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How to Get Your First Freelance Blogging Gig

Chris-GarretttThis post on getting your first freelance blogging gig was submitted by Chris Garrett.

People often ask me how they can get freelance blogging work so when Darren asked me for a guest post I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Anyone who follows my writing on my own blog and copyblogger will know I do freelance blogging myself and it makes up a good percentage of my income.

Freelance blogging is a great way to earn money from blogging. While it isn’t a passive income, it does earn reasonably well, predictably, and is itself a form of marketing, so doing a good job often leads to more work. When starting out you might have to start at the lower end of the pay scale, $10 a post is quite common, but as you build a reputation you can earn over ten times that amount.

It’s not just about the money, it is also a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy writing and variety. While I started out very much in the technical and geeky topics, now I find myself writing about all sorts of things, from clients as diverse as a micro stock photography company to a software company with a product that allows you to convert PDF to Excel. I am in a lucky position that these jobs now come to me, in the past it was not always the case.

Start With Your Own Audience

The first place to start looking for writing jobs is with your own blog and your own audience. Put up a page saying you are available for hire and refer to it in your sidebar and posts. Those people who read your writing regularly are the most likely to want to hire you because they already know and like your work and there is some trust built up. You are a known quantity.

By extension any guest posting to do has the same potential. While readers will not see you as often, putting a small reference to your freelance available in your attribution line could garner some leads. See if you can get some guest post spots on likely blogs and try.

Next, Ask Around

Work outwards from your blog to people who know you. Put the word out that you are looking for writing work. This isn’t begging, you can really help someone else with your writing skills or just by saving them time. Friends of friends and word of mouth is where I get half my work so this is a really effective method. When you are down it is hard to sell yourself so it really helps if someone is doing it for you. I would mention one lady in particular here who instantly comes to mind as a friend everybody should have but I don’t want her inundating with appeals for referrals, heh.

Work the Forums

Your writing doesn’t have to only appear on blogs to get noticed, blogging forums are also a good place to get your name out there. Good forum posts and a friendly, helpful nature, could be all you need to get either paid or guest spots that lead to paid work. As before, mention in your profile your availability.

Apply For Jobs

ProBlogger has a job board, then there are places like performancing and others out there. Also look on freelancer classifieds sites and craigslist.

Summary

Once you get word out and really start looking you will see there are writing opportunities all over for a hard working blogger. All it could take is one or two jobs well done to really start the ball rolling. Happy freelancing!

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Brett Evans says:

    Few weeks ago I was thinking about doing guest post for other blogs but wasn’t quite sure how I would go about it. I love the idea of creating your own page for hire.

    If your not in it for the money would you suggest to do it for free?

  2. Ali says:

    I remember when I use to do freelance writing, haven’t had a freelance blogging gig yet, and job boards would be full of the highest requirements for the least amount of pay possible.

    With my own blog, I now have a self worth and don’t go below a certain price threshold. I do take some sponsored posts from the various companies that have spring up in the last year, just the ones that are relevant to my blog though.

    I find that it is quite hard to get another blogger to accept your posts, as they are not always comfortable with your form of writing.

  3. Nishu says:

    but still Chris how do u write post about things that you dont have expertise about .. and how do audience get convinced by your writings when they know you are blogging for professional purpose.

  4. Brett Evans says:

    Ali: How long you been writing guest post?

  5. I just looked at the performancing job board… here’s one of them:

    ——————————-
    Posting Requirements: 2 posts per day, 6 days a week (plus a weekly roundup). Payment Terms: $100 / month + first $100 in site revenues.
    ——————————-

    So that’s 13 posts per week or roughly 50 posts per month. At an average of 10 minutes per post you are only making 40 cents an hour?

    Why would anybody take that job? Am I missing something?

  6. I figured out what I was missing.. basic math skills, it seems.

    doh…. I need coffee.

  7. Starfeeder says:

    I think freelance bloggin would be fun :) definitely not as stressful as freelance web design.

  8. Mark says:

    Well, even if you made $200 that position (the 100 month + first 100 of income), it still measures out to $8.33 a (blogging) day. If you consider each quality post takes 30 minutes to put together, it’s $8/hr, which I don’t consider very good at all :)

    Aside from all this, blogging for hire definitely appeals to me; it’s just a matter of finding the right gig to go for. (So if anyone is interested, let me know!;))

  9. Andy Merrett says:

    I recently added a page to my site listing my areas of interest and experience, and have already been contacted by someone offering me a regular writing opportunity.

    Whether it came as a direct result, I don’t know, but gradually as my name is becoming a little better known on the Net, and thanks to other opportunities which have already come up since I turned “pro”, other one-off and regular work is coming my way.

    Always happy to consider more, of course :)

  10. doug m says:

    one point about freelance blogging is that you have to have some sort of income that you can live off of until you get enough gigs to cover your expenses. as it was pointed out, making $8/hr or $100 a month is very little in todays world and you have to have some sort of cushion before you delve completely into the freelance world

  11. If money is not an issue by all means do it for free. Even now I do guest posts for free, like this one :) Guest posts are excellent marketing!

    Yes some of the jobs advertised are not fantastic money, but as you get noticed and do more good work your fees can increase and you can knock the poor paid ones off.

