Flashback to 2016 when I came home crying after a long, hard day in the office.
My workload was too heavy, a colleague was being unsupportive and I was working in a job that didn’t particularly enjoy just to pay the bills. It was a job that had severely affected my mental health as well as my physical health. And it was also a job that didn’t suit my skill set, which made me feel worthless on any given day.
I had to get out, do something else that I knew I was going to love and take a risk.
I had to take my love of blogging that had stemmed from starting a blog during my university days, utilise my expertise and learn how to become a blog writer and blog for a living.
Are you trying to kickstart your career as a professional blog writer but don’t really know how to get started? Are you wanting to escape the soul-destroying 9-5 office culture and do something you love in your own space and time? Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and natural flair for the written word? If you answered yes to all three of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
(Cue the Hallelujah music.)
Read on for my detailed guide on how to become a blog writer based on my own experiences of taking the plunge from office to remote worker.
1. Find Your Niche
It can be difficult to know where to start in terms of how to become a blog writer and make good money by blogging for a living.
Sure, you can decide to position yourself as an all-rounder, producing content about all different kinds of things for various types of publications. However, generally speaking, you’re not going to earn the big bucks this way.
How am I going to earn the big bucks, you ask?
The trick is to specialise in a particular field or niche. This involves choosing to focus on one or two subject areas that you’re particularly knowledgable about or you have extensive working experience in.
For example, my main niches are fashion and digital marketing after studying Fashion Marketing and Branding at university. Therefore, I primarily write blog posts for businesses and online magazines in these industries.
Essentially, define a couple of subject areas that you class yourself as an expert in and then market yourself in those niches. It is then, and only then, that you will start attracting high paying clients and take your business to the next level.
2. Launch a Professional Website
How to become a blog writer 101: build your own freelance writing website.
Why? Well, every serious freelance blog writer has a website where they outline their services and include writing samples to help them attract prospective clients.
After all, every time you’re in talks with potential leads, you need a place to direct them that’s going to give them all the information they need to hire you.
Think about it like this: if you’re an HR Advisor working in an office, you’re not going to consider hiring a full-timer before you see their CV – right?If you're a freelance blog writer, your website acts as your CV, therefore, it's got to hit the mark.Click To Tweet
I recommend building a website and becoming self-hosted with SiteGround, as you get to own and control all your content.
Having said that, if you’re only just starting out, still working a part-time job for solid income or simply don’t have the funds required to launch a professional website at this stage, then perhaps you can begin with a blog. A blog specialising in your niche(s) will not only show that you’re a dedicated writer, but it will also serve as a portfolio if you’re lacking in client samples. Win-win.
(If you’re not sure how to start a blog, here are my top 7 tips.)
3. Market Yourself in Your Niche
In the early days of freelance writing, it’s quite challenging to market yourself as no one knows who the heck you are! Thankfully we’ve got social media at our disposal these days which makes things so much easier.
Start by following influential people in your niche on Twitter, spreading the word about your new business on Facebook and making sure that your LinkedIn profile is optimised with keywords for when prospective clients come a-searchin’.
If you want to become a successful freelancer, online (and offline) networking is key to build credibility and authority in your niche.
To connect with fellow freelance blog writers specifically, get yourself on Twitter where you can find a ready-made community via the hashtags #amwriting, #freelancewriting, #blogging and #bloggers.
Then you can get your name on the social sphere by commenting on people’s tweets, promoting your latest blog posts or new client work and showcasing thought leadership through your social media content.
This will help you nurture and grow your freelance business, which can lead to referrals and friendships amongst other exciting opportunities.
4. Build a Kickass Portfolio
Another avenue of how to become a blog writer is to get a portfolio going!
We’ve already touched upon what you need to do if you don’t have any client samples to show future clients. (Friendly reminder: you work on your blog and link client leads to your best blog posts.)
That said, another option is to guest post on other people’s blogs or write free articles for online magazines.
Sure, it’s time-consuming and you’re not going to get any money from it, but a guest post still serves as a sample. And that sample might win you a client who you ultimately get paid to work with, which means that (technically) you will receive money from it eventually! Makes sense, right?
It also couldn’t hurt to write some articles in your chosen niche in your spare time and then simply send them to clients as samples as and when they ask for them. Typically, the more you write, the more samples you’ll have to show for it – and the more likely you will gain paid work from having these samples.
5. Perfect Your Pitch
What the heck is a pitch I hear you ask? Something to do with singing in key? No siree.
A pitch is what you send out to prospective clients to ask them if they’d like to work with you. It’s essentially a cover letter but for freelance blog writers, and usually sent in email form.
Your pitch needs to basically outline why that particular client should work with you. What is it that makes you a good fit? Why should they choose you over someone else? What is it about your skills and past experience that makes you suitable for that specific job?
It must be relatively short, it must be snappy and it must pack a punch.It's so important to write a pitch as you, in your writing style, to show that you're not a robot. You're a human being with a personality and a unique voice.Click To Tweet
Also, make sure that you pick a few of your best writing samples to include in your pitch because clients want you to show them how awesome you are at what you do. They want to hire you – even if they don’t quite know it yet.
(If you’re really struggling and need some help perfecting your pitch, Elise Dopson offers an amazing course called “Email Templates for Freelancers”. In this course, Elise caters for every possible problem that you could come across as a freelance blog writer whereby you need to communicate with your client efficiently and effectively. There is also a blurb above each template explaining the situation where you’d need to use the template which is extremely handy. You can enrol here.)
6. Find Those Freelancing Gigs
Once you’ve chosen your niche(s), launched a website and/or blog, are continuing to market yourself in your niche(s), have built a portfolio, are in the process of perfecting your pitch and are totally clued up when it comes to how to become a blog writer and blog for a living, its time to go find those gigs, buddy!
(Phewf – I told you freelancing was hard work! But it’ll all be worth it in the end, I promise.)
If you’re new to being a freelance blog writer, you probably don’t know where on earth to find gigs. But luckily for you, I wrote a whole blog post on it here.
To summarise, you can use freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer purely to get your foot in the door and start building a portfolio. You can also apply for specific jobs through freelance job boards like ProBlogger, BloggingPro and Freelance Writing Gigs, send cold emails to relevant businesses and publication in your niche(s) and use social media to spread the word about your blogging business.
Oh, and don’t forget to network offline too. You never know what could come from a five-minute conversation with a friend, family member, acquaintance or even a stranger. True story.
How to Become a Blog Writer
It can be super challenging to figure out how to become a blog writer and blog for a living. Whether you’re at the very start of your freelance writing career or have already completed some of these steps, make sure you keep hustlin’!
Needless to say, having your own freelance writing business is hard work and it takes a lot of drive, perseverance and determination to be able to keep it going.
Having said that, if you’re serious about it, then there’s no reason why you can’t succeed. After all, you can do anything of your choosing if you put your mind to it. And, trust me, once your business starts thriving, being a freelance writer is undoubtedly the best job in the world.
Do you have any more tips for newbies in terms of how to become a blog writer? Let us know in the comments!
(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which help me to run this blog at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!)