Working as a freelancer offers a lot of freedom and flexibility, but it comes with its share of hardships. You might get to go to work in your pajamas, but unlike your friends working for corporations, you have to hunt down every paycheck you earn. The worst part? Some clients may be late paying you, or they may not pay you at all.
Talk About Payment First
When a client wants to hire you for freelance work, one of the first things you need to talk about with that client is payment. You should discuss payment while you’re discussing the scope of the client’s project, because the two things are directly related. Let the client know how much each aspect of the project will cost, and how much the cost will be if the project grows larger.
Have the client sign a contract detailing the terms of the project, the payment expected, and the payment dates. Many bloggers or creatives ask for some amount of money up front. If you’re new and don’t have much of a portfolio, you may not feel comfortable asking for money before you’ve provided work. In this case, complete part of the project, and then send an invoice for that percentage of the price. That means if the client turns out to be hard to collect payment from, you haven’t devoted a week’s worth of effort on work you won’t be paid for.
Create an Upfront Invoicing Policy
Every freelance blogger needs to create clear, direct invoices. Many things need to show up on your invoice, some of which you may not currently be including. These are:
- Your logo
- Your address and contact information
- The invoice due date
- The time frame in which late fees start accruing
- The work that has been completed
- How you receive payment
You can develop a template with some of this information on it, either via a payment site like PayPal or by making your own. Being specific with how much each part of a project costs is helpful, too. If you spell this out for the client at the start of the project and then show them on the invoice, they’re less likely to quibble with you over costs.
Charge Late Fees
You’re a small business, and chances are it’s very inconvenient when you don’t get paid on time. So, charge late fees, and don’t feel bad about it. Plenty of businesses charge late fees. As long as you let clients know off the bat what your late fees are and how long you wait before you start charging, you’ve got nothing to lose. Plus, this lets clients know you’re serious about getting payment on time and that they shouldn’t try to take advantage of you.
Stop Doing the Work
Have you ever stopped paying your utility bills? The utility companies eventually cut off your services. If a client hasn’t paid you, and you still have outstanding work to send, don’t send it. Don’t do any more work for that client. If the lack of payment puts you in a bind, you can always look into payment options like factoring, which at least gets some of that money into your hands.
Send the client a firm message that you will cease working on projects until you receive payment for the work already completed. That way, at least you don’t waste additional time on an account that’s never going to pay you.
Send Invoices in a Timely Manner
Some businesses send out invoices on a certain day of the month, or every two weeks. This is a mistake for several reasons. First, you deprive yourself of payment for days before even sending out the invoice. Second, it gives the client time to forget about paying you between when you deliver the project and when you send the invoice. Third, if you’re only invoicing for part of a project, you’ll probably start the next piece before invoicing for the completed portion. So, send invoices within 24 hours of project completion, while it’s fresh in both your and the client’s mind.
Send Reminders Before and After Invoicing
Friendly reminders help you get paid faster without annoying clients too much. If a client hasn’t paid within a week, it might be because he or she handles bills on a certain day, or something similar. A reminder will put your bill back to the forefront of their thoughts, especially if late fees are on the horizon. By the way, keep sending those reminders. One might not cut it. Increase the frequency if the payment continues to be late.
Before you send a new invoice containing late fees, notify the client that he or she has 24 or 48 hours to pay the current invoice without the late fees. If this is someone’s first time with a late payment, be kind in your reminder. Assume the person isn’t intentionally forgetting to pay you.
Some freelancers who do ongoing work for clients send reminders before invoices show up. That gives clients time to get payments together or to put invoices on their payment calendars. This tactic doesn’t work with every client or every type of client, but it can be helpful if you’re dealing with someone on a long-term basis.
Set Credit Limits
Credit cards don’t enable just anyone to charge unlimited amounts of money. You have to build up to that spot, and many people never get past a very low credit limit. Adapt that strategy to your payment policy. When taking on new clients, let them know that you only do a certain amount of work before you ask for payment. This is their “credit” with you. The longer someone works with you, the more credit you can allow them to build up.
It’s tempting to get angry with clients who don’t pay, but remember that you must stay professional. Yelling at someone isn’t going to make him or her pay you any faster, no matter how satisfying. Keep sending those reminders, and keep a list of the clients who pay on time every time so you can work with them more in the future.
How to Increase Your Blogging Income Without Changing a Thing
Making more money from blogging is exciting and I figured out that’s what many of us want. The simple truth is that the more money you make, the more you want to make.
When my blogging income was below $1000/m, I lived in a small apartment with no car. As more money came in, I upgraded my standard. That also brought more responsibilities. I bought a car which had to be fueled and maintained, moved to a bigger and more costly apartment, etc.
I found out I could increase my blogging income without adding new money making channels. What you should know is that you cannot reinvent the wheels.
Over the course of times, wheels have been improved to gain more performance. That’s exactly what we will be sharing in this post.
How to increase your blogging income without reinventing the wheels
Recently, I must mention that I added new money making methods to my online business. This was mainly in the Cryptocurreny industry. But talking about blogging, there has been a remarkable increase in revenue not related to any new method.
