How to Use Blogging to Launch a Freelance Writing Career

  • August 14, 2012 by Guest Writer
  • 55 Comments

This is a guest post by Bamidele Onibalusi.

One of the best ways to make money from your blog is by offering your services.

Of course, the income won’t be directly from “blogging”, but if it wasn’t for blogging the money wouldn’t come either.

A major reason a lot of bloggers fail very soon after they start is because they started with the wrong intentions.

They’ve been sold the dream of passive income, and, while passive income is entirely possible, they expected it so soon that they give up when things don’t work according to plan. (Corbett talked about this blogging trap last week.)

Don’t get me wrong, passive income is real, and two great guys who are testament to its power are Corbett and Pat Flynn.

But you also have to realize that earning passive income takes time, and this time differs for everybody.

Monetizing from Day 1

Expecting to make money from your blog a day after starting it is next to impossible; and very few people have really been able to pull that off.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for so long to be rewarded from your efforts.

Most people fail at blogging because they go through the same cycle everyone else does: building a blog > populating it with content > placing ads > expecting income to come.

And the reality is, except if you’re Techcrunch or The Huffington Post, this technique will probably not work for you.

A different way to go about it, however, is to offer your services.

No matter how small your blog is, and no matter how remote your subject is, there’s someone among your audience who desperately needs your service. They just need you to convince them that they do. By the end of this article you will have learned how to do so.

The key to blogging success is having something to offer, and in most cases this “something” will be a service.

In most cases you have to freelance.

Even Corbett offered his services as a designer when Think Traffic was relatively new, and the result is what we all see today.

Why You Need a Blog to Promote Your Freelancing Services

As a freelancer, two words you probably don’t want to see combined are blogging and freelance.

A lot of freelancers don’t have blogs, and the majority that do hardly make any move to ensure their blog is integral to the success of their freelancing business.

Don’t be surprised, because you’re not alone.

According to the 2011 Freelance Industry Report, the number one challenge that freelance professionals face is getting clients; with over 21.8% of the 1,200+ surveyed freelancers citing that as their number one problem.

If you move down further the report to the section on how to get clients, you’ll notice where the problem occurs; the number 1 way most freelancers get clients is by word of mouth, with 23.1% of freelancers citing that as their top choice. The second option is referrals at 23.0%, and the last option is article marketing at 0.8%.

There isn’t blogging in between.

In other words, none of the 1,200 freelancers interviewed cited blogging as a way of generating clients.

Taking a look at this report, and how most freelancers get their clients reveals some fundamental insights into why most freelancers struggle to get clients… especially if you study the top two techniques listed.

The top two techniques most freelancers vote as their favorite way of getting clients is subject to something that is usually out of their control, which isn’t a very good sign for any one in business.

Of course, word of mouth marketing is good and referrals are better, but what is even better is getting people to come to you. And not just people, but people who see you as an expert.

And blogging is one of the best ways to do that.

I was able to make 5 figures in freelance writing income the first year of my freelance writing career, all thanks to blogging.

To be more specific, I was able to make a little over $55,000 in freelance writing income in 2011, with more than 98% of that income being as a result of my blogging.

How to Turn Your Blog into Fuel for Your Freelancing Business

I’ve been relying only on blogging as the sole source of my freelancing income for over a year now, and the quality of clients I get keeps increasing.

While most freelance writers struggle to find writing jobs, clients come to meet me themselves, and most of the time, I charge them more than the market rate.

I’m not saying this to brag; I’m only trying to let you see how powerful blogging can be.

Without further ado, here are 5 ways to turn your blog into fuel for your freelancing business.

1. Be Seen as an Expert

This step is very important.

As a freelance writer, contrary to what most people believe, you’re not paid for words, but for expertise.

Perception is reality, no matter how wrong it is, and the difference between getting paid what you want or what others are being paid is often as a result of how you’re perceived.

This is why it is important first to work on establishing yourself as an expert at whatever you do.

You don’t necessarily need to have 10,000 people visit your blog monthly to be seen as an expert. You can easily be an expert to your small community of 100 people.

The Key to Expertise

Expertise takes time, though, and you can learn a lot about becoming at expert at anything from Corbett’s other blog, Expert Enough.

However, here are a few quick tips to help you quickly position yourself as an expert and to pave way for the other tips in this article to be effective.

