How to Make Money Blogging (It’s Not What You Think…)

By Ali Luke

This is a guest post from Tom Ewer.

Becoming a professional blogger is a dream career for many people, but making enough money from your blog to provide a full-time income isn’t easy.

If you’ve been reading DailyBlogTips for a while, you’ll know it’s possible to make money from your blog and you probably have a good idea of how to do so in theory. However, it’s an all too common story for bloggers who have done everything by the book for months or even years to still be struggling.

Maybe you’ve built up your traffic, promoted your site and monetized your blog but still find you’re stuck earning peanuts for all your efforts. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet — it is possible to make money as a blogger. Not only that, it’s possible for you to be making a full-time income within just a couple of months.

No, I’m not talking about some dodgy get-rich-quick scheme or the latest black-hat techniques to trick Google into sending your site thousands of visitors. There’s more than one way to make money blogging and if you’re having trouble monetizing your own site, it may be time to consider writing for somebody else.

How to Make Money as a Freelance Blogger

The problem with trying to make money through blogging is that in most cases, it takes a long time and a lot of content before you can build up the traffic and followers required to effectively monetize your site.

There is no easy short-cut here. You might get lucky and get picked up by The New York Times or Huffington Post and you can speed things along a little with guest posting and other promotional techniques, but in general you need to be prepared to work hard for a long time and with very little income to show for it.

However, there are plenty of blogs out there that have already achieved a level of success and are making decent money for the owner(s). Once blogs reach a certain size, they become quite a challenge for one person to manage and keep producing high quality content. What do these blogs need? Writers.

As a blogger, you’ve already proved you have writing skills. Not only that but you know how to format a post for easy reading, optimise it for search engines, find and insert appropriate images, promote it on social networks and interact with readers and commenters. All these skills make you highly qualified to work as a freelance writer for other blogs.

Finding Blogs to Write for

There are thousands of blogs out there looking for writers so it’s probably easier than you think to get started as a freelance blogger. An easy place to start is by looking through the postings on freelance job boards. One of the best for new freelance bloggers is the Problogger Job Board.

You can also have a look through the job listings on sites like Elance, oDesk and PeoplePerHour. Be warned that there are a lot of very low paid jobs on these sites and it’s easy to fall into the trap of undervaluing your services.

There’s no shame in taking on some lower rate jobs when you’re just getting started (they provide useful portfolio fodder if nothing else) but always keep in mind that you are a quality writer and you deserve to be paid fairly for your work. Blogging requires just as much effort as any other kind of freelance writing. Some job posters are simply after low-quality bargain basement blog posts for SEO purposes and these are the types of listings you want to avoid. However, there are usually a few gems if you take the time to look.

You can also try contacting blogs directly to see if they’re looking for writers. This can be effective as you’ll be facing less competition from other bloggers and you can go directly to the blogs that interest you and cover topics you’re interested in writing about.

Some bloggers advertise when they’re looking for writers but there’s no harm in sending a quick speculative email even if there’s no mention of other bloggers working for the site. Getting in first and showing your enthusiasm not only gives you a better chance of getting the job, but you may well be able to negotiate a better rate.

Advertising Your Services as a Freelance Blogger

As well as going out and actively looking for work, you want to make sure that it’s easy for clients to come directly to you. If you’ve been blogging for a while, this is easy. Your blog acts as a ready-made portfolio to showcase your writing skills and it’s simple to add a “Hire Me” page to provide details about your freelance writing services.

On your that page you should include links to sample posts that you’ve written for other blogs, a couple of testimonials from some happy customers and details about your experience and interest when it comes to writing topics. If you don’t have any samples, get some guest posts published or at least link to your best posts on your own blog.

Some freelance bloggers also like to publish their rates on their website while others prefer to give personalized quotes when they are contacted. If you do choose to publish your rates, bear in mind that while it may save you a bit of time in negotiation, you’ll lose the flexibility of setting different rates for different clients and it may make it harder for you to raise your rates in the future.

Another excellent way of advertising your services is by adding a link to your site and a couple of sentences about your services in your bylines for client sites. While this is not always possible (some blogs may hire you on a ghostwriter basis where your articles are published under another writer’s name), it’s always a nice bonus when you can get it and you may even want to consider accepting a lower rate for high authority blogs that offer you a byline on posts you write.

