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No Pen or Paper Needed: Becoming a Successful Online Freelance Writer

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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.

Freelancer, Copywriter, Journalist at Computer

Getting Started

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.

Finding Work

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.

Writer and his Content

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 RazorfishWhoIsHostingThis.comPowertofly.com and ProBlogger also employ freelancers and telecommuters. Getting picked up by a company that is not part of a traditional job portal means you can establish a more direct and personal relationship with your employer with no middlemen,

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.

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As an active entrepreneur and blogger, my topics of discussion are mainly on business strategy, tech startups and motivating others to succeed. You can read up on my latest content at BlogReign.com.

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Should You Aim for Blog Post Quality or Quantity?

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Both!

The human mind is silly. It thinks one or the other. It thinks you cannot have it all. You can have blog post quality and quantity but you need to make a clear decision on what you define to be a quality blog post.

Quality posts do not mean 2000 to 4000 word, pillar style masterpieces. A quality blog post answers the question you asked via title or delivers on the promise you made on the title.

I do understand how Google ranks 2000 word or longer, SEO-optimized posts requiring hours of work for even skilled bloggers to write, package and publish. But Google also ranks 600 words posts. 600 word posts are quality posts. Guess what? For the 30,000 bloggers out there asking the title question, I just wrote a quality blog post because they get a clear, concise, dead on answer.

Avoid Scarcity Thinking

Any time you FEAR posts are not quality because word length is 600 words, you think scarcity, or, not enough, or, not quality. But fear is not true. Fear is illusion. I can write 10, 600 word, quality posts today to make a massive impact and to help people IF I think abundance. But if I only believe I write quality, helpful posts in the 2000 word range, I stopped thinking abundance and began thinking scarcity.  I chose fear over love and abundance. Naturally, all bloggers who think scarcity either struggle, fail and quit or work like beasts just to make end’s meet. Not good.

Go for quantity and quality. Some posts may span 800 or 1000 words but you can answer most questions and solve most problems in 600 words if you have immense clarity. Seth Godin answers most questions in 100 to 300 words. You have so much more to work with. So…work with it!

Think abundance. Blog abundance.

Massive Exposure

I have referenced Gary Vee many times recently and his 2000 video interviews on YouTube. Before he landed world famous speaking gig he had a pure abundance mindset, doing videos left and right, offering quality insights on a high quantity of channels. Blogging fools would try desperately to land an interview on a TV show, pitching, fearing, worrying, striving, and wasting months of time, thinking scarcity. Gary thought abundance, seized every opportunity through interview requests from some entrepreneurs who registered zero views per video, gained massive exposure organically, and, the dude became famous through his abundance mindset.

He thought quality and quantity. He did not hold back.

I am beginning to gain massive exposure through the 5-10 guest posts and blog posts published under my name daily. I do not turn down a microphone. I also know the easiest way to become well known is to focus heavily on quantity and quality, to share the wealth.

Many bloggers would obsess over a quality post being 2000 words, SEO-optimized and all that jazz, spending 4 hours to write said post on blogging tips. Meanwhile, I just wrote and published 8 quality, 600 word posts during those hours. I am being seen helping people in 8 spots. While you are on the sidelines. Even if that SEO’ed out, 2000 word post gains massive traffic over the long term, via Google, I am gaining even more massive traffic, being in 8-10 places daily via my posts and guest posts.

Think exponential increase. Imagine my 10 guest posts building up over 365 days. That is 3,650 guest posts, 3,650 spots where I am spotted online. That is a lotta spots!

See why it pays to think quality and quantity?

 

 

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How to Leave Your Blogging Struggles Behind

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Exit your comfort zone on a daily basis.

Leave blogging struggles behind.

I love blogging. Blogging feels fun, freeing and quite easy to me. But sometimes, on this journey, my feelings change a bit. Sometimes, blogging feels uncomfortable and I nudge into resistance. Fear rears its head. Mental blocks arise. Sometimes I fear running out of time or perhaps I fear wasting my time. In these moments, I have 2 choices: remain in my fear-filled comfort zone or leave my comfort zone.

I left most of my blogging struggles behind because I choose to leave my comfort zone on a regular basis. Traffic, profits, and all manner of sweet blogging success greet bloggers who feel their fears, leave their comfort zones and do the blogging task, anyway.

What Is Blogging Struggle?

Blogging struggle is doing things or not doing things based on fear. Fear drives you. You blog from a fear-based, scared energy. You avoid traffic and profit and success boosting activities because you fear the opportunities. Example; you struggle horribly to make money and drive blog traffic. I advise to begin generous, relaxed, enjoyable guest posting, to help you increase traffic and profits and success. The split second you THINK about guest posting, you feel a range of emotions, from excitement, to happiness, then, from terror, to anxiety, to a general fear of wasting your time.

