Freelance Blogging Blueprint: Attract Clients & Charge More
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- Learn what content marketing and freelance blogging is all about
- Understand what it takes to be a freelance blogger
- Find a niche as a freelance blogger
- Set up a website to host a portfolio of your blog posts
- Publish as a guest author on other sites to get your name out there
- Start at the low end and work your way up by charging higher for your work
- Gain expertise in chosen niche
- Pitch businesses that are actively looking out for new bloggers
- Stand out from all the other bloggers by following the steps I've laid out
- Reach a point where you are earning $200 per post
- Find out the secrets of negotiating on price and continuously increasing how much you get paid per post
- Attract the best blogs in your niche as you gain fame
- Go even higher, $300, $400, or more, per post
- Reach the stage where you can comfortably quit your job and earn full-time as a freelance blogger from anywhere in the world
- You should be a native, or extremely advanced, English speaker
- You should know how to write in English and be able to construct grammatically accurate sentences
- You should be hard-working and ready to commit weeks or months of your time to achieve success
Go from a complete beginner with no experience, to a highly-paid premium freelance blogger. In this course, I’ll take you through every step and help you work your way up to the top of the pyramid.
Get paid hundreds of dollars for a single blog post that you can write from anywhere in the world.
- Learn what freelance blogging is all about and why businesses will pay you to write blog posts for them.
- Find your niche as a blogger and set up your portfolio website.
- Learn how to find work as a freelance blogger and work your way up from unpaid to highly paid.
- Attract the best companies in your niche
- Learn how to continuously increase prices to $200, $300, $400, or even more, for a single post.
A new career and a rich, location-independent life awaits you.
There's a revolution happening in the marketing world, and content marketing, the form of marketing where businesses attract customers with content, is fast becoming the most popular form of marketing. Every day, more companies are starting blogs to produce interesting content that will bring them readers, subscribers, and, ultimately, customers.
In fact, businesses spend 30% of their marketing budget on producing blog content. Where does that money go? To the people who create that content - Freelance Bloggers!
The best part is, there are more businesses requiring awesome content than there are freelance bloggers. That means the demand is more than the supply, so there's a huge opportunity for you to take advantage of it.
Content and overview
Looking to boost your income with a side job that you can do from home? Or maybe you want to quit your job and switch to something that gives you more free time and flexibility? Perhaps you want to travel the world and work from beaches.
Whatever it is, freelance blogging is the best way to do it.
This course will show you, step-by-step, how to go from having no experience to getting paid premium rates as a freelance blogger. This is the exact journey I followed, starting from low rates, $30 to $40 a post, and making my way up over weeks and months, to hundreds of dollars per post.
Many freelance bloggers get stuck right at the start, earning only $30 a post. They have to write hundreds of posts each month to make a decent living. And then they complain online about how businesses don't pay enough and that freelance blogging is tough. This in turn scares away other new freelance bloggers.
Well, in this course I'll show you how to break out of that. I'll start you off by creating a foundation for you. These basics are important, and something that most bloggers miss.
Once you have that covered, we'll move on to some actual writing. I'm not going to teach you grammar, sentence structure or how to write. I will teach you how to construct a good blog post, and get you in the habit of writing posts for business blogs.
Then, we get to the fun part. You'll start earning some actual money. I'll show you how I started and, if you want some quick and easy cash, you can also start with earning $30-$40 a post.
But it's important not to get stuck there like everyone else. I'll quickly show you how to move up the ladder, entering a medium income level, and earning anywhere between $50 to $200 per post.
I'll give you all the tools you need to get your way up to $200 per post, including lists of blogs that pay well, and word-for-word scripts and templates I use to pitch to businesses and offer my services as a blogger.
It might take you weeks, even months, to get to the stage where you're earning $200 per post but, when you get there, you'll join the ranks of premium bloggers like me. After that, I'll show you how to go higher. I'll help you find the blogs that are willing to pay $300, $400, and more per post, and I'll teach you how to price yourself to earn more and more.
By the end of the course, your journey will only be just beginning. As a premium freelance blogger, there are a number of new career paths open to you. You could keep traveling the world, earning thousands of dollars a month writing from anywhere, or you could join a company as a content marketer, like I did. The choice is yours, and I'll show you what options you have.