    Consider the deals with how long it will take you in mind. One client I had took a lot of research so each post took hours, whereas if I blog about blogging I can just sit down and write.

    There are usually better paying opportunities with companies rather than other blogs but of course those gigs are harder to come by.

  12. Great tips. I have busy with school but after that I am launching freelance blogging for sure :)

    Thanks Chris

  13. WarriorBlog says:

    Hey Chris, you must be getting a LOT of traffic from Problogger for this post because your website isn’t even loading for me.

    It just stop and froze – just heads up :-)

    Sweet post though – I use many forums and they all work very well in getting a little traffic and answers.

  14. Thanks for the heads up, I think it is Dreamhost having yet another wobble :(

  15. Hi Chris.

    As always, nice post. It also helps to establish yourself as an authority and bring in something extra that makes your blogging client prefer you over the other bloggers. An expertise in blogging and SEO would be a great advantage.

  16. Mark says:

    Doh – seems the Problogger job board is down :)

    Chris, following on from your post, I’ve added a ‘blogger for hire‘ page on my own site; thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Brad V. says:

    Freelance blogging is on my radar, and the next step in my “blogging career”. Before I take that step though, I’d like to build up some more momentum on my own blog and increase my readership.

    For me, blogging is still a hobby. But if I can manage to make some extra spending money in the process, I’m all for it!

    Great post and excellent tips! Thank you!

  18. Wonderful article! I’ve always wondered about this. Good stuff!

  19. angie says:

    Gosh! gimme a cup of coffee…. no caffeine please!

  20. Melody says:

    I have my first freelance gig, but I am not getting paid for it. I am hoping that the more my writing is out there, the more people will want to contact me to write for them. I would even like to eventually do some tv or radio :) How fun would that be!!

  21. Ali says:

    @Brett, I’ve written a few guest blog posts, but none for money yet.

    Some of my guest posts have appeared on NorthXeast and Shoemoney. The response was favorable, the traffic spike was nothing to write home about, but the experience was priceless.

    Hey, I just wrote a MasterCard commercial :)

    I used to do a lot of freelance writing before – in fact it paid my bills for like 6 months.

  22. Trump says:

    Teaming up with other bloggers is a great way to get a blogging career going. A lot of people like to hear from multiple authors to find out what they think and by teaming up with someone else is a great way to get loads of content added to your blog daily without you doing any extra work.

  23. Patia says:

    Thanks — you gave me some good ideas.

    There are usually better paying opportunities with companies rather than other blogs but of course those gigs are harder to come by.

    I’m looking for a full-time writing/editing/blogging position that will allow me to telecommute. Am I dreaming?

  24. Ritu says:

    Thanx for the tip Chris. I get a lot of information from your forum as well

  25. Freelance Blogging sounds like a great way to earn some money online and at the same time gain experience as a writer. Building an income stream does not have to be difficult, it just takes some effort.

  26. Good thoughts, Chris. Here the old adage “seek and ye shall find” applies wonderfully.

  27. While I don’t necessarily want more competition, it is good to look out for our own. There are some jobs for bloggers on the auction and bidding sites like iFreelance and Elance (amongst others, but these are the best, in my experience). These sites allow you to big on blogging jobs that buyers post up.

    They also allow you to collect feedback and reviews from jobs so that you build up credibility. That has a fantastic impact with potential clients – they do read the reviews.

    Of course, pay at first is low, because you do have to establish that credibility as a good service provider, but once you have a few jobs under the belt, the opportunities for better pay increase.

  28. Great advice, thanks!

  29. I’ve been building my writing career for almost ten years now, but I’ve just entered the world of blogging. After blogging for my employer for only 2 months, I’ve already had another company approach me about blogging for them! It takes some time to get your name out there but once you do it’s worth it. Great tips, Chris!

  30. boringman says:

    Good writing for you..
    it is good for promote your blog..

  31. Meg Meyer says:

    Great post.

    I’m linking to it, in a post, tomorrow. I think my freelancer clients & readers will get a lot out of your tips.

    And, really, the suggestions you give, can be applied to more than just freelance blogging. They’re just good business for anyone looking for almost any kind of gig.

    Thank goodness you’re still willing to blog for free! ;)

    Sincerely,

    Meg Meyer

  32. TehBloggaar says:

    I’m totally interested in this. I’ve been looking for online work all week. I just quit my job (not to be a blogger!) and I’ll be needing cash in the coming days. But that is not why I started looking for freelance work in the first place.

    At first I wasn’t requesting money. I’m still not asking for cash. All I want in return is a domain name for my Tumblr blog.

    I’ll write 5 blog/forum posts about anything if someone would register a domain and then map it to my Tumblr. I also have some basic design skills, nothing fancy.

  33. Jason says:

    Guys you should definitely check out our site: http://www.iAmAnArtist.com
    We have various things going on that site that is related to all types of freelance work including writing, acting,
    programming, outsourcing, and even live auctions. Do check it out. We have a blog that’s live as well. Hope you
    make use of it, certainly it will help lots of freelance programmers, artists, writers, etc.. out.

    Good luck,
    Jason.