Believe in Yourself: The first step towards becoming an expert is to believe in your ability, because, no matter how great you are, no one will believe in you unless you believe in yourself first.

Believing in yourself also ensures that your “expertise” reflects in whatever you do.

People wanting to hire you will probably come across your work before they hire you, and the first thing you want them to think is that you’re an expert.

Be Consistent: There’s a trend to expertise; consistency.

When you tune in to your favorite channel and see your favorite TV anchor, the main reason you’ll listen is because you think they’re an expert.

You don’t think they’re an expert because they’re commenting on TV, but because its the same thing you see them doing all the time.

If that person has been commenting on foreign markets for over a year, and she’s still able to retain her position, then she probably indeed knows a thing or two about foreign markets.

Same thing applies to blogging.

Focus on just one subject (or a group of interconnected subjects) you’d like to be known for, and start writing the most consistent, innovative, and newsworthy articles on that subject.

Leverage Others’ Expertise: Look for other experts you look up to, that are respected in your field, and leverage their expertise.

This is what I’m doing on Corbett’s blog right now.

I’m writing here to contribute value to Corbett’s audience, but not without benefit.

Contributing here instantly helps me with something; it makes me an expert to Corbett’s audience. Not just because I’m contributing, but because Corbett is respected by his audience as an expert, and because featuring my content here is like endorsing me.

2. Establish a Foundation for Being Hired

For most people, this foundation is a hire me page. For others, it is a portfolio.

No matter what you have to offer, and how well-known you are, the key to getting hired is to not only have a medium to get you hired, but to have a medium that makes it easy to hire you.

In other words, your hire me page should be as perfect and convincing as possible.

If you’re a freelance writer, this might mean adding a sample of your work or two to back up your expertise.

If you’re a freelance designer, this means showing samples of your work on your portfolio page.

Raising Your Status

One thing that isn’t uncommon is getting bombarded by people who want your services but aren’t willing to pay, especially if you have a popular blog.

For this very reason, you shouldn’t just leave your hire me page “as is” (like most hire me pages).

Instead, you should raise your status to scaring people away.

Of course, you’ll “scare” some people away, but you probably don’t need them in the first place.

Getting client requests from people with lowball offers doesn’t help you, but drains you for a few reasons.

  • You won’t work with them, so your effort replying is a waste of time; especially if you could have prevented them from getting in touch.
  • They influence your response to other people who can pay for your work; because of the 7 different crappy $5 an article offers you got yesterday, you might end up charging $50 an article when you should have charged $100 or more.
  • They make you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you aren’t worth as much as you think? Maybe the “general” market is right? Or, maybe those people really don’t know what they’re doing?

In a situation like this you can easily raise your status by adding a little “PS” below your hire me/portfolio/contact page.

The idea behind the “PS” is to explain who you want to work with and who you don’t work with.

If you don’t want people with low budgets, state it clearly, and you’ll get results.

Like I said earlier, this might lead to a reduction in client requests, but you can be sure of an increase in value.

For example, adding a PS to my hire me page led to a reduction in potential client contact of around 5 a week to 3 a month, but I’ve ended working with almost every client that contacted me since making the change.

Two Types of Posts You Should Write to Actually Ensure You Get Hired

The first two tips I were focused on making the right people more inclined hire you, and the next two steps will be based on two types of articles you should write to increase your chances of getting hired.

3. Start Publishing “Case Studies” on Your Blog

This could be a case study based on how you used your skills to grow your business, or a case study based on the results your clients are getting from your service.

If you don’t have a client yet, you can offer your service to an interested small business for free, as long as they agree to let you write a case study about the results on your blog.

What matters most, though, is that the case study emphasize the importance of using your services.

Everybody can write an article on the top 10 tips to do something, but very few people have results to show for what they teach.

If you’re really an expert, then results shouldn’t be rare!

Show clients that you’re the expert they need to hire by publishing regular case studies of how your service works on your blog.

Resources:

4. Write an “Ultimate Guide” to Something

This is another powerful blog post formula that is proven to work.

There are a few reasons why “ultimate guides” work, and here are a few of those reasons below:

1. They get links, comments, traffic, and shares: That is the nature of ultimate guides.

No matter the size of your blog, an ultimate guide to something will usually be popular.

An “ultimate guide” I wrote on my blog about guest blogging (I’ll be linking to it in the resources section below) is still one of the most popular posts on my blog; with over 10,000 views, 120+ tweets, 40+ likes, over 60 links from other blogs, and over 150 comments, it is obvious why this post is one of the top sources of clients to my freelance writing business.