Now, this course is not meant to be finished in one sitting, or one day, or one week, or even one month. It's long, with 46 lectures and hours of video content, along with worksheets and assignments. But, I guarantee you, you'll be earning money within the first few weeks if you do it right.
I'm so confident about that, that I will return the money you paid for this course if you haven't already earned it from freelance blogging within the first 60 days.
So, the only question is, are you ready to start a new journey in your life? It doesn't matter how old you are, where you're from, whether you have a degree or what you do professionally. I guarantee that ANYONE can benefit from this course as long as they are willing to put in the time and effort.
There is no better time to become a freelance blogger than now. Your road to financial freedom is only a click away, so start now and don't look back!
- This course is for people who have a passion for writing and want to convert that passion into income
- This course is for people who have a job and want to make a side income of a couple of thousand dollars a month
- This course is for people who want to quit their job and earn a full-time income in a new career as a freelance blogger
- This course is for people who don't have a job and want to start earning money online
- This course is NOT for someone who isn't a native English speaker
- This course is not for someone who doesn't know how to write, or doesn't have a passion for writing
In this lecture I give you an overview of what you'll learn in Section 1. Over the coming lectures in this section, you'll learn more about me, about how the course is structured, and why businesses will pay you to write blog posts for them.
In this lecture, you'll learn about who I am, and why you should listen to me. In 2013, I had a few hundred dollars in my bank account. So to keep myself afloat I started freelance blogging. Simply put, I’d write blog posts for other businesses and get paid for it.
Fast forward to the summer of 2014 and I’m traveling the world earning a full-time income writing blog posts for other people. Over the last year I’ve been to 8 countries across 3 continents, spending a couple of hours every day writing posts to fund my lifestyle. I’ve been published in some of the top blogs in my industry as an expert and I get paid hundreds of dollars for a single blog post.
If you want proof, just have a look at my website - www.siddharthbharath.com. You'll see that I've been published in a number of places. in fact, I haven't added all the sites I've written for because some of them hired me as a 'ghostwriter'.
I started with no experience but I've managed to build myself up to a premium freelance blogger. What’s my secret? I’m just a regular guy who loves writing. I’ve always loved writing, ever since an early age, and it’s been my passion for as long as I can remember. That’s the reason I can knock out blog posts every day and get paid lots of cash for it. It’s simply because I enjoy doing it.
What is this course exactly and what will you learn -
- It’s about becoming a freelance blogger. I’ll be taking you through the journey, step by step, from where you are now to a freelance blogger earning decent money.
- I’ll show you how to find your niche as a blogger.
- You’ll learn how to find new clients. You can’t make money in any freelance business, be it blogging or consulting or anything else, without clients.
- I’ll also show you how you can improve as a blogger and keep increasing your rates. This is another mistake most bloggers make. They assume they shouldn’t charge more and so they work like slaves.
What is this course NOT -
- It's not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time to get to where I am, but I'll be there with you the whole way.
- You won’t learn how to write in English. It’s not a language course or grammar course.
- It isn’t about the lower end of the business. It’s not about writing keyword stuffed articles for pennies
Who is this course for -
- If you have a passion for writing, and converting that passion into money, this course is definitely for you.
- You can take this regardless of your job status. If you’re like me and want a flexible lifestyle, working from home or a beach in Thailand, freelance blogging is the perfect industry for you.
What do you need, and what don't you need to take this course -
- The most important thing to know is that you don’t need a university degree.
- You also don’t need any previous experience writing.
- You definitely don’t need to be an expert in anything.
- All you need to succeed is passion and hard work.
In this lecture, we take a quick look at what content marketing is and why people pay for blog posts. Just like travel blogs attract travelers and recipe blogs attract amateur cooks, so too does a business blog attract customers. For businesses, blogging is a very effective way of marketing. Hence the phrase content marketing, because a blog post is a piece of content.
Fitbit is a good example. Have a look at their blog to see how they produce content that attracts people to their site. Let’s do the math to understand why Fitbit pays people to write these blog posts. To make it simple I’ll assume Fitbit pays $100 to a freelance blogger to write a post. Let’s assume the post attracts 1000 readers. That means Fitbit is paying 10 cents for each visitor to their blog.
Compare that with an ad on Google or Facebook. Companies pay as much as $10 for one visitor because ads are so competitive. The cost of an ad is a 100 times more than the cost of a blog post. Now do you understand the economics of freelance blogging and why companies will pay $100, or even a $1000 for a single post?
