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Want to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger? Do These 3 Things

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on August 28, 2014 in Freelance Blogging
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The Secrets to Being a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger

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.


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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.

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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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6 Comments

  1. Wendy K. September 1, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jenn:

    I know #3 is right on the money. I’ve been able to transform being a blogger and web content writer for the lawn & landscape arenas into an online marketing consultant because I’ve built relationships with my clients. And I’ve proven myself to be a trusted advisor.

    One thing newbies need to know: All of the above takes time. It’s not an overnight thing to build trust and relationships. I always think about how I can help solve my ideal client’s problems or make their business more successful. Also, I encourage anyone who is thinking about incorporating the above, to invest in your ebook which provides simple and targeted methods to developing a successful blogging business. I credit your sound advice to helping me be successful! Thank you, Jenn! :)

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern September 1, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Wendy. You know I’m always grateful for the opportunity to help. :)

      And you’re right. Building that level of trust does take time. In the early stage, the best way to do that is to continually over-deliver. And just as important, engage in conversations with your clients that go beyond your immediate projects. When you care about a client’s business as much as you would care about your own, they notice. And when they know you’re as focused on their success as they are (and probably more than other contractors they’ve worked with), you become practically irreplaceable.

  2. Zachary (QuickMeUps.com) September 1, 2014 Reply

    Great insights and happy I found this article (via G+ Freelance group). I’ve been blogging for the past 8 months and am feeling ready to move on to unpaid guest blogging posts as well as paid freelance work. I’m from the US currently living in Chile and enjoy business / trade / emerging markets and trends, so am looking to find work in this field. Apart from a google search, what are some other ways you recommend finding prospective clients for freelance writing work? Oops scratch that – I see you have a forum for this same thing. I’ll take a peek. Thanks again for the nice article.
    – Zac
    Zachary (QuickMeUps.com) recently posted…Let’s Keep Learning.My Profile

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern September 1, 2014 Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Zac. I’m always happy to see new faces around the community. :)

      Here are a few quick tips:

      1. Don’t rely solely on “finding” potential clients. Make sure you’re putting at least some of your time into building a professional platform. That helps clients find you. :) Guest posting is one element of that (though do it responsibly). You can find other tactics in this post: 30 Ways to Build Your Writer Platform

      2. Google your competitors. Find writers who fit all of the following criteria: they’re targeting the same size companies (or same types of publications), they specialize in the same niche or industry if applicable, they offer the same specific services you plan to offer, and their rates are close to those you plan to charge. See who their clients are (check for client lists, testimonials, case studies, etc.). Now I’m not suggesting that you immediately try to poach clients from competitors. There are better ways to use this information. One of the smartest things you can do is list their clients, decide which ones you’d like to work for, and then look for those clients’ competitors. You won’t immediately start things off having to compete against potentially longstanding relationships, and those new prospects might be under-tapped markets (or even better, they might not even realize they need you until you pitch them).

      3. If you want to specialize in a certain industry, look for industry association websites online. They often have member directories where you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of well-targeted prospects all in one place. :)

  3. Alicia Rades September 17, 2014 Reply

    Fantastic tips! I like that you point this out:

    “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.”

    I think those are most often the clients with the best pay.
    Alicia Rades recently posted…Stuck With Rotten Blog Post Ideas? Here Are 6 Ways to Make Them FreshMy Profile

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern September 17, 2014 Reply

      Absolutely. They’re the clients who tend to have a solid plan in place. They’ve really thought it out before jumping into blogging, as many do thinking it will be a quick revenue source. And they’re willing to pay well to have things done right. :)

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