2. They teach comprehensively: An “ultimate guide” is usually very long, with links, infographics, multimedia, and actual samples that demonstrate a point explained. In other words, this makes someone writing an ultimate guide a “teacher” of the subject, and not just any teacher, but someone with adequate knowledge of that subject.

Before hiring you, clients need to be convinced that you know what you’re doing, and one of the best ways to convince them is by writing an ultimate guide; the guide not only shows them that you know your stuff, but it also attracts them.

3. They are evergreen: In other words, they don’t expire.

If you’re to build a solid foundation for your freelancing business via blogging, you need a few articles that won’t expire, and “ultimate guides” don’t expire.

While the above are good features of an ultimate guide, calling your post an ultimate guide doesn’t necessarily make it so.

You have to ensure you actually put in the effort to make it a useful resource.

Most ultimate guides are very long and detailed (as in 3,000+ words detailed), with links to other resources, with infographics and videos, and are also constantly updated.

Here are two examples of an ultimate guide in action:

  • THE Backlinking Strategy that Works (This is the best example of an ultimate guide I’ve seen anywhere. With 3 videos, an infographic, and several examples where necessary, Pat sure knows more than a thing or two about backlinking. The popularity of this post is testament to that!)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging (This is the guest blogging guide I talked about linking to earlier in this article)

How to Get Clients

This step is very important.

After successfully writing your case studies and ultimate guides, make sure you hint once or twice in the article that you’re available for hire, and also state that directly below the article.

No matter how much you know your stuff, no one will contact you if they don’t know you’re for hire.

Here’s the final tip:

5. Optimize Your Blog and Posts for the Search Engines

The idea Think Traffic is established on is the importance of building the foundation of your blog by writing epic shit.

I totally agree with that, which is why I specifically listed two types of important posts you can build the foundation of your blog on, as well as some great examples.

In other words, telling you to optimize your blog and posts for the search engines doesn’t necessarily mean you should substitute content for that. It just means you should put effort into it.

My reason for including this is because more than 60% of overall clients my freelance writing business has experienced has been as a result of search engine traffic; they mostly found me by searching for help on a particular subject, and by coming across one of the epic posts I’ve written on that subject.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your blog for more search engine traffic:

Upgrade your design: Stop using the free themes, and get something better. Free themes usually don’t have any SEO advantage, but going for premium themes like Thesis (which Think Traffic uses) will go a long way to help your SEO.

Changing my blog theme to something more professional and SEO-focused last year actually doubled my traffic.

Interlink other posts: When necessary, and relevant, make sure to link your posts and pages to each other.

These posts will grow in authority over time, and this authority will be passed to other pages on your blog, leading to overall better rankings.

Write some guest posts: Like I’m doing now, look for authority blogs in your niche and contribute your best post to them. This will not only lead to traffic for your blog, but quality backlinks and more authority as your guest post grows in influence.

Also, if you can focus your SEO effort mostly on your case studies and ultimate guides, you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

***

Your Turn

What have been some ways that you have earned money online that you didn’t initially expect to? How could you use the advice above to start earning more than you do now?

Let us know in the comments below this post.

Bamidele Onibalusi is a young blogger, freelance writer and copywriter that helps other writers get started online through his blog atYoungPrePro.com. If you want to get started freelance writing, make sure you download his free report: The Writer’s Handbook: How to Write for Traffic and Money.


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Mustafa Khundmiri August 14, 2012 at 6:03 am

I’ve been freelance writing for more than 5 years now. I know how difficult it can be to get gigs/projects if you don’t have a way to prove yourself. Especially when you’re starting out.

A blog is a perfect platform to showcase your writing skills and get high paying clients. Because it not only makes you look more credible, but also gives you an edge over every other competing writer who doesn’t have a blog. You’ll literally have work coming to you, rather than you go out searching for it.

If you are a freelance writer then don’t waste any more time. Start your own blog ASAP. And look at it as an investment that will give big returns in the long run.

- Mustafa

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I’m glad you’ve experienced the same, Mustafa!

Most people ignore freelance writing because they believe it consists of crappy $3 offers, but I can tell you from experience that it’s possible to make $1,000+ freelance writing from a day of work; it’s all about having the right client, and in all honesty you won’t find those clients on sites like Elance or oDesk.