In fact 34% of the top 500 companies in the world use blogs and that number is growing every year. These businesses are willing to pay good freelance bloggers hundreds of dollars for well-written blog posts that will get read and shared by thousands of people.
There’s a huge demand for freelance bloggers, but there aren’t many freelance bloggers supplying top quality articles. Will you step up and provide the supply?
In this chapter, let’s talk about your role as a freelance blogger. You are basically providing a service to businesses that want content for their blogs. You write posts for them, they pay you money. Your aim as a freelance blogger should be to provide the best service to your clients, the businesses who are paying you money for your writing.
As you write more, and take on more clients, people will start to recognize your name. They’ll think of you as an expert and an authority source in your niche.
You’re not just learning a skill by becoming a freelance blogger. You’re gaining expertise and you’ll become an influential person in your niche. That means the future is wide open for you. You can continue as a freelance blogger and charge more money for your work. Or you can join a company full-time for your expertise. Or you can start your own business in your niche and use your influence to sell your own products.
Now the best part of freelance blogging is you can do this from anywhere. As long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can make money from anywhere in the world. From your home or the beach.
The future is yours, and freelance blogging will open doors for you that you never thought could be opened.
In this chapter I want to give you a roadmap for the coming lessons -
- We’re first going to start with setting a foundation for you. That means going through some ground rules, finding your niche as a blogger, and creating your writer’s hub.
- Once your foundation is solid, you’ll start writing! There are 4 stages. The first stage is Unpaid Work, where you'll start by getting your name out there with some free posts on your site and as a guest author on other sites.
- The second stage is the low income stage. You’ll earn less than $50 per post in this stage. The idea is to get through this stage as fast as possible while at the same time gaining some experience and getting some published work under your belt.
- Stage 3 is the middle-income range where you’ll earn between $50-$200 per post. After you’ve tackled stage 2, you should have the confidence and ability to start charging this much from clients.
- Once you’re getting a steady stream of middle-income blogging work, you can start pushing into the high income range, stage 4. That’s $200 or more per post! Even $300, $400, it’s up to you.
Here's what's going to come in this section -
- First, we’ll start with getting in the right mindset and cover some ground rules.
- Next, I’ll show you how to set up your writer’s hub and social media profiles. This is how you can spread the word about your services, and how new clients will find you.
- Then we’ll talk about your niche. This part is extremely important and something most new freelancers don’t do.
- Finally, we’ll look at some real examples of good blog posts. I’ll dissect them for you so that you can start writing posts like that.
Let's talk about how to cultivate the freelancer's mindset.
To start with, you’re making money doing something without any experience or a college degree. All your life you’ve been told that you need these two things to make money. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what your background is. What matters is the work you do. I do a really good job when I write posts for my clients, and that’s why I can charge money for it.
Along the way, you’ll face rejection. You’ll need to constantly apply to companies for them to hire you as a freelance blogger, but each time you apply there’s a chance you’ll get rejected. Rejection happens to everyone, including me. In fact, if you’re not getting rejected, it’s probably a sign for you to start applying for more challenging, and higher paid work.
Finally, remember that you’re a business, not a person. There are certain expectations when your clients deal with you.
It’s time to cover the fundamental rules of the business.
- You’re a business providing services to other businesses so you need to act like a business. You have to put this work above everything else. No taking shortcuts or procrastinating.
- The most important rule is to provide a good service. Quality is what will separate you from every other blogger out there who thinks they can make money doing shoddy work.
- Make an effort to improve your writing every day. That takes continuous practice and learning. I’ll show you how to write good posts but you need to do the work.
- Providing top quality service means no copying. It’s ok to look at other blogs as research, and it’s ok to rewrite them in your own words, but directly lifting sentences and pasting them into your post is wrong.
- You need to be reliable. The businesses you provide your services to have certain times when they publish posts, so stick to their deadlines and submit your work on time. Even if that means saying no to drinking beer with your friends.
- Finally, your clients are professionals. The blogs I write for are billion dollar companies so when they do business with me, they expect a certain level of professionalism. When I communicate with them, I am prompt, respectful and professional and you need to be the same.
First I want to explain what I mean by your writer’s hub. You’ve already seen my website at www.siddharthbharath.com. This is the hub of my online presence. On this site people can see who I am, read about my work history, look at my various blog posts and clients, follow me on my social networks and contact me to hire me.
