If you’re reading this, you may be ready to take the plunge and start working for yourself. However, you may not know whether to dip your toes into blogging or freelance writing. The truth is, they’re both very different fields, and it’s hard enough to succeed in one of them, let alone both. That means it’s important you figure out which path you want to take.
Freelance writing, for example, is perfect if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t mind working with clients. Blogging, on the other hand, is ideal for people that like to work at their own pace and build something that’s their own from the ground up. They’re both fantastic choices, but chances are you’re better suited for one or the other.
In this article, I’m going to break down the differences between blogging and freelance writing. Then we’re going to talk about which career path would suit you the best!
The Differences Between Blogging and Freelance Writing
To get started, let’s break down what freelance writing and blogging involve from a work perspective:
- Freelance writing: If you’re a freelance writer, then people hire you to create written content for them. You usually get paid by the word and will have to juggle multiple clients all the time.
- Blogging: When you blog as a job, your primary goal is to get as much traffic as possible by publishing posts people are interested in. Then, you look for ways to monetize that traffic, such as affiliate marketing or selling online courses.
Regardless of which path you decide to take, you’ll need a passion for writing to make either job work. It’s also important to note that both jobs are perfectly viable for the long term, although blogging can be harder to break into.
With freelance writing, you could, theoretically, get started and land your first client in days. In practice, though, it takes months to set up a portfolio, court decent clients, and get the point where you’re making a living. For me, that process took over a year, because I didn’t know what I was doing and I took on a lot of dead-end gigs.
Blogging, on the other hand, is all about patience. You can start a blog (we have a guide to help you do that!) and publish your first post today. However, in our experience, it takes most blogs around six months to become profitable, and that is assuming you do everything right (although your mileage may vary).
Putting those differences aside, there are several advantages that both freelance writers and bloggers share, including:
- You get to determine your own hours and where you work from.
- You can work in your pajamas all day if that’s your thing.
- Anyone can take a crack at either job, regardless of what their background or certifications are.
- You can focus on any niche you want.
Keep in mind, though – with freelance writing, you get to set your own rates, and there are plenty of places to hunt for well-paying clients, such as Paid to Blog Jobs. Earnings as a blogger, on the other hand, can vary greatly depending on how well your website does. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option.
Who Should Consider Blogging as a Career
In my experience, the most successful bloggers are those that treat their websites as a business. That means you need to go into blogging with a clear plan in mind, which should include the following:
- What niche you’re planning to focus on.
- A content plan you can stick to, such as publishing one new post every week on the same day.
- A monetization strategy you can put into motion from day one.
On top of this, you’ll also need to have a decent grasp on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basics. Without that, finding organic traffic will be an uphill battle and it will delay the time it takes to turn your blog profitable.
Since it can take a very long time to start seeing money from your blog, we don’t recommend you put all your eggs into that basket. Ideally, you’ll have a job that can support you while you grow your blog (or a lot of savings). Then, once your blog starts earning you money you can consider turning it into a full-time job.
Finally – and this is a cliche – but you need to be passionate and knowledgeable about whatever topics you decide to blog on. If your blog succeeds, you’re going to be publishing new content on it for years to come. That means if you’re not interested in whatever you’re writing about, you’ll probably burn out quickly.
Who Should Consider Freelance Writing as a Career
When I talk to new freelance writers, they always seem to get stuck dealing with the same problem, which is landing decent clients. The truth is, even well-established writers need to hustle to land new clients. However, as you become more experienced and your portfolio grows, convincing potential customers you’re who they need becomes easier.
These days, I mostly work with long-term clients, which means I don’t have to hunt for new work constantly. However, it took me a long time working crappy gigs before I got to this position. Here are a few tips that could’ve helped me get to this point faster:
- Always be working on improving your portfolio!
- Focus on a single niche or two since being an expert pays off when it comes to landing clients and commanding higher rates.
- Don’t be afraid to increase your rates from time to time, particularly with new clients.
In my opinion, the most successful freelance writers are all great hustlers. They know how to market themselves and they aren’t afraid of negotiating with new clients.
Personally, I’ve never been the best at either of those things. However, I make up for it with expertise in the topics I like to write about. That just goes to show you don’t need to be a charismatic powerhouse to succeed as a freelance writer, as long as you know how to do your job well and be a team player.
Ultimately, both blogging and freelance writing will give you the opportunity to work from home in your pajamas, which is their primary selling point. However, both career paths aren’t suited for the same kind of people. If you’re on the fence about which of them to give a shot, then a little introspection can save you from trying out a job that’s not well-suited to your personality and work habits.
In my opinion, here’s who should consider either blogging or freelance writing as a career path:
- Blogging: If you have the patience for it, blogging can be highly rewarding, and you can make a good living from it.
- Freelance writing: As a freelance writer, you’ll need to chase new clients all the time, but you get to set your own rates, which is fantastic.
Have you tried your hand at either blogging or freelance writing? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.