Having a blog is key, and the faster you start your blog the better!

Jacob August 14, 2012 at 6:36 am

Excellent post, Bamidele.

I certainly agree with monetizing from day one, though there are very mixed opinions on this one.

I think, first and foremost, the focus and motivation needs to be to write epic shit. Especially if you want to sell your services as a freelance writer. If your main priority is monetizing, and it shows because the “shit aint epic,” so to speak, no one will buy.

But if you write epic shit, give a lot of it away, and allow people to buy another portion of it, buying is exactly what they’ll do.

Simply having an offering available can make you seem more credible.

One small comment I’ll make, I think the whole “Ultimate Guide” scene is getting totally overblown.

I still say write an ultimate guide. Make sure that it actually is ultimate, unlike most of the crap circling the information toilet with that word in the title. And then be creative enough to call it something else.

All in all, great work. Thanks for the resources!

-Jacob

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Exactly, Jacob!

The key is to focus on creating “epic shit” like Corbett will say!

Having a business from day one will help you focus from the beginning, and as a result you have to struggle along the way when it comes to monetizing your blog, since you already know what you want to achieve.

I also believe “Ultimate Guides” are overblown, but if written properly they work. The idea is to write the best, most comprehensive article you can write and get a lot of links in the process; which will lead to better rankings and more traffic, and more clients as a result.

Willie from OF August 14, 2012 at 6:53 am

What a great article. Really resonated with me. Thanks so much for your time with this both Corbett and Bamidele. I have been thinking about this for months, and it just makes the most sense. Perhaps the blog platform is more valuable than any of the income generated from it?

I actually just got back from a conference where an older outdoor writer approached me asking me to help him establish his brand online. I don’t know much about web design – but I’m fairly knowledgeable about establishing brands online and how to pull it off.

Thanks again!

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi Willie,

Glad you enjoyed the post!

Actually, the blog is more important.

Based on my experience, even articles I wrote over a year ago keep sending me clients; in other words, if I were to start from scratch again without any of my clients, I could easily build up my client list thanks to my blog.

The key is to build up your blog to a stage where the clients start to come in on autopilot, after which you can then focus on maximizing the business coming from it.

Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging August 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

I am happy to see you here oni.

I would like only to ask you. Where is the ebook, that you said you will provide about blogging and freelancing.

I hope to see you launch it soon.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thanks, Ahmed!

This month’s been a little busy for me due to traveling and being sick, but I’m working to make the ebook ready before the end of this month :)

Clare J Fitzgerald August 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

Thank Bamidele for an interesting post.

I think your point can easily be extended from freelance writers to include anyone who can provide a service for a price.

My tip for building success:

Putting effort into understanding your target audience in a very deep way, and then using that deep understanding to craft your content and marketing to talk to and meet the core needs of your key customer will help to accelerate demand for your services and products. This is another key element of writing ‘Epic Shit’.

ps – I reckon a great title for your article would be “How I made $55,000 in my first year of blogging via freelance writing” :)

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Exactly, Clare!

I guess the tips apply to anyone that offers professional services; like Corbett said in his post a few days ago, it’s all about realizing what your blog is all about in the first place. Your blog alone won’t make money, but building a business around it (your services) will eventually lead to great results.

Allena August 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

All solid advice. But instead of offering freebies to businesses, I generally point people to volunteer.org or local charities. They often need brochures, web copy, press materials, etc.

Also- the blog allows people to hear YOUR VOICE. That is, not your clients’ voice through your portfolio, but your PERSONAL voice. That can sometimes nab people, especially if you’re personable and clear.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Exactly, it’s all about giving people YOUR VOICE!

The idea is to create a relationship with your clients first, so that they have a feel of what to expect.

I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

Natalie Sisson August 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

Great post, fantastic results and congrats to you on doing all the right things. I’m with you on `scaring people away’. You only want to work with red carpet clients who are prepared to pay you what your worth and what you’ve invested in yourself to develop your expertise and credibility.

I always ask people how the found me and it’s usually through a blog post or social media link or what they searched for in Google which means several of the target points above are hitting the right spot.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks, Natalie!

I’m glad you enjoyed the article :)

I’m also glad you agreed with the point on scaring clients you don’t want from even getting in touch with you; the reality is that 3 of the right clients are better than dozens of the wrong ones.

I also notice clients find me through mediums through which I target them, and my hire me page does most of the work of filtering those I don’t want.