There are three ingredients to setting up your site. The first is a webhost. The second ingredient is a domain name. Mine, as you can see is siddharthbharath. The final ingredient is your actual site. Fortunately, you don’t need to know how to code a website. We’ll use a software called Wordpress.
Have a look at the attached PDF 'Set Up Hub Guide' to set up your site. Just follow the instructions and you'll be done in just a few minutes.
Social networks are the easiest way to promote your work. Every time you publish something, be it on your blog or on a client’s blog, you should promote it on social media. In this lecture I'll show you the most important ones - Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Quora. Set up accounts on them if you haven't already done so.
Before you go on to the next Section, you need to complete this assignment. You must set up your site and social networks before you can start writing.
Your social networks are how people find you and your hub is how people contact you. Don’t skip either of these. Lack of one or both these components is the biggest reason why many writers get stuck on $10 per post assignments.
Use the PDF I’ve created. It takes out all the guesswork and you can do all this in less than 30 minutes.
In this section we’re going to figure out which niche you want to focus on. In the content marketing business it’s better to be a master of one topic rather than a jack of all trades.
We’re also going to look at what makes a blog post good and we’re going to do a live teardown of a popular post I’ve written. Finally, at the end of the section, you’re going to start writing!
Your niche is basically the one or two topics you like to write about. For example, my niche is online marketing.
By focusing on a niche, the more you write about it, the more knowledge you’ll gain. That means you’ll become an expert in that niche fairly quickly.
How do you actually find your niche? Start with something you’re already knowledgeable about or passionate about. Start by listing out your passions, interests, skills and knowledge. Any work experience counts too.
A couple of things to remember is not to make your niche to broad or too specific. So travel writer is too broad and Chilean food travel writer is too niche, but food travel writer is just right.
In my case, marketing is too broad while content marketing for high-growth B2B companies is too specific. I chose content marketing for online businesses.
Now that you know what niche you want to focus on, it’s time to do some studying.
To start with, you want to identify the top blogs in your niche. A simple google search will help you. Search for the best blogs in your niche, subscribe to each one, follow them on your social media, and start reading their posts.
Carefully go through a few posts from each blog before you get to the next chapter.
You’ve been reading some of the top posts in your niche. What did you notice about the blog posts when you read them? What did you think of them? Were they interesting?
If you look at all the top posts in your niche, you’ll find that they have some similar qualities.
- The first and most important thing is knowing your audience. The people who write these posts know who’s going to read them.
- All good posts start with a compelling headline or title that will draw readers in.
- Good posts are broken down into short paragraphs with multiple sub-headers and images. This allows for easy scanning of the post and makes it more readable than a wall of text.
- There is a structure to the post. There’s an introduction that builds curiosity and sets expectations for what’s to come. Then there’s the body that delivers the information people are looking for through data, statistics, stories, opinions or anecdotes. Finally there’s the conclusion asking for readers’ opinions or asking them to take a certain action.
- In general, good posts have a consistent voice, engaging readers by telling a story and using words like ‘you’ and ‘I’ to make them feel like they are part of the story.
- In fact, every sentence you read has a reason for being there. There’s no wasted sentences or repetitions to increase post length. They get to the point, or points, using simple language so that readers can easily understand it.
Download the checklists I’ve created for you so that you can use it as a reference for the next lecture.
Have a look at one of my published posts - http://unbounce.com/social-media/drive-e-commerce-sales-with-facebook-ads/ - and find out why it attracts so many new visitors and clients every day.
- I know who my audience is.
- I have a compelling heading.
- My introduction is interesting and addresses a common problem.
- The entire post is broken down into short paragraphs with sub-headers and images.
- Along the way, I’ve used lots of images and screenshots for a visual effect.
- I’m also mentioning a lot of numbers and statistics, and I’m backing up every point I make with evidence by linking to reputable sources and studies.
- The whole post is one story. I’m basically making points throughout the post, and referring back to them later on.
- Finally, at the end, I’m asking readers to take a certain action.
We had a look at what makes a post good. Now, let’s see how to actually write one -
- Know your audience. Now, if you’re writing for clients, the first thing they’ll tell you when they hire you is who their audience is. If they don’t, then just ask. No one knows better than the company you’re writing for.
