Do you have a blog?
Do you enjoy blogging on a variety of topics?
If you’re like me, then you do!
I’m a work-at-home mom with twin toddlers and I get paid hundreds – even thousands – of dollars to write on other people’s blogs.
How did this stay-at-home mom who loved YouTube and Facebook go on to build a profitable freelance writing business – only working part-time?
Blogs Weren’t Even on My Radar
To be honest with you, before I broke into freelance writing from scratch, I hadn’t a clue about blogs, WordPress, or that people actually paid you to write blog posts.
It was a little over a year ago when I had to make a choice – go back to work as a teacher and put my twins in daycare (expensive!), or stay home and try to find a work from home opportunity.
Since I couldn’t bear being away from my twins for more than an hour – and couldn’t imagine someone else feeding them and putting them down for their nap – I decided I would rather stay home.
From there I stumbled onto the idea of freelance writing. Instead of watching my YouTube mommy vloggers, I miraculously found mommy bloggers.
I soon learned that many of these mommy bloggers also did freelance writing.
I was hooked. There was my answer! Get paid to write.
Freelance Writing From Scratch and the Mistakes I Made
It’s only been a little over a year since I started freelance writing.
Since I only had time to devote to my business when my children were sleeping or when my in-laws watched them, I took that time to learn as much as I could about freelance writing.
From learning how to write for an online audience to setting up my writer website to building my portfolio, I created a space online for my freelance writing business.
But, I made a ton of mistakes along the way. For example, I decided to start my freelance writing career by writing for a content mill.
I made $1.62 for a 300-word post that took me hours to write.
What? This is what freelance writing is?
Luckily I moved out of that quickly and was able to land my first real gig on a job board.
My first blogging gig paid me $100 for an 800-word post.
From there I quickly landed more clients and was able to make my first $1k from freelance writing within two months.
Four months later, I was able to replace my full-time income as a teacher working part-time as a freelance writer.
And just recently, I landed my biggest single project yet. While my typical starting rate these days is $100 per 500 words, most clients opt for a maximum of 1500 words. This client, however, wants up to a 6000-word blog post.
Are you interested in earning some cash from blogging? Here are the steps I took –minus the mistakes! – to break into freelance writing.
1. Create Sample Pieces
If you want to get paid to write you need to show prospects that you can actually write.
The easiest way to come up with samples is to use what you already have. So, if you already blog, find a few posts that highlight informative content that’s formatted for online engagement.
If you don’t currently have a blog, you can quickly write a few pieces either on Medium – a blogging platform, or LinkedIn’s Pulse – a publishing platform.
Or, if those don’t interest you, use Google Docs to draft up a sample of your writing and create a shareable link.
And, if you really want to make your mark out there, I suggest you start guest posting right away. You not only gain the skills of writing for other people’s blogs, but you also get your name out there which means more people will see your content.
2. Have a Professional Home Base
To turn your hobby of blogging into a profitable business, give your freelance writing its own place. This is where you can display your services, collect testimonials and house your portfolio.
This makes it easy for prospects to find you and learn about you.
3. Start Sourcing Freelance Writing Jobs
Don’t expect prospects to approach you for their content needs.
They don’t even know you exist, let alone provide the services they want.
So, to land blogging gigs you need to find them. The best place for new freelance writers to find good quality writing jobs is on free job boards.
Some boards I recommend are:
- Blogging Pro
- Media Bistro
- All Indie Writers
- Be a Freelance Blogger
- Blog Expose
- Freelance Writing
Another way to source jobs is to look in your own city. Early on in my freelance writing business I contacted several web design and printing companies and let them know there was a freelance writer in town.
Now, why did I contact only printing companies? Because they have a full roster of online clients that need content for their websites.
4. Take Action and Start Pitching
For many new writers this is the hardest part.
Maybe you feel like you’re not really a writer because you don’t have a journalism degree (I don’t have one!).
Whatever the case is, know that you can do this!
Consider each pitch as practice for landing your ultimate client: your dream client. Each pitch you send out will get you that much closer to your ideal client.
And even if you’re not completely ready because you only have one sample, or you don’t have a writer website up yet, no big deal! Take action and pitch!
To help you get started, here are my best practices to help you pitch and land your first client:
- Visit job boards at night and first thing in the morning
- Be one of the first applicants to apply to the job ad
- Research the company advertising for the writing job
- Create a plan to pitch every day and be consistent with it
Increase Your Odds and Minimize Your Risk
One thing I tell new freelance writers is to learn from those who have done this before.
If this stay-at-home mom turned freelance writer is able to build a lucrative freelance writing business, then I know you can too.
I realized after looking back on the steps I took to get to where I am, that I have a proven framework that others can follow and learn from.
So I recently created a course for bloggers and new writers called Write Your Way to Your First $1k. This is a seven week online course that’s self-paced with easy-to-digest lessons.
With enhanced video training, a highly resourceful private Facebook group, and bonus material, you’re given the absolute best chance at succeeding in the shortest amount of time.
So, instead of doing what I did – going at this alone, wasting time and making a ton of mistakes – start your freelance writing business off on the right foot.
Over to you – have you thought about getting paid to write on other people’s blogs?
About the Author
Elna Cain is a freelance writer and coach. She writes for Blogging Wizard, PageWiz, WPKube and more. She loves to help new freelance writers avoid mistakes and show them how they can have a successful freelance writing business.