Blogging can get expensive pretty fast.
Buying a domain name is relatively cheap – often no more than $10. But after that the costs start adding up.
You may need hosting. An email service provider. Security or technical help. A logo. A premium theme.
Sure, your blog may eventually bring in the money to pay for all of these. But when you’re just starting out it can seem like it’s a huge money sink.
Many new bloggers try to mitigate their costs by using monetization methods such as running ads, promoting affiliate products, or asking for donations.
The problem with these is that while they’re quick to set up, they don’t really work well until you’ve got a fair amount of traffic.
Fortunately, there’s a faster way.
You might not have considered this before, especially if you’re not particularly interested in a career as a freelancer and your focus is on making money from the blog itself.
But freelance blogging can be a great way to cover your costs (and even save a bit of money for larger investments such as a custom design) in the early days of your blog.
How Freelance Blogging Works
Freelance blogging (also called “paid blogging”) means you get paid to write content for someone else’s blog.
This can work in lots of different ways. You might be credited under your own name or as a staff writer. You might choose to work for just one blog, or write for several.
As a freelancer, you can decide exactly how much work you want to take on. You might just want to spend a couple of hours freelancing each week – say, a Wednesday evening. That’s more than enough time to write a standard 1,000-word blog post, which could earn you $50.
Those posts would earn you an extra $200 a month – enough to cover the costs associated with your blogging. You may even be able to save up for one-off investments such as a logo, a photoshoot, or even a new laptop or other equipment.
Freelancing is really flexible, too. If you decide you enjoy it, you can take on extra clients. If you know you’ll be busy or away one week, you can write some in advance.
Freelance Bloggers Don’t Need a Large Blog of Their Own
Would-be freelance bloggers often think they need an impressive web presence of their own to get work.
That simply isn’t true. Soon after starting my own freelance blogging career I ditched my first blog completely. I still got work.
Your clients won’t care about how big your blog is. What matters to them is how well you can write.
The Biggest Advantages of Freelancing When You’re Starting Out as a Blogger
When you’re getting your own blog up and running, freelance blogging has several key advantages beyond just the money:
- You’ll get lots of experience. On your own fledgling blog you might not get any comments, no matter how much you encourage readers to leave them. But when you write for bigger blogs your posts will more than likely get comments. You might also get feedback from the blog owner/editor. All this experience is really helpful when it comes to writing content for your own blog, and will help you get used to writing for a large audience.
- You’ll learn new things. I’ve been freelancing for more than 11 years now, and I’ve picked up so many useful tips and tricks along the way – from great plugins to best practices when uploading blog posts. It’s fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at how other bloggers run their sites.
- Your family members will get it. It can be hard for family and friends to understand why you’re pouring so much time (and money) into your own blog for such (seemingly) little reward. But getting paid for writing freelance posts is a simple way to show that blogging really is a way to make money.
- You can build a reputation faster. Freelancing under your own name on relevant topics can be a great shortcut to getting known by influencers who may well read the large blogs you write for.
So how do you get started with freelancing?
Here are two things you can do today:
#1: Pitch a guest post idea to a large blog in your niche.
Guest posting is a great way to get your name out there, and to bring new readers to your blog (through a link in your bio). It’s a particularly good place for would-be freelancers to begin, as it means you’ll have a writing sample on a large blog to show to prospective clients.
#2: Look to see what blogging jobs are available
A great place to find jobs is on the ProBlogger job board, where blog owners/editors list positions they have available. Many of these are for regular, ongoing work. And if you only want a couple of hundred dollars a month to cover your blogging costs, landing just one of them will probably be enough.
For extra help getting started freelancing, check out ProBloggers Ultimate Guide to Freelance Writing. I’ve packed it with everything I’ve learned from 11+ years of freelance blogging (and extensive use of the ProBlogger job board to find clients myself).
You’ll learn everything you need to know to establish a great side hustle – or even a full career – as a freelance blogger. And it includes two full chapters that step you through using the ProBlogger job boards as effectively as possible.
Check out our brand new eBook ProBloggers Ultimate Guide to Freelance Writing.
Image credit:Fabian Blank