When you are a freelancer, you want to make money from every word you write. It’s your livelihood after all. So why should you waste time publishing your own blog for free?
Well, it isn’t a waste at all. It’s actually one of the best investments you will ever make.
Having your own blog can make it much easier to make a living as a freelance writer. Here are a few reasons the best freelancers do.
Brand Yourself as an Expert
How do your fees stack up against the competition? According to this infographic from Contently, the average rate for an expert blogger is 71 cents a word. Of course, they clearly didn’t poll all of the writers working for sites like Fiverr and Upwork for a penny a word.
You are probably good enough to write articles for 71 cents a word too. The problem is that you need to convince clients that you are worth it first.
People will pay you a premium if you can brand yourself as an expert. Creating a successful blog is the key. You can use it as a portfolio of your work. You can also refer to the comments and social shares to prove that your posts build traction.
Find Hidden Job Opportunities
Your blog will be your single, best lead referral magnet. Sure, it will take time to write posts, but it will be a lot easier than pitching new clients from jobs boards.
Many freelancers find all of their gigs through sites like Problogger and Upwork. There are a couple of problems with this:
- You are taking a more reactive approach to finding clients. I have noticed that on average, Problogger only has about 3 gigs a day. You can find a lot more from Upwork, but they are usually pretty lousy paying. You never know when new gigs will be posted and have to accept that most won’t pay enough to cover your bills, so there may be times when you can’t find enough work.
- Clients using these sites get hundreds of replies. It’s very difficult to stand out, even if you really are the best candidate. Most Problogger applications are probably never even read.
If you are managing your own blog, clients come to you. Some of them will search for writers in their industry and will eventually come to your site. Others will accept referrals from your loyal readers. Some of them will already be loyal readers that will keep you in mind the next time they need a writer. A great way to get clients to not only find your content, but to ultimately become a paying customer is to get them to join your mailing list. To do this effectively, you are going to need to come up with a unique twist. View this list of blogs using popup subscribe forms to see what unique ideas you might be able to come up with.
Carol Tice, the editor of the Make a Living Writing blog, earned most of her clients through her own site. This helped her make $5,000 a month part-time as a freelance blogger. Onibalusi Bamidele, a young blogger from Niger, earned the same amount from his blog when he was only 17 years old.
The primary benefit of your blog is that you can use it to generate new clients. However, there are other ways that you can monetize it as well.
Tice started a private group called the Writer’s Den, which accounts for about half her income. Bamidele also offers paid mentoring to his readers, as well as promoting affiliate products.
There are a lot of ways that you can make a little extra money from your blog. They probably won’t replace your freelance writing career, but they can stave off famine during the lean periods of the year.