Are you tired of competing with countless other bloggers for every advertised gig you find? Do you wish you could reliably earn $100, $200, $500, or even more per article as a freelance blogger? If you’re looking to build a more stable and higher-paying freelance blogging career, you can. Opportunities are practically endless, if you know how to look and how to make yourself stand out.
Consider giving your freelance blogging career a boost by doing one or more of these three things.
1. Research Real Professional-level Blogging Markets
If you want to move beyond the $25, $50, or sometimes even $100 per post blogging jobs, you have to look past the usual markets. That means researching markets that aren’t "the usual suspects" -- popular blogs or those blogs you personally love to read.
Instead you have to think in terms of a client’s motivation when it comes to blogging. For example, you'll want to look beyond blogs where the owners only care about increasing overall content for the sake of ranking in search engines.
Many of the clients who regularly pay top dollar for freelance bloggers are those with a more strategic side to their blogging plans. The blogs might not even bring in direct revenue or traffic on their own. Instead they support a larger goal of the business or organization, from helping company executives build a reputation as thought leaders in their industries to helping a corporate client communicate more transparently with their customer base.
Think less about the blog’s visibility with general readers and more about which types of clients would want to use blogging in a larger marketing or PR capacity. That’s where you’ll find most of the hidden gems in highly paid blogging markets.
2. Choose the Right Specialty
When it comes to finding high paying freelance blogging gigs, specialists tend to get paid more than generalists. Clients pay top dollar not simply because you can write, but because you can write with authority. And that often has to go beyond the ability to conduct research and interviews (though that can be a specialty in itself, especially if you’re a journalist looking to work with news-oriented blogs).
Bloggers are increasingly expected to engage in ongoing conversations within the comments section of their blog posts. If you can do that in a highly specialized area because you intimately know your subject matter, you’ll have an easier time separating yourself from the competition. And new doors can open to you, such as being asked to write opinion pieces and industry commentary rather than straight informational posts.
Choosing the right specialty area is a bit of a balancing act. You have to balance what you know well with types of blog content that clients are willing to pay a premium for. For example, business niches can pay much better than hobby-oriented niches. Other industries or niches that can be more profitable than most are finance, technology, and health.
That’s not to say all markets in these niches will pay well or that you can’t find incredible freelance blogging gigs in other specialty areas, but rather that it can be easier to find high paying markets in these areas.
My recommendation is to drill down a bit further though. Overly-broad niches can be just as over-saturated as generalist-friendly markets. For example, rather than branding yourself as a health blogger, you might specialize regionally, around a specific medical condition, or in writing about healthcare technology advancements for medical professionals rather than consumers.
Not comfortable specializing in a particular niche or industry? No worries. Another way to specialize is to focus on a specific type of writing. And while “freelance blogging” itself could be considered a specialty, it’s a broad one. So again, you can drill down and find a specialty within that specialty — such as writing review posts, design tutorials, journalistic posts, or even ghostwritten posts tailored to the “brand voice” of corporate clients.
3. Make Yourself Indispensable to Clients
This is quite possibly the most important step in becoming a well-paid freelance blogger. Once you land a client, you have to give them a reason to keep coming back for more.
Some of my own best blogging gigs are those for long-time clients who come to me prior to the launch of any new site (I love working with serial entrepreneurs and middlemen clients who have me help them out with blogs for multiple clients).
Sometimes they want to consult on branding and designs pre-launch. Others come for input on content strategy before deciding how many posts they’ll need, what style, etc. When clients don’t like making these moves without you, you get a lot of input into what your ongoing blogging gig will entail. As a bonus, you get to morph from a freelance blogger into a blogger / consultant, build more trust with those clients, and earn more in the process.
Becoming a highly-paid freelance blogger doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. But you do have to step outside of comfort zones like relying exclusively on job boards and pitching only blogs you already know and read. Expand your horizons a bit and you’ll expand your blogging income potential by reaching new and under-tapped markets.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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