Use Your Blog to Land Paid Writing Gigs: 9 Practical Tips

By Steven Snell

In addition to maintaining my own blog, I write for several others. Paid blogging positions are very prevalent today as the demand for quality content continues to increase. This is a great opportunity for bloggers, and your blog can even help you by serving as a portfolio for those looking to hire writers. I’ve had some great experiences and learned a lot by writing for other blogs, and I think many Daily Blog Tips readers would benefit as well.

Why Write for Other Blogs?

Income – Obviously paid writing gigs are attractive because of the financial benefits. Many bloggers are trying to earn some money each month with advertisements and/or affiliate links. Writing can easily supplement that income and make your blogging efforts more productive. The pay will obviously vary from one situation to another, but there are opportunities for bloggers at all levels.

Name Recognition – Those that do paid blogging tend to get exposure from writing on different blogs. As people see you in more and more places they’ll start to remember you as a source of information on a particular subject. Take for example Chris Garrett. Chris writes for blogs such as the Blog Herald, Copyblogger, and Blogging Tips (and more). Not only does Chris benefit financially from his writing, but thousands of readers recognize him as an authority and that carries over into anything he does.

Networking – Anytime you’re writing for another blog, paid or unpaid, it’s a great chance to network with other bloggers. Building a network is crucial, and this is one of the best ways to do it. Other blogs are looking for writers. If you can provide them with superb content that readers like, you’ll make friends very quickly.

Learning – Writing for other blogs can be a real challenge. When you write for your own blog, you decide what gets published and what doesn’t. Writing for someone else can be a little more difficult, but it will push you and help you to develop better writing skills and to gain new knowledge. When you’re being paid for an article you’ll likely have a little more motivation to do your best work, and in my opinion this is a good type of pressure that helps a blogger to improve.

Variety – If you’re only writing for your own blog you probably cover the same topics on a regular basis and you reach basically the same audience week in and week out. Writing for other blogs will give you a chance to stretch your boundaries and explore topics that interest you but just don’t fit with your blog. Additionally, you’ll reach a new audience each time you write for another blog.

During the time that I’ve been doing paid writing for other blogs I’ve learned some things that help for finding new opportunities and improve the success of the projects. Here are some tips:

1. Start Slow. Don’t take on more than you can handle. If you’re new to paid blogging you may be looking at several opportunities and tempted to take on too much at one time. Maintaining your own blog is a lot of work in an of itself. You don’t want the quality of your blog or of your paid writing to suffer, so make sure you have the time to dedicate to anything you accept. Once you get accustomed to things you can certainly add more projects as you have time.

2. Pursue the Chance to Write Free Guest Posts. I know, this article is about writing paid blog posts, but most of the time you will have to get your name out there before paid opportunities present themselves. One of the goals of writing guest posts is to build name recognition so that others will think of you when they are looking to hire a writer. Plus, you never know when submitting a guest post can lead to an offer for a paid position, it has happened to me.

3. Post Your Availability. Make it known to others that you are available for hire. Consider posting about it at your blog or submitting your information on freelance writing sites. Blogger Jobs is a great place to post some information about yourself. I posted there and received 3 inquiries in about a week. Free classified sites like Craigslist are another option.

4. Check Blogging Job Boards. There are a number of places online where people who are looking to hire bloggers can post a job ad. Blogger Jobs, the ProBlogger Job Boards, and the Blogging Tips Marketplace are all great places to find paid positions.

5. Post Regularly On Your Own Blog. If your blog is going to serve as an effective portfolio to attract new gigs, it needs to be given the proper amount of attention. Don’t neglect to build your own blog while writing for others. After all, your blog is still your asset, while writing for others will only pay you as long as you are writing for them.

6. Build Social Media Profiles. If your paid blog posts draw a lot of traffic and generate attention, you’ll be much more in demand. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use social media to drive traffic. Once you’ve written the post the work is not always complete. If you can submit the post to social media sites (or at least vote for it), you’ll be able to increase the amount of people that see it.

7. Don’t Always Pass On Lower-Paid Opportunities. Making money is obviously one of the primary reasons for being a paid blogger. However, there may be times when a lower paying job may have more to offer than just money, such as networking with someone influential or the chance to write for a particular blog. You may not be able to afford to take these jobs all the time, but consider the big picture. I recently took a lower paying job than I would normally like because it gave me the chance to write for a blog that is pretty well known. This type of opportunity may wind up leading to other more profitable jobs.

8. Make the Rounds. Once you’ve established how much you can handle, it’s a good idea to work for several different blogs, if possible, rather than always writing for the same one. You’ll meet more people, reach more readers, and very likely find even more opportunities.

9. Look for Regular, Repeat Jobs. Although you should look for chances to write for new blogs, it’s also nice to have one (or more) consistent jobs that will be steady income for you. Looking for work takes time, so having a regular column on a blog will often be more profitable.

Does anyone else have any tips that they would like to add?



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29 Responses to “Use Your Blog to Land Paid Writing Gigs: 9 Practical Tips”

  • Ryan @ Planting Dollars

    Networking with other bloggers in my niche and building up a decent brand has caused me to be approached by 2 other blogs that are now paying me to write. I think starting your own blog, then trying to find gigs is the best way since it’s an easy way to showcase your work.

    It’s also great to build relationships with other bloggers and get paid to write posts because you can use those relationships to possibly add backlinks to some of your other sites from high ranking sites, and backlink to others in your network which will create more goodwill for you. If you can get a paid writing gig in your niche with a high profile blog it’s kinda a no brainer to take it.

  • Archan Mehta

    Thank you, Steve, for an excellent write-up.