Here are my tips that will surely help you grow your income without having to struggle with new money making methods and please, this works so pay attention.
#1. Find out what works for your audience
One of the things you must quickly do is understand your audience. Who are the people reading your blog and what do they want?
Once you get this very crucial information (maybe by running a poll or survey), you will be able to select from the numerous ways bloggers make money. You can’t be doing everything at once and expect improved results.
You may combine three or four money making methods on your blog. But a few of these should be generating more revenue for you than others.
#2. Scale that method that works and be smart
Now, if affiliate marketing is what works for you, you should invest more in this method. Train yourself and create more affiliate blog post types. The more you get into it, you’ll discover little tricks that will help boost your conversion.
One of the things I do in this domain is get in touch with creators of the products I promote for special bonuses for my readers. Needless to mention that this is a great way to increase affiliate marketing sales.
My email list accounts for a huge portion of my affiliate commissions. So I found out that while working toward growing the list with the right category of subscribers, I need to keep it clean to improve my email deliverability.
One of the products I promote has been doing exceptionally well. So I created a landing page just for it. The results were outstanding. I recommend you read this landing page creation guide by Sophie Krokida
I have generated quite a handsome amount from my blog with sponsored content and I was asking myself what do I do to scale this for more earnings. This brought me to coming up with my unique strategy that gives my clients more exposure and the result has been more income from the same activity.
Some bloggers are known for creating awesome products. If that’s what works for you, focus on creating your products and growing your marketplace. Don’t switch between different methods because you only end up being frustrated or getting very little results.
#3. Promote your blog
What I did that massively gave me more traction was carrying out activities that give my blog more exposure. While we all strive to increase traffic, not every traffic is worth it. Focus on targeted traffic to impact your conversion.
Here are the three main ways I promote my blog:
1 – Guest posting
By far, this is the easiest way to step out and let people quickly find your blog. While many folks focus on guest posting for the sake of SEO backlink (which should come as a bonus) I focus on providing value in my guest articles and connecting with readers.
I have landed many coaching and technical deals as a result of my guest posting activities. Like Ryan of Blogging from paradise, I know it pays to be consistent on some blogs, adding value and creating impact.
That’s why I do not rush behind guest posting on thousands of different blogs (which is good though) That is actually the posture of backlink mongers. But if you pick a few authority blogs, stick on them with helpful content, you won’t be able to avoid being noticed.
One of the main problems we face here is where to find blogs in our niche that are opened to guest posting. You may want to check out this massive list of blogs that accept guest posts in different topics.
2 – SEO (Search engine optimization)
My natural traffic has been on a steady rise, which is a good thing. Though Google and other search engines are on a constant move, stick to SEO best practices will always keep you safe. SEO is hard and at the same time, it is the best source of traffic that converts to customers or clients.
There is a lot to be said about SEO. I will recommend you check out this guide on SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers
3 – Social media
Social Media Marketing isn’t any new song except for newbies. But here there are some errors to avoid:
- People try to be on every social media platform at once, which is wrong.
- Users hit and run. They don’t create time to interact with followers. Another error.
- Many don’t track results. So they would never know what works for them.
- The constant use of sharing apps is an issue. You must create time to connect on those platforms and spend time on them. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram give preference to users who actually visit and spend time around.
I just shared with you the three main things I do to increase my blogging income without necessarily trying to do something new. Again, you have to pick up what works for you, develop strategies to scale it and promote.
These will certainly help boost your online earnins
How to Monetize Your Blog Using Finteza
Monetizing a blog has always been too overwhelming for an average person to figure out. Too many options, platforms and networks. Too many percentages, numbers and terms to qualify.
Whether you are a new or an experienced blogger, it is always that question “Am I doing enough”?
My dream has always been to set up own independent program without any middleman. After all, if we want to own our content, why wouldn’t we want to own its monetization? I would be willing to select who I advertise and how as well as how much I want to charge.
But how to report to advertisers? What kind of click-through to promise them? How to sell your own ads and own the reports and click fraud protection?
This question had been haunting me for ages until I came across a platform called Finteza and it looked like it was going to solve all my problems.
Finteza allows you to create advertising spaces on your site which will serve your created banners based on your created schedule.
How To Set Up a Campaign
1. Add Finteza Tracking Code
The first step would be adding Finteza analytics to your site which works exactly the same for any analytics suite you are installing: You just need to grab your unique tracking code and paste it to your site the way it appears on all pages.
Here’s an easy way to add code to header or footer of your blog in case you were lost.
Note: Finteza claims it won’t slow down your site as it is using a distributed network of servers. I haven’t had any issues with my page load time with Finteza running in the background.
2. Create Your Ad Zones
Ad zones are actual spots on your site where your ads will be served.
To add a new zones, go Websites – Settings -> Ad Zones and click “Create Ad Zone”.
Give your ad zone some recognizable name (e.g. footer, right sidebar, etc.) and select “Use banner width” and “Use banner height” for its dimensions.
You’ll be given a code to install exactly where you want the ad to appear. I simply used WordPress widgets to put the code and then dragged the widget to where I wanted the ad to be served.
Create as many ad zones as you want / can. You may want to test many ad placements on your site to create your price list and know what to promise to your advertisers.