- Figure out the goal of your post. In the previous video, the goal of my post was to educate business owners on how to improve their facebook ads. With the goal in mind or, better yet, written down, your post will have direction and you won’t be rambling on.
- Brainstorm a few titles. This will be related to your goal. Now, if you’re doing a list post, like in the previous video, and you don’t know how many points you’ll make yet, you can create a vague title like X strategies to improve facebook ads. Later on, you can replace X with the actual number.
- Write an outline. This will help you structure your post. That doesn’t just mean intro, body and conclusion. It also means writing down each sub-point. Download my outline for the Unbounce article to see an example of how it should be written.
Steps 5, 6 and 7 are the actual writing part. Use your outline to build on each point.
Finally, step 8 is proof reading and touching up. Before you submit the article to your employer or editor, you need to make sure there are no mistakes.
The point of this exercise is to put you in a blogger’s shoes. It will help you understand how everything I’ve just taught you about writing posts actually fits together.
- At the start of this section you identified the best blogs in your niche. Find the best posts from those blogs and then start writing them down. Get a pen and paper and copy them word for word.
- Don’t blindly copy them down. I want you to understand what the writer is trying to say. See if you can figure out who the audience is and what the aim of the post is.
- After you’ve copied it down, I want you to try and rewrite the post again, without looking at the original. Just write the same post again in your own words. You can do your own research and add or subtract points if you think it makes the post better.
- At the end, compare your version with the original and see if it’s better. Better yet, ask a friend or family member to rate the two articles.
Be sure to complete this assignment before going to the next section. You don’t have to stop at 10 posts. Write 20 or even 30 if you want. It might take a few days but it’s totally worth it.
In this section we’re going to establish a base and get some published work experience under your belt. Think of it as an extended practice session from your last assignment, which I hope you’ve done by the way.
Except the only difference between the assignment and now is that you will be judged by other people.
We’ll start with generating topics to write on. With a solid topic in hand, the rest becomes easy.
Then you’re going to publish on your blog, the one you set up as your hub. This will serve as a sort of portfolio of your work.
Next you’ll write guest posts on other blogs. A guest post is a post you write for free, but you get publicity for it.
Before you can write a blog post, you need to have some idea of what you’re going to write about.
By thinking of topics in advance, you’ll have a starting point to focus your post on.
The best place to get new ideas is to look at existing blogs. Those top 10 blogs you identified earlier in this course are a good start.
Use Buzzsumo to find more blogs and collect all those feeds into Feedly. Another place to look for ideas is social media. Search Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Quora to see what people are talking about.
To keep track of all your ideas, it’s best to make a list somewhere. Even a word document is fine. Just throw topics ideas in there every time you have a new one.
Your hub will serve as your portfolio initially, but as you start writing for other sites, either a guest post or paid post, you can use those as your portfolio.
When you start publishing on your hub, make sure you’re writing regularly. Don’t write just one or two and stop. Each post you write is practice.
You also want to spread the word about your posts. Share it on your social networks, interview experts and ask them to share it. You’ll get more exposure this way.
That being said, don’t worry if no one reads your stuff at the start. It’s hard to get your blog found considering there are millions of other blogs online.
If you can land a guest post on one of the top blogs in your niche, you’re gold. Finding clients will be easy. In fact, clients will come to you because they’ll read your bio at the bottom of the post where you’ll link to your hub.
A simple Google search will help you find these blogs. In all likelihood you’ll find a list of the top 100 or so blogs in your niche. Start from the bottom and work your way up.
Guest posts are free but that doesn’t mean you can slack off. Remember, you’re writing guest posts so that potential clients find you, so you need to give it your best.
Research the blog thoroughly before pitching them. After that, use the pitch template I've uploaded to construct your email to the blog owner or editor.
You’re going to start pitching blogs to get published on them. Set a goal for ten posts. It will take time and you can continue with the rest of this course while you’re doing it. The important thing is to start pitching.
To streamline your pitches, I suggest creating an excel sheet of blogs you want to pitch, topics you’re going to pitch to them and whether they accepted or rejected your pitch.
Then, use my template to pitch them and tick them off the list. Remember, don’t blindly copy and paste my template. Use it more as a guideline. Tweak it a bit before sending it off.
After you’ve pitched 20 to 30 blogs, while you wait for responses, move on to the next section, the low income earning section.
