This is a guest contribution from Kevin Balcker.
You should already know that earning money with a blog does not happen overnight. It takes time, consistent publishing of great content, and unique smart ideas to make a blog take off. Depending on the niche you want to get in, ranking in search engines might be tough, and often requires strong SEO skills.
But what happens if you need money for your daily expenses? Or what if you need money to pay the hosting fees and tools required to run a blog? This is where most people turn to freelancing to help pay the bills.
Freelancing is an excellent way of earning some bucks while you build a blog at the same time. With the money earned, you can then speed up the process of content creation, link building, hiring a pro designer, or whatever you think would be a wise investment of your hard-earned dollars.
I was one of those people who turned to freelancing while I built my blog, and this is how I earned my first $600o
I started my first blog back in 2015. I had no money and no knowledge of how to start a blog, but I had two very important things: Patience and determination. I knew, just from the beginning, that starting a blog was going to be a long journey and that I needed some money to pay tools and hosting fees, so I decided to offer services on Fiverr.com and Upwork (formerly Odesk).
I started as a writer. At that time I had a lot of work, writing for other blogs and for mine but it was very helpful because I learned how to write for search engines (on-page SEO) and a ton about keyword research.
In the first two months, I earned +$600, and that was the jump start of my business. I invested literally ALL the money I earned into my website. I paid premium keyword tools, WordPress plugins, themes, hired writers, etc. That investment produced higher rankings for my website, UX increased significantly, and most important, revenue also increased allowing me to earn money in “almost-passive mode”.
So, you get the point – even if you don’t have two cents to rub together, you can figure out how to earn extra money and then invest it in your own business. That’s my suggestion if you are starting with a low budget.
There are many other ways to get quick cash, but I found freelancing the easiest one and the most legit.
5 Important tips for Starting with Freelancing
It might be a great way to earn extra on the side to fund your blogging passion – but it doesn’t come without a little work on your part.
The most important factor in my opinion. Becoming a freelancer means you are going to need a tremendous amount of self-discipline because you’re going to be logging your own hours.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of self-discipline, does not pay attention to details and can’t keep a consistent schedule, it’s going to be really hard on you and going to be even harder for your clients.
This is where I tell you to reconsider your position, especially if you don’t meet those qualifications. Someone who is easily distracted could make freelancing a very challenging career. Even if freelancing is something that you will do just for a few months, you need to take it seriously. Remember that your name is your personal brand, and people will remember you in the future.
2. Investment on tools of the trade
Freelancing also requires a significant investment on your part regarding resources. Being able to buy the tools of the trade, being able to replace them at the drop of the hat, all of these things are super important, so you have to be in a position to where financially this makes sense.
Having the best tools will give you a competitive advantage upon other freelancers.
But consider this: just buying these tools, will not be sufficient. You will have to learn how to use them and if you develop a personal strategy with them, there will be a high probability that your success will come true.
Some tools I recommend:
- For writers: Grammarly, Buzzsumo, CopyScape
- For SEO consultants: Buzzstream, SEMRush, AHrefs, SEOcockpit, Long Tail Pro.
- Video Creation: Screencast, screencast-o-matic
- Other: Google Analytics, Google Adwords,
Here at ProBlogger there are some useful guides that will help you out to learn about SEO and writing:
- The 3-Step Keyword Research Formula To Cast A Tsunami Of Search Traffic On Your Blog
- Search Engine Optimization Tips for Bloggers
- A Powerful Exercise inside Google Analytics to Set You Up for a Successful Year of Blogging
- 11 Techniques for Writing Great Blog Post Titles
If you’re someone who is very introverted, it’s not that you can’t do it, but the challenge for you will be new client acquisition.
If you’re introverted but you are a master of SEO or social media, then this could be less difficult for you regarding client acquisition. Or if you are willing to outsource or partner with someone who is very sales and marketing oriented, that could be a great proposition for you. You will have to leave money on the table, but having 70% of somethings is better than 100% of nothing.
If this person can get you deals and close at a higher rate than you could, it is probably for the best. If not, you might have to reconsider doing this full-time because the reality is that the marketplace is very saturated and very noisy. It is going to be tough for someone who can’t come outside himself to be competitive there.
4. Work quality. Are you delivering any extra?
Quality work matters, but it’s not going to speak for itself, it’s not going to sell itself, and if you can’t get in front of it, you need someone who can. Otherwise, you are going to lose to your loudest competitor. Remember this: Showing up matters.
People are not hunting you down for this work so you can’t be naïve and you can’t be romantic about it.
Just take a look at what other freelancers are selling, and see if you can add any extra to that service.
Always be honest with your clients, set expectations and deliver what you offer. It’s very hard to gain the trust of your clients and very easy to lose it all of a sudden.
Salespersonship matters, oh my god it really does. Your talent is not the variable of your success there, it’s that actually salespersonship matters because the marketplace decides and showing up is how you get things done.
It doesn’t matter if you are the nicest person in the room. If you don’t go out to the dance floor and ask a girl to dance, being the nicest guy in the room isn’t going to do a lot for you.
Getting money really matters as a freelancer and so instead of waxing poetic about how good you are, it’s about how good you are at selling.
If It doesn’t make you any money, it doesn’t make sense.
I will encourage you to figure out if you are the best person to sell your brand and to get new clients (you can start with browsing the ProBlogger Jobs board), whether you need a partner with somebody, or whether you need to use an agency of some kind.
There are ones like Aquent and Vitamin Talent, that help freelancers find clients or even find full-paid positions if they want that, or even remote telecommuting project based jobs. All these things are an avenue to overcome that particular obstacle or weakness. Then, you can get better at selling if it’s in your personality, but if it’s not, I would say just outsource that weakness.
If freelancing is right for you, it can be very lucrative. It can be very practical, and it could be the beginning of financial freedom.
If you have a question about freelancing or working with difficult clients, leave that in the comment section. I would love to hear your doubts and help you out.
Kevin Balcker is a digital marketer, entrepreneur and owner of Residual Income Secrets. He writes about starting, growing and managing a blog, SEO, social media and ways of generating passive income. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Google +