This guest post is by Marya Jan of Writing Happiness
Ask any blogger what the going rate for freelance blogging is and you are sure to get a wide range of numbers.
Some might say $10 or $15. Some would say $30 is more appropriate.
Many professional bloggers and copywriters make in the vicinity of $100 to $250. Heck, Jon Morrow, Associate Editor of CopyBlogger, charges $3k for one post.
I have only been officially “blogging for work” since the beginning of this year and I make around $120.00 per 600-word post. So I am smack bang in the middle, and considered to be making a decent rate.
Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that. They think I am grossly exaggerating. Why would anyone pay this kind of money to have blog posts written for them?
Well, well established businesses and high profile companies do. Blogging is a part of their overall marketing budgets and they understand the value of getting a professional on board.
You might have caught this post earlier on Problogger—Jane does exactly the same thing, except she has gotten herself a regular gig. I, too, am a resident blogger for Open Colleges. I also ghost write blogs for two other businesses and this roughly makes half of my monthly income.
But what about you? Looking at the numbers, is freelance blogging something that interests you and piques your curiosity?
You too could potentially start earning money with the help of your blog.
Become a freelance blogger
Plenty of bloggers are doing it: Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing, Oni of Young Prepro, Joseph Putnam of 5 North Marketing and Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind are some of the names I am familiar with.
The idea is simple—but not easy.
You approach businesses that have substantial marketing budgets and ask them if they would like to hire a freelance blogger. Simple, yeah?
If they do need one, the question then becomes, Why you? Why should they hire you over others who charge $5 per post? Or why shouldn’t they get content from firms that provide them with posts for around $15-$20 apiece?
You’ll get hired as a freelance blogger—and a highly paid one at that—when you show your prospective clients that you are worth every single penny they spend on you.
You prove to them, beyond doubt, the skill and expertise you bring to the table. You explain how by paying you $100.00 per post, they are attracting targeted traffic to their site, converting those readers into leads, and further, into paying customers. You detail the return on investment (ROI) they get by hiring you.
Talk is good, but you need something back it up. And here’s how to do it.
You need to have a fairly successful blog
This one seems like stating the obvious, doesn’t it? If you don’t have a blog, how do you even know if you’d enjoy blogging for pay?
Do you know if you could do it, day in day out, on a long term basis? Can you remain committed to a topic of your choice? Do you know how long it takes you to write a 400-word post? A 900-word one? How much should you charge for them? Can you come up with topics on your own?
Really, if you have no experience of consistently writing for your own blog, you will have a really hard time even getting a response from the potential client.
You need to learn to write like an A-list blogger
What do you expect if you want to hire a service professional? That they have all the skills required to do the job, right?
Well, professional bloggers have skills too, even if they don’t have professional degrees in this department. They know how to come up with ideas that are unique and haven’t been done like a hundred times before. They possess advanced research skills to find all the content sources.
They craft headlines that entice people to look, and create effective calls to action. Their posts are scannable, concise, screen-friendly, and share-worthy. In other words, the content they create has the potential to go viral.
You need to show the client clearly that you understand the nitty gritty of blog writing for business. All of the social proof on your blog will help make your case stronger.
And the best thing you can do? Demonstrate your topic expertise. When you show industry know-how, clients know they don’t have to spend a lot of time training you. You know the ins and outs of the market place and hence have more worth than a generalist.
You need to land guest posts on influential blogs
So, for you to get gigs writing for businesses, you need to have some sort of a portfolio. And what’s better than showing off your links on authority sites like Problogger and Copyblogger?
Even if you are an expert writer for print media, writing online is an entirely different beast. While your published clips might impress people and pave the way for you, you still need to demonstrate your skills in writing for the web.
Writing on your blog in one thing; guest-posting on A-list blogs is another altogether. If your posts are good enough for leading blogs and social media sites, they are good enough to warrant adequate pay.
You need to be prepared to act in an advisory role
Can you answer these questions for your client?
- Why do businesses need to blog? And how will you help them use their blog as part of their overall marketing strategy?
- Can you offer a mini blog review as an added bonus? Advise them on issues like navigation/usability or freebie offers to increase signup rates etc.
- Explain to them that by investing in blogging efforts, their ROI will increase significantly.
- Have you got any data you can present that will back that up? Have you done any paid blogging before? If so, have you got any results that you can quote? For instance, you might say you blogged for so-and-so company and doubled their email opt-ins.
- Can you advise your client with content strategy? Help them with editorial calendar and blog topics?
- Can you help them track and interpret the results of blogging?
Really, when you think about it, blogging for business is more to do with online marketing, rather than writing. You are not creating content for them to amuse or entertain people, unless that’s the specific aim of the company itself. You are becoming a part of their marketing team. Gasp!
Marya Jan is a freelance blogger and online copywriter for e-learning, online education and training companies. She writes at Writing Happiness where she happily helps small business owners revamp their own blog content (and copy). Grab her free book ‘How to Write Blog Content that Works’. Follow her at @WritingH.