When writing The River there came a point where I had to invest more than my time into its construction. Desperate to finish the title, I needed it proof read and the cover illustrated (more can be read on this here). Not being a man of wealth I determined that every pound I put into The River would be returned to me either through sales revenue (which I knew to be unlikely as I’m an unknown ‘brand’ – for now) or through my own hard graft.
Happily I gained some freelance work of my own both database developing and blog writing. Having written blogs for a number of company’s now, the time is right to share how I became a paid-blogger. So without further ado, here are my Top 5 Tips on how to become a paid blogger:
1) Find Your Site
Look online for freelancing websites. Pretty much exclusively I use People Per Hour. But there are others including freelancer and Guru. Some freelance sites are rubbish. Do a bit of research and find the one which is best for you (although the ‘do research’ bit is contrary to my experience, I just went with PPH without looking at others & have somehow found my feet).
2) Check Your Work
If you want to be a paid-blogger you must have a blog already, right? Take a look at it. Is it a teen-whiney blog? Does it have a black background with white writing? Is it filled to the brim with swear words and profanity? If so you MUST work on your product presentation. No one likes people who whine, black on white writing rarely works and swear words are off putting. You’ll be sharing your blog with prospective employers – make sure it strikes the tone that shows you in the best light.
3) Don’t Pigeon Hole Yourself
On People Per Hour you ‘bid’ for jobs. My success rate is three in about thirty bids. It can be disheartening as sometimes there isn’t work available for your skill set or experience. But this doesn’t mean you must wait for something exactly matching your abilities to come up. Despite working in telecommunications I somehow managed to get a care-home database freelance role. This was because my bid represented the best ‘deal’ for the client. With an open mind and willingness to gain new abilities you will quickly see the number of possible jobs rise.
4) The Big Bad Bid
When bidding ensure your English is up to scratch, ask questions, set out your bid and ultimately don’t be afraid to change what it is they’re asking for. Client’s are often unaware of exactly what it is they’re after. If you’re after experience, work and money the main trick is to ensure you have a product that they want – even if they didn’t know they wanted it in the first place. For example a client may request ‘daily blogger for my website, 60 articles per month‘. Sixty good, well researched articles per month for a new website would be insanity. No one would read it and few people would have the time to come up with great articles. The client will appreciate having their idea honed by you into a workable process. Think of it as relationship building. You’re doing them a favour and learning from them, you’re not a slave employee saying ‘yes’ to everything the client asks for. You’d quickly be dropped as the best bloggers have their own mind and can make up their own unique content without always asking the clients for inspiration.
5) Don’t be afraid to say No
Unfortunately a lot of freelance websites are filled with prospective client’s that think they can get away with charging a ludicrously low fee because ‘someone’ will do the work. Ignore client’s which attempt to pay less than national minimum wage (and as a good writer you should hopefully be aiming for a fair bit more per hour!). Only by a systematic rejection of people wishing to exploit the hard work of others can writers start earning a decent living.
Words persuade, words suggest, words build worlds that rise and fall. Just because words don’t plant crops or manufacture products doesn’t make them unimportant. We live in the information age. A well SEO optimised and original article may be the difference between a potential customer for your client skipping past that client’s site or staying there and eventually buying into the product.
pssst… my secret tip, which unfortunately you can’t easily copy, is try to have the same first name as the person you want to employ you. Two of the three jobs I’ve done have been for people called Andy!
What’re your best tips for getting paid writing work?