This guest post is by Sid from GeeksMakeMoney.
Blogging can be a richly rewarding experience, and bloggers can sometimes get carried away by their success. I personally know bloggers who look down upon freelancing, but unless you are one of the top league bloggers known the world over, you should probably expand and diversify.
Freelancing gives you plenty of ways and opportunities to grow beyond the confines of being “a blogger,” and it can be of great help in your blogging career.
Whether you are new to blogging or have been in your field for long, freelancing on the side can open up opportunities and avenues that are not always available to ordinary bloggers. You can always tie your blogging activities into your freelancing activities—it’s not hard to figure out how one feeds off of the other.
The trick is to be open to trying out something new, taking risks and learning in the process.
Well, straight to the point: freelancing pays. Blogging might or might not pay.
If you are a new blogger, this is a fairly obvious point. You can freelance on the side and earn some additional income while your blog is still growing and yet to produce significant income itself.
If you already have a blog that earns money, remember that earnings for most bloggers can fluctuate a lot, especially for the medium-sized blogs. Can you honestly tell yourself that you would earn as much or more from your blog a couple of years from now as you are earning today? There are so many factors—Google algorithm changes, established competition, shifting preferences of the audience and plenty more can devastate small bloggers (think Shoemoney or John Chow—if such A-list bloggers can lose audience, so can you).
With freelancing, you have the flexibility to scale up or down your activities and thus maintain your current income streams even if your blog’s earnings fluctuate.
Success story; Oni of YoungPrePro ties his blog and his freelance writing together really well. In fact, he’s now at a stage where he earns tens of thousands of dollars a month only through freelancing. Even though his blog is hugely popular, he prefers to earn money through freelancing because it is stable, reliable, and better paying.
Branding and publicity
If you can contribute your work to a more popular medium than your own blog, and people like your work, you are building your brand by investing in yourself. Freelancing is also a good medium for publicity, and I love any method that pays me to publicize myself!
Freelancing gives you the opportunity to produce high quality content under your name that others will like, and appreciate and present yourself and your expertise to the world. This, of course, is going to be of immense help to grow your blog as people recognize your authority.
Success story: Carol of Make A Living Writing is a prolific and well-known writer, and has written for Entrepreneur, Copyblogger, Seattle Times, and plenty of other popular blogs.
Many can instantly recognize her and her top-quality work, so freelancing helps her grow as a writer and helps establish a higher credibility for her blog at the same time.
Testing new waters
As a freelancer, you get to work on different fields within your area of expertise. If you are a writer, you can write on a variety of topics. This is a great way to explore new areas that interest you and learn more about different niches. You can pick up ideas that you think a blog in this niche should cover and then present your own perspective.
Many bloggers work for bigger publications, then branch out to start their own blogs once they understand the business and topic much more intimately.
Success story: Starre of Eco-Chick was a writer for popular fashion magazines before starting her own successful blog, which is in line with what she wrote for magazines, combining fashion and sustainability.
When she started the blog Eco-Chick, everything was already in place—she knew the field better than anyone else. Isn’t that a solid start for your blogging platform?
Tricks of the trade
In addition to these points, you can also learn insider tricks of the trade when you freelance. When you work as a freelancer and are getting paid to do so, chances are, you are working at a company that is at least moderately successful. You can learn why, and they would be more than happy to teach you because they want your work to be put to best use.
This is a great way to learn how things are done and what works for successful businesses. And that knowledge can prove invaluable when you are actually starting your own blog.
Do you freelance and blog at the same time? Why? And what benefits does it give you? Tell us your stories in the comments.
True to his word, Sid is a blogger and freelancer and has written popular freelancing guides including oDesk Review and Elance vs. oDesk. He is starting out a number of different blogging projects, from understanding fashion to using python in finance. His oldest blog is about penny auctions.