In this section, I’ll introduce you to three types of sites. The first type is called a content farm or a content mill. These are basically companies who hire lots of writers, and then get you to produce articles for their clients while taking a cut. Think of them as a sort of content brokerage firm.
Next, we have the revenue sharing sites. Basically they hire writers and publish those articles on their own sites. Essentially they are publications and you’ll be writing for them. These publications make money from advertisements and your pay will be based on how much ad money your articles make.
Finally, we have freelancer sites where you get to work directly with clients. Potential clients post requirements and you need to apply for them. If you get accepted, you'll work directly with them.
In this video, I’m going to start with some of the content farms on the lowest end of the scale.
They don’t pay much but they are really easy to get into. My suggestion is to stay away from them in general, but you might be completely new to this so there’s nothing wrong just setting up an account and trying your hand at it.
We'll have a look at TextBroker, Zerys, Writer Access, iWriter and Blog Mutt.
There are many more cheap writing services like these, where companies buy articles and the service farms it out to low-level writers for pennies.
In this video we’ll look at some blog writing services pay a little more, around $30 or more per post. We look at Demand Media, Scripted and Skyword. I started my freelance blogging journey with the first two sites. You need to go through an application process before they accept you. Once you're in, you can start writing for them.
Revenue share sites are publications that get millions of readers. Because of their high readership, they can make money from ads. They pay you based on how many views or how much ad revenue your post makes. So, if you write an interesting post and lots of people read it, you’ll get paid more.
HubPages, About and Examiner are three such sites. There are others but none of them are worth spending time on. The monetary returns are just not enough.
The way a freelance marketplace works is businesses post jobs on the marketplace. You as a freelancer apply to the job, among many others. And the business picks one or two people to do the job.
There are three major freelance marketplaces – eLance, oDesk and Freelancer. All work the same way. The marketplaces themselves take a cut off each transaction between the job poster and the freelancer. So if you get paid $10 for a post, you’ll actually get $9 and the marketplace will keep a dollar.
Again, the monetary returns do not justify the time you spend searching for jobs and applying to them.
If you need some quick money, or maybe you want to get your feet wet and practice your skills before moving on, it’s time for you to get to work. You should only focus on the content mills for this one.
You can start with Demand Media and Scripted, which are the two I started with. Text Broker, Writer Access and Zerys are easier to get into, though the pay is slightly lower.
Before you go through any application process you need to make sure you’ve been posting regularly to your blog and you have some guest posts out. When you have it all ready, go ahead and apply. Once you get in, start picking up some topics and writing about them. Only pick the niche you’re interested in.
For this assignment, set a target of $100. It might take a few posts but once you get those first hundred bucks, you will feel amazing.
In this section you’re going to start getting jobs that pay you anywhere between $50 - $200 per post!
To start with, I’ll introduce you to some high-end blog writing services. These are similar to the content mills I showed you in the last section, except they are better. They have high standard and pay their writers more.
Next, we’ll look at some sites that pay you for one-off articles. These are like guest posts but you get paid. They are a good option if you need an extra couple of hundred bucks.
Finally we’ll look at job boards. These are places where companies post jobs for freelance bloggers like you. You’ll be facing a lot of competition because there are other writers applying to the same jobs, but I’ll teach you how to identify the best ones and how to make a killer application.
Blog writing services are just like the content mills we saw in the last section. They are content brokers and intermediaries between you and businesses that want content. They have higher standards, charge businesses more, and, in turn, pay writers more.
Ebyline, Writtent and TripleCurve are three such services. There are more, like Onboardly and Gherghich. These are good sites to ease into and start earning more money from your posts. You’ll definitely learn a lot from the editors who manage your work and you can use them as a launchpad to higher income jobs. I myself started with Onboardly at $50 per post, after I felt ready to move on from the low income work in the previous section.
There are many websites that pay for a guest post. The pay range is anywhere from $50 - $200 per post depending on the site and post length.
I’ve created a document that lists them. I’ve included a number of travel websites in the list, so if you like to travel or you’re planning to quit your job and travel the world, you should look into these.
Bootsnall is an example of a travel site that pays $50 for each guest post. Sitepoint, on the other hand, pays $200 for one post. You can guest post for these sites as many times as you like.
When pitching these sites, remember the tips I gave you back in the Unpaid Work section in the lecture on guest posts.
