The following is adapted from my freelance blogging course, Paid to Blog. If you are interested in making money online, I thoroughly recommend that you check it out. Thanks!
You may wonder why my focus is on freelance blogging specifically, as opposed to freelance writing in general. There are two main reasons:
- It is where the bulk of my experience lies
- It is an extremely accessible field that offers enormous potential
The reality is that freelance blogging offers potential for growth and expansion into a wide variety of related fields. Not only does it represent a viable long-term career choice, it also affords you a great number of options down the line.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of freelance blogging.
1. It’s Accessible
Just about anyone in the developed world can blog – all you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Furthermore, you can ‘prove’ yourself as a blogger without an expensive (and lengthy) education. The same cannot be said of many other writing professions.
There is little in the way of qualifications snobbery in the blogosphere. The decision as to whether you are fit for task is more often than not based entirely upon the quality of your writing. I have not once been asked to reveal any ‘qualifications’ I have that are relevant to writing (the answer: none).
2. You Don’t Need to be a Great Writer
Blog content is typically informal in nature. While writers should always strive for perfect spelling, punctuation and grammar, most readers won’t blink an eye at the sight of imperfect prose.
Blogging lends itself to a conversational writing style, and the last time I checked, people don’t speak without error (on the contrary; I write far more ably than I speak).
I believe that any competent writer can learn to become a good blogger (and earn a good rate) in a relatively short period of time. Even those who don’t speak English as a first language can become well-paid bloggers – just ask my friend Onibalusi:
It can be difficult convincing non-native English writers that they can make it online, but it is possible. I am a non-native English speaking freelance writer, and not only do I regularly make four figures monthly, I’ve had five figure months. I also know more than a dozen non-native English freelance writers making it online, so it’s definitely possible.
Having said that, no matter your ability, you should always aspire to improve as a writer. The better you are, the more valuable you are.
3. It Pays Well
One of the biggest complaints I hear about freelance writing is that the market is saturated. It is often argued that there is an oversupply of writers, which drives prices down to sub-minimum wage levels.
While this is absolutely true at the bottom end of the writing scale, it is most definitely not the case for the level you should be aiming for.
There are an enormous number of freelance writers out there, but there are most certainly not an enormous number of good freelance writers. If you ask a lot of blog editors, they will explain to you how tough it is to find a good writer.
So take it from me: good freelance bloggers are well compensated. If you can elevate yourself above the bargain basement level (both in terms of the work you actually do and the way in which you position yourself), a whole world of opportunities will open up.
4. You Don’t Need to Start with Specific Expertise
The first blog I was paid to write for focused on WordPress, the popular blogging platform. When I got the job, I had been blogging for just five months. Before that time, I hadn’t even heard of WordPress.
To be perfectly honest with you, I was shocked to be given the job. After all, I was no WordPress ‘expert’ – far from it. But soon enough, I realized that expertise is relative. I was able to write content that helped WordPress users at or below my level, which was all that I needed to do.
You may feel that you have no specific expertise, but you’re wrong. These days I write about everything from entrepreneurship, to social media, to strategic commissioning – all areas in which the majority of my learning has taken place over the last three years.
You don’t need specific expertise to thrive as a blogger. But if you do have specific expertise in a particular area, you will really be in for a treat. The ability to blog on complex and/or technical matters is highly sought after.
5. You Can Write About Your Passion(s)
Whatever your passion, there are probably a whole load of active blogs focused on that topic, and probably several with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of subscribers, and a small platoon of paid writers. What’s to stop you from becoming one of them?
6. It Will Make You an Accomplished Blogger
There is a lot of money to be made from blogging; both as a paid writer and as a blog owner.
There are more examples of bloggers who have made a small (or big) fortune out of their blog than I could possibly list, but here are a few examples:
- Fraser Cain owns Universe Today: a news blog dedicated to the space and astronomy niche that pulls in a six figure yearly income through advertising.
- Keith Snow’s Harvest Eating gives away tons of free advice on local and seasonal foods, whilst operating an integrated membership site.
- Darren Rowse has been running Digital Photography School for many years and has made an astonishing amount of money from it.
Not only can you make a healthy income from freelance blogging, but it can also make you a far more experienced and capable blogger overall. You will be able to observe the machinations of far more developed blogs, learn how to create engaging content, better understand how to convert visitors into subscribers and much more. In time, you could choose to utilize your experience and create your own income-producing blog(s).
7. Less Prospecting, More Billable Hours
By definition, blogging is an ongoing process. New blog posts are needed on a regular basis. When you secure a blogging client, you are often securing a long-term income stream.
This, combined with my passive lead generation model (discussed in length later in the course), essentially means that you can eventually spend literally no time prospecting for work. In turn, this means that you have more hours in the day with which to earn money.
Don’t be fooled by what other freelancers say they are earning on an hourly basis. The only real comparable metric is equivalent hourly rate, which takes into account both billable and unbillable hours. With freelance blogging, you can keep those unbillable hours to a bare minimum.
8. It Can Lead to Greater Things
Freelance blogging is like a well-paid apprenticeship for a world of potential career paths, such as consultancy, coaching, editorial work, and much more.
In learning to become a good blogger, you become a jack of many trades: content creation, design, marketing, social media, networking, and so on. You will have an opportunity to learn how genuinely large blogs (i.e. your clients’) operate.
All of this experience (not to mention your ever-growing network) will open all sorts of doors that you may not have even considered before.
9. It’s Fun!
Let’s face it – writing corporate white papers isn’t particularly enjoyable (I say that from personal experience). I was once chatting with a very successful freelance writer (who works primarily with corporate clients) about her work, and whether or not she enjoyed it. This was her answer:
I don’t particularly enjoy the work, but I like the amount I’m paid for it.
The amount you are paid for work can in a sense make it enjoyable. And make no mistake – writing for corporate clients can make you a lot of money. I would imagine that the average rate for corporate writing work is way in excess of ‘normal’ blogging work.
However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making the enjoyment of your work a priority. And with that in mind, blogging can be a lot of fun! As mentioned previously, it is a very informal and conversational style of writing. You typically get to engage with your readers via comments. It’s very interactional.
I have one particular client that I love writing for, because I am given carte blanche to write about whatever I like, how I like (within reasonable bounds, of course). I am able to inject as much of my personality into my writing as I see fit, and am able to publish outspoken opinion pieces without fear of censorship. I’d like to know of any corporate clients who extend you that kind of freedom.
So What Next?
I hope that I have piqued your interest in freelance blogging. It’s what enabled me to quit my job and start living a far better life, and I would like it to benefit many others in the same way!
If you have any questions about freelance blogging or freelance writing in general, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.
Creative Commons image courtesy of andyp uk