    I have recently started to read several blogs and leave my comments.
    So far, there have been no paid, writing gigs, but I am hopeful.

    In this light, your suggestions/tips are a valuable resource.

    Please keep up the good work. Cheers to you!

  • Atreyee

    Its really good to know that other bloggers share similar thoughts like mine. It has been rightly said that guest posts can add a lot of credibility to your blog and our online writing porfolio.

  • trailmixx

    I’d like to share this article with my myspace friends, but can not find the myspace logo at share!

    Thank you!

    trailmixx

  • subodh ghimire

    hi iam working for ethnic minorities about bote in nepal

  • Fanatika

    Steven,

    I loved your article. Thanks for all the wonderful articles you have been giving us. Signed up on BloggerJobs after reading this. Thanks again.

  • (Mr) R Rangarajan

    Do I have to pay you for getting paid blog writing jobs?

  • Karthik

    As you rightly mentioned in one of your other posts, paid blogging can be looked at as a short term income that serves as fillers until your own blog takes off – IMO too, paid blogging is not the best idea if you are going to be into blogging for the long term. Excellent article for those who are looking to jump in.

  • Sunil Gupta

    It’s a nice post. Thanks for posting.

  • Tim Hollis

    Thanks for the tips. I have a site niched in progressive satire and will let you know how things turn out.

  • Rebecca Laffar-Smith

    I think many of us are wondering how to dig up these ellusive blogging jobs. While there are an abundance of openings the real challenge is finding (and being accepted for) a position that uses our skills to greatest strengths. For example, no matter how much money it pays I would turn down a vogue fashion or celebrity job. It would hurt to say no but it would ultimately damage my brand because it would require me to write something I could not stand behind and have no interest in. Perhaps that’s the missing tip.

    It also helps to strengthen self-confidence. Believe you can add value to the blogs of others, write down all the ways you could do that and then pitch your ideas to the blogs you’re interested in reaching. Remember the greatest rule in marketing is to give them what they want instead of focusing of what you’ll get out of it.

  • Jeanne Dininni

    Steven,

    In addition to your excellent suggestions, I would recommend that bloggers consider submitting their posts to appropriate blog carnivals. This is one great way of getting their work out before a wider audience and building name-recognition, as well as credibility/authority in their niche.

    Though it doesn’t pay monetarily and provides only a link to their blog post (rather than featuring their actual post on the hosting blog), it could prove well worth their time in the long run. And considering the fact that they may not even need to write a special post for it, providing they’ve already written a suitable one for that particular carnival–and even if they do, they’ll be killing two birds with one stone, since the post will appear on their own blog–they really can’t lose.

    Thanks for a fantastic post!
    Jeanne

  • Gisele B. from myBeautyMatch.com

    Daniel,

    I got offered a paid position to have my own (separate) blog on one of the major search engines lifestyle section.

    I’m also getting a number of magazines and newspapers now that are interested in my content. Some of the gigs are paid, but some our on recognition base (basically, they publish my main blog’s URL).

    Because offline publication reach a completely different audience (several thousands of them), this is great because it really helps me broaden my reach and also accelerate the rate at which I become recognized as an authority on my niche.

    For 2008, the plan is to try to get a small regular vignette on a TV show. That would be awesome! Even a 5 minutes segment twice per month would seriously boost my site’s traffic.

    I could never have imagined that I would be this far at this point in the life of my blog since I launched it in June of this year.

    Gisele
    http://www.mybeautymatch.com

  • Vikram

    Steven You are doing a great job!
    I always like your posts and your insight. I found your blog through one of your guest posts as well. This is not easy work, churning out quality posts one after other can really drain you.

    Its tough for me to maintain my own blog, with having a day job and other work, but I try to make the best of my time and learn from audacious bloggers like you and Daniel.

    I have also guest posted at a few blogs, including Daily Blog Tips, for which I am thankful to Daniel that he gave me an opportunity.

  • Anthony Carter

    You make some valid points in the above list Steven, none more than points two and five. In my opinion writing is like anything in life- the more you do, the more proficient you become. By keeping your own blog in order with decent, well researched content and then branching out into guest posting again using well researched content, you’re not only continually improving yourself as a writer/blogger but you’re letting a wider audience know about it as well.

  • Karen Zara

    Steven, I can never thank you enough for having written this article. I’ve been thinking a lot about paid blogging. This is just what I needed to read.

    I’m glad that you’ve included some sensible tips such as #2 and #7. I know many writers who would totally disagree with you on those. But I can see exactly how guest posts and low-paying jobs can help a blogger if she knows what she’s doing.

  • Steven

    Wayne,
    Daniel pretty much summed it up. At first I was submitting guest posts to a lot of blogs. At that time I had no intention of paid writing, but opportunities came up.

  • Nick James

    A great list of tips. I think number 2 is the key point. If you’re not good enough to successfully guest post on somebody else’s blog (either by getting a request to do so, or successfully submitting content) then you’re going to get anybody paying you to do it.

  • Daniel

    Wayne, I think on the beginning you will inevitably need to hunt jobs down. Then when you get your name out people will start asking.

  • Wayne Liew

    Great article, Steven.

    I have always been looking out for guest blogging opportunity but I seem to be not even handling my blog post well. Thus, lots of work to be done before I move on to guest blogging.

    I would have one question. Take you for example, are you going out to seek for job opportunities or the jobs come automatically to you? My guess will be the latter one because of the quality of your writings but I just want to confirm about it. 😉

  • Syd

    Are there enough good posting jobs for bloggers on the internet? I haven’t tried writing posts for others, though I maintain my own blog and get a decent amount of traffic everyday.

    Thanks for the information and for providing links to a couple of blogger job boards. I might check them out in order to supplement my income.

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