huge, loyal readership. Pitches seem worthless until content and links actually appear on top blogs, going live and public, for the world to see.
I often advise helping bloggers freely for months before considering any ask or pitch. Most times, blogging buddies invite you to guest post on their blogs. Blogging success flows to generous people because you get what you give. This is one of the advantages of blogging. Give freely, relax, trust in the process and receive easily. Place your needs to the side. Take care of your fellow blogger. Help them out via a retweet, Facebook Share or perhaps by promoting the blogger on your blog. Nobody needs to struggle blogging. Nobody needs to spend 4 hours daily sending blind pitches to blogging strangers. How about this? Spend those 4 hours patiently, persistently and generously helping people in your blogging niche. Help fellow bloggers to earn their trust. Assist fellow bloggers to befriend fellow bloggers. The split second you earn the trust of any blogger, you plant seeds for a beautiful, thriving, warm friendship. Gaining the trust of fellow bloggers inspires traffic and profits to flow to you. Forget the concept of pitching. I pitched 2 people during my 6 years of running Blogging From Paradise. One blogger pitch served as an experiment with an established, pro blogger and the other pitch served as the direct way to guest post for a 2 million member blogging community.
My 13,500 plus backlinks on Blogging From Paradise flowed to me after I pitched only 2 souls. Imagine that for a second. Observe the raw power of making friends, helping people, expecting nothing and being generous. Capitalize on the passive element of befriending bloggers through generous service. Tonight I will spend 90 minutes walking around my neighborhood. During that hour and a half, my blogging buddies will promote my blog and spread my word. Ditto for my 8 hours of sleep tonight; my blogging buddies grow my traffic and profits around the clock, adding an immensely powerful, passive element to my blogging campaign.
Being generous has some serious perks.
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