Guest Post by Alexa Mason
It was years ago when I decided I wanted to work from home. I tried everything – taking surveys, selling on EBay, writing for content mills, blogging, and more. But I couldn’t bring in a steady income from any of these, and I needed money fast.
Desperate to quit working two low-paying day jobs I continued my search for a decent paying work from home gig. Then one day, it happened.
A fellow blogger emailed me telling me he enjoyed my writing style and wanted to know how much I’d charge him for blog posts. To make a long story short, that job didn’t work out, but the idea was born – I could make money writing for blogs!
I set out to make it happen. Over the past two years, I’ve been able to turn my freelance blogging business into a full-time job and have been working strictly from home for over a year.
Today I want to share exactly how I turned freelance blogging into a full-time gig and how you can do the same.
Pick Your Niche
Your first step is deciding exactly what you want to write about. The more specific you are, the easier it is to find clients.
When I first started, I was working as a personal lines insurance agent. I knew insurance policies like the back of my hand. Even though writing about insurance was less than exciting, I knew I could capitalize on my knowledge.
When you first start you should pick a topic, you have plenty of experience with. Remember, you don’t have to write about this topic forever but using your personal experience is your ticket to getting your foot in the door.
Set Up Your Platform
The next step for any aspiring freelance blogger is to set up a platform. You need a simple writer’s website or blog to showcase your services and writing samples.
I added a “hire me” tab to my blog.
Get Writing Samples
The third step is where the real work begins. Before you can start pitching yourself to potential clients, you need writing samples showing your work.
Here’s what to do:
- Start Googling Websites and Blogs in Your Niche (I began with insurance marketing blogs.)
- Look for blogs with multiple writers.
- Find the contact names of the owner of blog/company and email them with a guest post idea. Make sure you link back to your writer website or blog at the end of your email, so they know you’re legit.
You should make each email as personalized as possible. Keep repeating this process and tweaking your emails as you go. You need to have at least three writing samples to add to your portfolio before looking for paid work.
Once your guest posts go live, make a “portfolio” page on your blog or writer’s website and link back to these pieces.
Important: Make sure your guest posts are relevant to the writing niche you choose. For instance, if you want to get paid to write about insurance you don’t want your portfolio pieces to be articles on how to bake a cake. Keep everything niche-specific.
Once you have your writing samples, it’s time to start pitching your services. This works much like the last step only, this time, you’ll be asking for a job!
Here’s how to start:
- Make a list of 15 blogs/companies you’d like to write for. These sites should all be regularly updated and have multiple writers on their blog.
- Send out customized emails explaining who you are, what you do, and how you can help. Be sure to link back to your writing portfolio. (Here’s an example of the email pitches I send.)
- Check the ProBlogger Job Board once a day. ONLY respond to job postings in your niche and be sure to read the job in its entirety before responding. (A lot of time there will be instructions to enter a certain phrase in the subject line, so pay attention!)
It’s probably going to take you quite a few pitches before you land a job. Keep tweaking your pitches until you find success. Once you land your first job finding the second and third becomes much easier.
It’s also important for you to know that a lot of your pitches will go unanswered. This is perfectly normal!
Once you do get a reply back , you’ll have to determine what to charge! Here’s where things can get complicated.
The amount of pay freelance bloggers get can vary greatly. I’d recommend that you charge a bare minimum of $25 for a 500-700 word post on personal blogs and a minimum of $40 per 500-700 word post on a business blog. (A business blog would be for a company who is selling a physical product or service. Businesses have marketing budgets and can pay you more than a solopreneur blogger.) The more specialized your knowledge, the higher pay you can receive.
Start with pricing you’re comfortable with and then slowly raise the rate until you find your ceiling.
Grow Your Business
If you’re super introverted like I am pitching your services will push you way outside of your comfort zone, but I promise, the more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
Once you experiment with your pitches and pricing, getting new clients and growing your business will be a breeze!
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer, blogger, and virtual assistant. She now makes a full-time living from home and chronicles her work from home journey on her blog, Single Moms Income.