Over the past few years blogs have increased in popularity and there seems to be more and more multi-authored blogs popping up all over the place. These blogs that are run as a profit-making venture for the owners have drastically increased the demand for freelance bloggers. Although the opportunities are increasing, there is still a good deal of competition for these positions. Here are some tips to help you increase the amount of freelance blogging work that you can secure, and to improve your effectiveness.
1. Have a Blog of Your Own
Finding freelance blogging work can be much easier if you have a successful blog of your own. In this case, your success will demonstrate your ability and will make you more valuable to someone who is interested in hiring you.
2. Advertise Your Availability on Your Blog
Your own blog provides a tremendous platform from which you can advertise your services. Your subscribers and readers will be warm prospects and will be more likely to pursue your services. If you have done a good job of satisfying your own readers they will have a high opinion of your services.
Advertising your services on your blog can be done in any number of different ways. You could set up a page on the blog to give the details of your services and to provide contact information. Another option is to include a mention of your availability in the footer of your RSS feed so your subscribers will take notice.
3. Search Job Boards
There are a number of different job boards that will help you to identify opportunities. Some of the more popular blogging job boards include ProBlogger, Performancing, and WordPress.net as well as Freelance boards like Elance and the one at Freelance Switch. While job boards should not be your only method of finding work, they can be productive at times.
4. Post Your Availability
In addition to looking for openings that have been posted, you can post your availability and qualifications at a number of websites. BloggerJobs.biz publishes “weekly bloggers for hire” where brief profiles of several bloggers are shared. Several months ago my profile was included, and I actually got several contacts and a few paying jobs as a result. Some blogging forums also provide a place for you to mention your availability and credentials.
5. Approach Other Bloggers
Many blog owners that are interested in hiring freelancers are not actively posting their openings or searching boards and forums for freelancers who are looking for work. You may be able to get some results by simply sending an email inquiry to some blog owners regarding the possibility of doing some freelance work. Taking a proactive approach can often give you an advantage over the other potential writers.
If you are interested in contacting blog owners, start with those that you know are paying writers. Of course, most of these will be larger blogs that are able to generate enough income to cover the costs of paying writers. Visit some multi-authored blogs that you read on a regular basis and look for a “write for us” page, or something similar. Some blogs will obviously be open to potential writers, but you won’t find this everywhere. If you can’t find any information about writing for them, send a brief email to introduce yourself and ask if they would be interested in hiring a quality writer with your experience and credentials.
Many of the freelance blogging positions that are filled are done so at least partially as a result of casual networking. You may get to know a blog owner and find out down the road at some point that he or she is looking for a freelance writer. When someone is thinking of hiring a freelance blogger, the first people that come to mind will probably be those that are familiar members of the network. Likewise, you may be referred to another blogger by someone in your network that knows you are looking for freelance work. Make an effort to get to know other bloggers in your niche and I think you’ll see it result in new opportunities.
7. Look for Ongoing Work
One of the things I love about freelance blogging is that most of my work is ongoing for a few different blogs. Writing a post each week is a great gig. You know ahead of time what you have to produce and you don’t have to dedicate time to finding the work. Once you’ve got the job and your writing is producing results, you will appreciate the fact that you have some steady income from repeat work.
Not all freelance blogging opportunities will provide ongoing opportunities, but many will. For this reason you need to be confident that you are writing the best articles that you are capable of. Solid results will usually result in more work from the same blog.
8. Ask Your Clients if They Have Other Blogs
Many blog owners run multiple blogs, and very often they are in related fields. What better place to look for work than those who are already comfortable with you and your quality of writing? It’s possible that they will be open to hiring you for their other projects, but you won’t know unless you ask.
9. Make an Effort to Market Your Work
Blog owners who are paying freelancers are motivated by results. A well-written article that brings no response from readers and gets no attention won’t do much for the blog owner. On the other hand, an average article that gets a huge response and draws tons of traffic and links will certainly get noticed. Writers that get results will be the ones that get the work.
Social media is a great way to promote your freelance blogging. I recently wrote an article on this subject at Daily Blog Tips. A little bit of extra effort with social media can have significant results that make your posts more appealing to blog owners. Linking to your freelance work from your own blog is another good option to help give it a boost.
10. Focus on Building Name Recognition
Freelance bloggers have an excellent opportunity to develop strong name recognition by writing quality posts for different blogs throughout a niche. By demonstrating your knowledge on different blogs with considerable readership, you will quickly become a household name. Once you’re able to build some name recognition, your work will be more in demand and you may be able to charge higher rates. Blog owners want to hire writers to readers will know and appreciate, and the best way they can do this is by hiring writers that have developed a strong reputation in the industry.
11. Keep Track of Your Work
Like any other type of freelancer, bloggers will need a portfolio to show to potential clients. If you’re writing for a lot of different blogs or for large blogs it can be difficult to go back and find your articles. It’s a good idea to keep track somewhere of the URLs of your posts. You can use a simple spreadsheet for this purpose, or you could use a bookmarks manager and tag your posts “freelance-work” or something similar.
12. Always Use Your Best Work
If you write a post that isn’t up to your quality standards, get rid of it or keep working on it until the quality improves. You’re only as good as your last post. A poorly written article that doesn’t draw results can be a bad reflection of your work. Just because you will be paid for it doesn’t mean that it should get published. Remember that you will always be judged by the quality of your work, and that can affect your future opportunities. Of course, we’re all going to produce some sub-par articles, but hopefully very few of them ever get published.