If 2 people visit your blog daily and you see zero blogging profits now, and you say “no” to guest posting because of some fears, you will likely struggle horribly, because you avoided guest posting to stay in your comfort zone of fear.

Traffic and profits sit on the other side of fear, outside of your comfort zone. No way around that one. We all pay a fear tuition doing freeing, success-promoting, uncomfortable things. I remember when Zac invited me to guest post on Blogging Tips. Fear invaded my mind. Would he reject my posts? How about if he hated my posts? What if I wasted my time? Would I be able to follow all the rules? Would he criticize me? Of course Zac is the nicest, kindest, friendliest iconic blogger on earth. He REALLY is, guys. He is an exceptional human being. But fear is irrational, distorting the truths of love, harmony and abundance.

I had to feel all those scary, intense fears, and keep blogging anyway, to write and publish my first few guest posts here. 800 plus guest posts later, I am still going strong. Why? I left my comfort zone those first few times and instantly began leaving blogging struggles behind.

Exit your comfort zone every single day. Do something that scares you. Do something that tests your limits. Publish a 4 paragraph long comment on a top blog, even if you fear:

  • nobody is listening
  • nobody is reading comments
  • nobody will click through to your blog
  • you are wasting your time
  • the comment won’t get published

This happened to me recently. I spent 15 minutes writing a 9 paragraph comment on Pro Blogger. But Disqus suffered some connection problems and prevented me from publishing the comment. I feared I wasted 15 minutes. But after feeling and releasing the emotion, I let it go, moved on, and devoted 10 minutes to writing and publishing the comment later in the day, when Disqus was working.

Struggles happen if you choose to blog mainly from fear.

Success happens when you nudge into these fears, toward your blogging fun, taking inspired but uncomfortable action on a daily basis.

Go for it!

Exit your comfort zone.

Leave your blogging struggles behind…for good.

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Focus on Things More to Leverage Your Blog Quickly

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Heresy!

What is the relationships guy talking about?

Blogging is a people business, right?

Blogging is one part people and one part things. Seriously. I learned this recently because if you depend 100% on people to build your blogging success you cannot possibly scale to massive levels. But if you do focus on things more, like email lists, and blogging platforms, you become less dependent on people, and also, your leveraging potential goes through the roof.

Email List Example

Let’s look at the famous email list. It is a thing. After you publish a blog post, you write a few words, include a link to your latest post, and after clicking a button, email the post to 10, 100, or 10,000 people….or more people. In a split second, you reach 10,000 human beings. Using a thing helps you leverage your presence like mad. Awesome.

But imagine if you only reached 10,000 people by mentioning people in your recent post, and tagging them on social media. Humanly impossible, of course. Let’s say you depend on even, 50 people, to promote your blog post, by mentioning them and tagging them. Linking to and tagging 50 bloggers takes a lotta time. Minimum, even for a 700 word post, it takes 90 minutes to 2 hours – or longer – to go the tagging and mentioning route. Do you see the problem of depending 100% on people and friendships to build blog? You run out of time. Meanwhile, sending your post to 50 email subscribers takes 3 minutes to send the email and literally, a split second to actually publish the email, at the click of a button.

Using Things Effectively Leverages Your Presence

Using email lists, blogging platforms for guest posting and certain tools leverages your presence fast because eventually, you run out of time trying to leverage your presence solely based on grabbing the attention of fellow bloggers. Plus you are at the mercy of humans, and building a fear-based attachment to fellow humans leads to misery because humans change, humans get too busy to promote you, and humans unfriend other humans.

I am for making blogging a people and things business. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the prior 2 months. Befriend people and enjoy the process, but if you want to leverage massively and sprint up the exposure ladder, tap into the convenience of technology by using things to reach more people fast.

At the end of the day, it is about helping more people freely. Use things – aka technology aka inanimate objects – to help people more freely and to help more people, too.

Exit Human-Obsessed and Things-Resistant Blogging Circles

I used to be part of blogging circles 100% reliant – virtually – on human beings, and heavily resistant to things. But none of these bloggers leveraged to big time, super successful levels. These bloggers railed against bots and joked of not using or being a blogging cyborg. All seemed funny. But on agreeing and following their advice I soon learned how incredibly difficult it becomes to grow a successful blog being 100% attached to and dependent on human beings to build the blog. Humans change. Things do not. Plus you cannot leverage humans like you leverage things.

While all these folks complained about emails and automating, they played so small that reaching next level success proved to be 100% impossible. But, I observed how using things like systems and tools will help you reach huge, targeted groups of people in minutes or even seconds. See the email example above.

Instead of complaining about or resisting tech, why not use things to make life easier, to leverage your presence quickly and to reach a huge, targeted group of human beings so you succeed and so people get what they want?

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