Ralph@Retirement Lifestyle August 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

What I like about Corbet and his partners is the constant infusion of thinking that makes you say, “Of course” when it never crossed your mind before. Blogging is all about marketing and marketing, especially marketing yourself, is something that is never taught. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years but at no time did I realize that I am a writer. It is just one more opportunity to create income and build my web presence. Keep those ideas coming.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Hi Ralph,

You’re right about the fact that posts on Think Traffic inspire ideas that have never crossed one’s mind before, and I’m glad you felt my guest post here inspired such ideas.

I’m thankful to Corbett and Caleb for having me here, and I’m glad this post could be of help.

IGBALAYE OLAYEMI August 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Actually i may not into a freelancer niche or writing for clients but have been follow must of Oni works and they are really inspiring. i think this guest post will help a lot of freelancer writers to lay their foundation well. thanks for the good work.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Thanks, bro! :)

Ruan | HighTechNovation August 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Hi Bamidele,

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Let me share with you why…

I recently discovered my hidden talent and the massive interest I have in writing. I say recently but it’s actually almost a year ago which can be considered recently depending on how you look at it. Since then I started my first blog EbooksTutorialsAndGuides.com and wrote away…wrote my first two eBooks, none of them doing well at all.

At first I thought maybe my writing is the problem but then after having other people eventually reading my stuff, they confirmed that although English is not my first language being South African, there ain’t much wrong with it except than the usual grammar and spelling mistake here and there, all being filtered out in the final edit anyway.

So I discovered it’s that I am unknown, relatively knew so only a handful of people actually knew who I was. Of course this makes perfect sense. I am not established as an authority in my niche yet. How can I expect people to trust me at this stage, right?

Then I began exploring ways to getting noticed, ways to build trust and credibility, establishing myself as an authority within my niche. I started building relationships with already successful bloggers and authorities like Danny Iny, Derek Halpern, Jon Morrow, Darren Rowse and soon afterwards I started with guest posting.

Since then I have been privileged enough to be featured on blogs like Firepole Marketing, kikolani.com, WeBlogBetter and so forth.

I have been working for months on my latest eBook called “The Best Traffic Generating Strategies By 10 Top Bloggers | A Tribute” where I’ve worked with those people compiling an eBook where they each share their own personal, proven and tested traffic generating strategies they each use on a daily basis to drive the amounts of traffic to their content that they do.

The eBook is due for release early next month while in the meantime I am running a competition where a couple of lucky people can complete a few simple tasks to stand a chance to win their own free copy of the eBook even before it gets released.

I actually just launched my new site, HihgTechNovation.com where I plan to share and write about the world of technology. Yes, some might tell me and believe me they have, that the market is saturated with “impossible-to-compete-with” competition like Techcrunch, Huffington Post, Engadget and many more with page ranks of 6 and higher. Then I just read a post earlier today by Pat where he shares how he started in the passive income and financial blogging niche when people also considered it to be impossible to ever make his mark. Well, we all know where he is today. Like he said, strong competition is a VERY good thing as it opens the possibilities much wider to see potential loopholes one can enter and address.

That’s what I plan to do with my new site.

Well, as you can see, I told you I am a writer and once I start I can’t seem to stop ;)

This post opened up my eyes to the possibilities of writing as a freelancer and generating a good income (believe it or not, to date I have only made about $50 in all my time online) so this is indeed very much appreciated.

Thanks again for this amazing post and the very useful tips and advice I will certainly take away from this. All the best with your ventures and I hope we get to talk again soon!

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Hi Ruan,

Thanks a lot for the comment!

You’re so on spot!

When it comes to having a blog, being known will make all the difference!

Having a blog isn’t enough, you have to actually earn the attention of people who will potentially become clients.

I’m glad you’re getting great results, and I’m sure the sky is the limit for you if you can capitalize on the power of your blog!

Ricardo Caicedo August 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I loved your article, I hadn’t thought of freelance writing. For a beginner like me, is the best way to start through elance and odesk, or should I focus on becoming an expert through my blog?

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Actually, the best way is to focus on your blog.

Most clients on oDesk and Elance will probably pay you peanuts, so why not invest your effort into something that will yield much more ROI than you expected on the long run?

Eric August 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Greetings Bamidele,

Thank you for the great post. I am working on becoming a freelancer. With little experience under my belt I am already helping a travel coordinator remake the company brochure. It is exciting to be doing this.

