How to Start Freelance Blogging (Make Money Now!)

If you like writing and want a good side hustle or business, learn how to start freelance blogging. I started this in 2018, and it’s been a great way to make money in and out of grad school.

How to Start Freelance Blogging | Hannah B Flute

While freelancing isn’t for everyone, it can be very flexible and lucrative. Read on to learn how you can get started as a freelance blogger!

Choose Your Niche

One of the best things that can help you start freelance blogging is to choose a niche. Now, I didn’t choose a niche when I got started, but it was harder to find gigs that seemed interesting to me.

Having a niche means you can narrow down the types of gigs you apply to or the clients you pitch your services to. It also allows you to become an expert on that niche so that you can charge more for your writing.

Arguably, blog writing is already a niche because it’s very different from writing sales copy or technical pieces. But you can go further and niche down to a specific topic or a few topics that you enjoy or know a lot about.

Be Open to Other Topics

Even after you choose a niche, you may want to be flexible. That way, you can get more writing gigs to help increase your earning potential, especially if you can’t find work in your main niche.

I’ve freelanced for content marketing agencies that cover every topic under the sun. While those gigs aren’t perfect, they can help fill the gaps in your income and schedule before you get enough clients in your industry.

I’d also recommend being open to ghostwriting gigs. It’s nice to get your name on your writing, but you can limit yourself, especially as a beginner freelance blogger.

Build Your Portfolio

One of the best tips for how to start freelance blogging is to build a portfolio. When I started, I’d already had one of my blogs for a few years, so I was able to use posts from there as writing samples.

If you don’t have a blog yet, I’d recommend you start one. Then, you can write about the different topics you want to write about for clients, and you can submit links to your blog posts when you apply for freelance gigs.

Blogging regularly can also help you improve your writing. So even if it takes a while for you to start getting freelance writing work, you’ll have a space where you can practice.

Apply to Freelance Gigs

Now, you’re ready to apply to some freelance blogging gigs. I like using websites like ProBlogger to find available writing work because the clients are actively looking to hire.

You can also use more general job boards, such as Indeed and LinkedIn. While I haven’t gotten any jobs through there, I’ve seen quite a few freelance writing positions over the years.

Some gigs may require links to writing samples or your overall blog. You might also need to submit a resume in some cases, so consider creating one now that you can have ready to go.

Research and Pitch to Potential Clients

Maybe you scour the job boards but can’t find any work that interests you. Instead of giving up, you can research companies that may need a freelance writer like you.

Check out some companies in your niche and look at their websites and blogs. If it looks like they don’t have a blog or rarely post, you can email the company and propose your services.

Now, you want to make sure you don’t bash the company and say their blog is horrible. Instead, focus on how you can help them, and some clients may respond.

Know How Many Projects You Want

Another thing to consider regarding how to start freelance blogging is the schedule. If you currently have a full-time job or in school, you may only want to freelance part-time.

But maybe you just graduated and want to start blogging full-time. Either way, consider how many hours per week you can handle working with clients to help determine how many clients and projects you can take on.

I freelanced part-time for the first couple of years when I was in grad school. But after graduating, I started to work with more clients to help fill my schedule.

Set a Goal That You Can Control

It can be tempting to set a goal like “get five clients next week.” However, I think it’s better to focus on goals that you have more control over because you can’t always control if people hire you.

Instead, maybe you set the goal of applying to two gigs per day until you get however many clients you want. Then, you can stick to that routine until you reach the goal.

If you don’t want to apply to gigs, you can set a goal for the number of prospects to pitch per day. Do whatever works for you, but make it something that’s more attainable for you.

Be Realistic About Pay

I’ve seen that some writers make as much as $1 per word. However, those writers are few and far between, and they often have years of experience and/or work as journalists and so have to do interviews and other non-writing work.

As a beginner, you can expect to make about $0.03 per word for most blogging gigs. This is particularly true if you decide to write for agencies since they set the prices.

Luckily, per-word pay is more flexible than hourly pay. My hourly rate was pretty low when I first started, but it’s increased significantly over the past few years.

Keep Applying and Pitching

Even after you get the number of gigs or clients you want, don’t stop looking for work. Sadly, freelance blogging can be very hit or miss, and you may experience dry spells with no work from your clients.

In case that happens, you should have some extra clients at the ready. Yes, it can be hard to balance a lot of clients when you get busy, but you can minimize the chances of losing all of your work.

I didn’t do this when I first started, so I was SOL when my main client could no longer pay for my services. Instead, I had to pound the pavement and get multiple clients to fill that gap, but I’ve never made the same mistake again.

Don’t Forget Your End Goal

For some writers, freelance blogging is the main goal. However, I’ve wanted to run my own blogs to make the majority of my income, and freelance blogging has helped me do that.

But at the end of the day, freelancing isn’t my primary goal. That means I have to balance client work and my own blogs so that I can slowly start to shift to more of my own content.

I have no intention of quitting client work, but it’s not what I want to do for my entire career. Knowing why you want to start freelance blogging can help you use this income stream to reach your bigger goals.

Why Start Freelance Blogging

Freelance blogging can be a flexible way to earn money from your writing. I’ve been doing it since 2018, and I’ve enjoyed my time as a freelancer.

It’s not perfect, but there are multiple reasons why you may want to learn how to start freelance blogging. Read on to learn some of the best parts of this gig.

Make Money Faster

You can make good money from your blogs, but it takes months if not years for that to happen. If you need money now, freelance blogging is an excellent option.

It allows you to write articles and earn a good amount of money right away. Of course, you need to make sure your clients pay you or you won’t get that money.

However, many clients do want to pay you, so you just have to find those clients. Then, you can earn a relatively stable income while you spend your free time building your own blog to make money.

Flexible Schedule

One of my favorite parts about freelance blogging is that it’s very flexible. I started freelancing because I was headed to grad school for music, and I knew my school schedule would be insane.

As a student, I could work on client articles in the mornings before I had to go to classes or rehearsals. I could also work on them on the weekends or school breaks.

That meant I could focus on school and not have to worry about calling off work for an event or because of other issues. As long as you have an internet connection, you can get some work done.

Better Pay Than Traditional Jobs

The per-word pay may seem low to some, and it can be relatively low as a beginner. However, with time, you can get more efficient at writing, particularly if you stick to a niche.

Then, you may find that your hourly rate is significantly higher than what you’d earn working a traditional job. Or it may be about the same but you only have to work part-time.

You can use that extra income and/or free time to work on your own blog posts. That way, you may be able to monetize your articles and earn even more money.

Learn New Things

As a freelance blogger, I’ve had the chance to learn about tons of different things. This is mostly due to the fact that I’ve had general agency clients, and their clients are in all industries.

But even within my main niches, I’ve learned about new tools and processes. If you like learning, freelance blogging allows you to do that while getting paid.

There’s always something new to learn about blogging as well. The Google search algorithm changes often, and you need to learn about the new changes to keep your content (and your clients’ content) near the top of search results.

Is Freelance Blogging Hard?

Freelance blogging can be hard at the start, especially if you haven’t done much blogging for yourself. However, like anything, it gets easier the more you do it.

You’ll learn how to research and write more efficiently. And you’ll figure out what tools you need and processes you should follow to make the most of your writing time.

Final Thoughts

If you want to learn how to start freelance blogging, you came to the right place. Be sure to choose a niche and start applying for gigs or pitching potential clients.

Then, you can enjoy the benefits of freelancing, such as a flexible schedule. And you can read more about how to make money blogging.

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