If you’re thinking about starting a freelance business, the idea might seem overwhelming. You’re definitely not alone in that feeling but if you can plan strategically, your freelance writing business can be both fulfilling and lucrative. The blogging industry is only continuing to grow. In fact, the content marketing industry is projected to grow by nearly $600 billion over the next four years.
Interested in becoming a freelance blogger but don’t know where to start? Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to starting your online blogging business with expert insights on how to secure your first client.
What Is a Freelance Blogger?
You might be familiar with the work of content writers, but what exactly is a freelance blogger? Freelance bloggers specialize in a specific niche and they focus mainly on blog content. For example, a freelance blogger might specialize as a beauty writer, creating articles for beauty and direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies. Alternatively, they might focus on a B2B niche, collaborating with businesses that cater to other businesses.
Most freelance bloggers are also experienced in other areas of content writing as well. They can provide services such as content refreshing, case studies, keyword research, content planning, ghostwriting, SEO consulting, copywriting, or proofreading. If you decide you want to launch a business as a blogger, it’s not a bad idea to diversity your freelance writing business and offer a wider range of services than just blogging.
One of the many benefits of freelancing is you can decide who you want to work with and what projects are interesting to you. However, sticking to one specific niche all the time doesn’t allow much room for you to expand your writing skills. It’s a good thing to step out and learn something new, even if it’s a skill you’re still learning.
How Much Can You Make As a Freelance Blogger?
Considering how much the content marketing industry has grown, you might be curious how much money you can actually make as a freelance blogger. Rates for freelance bloggers can vary widely, depending on the type of content, the client, and your experience. Additionally, there are different ways to get paid for your services that will impact the rate as well. Some bloggers or content writers choose to work by the hour while others charge a flat rate or a rate per word.
According to Ziprecruiter, the national average per hour for a freelance blogger is $35 per hour. When it comes to flat rates per article, a writer might charge $50-$75 per article on the low end and $250 on the high end. In reality, there's no fixed rate, with some content writers charging as much as $1 per word.
Despite the wide range of rates for freelance blogging projects, there’s no limit to the possibilities for growth. As you hone your craft and become an expert in your specific niche or skill, you can start to charge more per article. From a marketing standpoint, blog articles are a great way for businesses to generate leads and organic traffic, which is why there’s so much potential for growth as a freelance blogger.
How to Start Your Freelance Blogging Journey
At this point, you might be ready to start your freelance blogging journey and want to know what steps to take. If you aspire to become a freelance blogger, here are 6 steps you can take to start building your freelance business:
Determine Your Niche
While many freelance bloggers write for a variety of industries, it can be helpful to start with a specific niche while you build your business. A niche defines the industry you specialize in, such as B2B SaaS, startups, pet brands, or any other area of interest. Choosing a niche is an effective way to position yourself as an expert compared to general freelance bloggers. Here’s how you can pick the right niche–reflect on your passions and consider the problems you can solve with your current range of knowledge. Then, conduct market research to identify growth potential in any areas you’re interested in.
Create a Freelancer Website
Even if you’re just starting out, creating a writer website is essential to building your business and reaching potential clients. Your freelance blogger website serves as a platform to showcase your services and helps clients understand why they should hire you. A writer website simplifies self-promotion–plus, it gives clients the ability to find you. This strategy allows you to direct prospects from social media or job boards to your portfolio. Building a high-quality website is an investment well worth your time, and tools like WordPress and Studiopress themes can help you get started quickly.
Build Your Portfolio
If you want to get hired as a freelance writer, you need an online portfolio. A freelance writing portfolio is your proof of writing competence–it includes links, snippets, and samples of your writing work. You might be thinking to yourself: what if I don’t have any samples? Even if you haven’t gotten your first job yet, you can use your website's blog to demonstrate your writing ability. This approach can attract higher-paying clients and make you stand out from other freelancers.
Utilize Social Media
No matter how you feel about social media, it can be an excellent tool to increase your reach and grow your brand as a writer. In the digital world we live in, you can use social media to enhance your visibility and connect with potential clients. Not to mention social media can help you find article sources, expand your network, learn from industry experts, and share your own content. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are ideal for freelance bloggers.
Begin Guest Posting
Guest posting involves writing blog posts for publications or marketing websites without monetary compensation. While writing for free may not seem like your jam, there are many benefits to guest posting, especially when you’re building a business. Guest posting provides the valuable benefit of a byline, which you can include in your portfolio. It can also be instrumental in building your portfolio and attracting future clients.
Pitch for Blogging Gigs
Part of being a successful freelance blogger is knowing how to find work before you need it. Pitching is the kind of skill that’s absolutely necessary if you want to create a sustainable business and be able to make more money over time. One way to pitch is to send personalized emails or social media messages to sites you want to work with. This is a great way to build connections and show what you can offer potential clients. No matter how you pitch, remember to focus on what you can offer instead of writing a lengthy bio where you only talk about yourself.
Start Freelance Blogging with Hire a Writer
Starting your journey as a freelance blogger can be intimidating, but it’s also rewarding once you see your hard work paying off. By finding the right niche, building an impressive portfolio, and mastering the art of pitching, you can build a successful career in the world of freelance blogging. If you keep at it, there’s so much potential for growth and income.
At Hire a Writer, we help writers and aspiring writers like you gain the skills they need to have a successful business. If you could benefit from expert writing advice sent right to your inbox, subscribe to our Hire a Writer blog!