I am planning to start a blog that will be connecting to my future landing page.

What is your opinion on domain names. Should the name have your service in it somehow if you can? I know that your blog doesn’t say “freelance copywriter.com” or something along those lines but I’ve heard that it is better to have what you are offering in your domain name.

Comments?

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm

For SEO purposes, having your keyword in the domain name will work…but it wouldn’t matter that much on the long run since the experiences you create will determine whether you’ll be hired on the long run.

Not having the name of your service also gives you a chance to increase the scope of the service you’ll offer in the future.

Ayaz August 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Hi Bamidele!

Excellent post and for me it depends on the freelancer how he managed to make his authority on internet and manages to get the feedback against his work and I believe getting feedback against your work is the most crucial part in you final job.

You can use blogging as a tool but can not fully rely on blogging sometimes you are doing it in right but can’t seems to find out the customers.

Alexandre B August 15, 2012 at 1:36 am

Hi Bamidele and Corbett,

That’s what I call epic shit, seriously !
I developped a similar strategy on my blog about WP themes (ultimate guides and cases studies) and you know what ? It works !
But Bamidele’s strategy is better developped, I now consider to create an hire me page. One of the benefits is that you can show if you’re available or not.

You can count on me to spread that post !
Alex

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Thanks, Alexandre!

You rock! :)

Toyin`Aluko August 15, 2012 at 2:48 am

I am happy to see you here again Bamidele. As usual, this post is simply a manual for all writers. The problem most writers face is, because they are short of clients, they simply give up to fate and start running after $3, $5 jobs that make them feel inadequate to charge more when they are supposed to. Writers are professionals and should be well appreciated for there rear talent!

Bamidele keep teaching what has worked for you, and keep inspiring others into action. I am proud of you.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thanks, bro!

I can reason with what you said about charging low because one is low on clients, but for me things only started to take off when I dropped my low paying clients.

In fact, including a disclaimer to scare away low paying clients (like explained in this article) further accelerated things!

deji yusuf August 15, 2012 at 6:50 am

Bamidele.Bamidale.Bamidele. The Youngest Nigerian Blogger (maybe the richest though :) ) have done it again!
You are the real dude who know how to write epic shit!
I Respect you and I am prod that you are a Nigerian! Cheers to you success brother!

Jacko August 15, 2012 at 8:43 am

Excellent article. Freelance writing is a good position to be but you obviously shouldn’t be there unless there are more people at any given time that want to read your stuff than there were say last month.

The only way to know for sure is to have your own blog. I would recommend licensing your content or selling it from yourowndomain.com.

Why give it all away for one set price?

Marshall Ponzi August 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

Excellent info! Thank you.

Your advice is valuable to building just about any small service business. These are solid business development principles and techniques.

While reading the article, I began wondering, “Where’s the line between a freelance _________, and an accountant, architect, lawyer, personal coach, etc?” These are just terms for small, independent service providers.

It doesn’t matter if you frame yourself as a freelancer, consultant, coach or practitioner. Connection, credibility and expertise are the foundations for EVERY service business. The internet enables small service businesses to connect and build relationships in ways only the biggest companies could afford in the past. Take advantage of it!

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Exactly!

While I wrote the article from the perspective of a freelance writer, I noticed the advice is applicable and more effective for other consultants – a web designer for example.

I’m glad the article could be of help!

Liz August 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Hi Bamedeli,
This is brilliant. This is one of those rare times when I’ve read a post and actually discovered a connection between two things I’d never thought of as being very related. Usually posts are informative and interesting, but this was more. I think I’ll be checkin’ you out more frequently from now on.
P.S.
Go on. Brag. You deserve it.

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I’m flattered, Liz!

I’m really glad the post was helpful, and I’m more thankful to Corbett and Caleb for hosting it!

Thanks so much for the nice words! :)

Veso Mitev August 16, 2012 at 5:07 am

Nice post!

Freelancing, in any form, is only natural when using a blog. Actually I was surprised to see so little of the actual freelancers have a meaningful blog.

It makes sense though, having such blog is not the most easiest task. Some of the freelancers I know are buried in work and they don’t actually “swim in money” as some people may expect. This can get them blind spots.

A blog can say so much – starting from the design, the layout, the content, the presentation – it all speak about professionals (or lack of it). It’s like you said – extended portfolio.

