Freelance Blogging for Side Income: My Top 10 Tips

Could you work as a freelance blogger? If you blog, yes.

That’s really the only qualification that you need.

Freelancing blogging (or ‘paid blogging’) is one of the most sensible and enjoyable ways to earn some extra income online.

It pays well (between $50 and $100 for a post, most of which will take sub two-hours to write) and it’s highly flexible. Instead of taking on a chunky commitment, you can usually add and subtract posts at your discretion.

Working for multiple blogs gives you another level of security. If you’re no longer needed at one, you have the others to fall back on.

I’ve been working as a freelance blogger since September 2007 and have worked for ProBlogger.net, Freelance Switch, Daily Blog Tips, Daily Bits, North x East, People per Hour and a number of other blogs.

In that time I’ve learned tips, tricks and mistakes to avoid. If you’re interested in getting started with freelance blogging, here are the top five most important bits of advice I’d share with you.

Tip #1: Write guest posts for multi-author blogs and mention that you’re available for a regular gig.

Any blogger thinking about hiring you will ask you to write a guest-post first, so you might as well take the initiative.

Pitch a guest-post idea and, if it’s accepted, write the best post you can. When you submit the finished post, let the blogger know that you’re available to write if they need you.

While you can get paid blogging gigs through job ads, most of the quality work is privately negotiated in this way.

Tip #2: Never write for less than $50 for a 500+ word post — even when you’re just starting out.

Your time and skill is worth more than that, and you will find bloggers and editors willing to pay what you deserve. Don’t accept rewards-based pay unless this minimum is guaranteed.

Tip #3: Write linkbait when you can.

Here’s the thing: you’re not actually paid for your posts, you’re paid for the links, traffic and subscribers you bring to the blog.

Writing for a popular multi-author blog is an excellent platform for linkbait to take off. While it’s probably too time-consuming to do all the time, writing the occasional linkbait article will keep your clients smiling (and make it easier to ask for that raise).

Tip #4: Prune and replace jobs regularly.

Your goal should be to start at $50 per post and move up in price. Once you have the workload you want you can begin to approach new clients and offer yourself at a higher rate.

Try $60 instead of $50, and if they say yes, give your two weeks notice for your lowest paying or least enjoyable job. When you have the safety net of a full workload you can start to be adventurous in charging higher rates.

Tip #5: Respond to comments and questions on the posts you write.

This helps readers get to know you and makes your posts look more popular. Clients will often judge your performance based on the amount of comments your posts get.

Tip #6. Strive towards earning $100 a post.

Keep building your skills and raising your rates for new clients as if you were eventually aiming to earn $100 a post.

Not all blogs will offer this much, but keeping it as a benchmark will prevent you ever becoming complacent about your rates.

Tip #7. Try not to freelance on topics you write about a lot on your own blog.

Using up your best ideas on other blogs rather than your own will make it difficult to keep things fresh on your own blog. It can also cause you to become tired of your blog topic.

Ideally, use your freelancing positions to explore topics you’re interested in but don’t get the chance to write about much on your own blog. This allows you to tap into new sources of inspiration and a new pool of ideas.

Tip #8: Keep careful tabs on when you need to invoice clients, and for how much.

Doing little bits of work for multiple clients can be confusing. I use a simple text file to manage invoices. I list completed work and its price under the name of the client, the date when I need to invoice them, and how much they owe me for that invoice.

This simple system hasn’t failed me so far. I also write invoice dates on my calendar.

Tip #9: If English is your second language, make sure readers wouldn’t know it.

Having flawless written English will lead to more job opportunities and the potential for higher rates. It’s unfortunate, but grammatical errors and unusual turns-of-phrase are much more noticeable in writing than they are in speech.

We’re just so used of having everything proofread. Potential clients might consider you high-maintenance because they won’t want to spend chunks of time editing your work. If your written English is not equivalent to that of a native speaker, you might consider looking for work writing in your first language.

Alternately, think about investing the time required to fix some of your most common mistakes.

Tip #10: Be consistent.

Don’t write six posts in one week and nothing for the next two weeks. Don’t claim you’re going to submit posts every Sunday, then proceed to submit them on a random day each week.

One of the most attractive qualities you can have as a freelance blogger is reliability. Clients don’t always need something that’s going to have a shot at the front page of Digg — often they just want the security of knowing that tomorrow’s editorial calendar is fulfilled.

Dependability is something your clients will love about you.

Some known blogs which hire writers. Good luck!

About Skellie

Massive nerd who just happens to enjoy anything related to blogging, creativity, and online marketing.

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