Job boards are where businesses post jobs for freelance bloggers, and you apply to them. If you get hired, great. If not, just shrug it off and apply to the next one.
If you get hired, you’ll deal directly with the client and you’ll commit to producing 3-5 articles, or even more, every month. So you’re not just doing a one-off post and then spending time searching for the next gig. Instead, you’re getting a regular income every month which you can scale up by finding more clients.
There are many job boards so keep an eye on all of them. I've included a list for you to download. The most popular one is jobs.problogger.net.
The application process for each job posting might be different, and the instructions are in the posting, but the fundamentals are the same. Do your research and you’ll be ahead of 90% of the other applicants. Send some samples of your best published work and you’ll be ahead of 99% of the other applicants.
Make sure you’re very selective about the ones you apply to. To start with, only look at the jobs that are in your niche. If they pay low, ignore them.
Also do some research into the company posting the job. See if they have a nice site, and a regularly updated blog. This shows that they are willing to invest in their online presence and marketing. Also look into the reputation of the site and see if they have an active social media following.
Maintain high standards when it comes to the jobs you choose, otherwise you won’t be treated with high standards.
Once you’ve filtered out the bad ones, you can start applying to the remaining.
The application process is usually pretty straightforward for most postings.
The first thing to do is read the posting carefully. You might find instructions in the descriptions so make sure to follow them.
Apart from following each job specific instruction, you also want to try to keep your actual application short and sweet.
I've attached a job application template to help you when applying to postings. In general, you should tell potential clients four things -
- Who you are
- Why you are applying to their posting
- What experience you have
- How much you charge
If the job doesn’t specify a pay rate, they’ll typically as you to quote a rate. Always quote higher than your current rate. So let’s say you already have another client paying you $100. Quote $150 to the new client. If the client thinks it’s too high, you can always negotiate back down to $100. If they still think that's too high, they aren't worth it.
It is compulsory for you to complete the goals here before moving on to the next section. Your goal with this section is slightly different from other sections. This time you need to write your first $200 post. I showed you how you can progressively keep charging more with each new client. Use that method to work your way up to $200 per post.
NOTE: It will take time to get to $200 per post. It may take weeks, or even months. Don't be in a hurry and don't lose faith. Just keep applying and soon one company will come along and hire you to write for $200 a post. When that happens, you’re ready to move to the next section.
You’re in the major leagues now!
In this section, we’re going to approach clients and pitch ourselves to them without waiting for them to post job applications or approach us.
Create a list of the top blogs in your niche.
Keep an eye out for are businesses who have a proper content marketing strategy already in place. These are businesses that produce blog content on a regular basis.
If you see posts from the same blog regularly showing up in Google search results you can be sure that they are good and invest a lot in content. These are the kind of blogs you want to target.
Have a look at their social media accounts and see if they’re active and have thousands of followers.
Within the blog, have a look at the authors for each post. First, check to see if each author gets a little section at the bottom where they have a short bio about themselves, and also a full author page where they have an extended bio.
Also check to see if the blog has multiple regular authors. Some blogs may even keep up to 10 writers in their roster but only publish the ones who send the best posts for that month.
Kissmetrics, Birchbox and Anytime Fitness are examples of popular blogs in their respective niches. Using these guidelines, start doing some research and create a list of 20-30 potential blogs for you to target. It might take some time depending on your niche. When you’re done, move on to the next chapter to learn how to pitch them.
Pitching starts with some research. As I have stressed many times in this course already, doing your research puts you ahead of all the other writers out there.
Start with the blog. Try and understand the type of content they publish. Read through 10-20 of their top blog posts. See if you can find any common trends. What topics specifically do they focus on? Which topics get shared or read most? Is there a particular writing style or voice throughout different posts? Are their posts detailed and serious or humorous and light?
Next, try to come up with 5 more topic ideas that would fit perfectly on this blog. Imagine how those topics would look on the blog. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the blog’s writers so that you get an idea of what the blog is looking for in an author.
Finally do some research on the writers themselves, especially the editor. Try to get his or her email address so that you can reach out directly and pitch yourself. Install Rapportive and use the list of email address variations I've attached to figure out the correct address.
You have to make your pitch stand out. You’ve already done half the work by researching them. You also need to prove that you’re worth paying. If you don’t have examples of work you’ve published for other clients or on guest blogs, go back to the previous section and get that.