In a blog the visitor can also see the personal touch of the expert. And I believe this is something only other pros can see and value (better clients).

p.s. I already booked “The Elements of Style” from your resource page ^^

Bamidele Onibalusi August 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I think your comment pretty much sums it up!

A lot of writers underestimate the power of a blog, and are not even willing to give it a try due to the work involved; but if properly nurtured, an entire business could be built on a blog irrespective of what you do.

I’m also glad to hear you’re checking out The Elements of Style. It’s probably the best book on writing I’ve read till date!

Andrew Dodson August 17, 2012 at 7:06 am

Thanks for the post! Ive been freelancing full time for about 8 months now and am always looking for new clients. I recently started a blog to help attract business. I’ll definitely implement some of these ideas.

Thanks,

Andrew D.

Ernie Dempsey August 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

Great article and extremely in depth. I find it interesting that many freelancers as well as small business owners fail to use some of these concepts that could be so huge when it comes to boosting revenue.

On Point #2, you discussed some great financial implications in regards to making sure you get paid what you’re worth. I think it is worth adding that a huge underlying benefit to this is your own scalability. If you under price yourself then it will take twice as much time and effort to make the same money you could make by doubling your price which completely undermines the fundamental reason for being a freelancer…THE FREEDOM! If you’re charging low rates you end up doing MORE work and lose the free time you could use to be doing something else.

Another great point that #2 leads to is that by taking on less clients, you have a much better hold on quality control. The work you produce will be much better when you have fewer, higher paying clients and will in turn lead to much bigger long term gains from more referrals and strength of portfolio.

Number 5 also resonated strongly with me because there are so many freelancers and businesses that ignore SEO. I did a consult for a friend and only spent an hour working on the copy of her website. Within 24 hours she went from the bottom of page two to the top 8 on the first page of Google for her primary search terms. That was just from the main page copy! By building out a blog with great content, you not only establish a base of contact for your clients but you also help your own page’s authority in the eyes of Google by filling it with useful and outstanding content.

Again, great article. I appreciate the information and the thoughts.

Joanne Munro August 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I agree that a blog is a must-have way of getting clients whether you’re a freelance writer or not. I’m a Virtual Assistant and a CV writer and I use my (2 separate) blogs to share my knowledge and help people solve their problems.

My VA Chaos Killer blog gets loads of hits and I’m always being told that I share useful information which people find valuable They then see that I know what I’m talking about and hire me either directly or recommend me to people later.

Plus the blogs really help towards my SEO and I have an easily accessible resource that I can direct people to when they tell me they’re having a problem with something. For example, job hunting and interview advice that I used to email over to new CV clients are now articles or free downloads on my blog which saves me the trouble of having to email all the attachments over each time – I use Wisestamp to create a link to the blog in my email correspondence which hooks them over to the site.

I also made sure when I wrote my pricing out on my blogs/sites that I specify how much I am and why I’m worth the cost. Anyone who questions my prices is someone that I don’t work with!

I love articles like this so thank you for writing it for us!

Ghostwriting September 4, 2012 at 3:27 am

Thanks for the helpful and interesting blog. Freelancing is a job which can be done by anybody who has a passion for writing. :)

Izzy September 7, 2012 at 6:50 am

Wow.

This is mind-blowing. I am real early in my blogging career and this thought had not crossed my mind.

It makes completely logical sense. I can get paid to improve my writing.

Yes, I know it isn’t that simple. I will need to work at it and focus. But this is an opportunity I hadn’t ever thought of.

Awesome Post. Extremely helpful.

Rand Fishkin November 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm

First of all, you should want to know the “how” behind getting higher paying freelance writing jobs. There are many high-income sites actually that are not only willing to pay higher rates to writers, they are happy to pay hefty package for the highest quality content to maintain their authority, repeat visitors, and deals with high-paying advertisers. Just subscribing to job listing sites like freelancewrite.in could easily create a way. It’s cheap, and you’ll earn the fee back generally just by landing one or two gigs at most.

Fionn Ward May 5, 2013 at 3:41 am

I’ve got this post bookmarked for life now, thanks very much for all the advise!

I must ask though, I’m still attending school (second level) and I was thinking of starting a blog because of my interest in a writing carrier.
What do you think would be the best choice for someone like me, who still has yet to finish school and hasn’t got much experience behind them?
Would it be better to wait until I’ve got a little masterpiece to show or start early to try to get a audience?

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