It probably has something to do with it not being that sexy at first. After all, freelance blogging is 100 percent active income where you directly exchange your time for money.
However, the nice thing is that if you need X number of dollars by, say, the end of the month then there's really nothing that comes even close to freelance blogging.
What's freelance blogging about
I should probably explain the idea of freelance blogging just a bit to get everybody up to speed.
In its most basic form, freelance blogging is about writing posts for other people's blogs.
The great thing about it is that you can choose your clients, as well as moderate how much work you're willing to do every month.
And while I will admit that building a dependable career that way can be tough, getting started and earning your first dollars is actually way easier than going the traditional “make money” route:
launching a new blog > building a following > building an email list > creating a product > selling the product
Freelance blogging is the quicker approach, and you don't need to be extremely successful or popular to pull it off.
There are three main steps in the process:
Step #1: Getting the initial setup out of the way
To get started, you need two elements: a blog of your own and a portfolio of posts.
The key here is to have posts that are of good quality and provide some useful information. But I guess this is something you're working on right now anyway, so we can probably scratch this off the list.
Here's what to do to make your portfolio appealing:
- Make sure that your blog has at least 20 quality posts and that it's been online for at least 3 months. This is the evidence that you know your main craft – writing.
- Land 5+ guest posts on other blogs that are respectable in the community. You will use them to prove to your prospective clients that the work you do spreads further than just your blog.
This really is enough for a start. Chances are that any prospective client won't spend hours checking you out across various corners of the web. They will just have a quick look at your most recent work.
Step #2: Finding people to reach out to
Once you're done with the setup, you should start sniffing around and looking for people you can offer your freelance blogging services to.
Like I said, a good type of service to start with is writing blog posts. The first obvious thing to focus on is to make sure that you find people who are likely to have a need for this type of services.
For instance, a common trap bloggers fall into is reaching out to blogs that have their publishing processes and content already pretty figured out.
Of course, joining ProBlogger is still possible, but you won't get there just by writing an email saying “Hey, I'm a blogger, I want in!” So for now, we need to focus on another group of potential clients.
Go ahead and try the following three methods:
1. Find businesses with blogs (company blogs)
This is probably the most straightforward tactic out there. Your goal is to find company blogs that aren't run up to their highest potential.
Remember when I told you about the mistake of trying to target blogs with already optimized content and well thought-through processes? Here, you're doing the exact opposite thing.
You're searching for blogs that “don't quite get it.” Your opportunity is to step in and make things better through your content.
You can find such blogs via Technorati, BuzzStream, or Inkybee.
2. Find people who have just bought a site
The site flipping market is quite big on the web right now. Literally every day tens of sites change hands and start operating under new ownerships.
Now, the thing about people who have just bought a site is that they could also need some fresh content for it.
Find those people through Flippa and add them to your list.
3. Find well-known bloggers with side-projects
Popular bloggers tend to run more than one blog. And although their flagship is probably well taken care of, their other projects might not be.
Do a little research around your favorite bloggers and approach them with a direct offer to write content for their other blogs.
Step #3: Constructing your outreach message and sending it
Now that you have a list of people you want to reach out to, you do need to come up with a good message that will get them engaged and ready to take you up on your offer.
There are a lot of great resources on the web on this topic, and while I do encourage you to do some research of your own, here are the three I recommend you to start with:
- Neil Patel's guide on how he built his first business through email marketing.
- Robert Williams' tutorial on writing a cold email.
- David Rodeck's case study on cold calling.
When it comes to sending your message, getting the offer out, negotiating the final deal and so on, you can either use email, or look into specialized proposal tools.
Email is obvious, no further explanation needed. For specialized tools, check Bidsketch. It will take care of designing, sending, and then tracking your proposal (it lets you know how the client interacts with it).
I advise against social media outreach, though. Maybe I'm biased, but it's just that using social media for outreach has never worked for me.
Your turn to take action
The strategy presented above can be implemented in less than two weeks (provided that you already have a blog). This means that you can see your first deals – and dollars – coming in sooner than you think.
On a personal note, I have to admit that the tactics described in Step #2 are something I do regularly every week. They work extremely well if you spend a while crafting your offer and making sure that it resonates with people.