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.
As I said, there are lots of freelancers out there providing excellent services. For example, I have hired my own writers and designers from Upwork and Fiverr with outstanding results.
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 +
Freelancing while you just starting a blog is the best way to stay financially fit while you build your empire. While I started a few years ago i used to do freelancing. It increases your network too!
Thanks for the amazing post.
Hey! nice that you like my post, Jitendra.
I would definitely recommend freelancing to anyone starting online not only for the income but also, as you said, for increasing the network :)
All the best,
You’re so right about using the tools.
If you are serious about making money as a freelancer or blogger, make sure to first invest both time and money.
It’s almost impossible to make money without putting money first.
Having access to the right tools is really the key to focus on building audience, growing your SEO and sales online.
Also focus on monetizing your blog by building a strong portfolio. Work for free in the beginning, build your portfolio and attract clients with your content!
Great share buddy.
Doing freelance is a great way to nurture your skills and get expertise in your field. If you are in a blogging than it will definitely help you to build a successful blog. I remember my days when I started freelancing and Now I am operating my own blog. Thanks for the informative post. Great Job.
Millions of people are in the queue to make some money from their blog but that is not a rocket science.
It takes the time to build a blog which can convert. During such period, you should always look for some freelancing work.
I used to provide my web development and designing services and still do. It’s always good to have another source of income.
Patience is always the key. Having the self-discipline is very important.
I remember how people used to manipulate and the quality provider wins. The case is still the same.
Hi Kevin Balcker, truly an awesome post. I am also an article writer at upwork. Recently they have closed my account. This is best for quick money but not good for future.
Hi Kevin. I must say that being a freelancer is an amazing idea because starting a blog hardly gives you enough money in the beginning. You have to keep at it in order to make money and freelancing in the beginning can help you with that.
I’ll have to give fiverr another chance. i feel like it’s overrun with foreigners selling crap, but maybe there’s a better way to sort through the search results. seems like it’s a big jump from $5 to the $50+ or so that a blog post should cost. I paid $40 for one once, and it was junk. anyway, thanks for the post : )
Fiverr can be hit or miss … you really have to do due diligence to find the right provider.
Upwork has a much better quality pool of freelancers and enables you to sort by country. Important is you’re looking for US based workers etc …
Every writer needs a blog. It’s one of the best places for you to develop both your style and your audience. Once you start landing freelance blogging gigs, it’s important to keep up your personal blog — even though you aren’t paying yourself to do so.
You should try to focus on growing your community and providing relevant content. You have shared amazing tips and they are looking very beneficial prospective to freelancing. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy thought with us.
With best wishes,
it is very surprising to know that you earned $600 in your first month in fiverr and upwork, may be in 2015 it was less crowded but now it has been flooded with the services and even getting one client has become difficult.
However being a SEO i can try to get a local client who will pay me for monthly.
I couldn’t agree more with you, Self-discipline is the best way to improve in life in general, but, have you got any trick under the sleeve to help people self-discipline themselves?
Freelancing while you just starting a blog is the best way to stay financially fit. While I started a few years ago i used to do freelancing.
Excellent suggestion, couldn’t agree more with investing in tools of the trade. If you want to get recognized as a Professional, then knowledge is the key. Every tool you use will teach you a certain skill. Good point on always delivering on your on your offer, which is why I personally purchase each product I intend to promote. Building a Useful Toolbox while gathering the needed knowledge to move forward.
Freelancing and blogging are awesome twins. Thanks to the online work revolution,more and more businesses are opting to hire freelancers to save on office and insurance costs. It’s a great opportunity to earn money from home, as you build your brand.
As a freelance transcriber, I’m able to earn a good income that allows me to pay for hosting, my email marketing service and other payments, as it takes time to build a blog that can sustain you financially. It is important to realize how important it is to market your freelance services to avoid the feast and famine scenario.
You have shared amazing tips and they are looking very beneficial prospective to freelancing. Eventually, thanks for sharing your worthy thought with us.
Freelancing is just another way of saying running your own business. You market your service through different sources, agree on contract terms and perform your work for clients. Clients will most likely start out as one-time project requests but may come back to you for regular services.
Thanks for sharing this valuable and informative Post. I work as a freelancer, and yes, I also had these queries in my mind since I began. You are right that we must make plans before going on vacations. Thank you again for your blog.
Thanks for sharing this amazing freelancing tips. Doing freelance is a great way to boost skills and get expertise. mine favorites are upwork and fiverr.
Thanks again !!!
Freelancing also require time but it can make extra money for sure and it is very true that it can also support you while starting your blog. Thanks, It was great read.
I think a blogger should become a freelance writer in the same niche as his/her blog which helps the blog to grow faster.
I am currently building my website, it started off as something simple, but then I decided to incorporate a more interactive portfolio. My web developer is working on it. So as soon as that’s done, I’ll share it with you!