When you’re ready you can construct an email to the editor. The email has 4 main parts -
- Introduce yourself. Make this short and sweet like the previous guest post and job application emails. Also let the editor know up front what this email is about, that you want to be a regular writer for the blog.
- Show them your work. Link to the top three best posts you’ve ever published. These need to be posts on popular sites. They can either be paid or guest posts.
- Show them why those posts were popular. You can pull up statistics for number of social media shares, and also if other blogs linked to that post. This proves that your work is good and people like reading and sharing them.
- Suggest 3 new topic ideas for the blog and explain why you think it will be a good fit. This shows that you’ve done your research and that you have initiative.
I’ve created a pitch template for you that you can copy and use for your pitches.
When it comes to freelance blogging, pricing is a process. You can’t just charge a fixed price like you see at a shop. You need to keep increasing it as you become better at what you do.
If the client responds to your quote saying that it’s too much, don’t suddenly drop your price by half. Just write back saying that you’re flexible on prices and willing to work a good rate if they hire you to write for a long period of time. Then ask them how much they are willing to pay.
Let’s say there’s a site called Blog X and they are happy paying writers $200 per post. Most other writers are too scared to charge high, so they charge $100 and Blog X is happy paying that because it’s half their budget.
Now you come along and charge $400. That’s twice their budget but the editors see that you’ve done good work and they start thinking you’re worth it. They negotiate with you and agree to $300. Now you’re getting paid three times as much as other writers, simply because you had the guts to charge more!
If there’s one major difference between someone who earns $400 a post and $40 a post, it’s the mindset. The ones who earn $40 don’t believe they can earn more, because they don’t believe they’re worth more.
It should probably take you a few months as well to get to the stage where you are earning a full-time income as a freelance blogger. The course is not meant to be finished in one sitting. The assignments take time and there’s a long way for you to go if you started as a new writer.
So if you’ve reached this section I’m going to assume you’ve done everything I told you and you’ve become a premium writer with premium rates. CONGRATULATIONS!
At this stage you might be wondering what’s next. Let me tell you, your journey doesn’t end here. In fact, it’s only just beginning. In this final section, I’ll go over some quick tips on how to further improve yourself as a freelance blogger, and then what the future holds for you.
You might find that you have reached an earnings ceiling.
Maybe you just can’t get people to pay you more than a certain amount, say $300 per post. Or perhaps you find that you can only write 3 posts a week due to some time constraints.
Well, that doesn’t mean you can never earn more money. You just need to get a little better and there are a few things you can improve to make more -
- Increase productivity. Work on managing your time better, reduce distractions and increase your productivity. With a few changes to your lifestyle, you may be able to write twice as many posts. That instantly doubles how much you’re earning.
- Increase your knowledge. By learning more about your niche, two things will happen. One, your work will get better, which means people will be willing to pay you more. Two, you’ll be able to write a post with less research, which means you’ll be faster.
- Start adding more value to clients in your posts. Make them deeper or more engaging. Write longer posts that people will love reading and sharing. Just keep increasing the awesomeness of your work and you’ll find businesses approaching you and offering to pay you more.
- Focus on expanding your fame, not just your earnings. If people talk about you, read your work, and keep hearing your name, they’ll be more likely to pay you more. Getting your name out there is probably the best way to earn more money, but it takes time.
So you’ve made it as a freelance blogger. The next question is, now what. Is that it? Do you just keep doing what you’re doing for the rest of your life?
Well, you can if you want to. If you have a day job you really hate, you can now quit and earn money as a blogger full-time. If you didn’t have a day job to begin with, you are probably already earning as much as someone with a day job.
There are a few others things you could do -
- You could travel the world. Freelance blogging makes you location independent.
- You can start your own content marketing firm by hiring lower level writers to take the load off you.
- You can join a company in your niche as a content marketer. Yes, these days companies do hire for specific roles like that.
- You could create some sort of service or product around your niche.
- You could write a book related to your niche.
THANK YOU once again for purchasing it. I’ve found great joy in being able to live a rich and free life, traveling the world and working when and where I want, and I hope that you can too.
If you have any questions at all, or if you ever need anything from me, just ask. I'll be happy to help you.
Finally, if you found this course useful, I’d be really grateful if you could rate it and write a review. Share it with your friends too so that they can earn more and live a richer life too.
Thank you and goodbye for now.