Get Started as a Freelance Blogger Today

Working as a freelance blogger is a great career model as there are so few barriers to entry and you can get started right away. You don’t need years of experience or big-name clients to make it as a freelance writer – your writing speaks for itself.

If you’ve been trying to make it as a freelance blogger for a while now without much success, it may be time to rethink your plan of action and focus some of your efforts on writing for others as well as your own blog. Not only is it a great way to make money but it can also help you to build your blog audience and drive traffic to your site – you may well find that after a few months of working as a freelance blogger, your own site starts making some money after all.

Have you ever thought about offering your services as a freelance blogger? If you have any other questions or ideas, leave a comment below.

 

Tom Ewer is the author of Paid to Blog: a comprehensive online course for freelance bloggers. He is also the founder of Leaving Work Behind.




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15 Responses to “How to Make Money Blogging (It’s Not What You Think…)”

  • Samson Ogola

    I’ve invested 7 months promoting my blog and tweaking it to get a Google Adsense approval to no avail. I find this article reasonating with my situation.. Thanks for the info

  • Joseph Anzai

    Like Samson, I have invested quite a bit of time in creating and writing for my own Blog(s) with very little to show for my efforts. As Tom has mentioned in this post, I have shifted gears and write for others to supplement my income. It is so true, there is a plethora of sites looking for content creators.

    Tom, thanks for the post.

  • Raghav

    I totally agree with you, guest blogging and freelance blogging is one of the best way to earn online.

    Blogging can be set as your primary source of income, but if its not making you earn enough then you should have extra resources or funds that actually help you run a blog continously

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Tom,

    Excellent! I have freelanced for months. Wonderful way to capitalize on your skill set.

    All bloggers should freelance. If you are writing, get paid.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Shawn Hartwell

    Well written and not another “make money blogging” article. Freelance writing is a great way to make profit and get your name out there.

    What methods does everyone take in approaching another blogger to write a piece of their blog? How has it worked out?

  • Frederik Drejfald

    Great post.. I’ve been a blogger for 6 months now and agree it’s a lot of work..

    One of the things Ive got into is using Google Alert to find websites within my niche, comment on blogs, build relationships that ended up in guest blogging which been increasing my visits.

    As you suggestion to do freelance writing is not a bad idea at all. Might look into that too just to keep the flow going and build my network..

    Keep up the good content..

  • Lola

    I think as Tom mentioned it never hurts to contact a blog owner and suggest yourself as a guest blogger, but I would not do that in an initial email. First you have to make friends with the owner – get to know him and let him get to know you – see if you have any common interests beyond the blog. Once you become “friends”, then let him know that you write for a living and would enjoy writing a blog post for him for $ – low money at first and if he invites you to write again, you can ask for more.

  • Shiv Saroya

    If you are blogging only for fun, then there is not much money to be made.
    But if you focus on making money online, you can make a lot of it!

  • Syed Faris Hussain

    There is no shame to contact the owner and apply for the writing job. I am always looking for these kind of writers for blog. Do contact me if anyone is reading my comment here 🙂

  • Julia

    All of us we need money… but we must not forget that the real blogger, first of all must be a good writer who wants to share information’s from his perspective and not just writing articles on demand.

  • Rohit

    Hi Tom,

    I totally agree. Unfortunatley, freelancing is something that many bloggers do not consider as a method for monetization.It can be more profitable than ppc monetization.

    Even having banners of your writing services through out your blog can be a great way for advertising your freelance services. Depending on your pricing, they may even end up providing a higher cpm. Freelancing should defintley be considered as a means of monetization by anyone who blogs! Great information!

  • Abel Ligas

    Hi Tom,
    Fantastic! I have freelanced for a few months. Great way to capitalize on your expertise.
    All bloggers should freelance. If you are writing, get paid.
    Thanks for posting!

  • Alex

    Nice article Tom,

    inspiring for people who are starting out.

    I myself just recently started getting in touch with several webmasters in order to write for them, the rates are not the greatest but it’s something to work with until I can start making money from my own blogs.

  • rakesh verma

    i have working on my blog naming http://www.cyberfort.blogspot.com
    but don’t know how to optimise the adsense revenue and more on…

  • Leo

    Thanks for the tips. But how much a freelancer blogger is paid ?

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