Flashback to 2016 when I came home crying after a long, hard day in the office.
I had a heavy workload, a colleague was being unsupportive and I was working in a dead-end job I didn’t particularly enjoy just to pay the bills. It was a job that severely affected my mental health as well as my physical health. And it was also a job that didn’t suit my skillset, 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 hobby blog during my university days, utilise my expertise of working with brands and learn how to become a blog writer on a freelance basis for other companies.
Even though it was hard work and it took time, energy and money to get my freelance blogging business going, I’m so glad I did it. After all, I’ve never been happier (and I’ve never been flourishing so much financially!).
Want to know how you can also build a career based off your passion for blogging? Well, let me tell you.
1. Practise Your Writing Skills
How to become a blog writer 101: write as much as you can.
Hopefully you’ll already have a blog or social media platforms where you regularly unleash your creativity.
If not, start a blog. Even if you can only afford to use a free platform at first, like WordPress.com or Blogger, it’s worth doing.
After all, how do you expect companies to hire you to write on their blogs if you don’t even have one of your own? Think about it.
Plus, the more you write, the more you hone your craft and strengthen your voice. And the higher the chance you have of winning jobs over fellow blog writers.
2. Find Your Niche
As a beginner, it’s not only difficult to learn how to become a blog writer, but it’s also difficult to learn how to make good money blogging for a living.
If you position yourself as an all-rounder, producing content about different kinds of things for various types of publications, you’re not going to earn the big bucks this way.
The trick is to specialise in a particular field or niche. This involves focusing on one or two subject areas that you’re particularly knowledgable about or you have extensive working experience of.
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.
3. Launch a Professional Website
Newsflash: every serious freelance blog writer has a website where they outline their services, communicate their background and include writing samples.
This because it’s useful to have a place where you can direct prospective clients 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?
Essentially, your freelance writer website acts as your CV for the client, therefore, it’s got to hit the mark.
I recommend building a website and becoming self-hosted with WordPress.org and SiteGround, as you get to own and control all your content.
Having said that, if you’re only just starting out or still building your biz part-time and simply don’t have the funds required to launch a professional website at this stage, then stick with your blog for your time being.
Oh, and bonus points if your blog specialising in your niche(s). This not only shows that you’re a dedicated writer, but it also naturally serves as a portfolio if you’re lacking in writing samples. Win-win.
4. Market Yourself in Your Niche
In the early days of freelance blog 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 fingertips 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-searching.
It’s all about networking at every opportunity 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.
The key to getting your name on the social-sphere is commenting on other people’s posts, promoting your latest blog posts or new client work and showcasing thought leadership through publishing your own posts.
This will help you nurture and grow your freelance blogging business, which can then lead to referrals and friendships amongst other exciting opportunities.
5. Build a Blog Writing Portfolio
Another top tip in terms of how to become a blog writer is to build a top-notch portfolio.
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 prospective clients to your best blog posts.)
That said, another option is guest posting on other people’s blogs or writing 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 this sample might win you a client in the future, which means that (technically) you will receive money from it eventually! Wahoo.
It also couldn’t hurt to write some articles in your chosen niche in your spare time. You can then 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.
6. 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. Ask yourself:
- 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 concise and it must pack a punch.
However, it’s more 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.
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.
7. Find Those Freelancing Gigs
Once you’ve done all of the above and are totally clued up when it comes to how to become a blog writer, its time to get yourself some paid work, blogging buddy!
To find freelance writing jobs as a beginner, you can use freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer to get your foot in the door and start building a portfolio.
Once you’ve built up your confidence, you can also do the following:
- Apply for specific jobs through freelance job boards like ProBlogger, BloggingPro and Freelance Writing Gigs
- Send cold emails to relevant businesses and publications in your niche(s)
- 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!
How to Become a Blog Writer
Needless to say, having your own freelance blog writing business is hard work. 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’re willing to put your mind to it.
And trust me, once your business starts thriving, being a freelance blog 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!
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