3. Create Your Campaign
Now, proceed to “Campaigns” tab to set up your campaign:
- The campaign name (This could be your advertiser or project name you are promoting),
- Time period you want it to run. This is very helpful if your advertiser only paid for a certain period of time versus a recurring payment. You can even set up time of the day this ad will be activated (which frankly I am not sure when one may need to do but this option still seems impressive).
- User agents (I simply add all available, as a rule)
There are also some advanced settings which I find very nice to have (especially if you run your own project ads and want to serve to a certain type of audience):
Now you will need to select the ad zones to serve the ads in. Again, for testing purposes select as many zones as you have: You will be able to use Finteza’s analytics to compare how your zones perform.
Mind that if you add several websites to your Finteza account, you’ll be able to manage multiple campaigns across multiple sites of yours from one location which is very neat.
4. Create Your Banners
Next you will be able to create your “Advertising group”, i.e. specify your target link and add your banners.
Creating banners is a fun process: You upload your creative, add your promo message and select your CTA. The resulting banner will be generated and it will fit all kinds of dimensions and screens. This is done for responsiveness: These auto-generated banners will scale depending on the size of the screen and still look nice.
You can edit your banners later at any point if you choose so.
Again, there will be performance stats available for all your existing creatives, so the earlier you start the more data you will collect, in terms what seems to engage your audience better.
Once you follow all the steps, simply activate your campaign from “Campaigns” tab and you are done! If you scheduled your campaign to start immediately, it will run right away. Simply open your site and double check everything looks ok.
Collect the Performance Stats
Now, before you have willing advertisers to invest in your site, do run your own campaigns. This will allow you to collect all sorts of data on best ad placement, demographics of your audience, your click-through, etc. This will make your call for advertisers much more effective.
Once your advertising campaigns start running, you will be able to collect all sorts of data including:
- Your audience demographics
- Articles from where ads were clicked from to
- Your ad engagement based on the traffic source
- Your click-through depending on the ad location and CTA
All the reports are real-time, you can see current performance stats on any of your campaigns the moment you set them up.
Again the tool is free, so there’s nothing really preventing you from giving it a try.
How to Sell Your Content and Create a Separate Source of Income
Bloggers produce tons of content on a weekly or even daily basis.
Is there any way to monetize that effort and create an additional source of income?
There are many ways to sell your content online, and I am listing some options here.
Implementation can still be tricky even if you have a strong vision of your requirements.
Offering your audience an ability to buy a premium content download for a one-time fee is the most common way to monetize your site. It is easy to set up and requires no development budget. You can simply use PayPal buttons to collect payments and offer a download link.
You will have to expand your content for it to be indepth enough to justify the fee. Text Optimizer is a great way to do that. It uses semantic analysis to extract related concepts from Google to prompt you to cover them in your content to achieve a higher score:
Text Optimizer should be used for both private and public content development as it does a great job helping you optimize for searcher’s intent and driving your content research.
With this model, users have free access to content until they reach a certain limit. This could be the amount of time spent on the site, or the number of articles or videos viewed. Newspapers have been trying this model for a while and it seems to be working well for them.
This is actually a good strategy as users have free access to low volumes, allowing them to consume some of your content before having to decide whether they want to pay for more or not.
Do keep in mind that if you try this method, Google will only be able to access and index part of your content, so your SEO may be at stake here. Plus, you really want to produce high-quality content for this method to work.
Leaky Paywall is a nice freemium plugin that helps you monetize your content creation efforts with the metered paywall method.
Paywalls can be presented at a certain part of an article, after a free trial, or may be metered and only appear after a specific number of pages have been browsed. Most newspapers use a metered paywall, allowing them to generate more revenue from ads, rather than preventing visitors from consuming their content.
This model allows users to subscribe to a membership site for a fee, typically billed monthly or annually. This gives them access to all content for the subscription period.
Suppliers using this model generally don’t use advertising. When members have paid their subscription fee, they’ll have full access to all content that falls within the membership level.
This model also allows for upselling repeat customers by for example offering VIP membership levels. The payment of a big, one-time fee could provide lifetime access to all content, past and future.
Using the subscription model to sell content is getting more difficult for newspapers, and publishers have to counter disruption from news aggregator apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse. Curated news is getting more popular, but it threatens individual publications’ subscription appeal while potentially drawing in new customers at the same time.
Memberful is a nice platform that allows publishers to set up subscription-based membership plans. It also has an easy integration through WordPress plugin.
This model was actually used before the Internet was commonly used, with examples being arcade and sports games, and pay-per-view movies.
The micro transaction model is being used by iTunes. Besides, books by the chapter have been offered by O’Reilly publishing for years. A more recent example is the micro-payments option for Wallet users recently launched by Google.
This model may not work for magazine articles and news as these are typically single reads, while music and video tracks can be used repeatedly. Here’s an easy way to set up a pay-per-view site with WordPress.
Content creation is incredibly time-consuming, so finding a way to monetize that effort makes total sense. You don’t have to choose a single method to sell your content and stick to it. You can experiment with and combine multiple ways. Good luck!
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