Would you like to get paid $100 a post or more as a professional blogger?
I often get asked what the secret is to finding clients willing to pay those rates.
All the ads on Craigslist seem to pay $20 bucks a post, maybe $40 if you’re lucky.
Here’s the difference: The good-paying blogging gigs are not waiting on an ad.
But once you know how to get them, it’s a fairly straightforward process.
You need to do three simple things if you want to find better pay as a freelance blogger:
- Have a strong personal blog
- Find the right prospects
- Make the right pitch to them
Unfortunately, most freelancers are messing up at least one of these steps.
So let’s look them over one by one so you can nail this.
1. Making your blog a sales tool
Does your blog resemble a business blog? You want to set up your blog to make business owners feel that you understand business blogging when they visit.
- Clean, uncluttered design (take that widget of your tweets off)
- Single, focused niche topic
- Scannable posts with bullets or subheads
- Strong headlines with key words
- Photos half-column wide at the top of each post
- Social buttons are there and getting used
- Comments are happening
If your blog is a random mess, you’re not going to be able to convince businesses with real budgets for blogging that you’re their writer.
So clean up your blog and make it as strong as you can. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to discover the hidden market for paid blogging.
2. Find the ideal business blogging prospect
You’ve probably already figured out that to find better pay in blogging, you’ll need to proactively prospect, rather than responding to online job ads.
Instead of random websites, you’ll be looking for real businesses with a track record of successfully selling a lucrative business or service. Usually, they’ll be big enough to have at least a few employees.
Next, you have to recognize the ideal situation for landing a blogging gig. I get emails all the time that say this:
I found this small business in my town, and they don’t have a blog yet.
I’m meeting with them, trying to talk them into starting a blog I could write for them.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Companies that don’t have a blog yet are not good prospects.
They do not understand how blogging could help their site rank better in search and bring them new customers — or they’d be blogging.
So you begin at the dawn of blog time here, explaining what a blog is and what it could do for their business. This is going to be a long sales process…too long to pencil out for you as a freelancer trying to make a living.
Even if you can talk the business owner into it, there are too many steps between that light bulb going on and this company being in a position to hire you to blog.
They’ve got to get their webmaster to add a blog. They’ve got to design it. They have to name it. They have to pick a topic for it.
In general, it’s not going to happen. At least not in time to pay your rent.
Instead of grabbing any old business you see that doesn’t have a blog, take the easy route.
Here’s your ideal prospect:
- The company has a blog already…but it’s abandoned. Updates haven’t happened for a long while, or there’s only a new post once every few months.
- Their business is something you understand — you’ve used their product, worked in their industry, or written about their topic before
Bingo! This is the sweet spot.
This company understands blogging. They have a blog. They have tried to post on their blog.
And they’ve realized nobody in-house has the time to do it.
Or they had the time, but they hate writing. Or don’t understand blogging. Or ran out of post ideas.
Maybe they tried a few posts, didn’t get traffic, and gave up.
They wish they had a happening blog, but the owner is overwhelmed with all the other responsibilities of running a business. So now they have an embarrassing, dusty, out-of-date blog that’s more of a hindrance to their business growth than a help.
If they knew where they could find a really talented blogger, they’d jump on them — but they don’t have time to look.
This is where you come in. By targeting businesses you know, you can make the case that you are the answer to their problem.
3. How to pitch the owner of a dead blog
Once you’ve identified these prime prospects, from here it’s easy. You call or send them an email and say something like this:
Dear business owner:
As a freelance writer who specializes in X, I ran across your company recently. Love what you’re doing with (product/service).
I loved your [website feature], but the one thing I noticed is that your blog isn’t being updated. If you’d like to attract new visitors and convert them into customers with interesting, relevant blog posts that get shared in social media, I’d love to help you with regular weekly posts.
Check out what I’m doing on my blog (or this blog I do for X client) — then give me a call if you’d like to kick your blog back into gear.
I’ve seen a lot of writers I’ve mentored get great, steady blogging gigs pitching businesses with abandoned blogs. One writer I know even signed up his local tattoo parlor, for once-weekly posts at $100 each!
If you’d like to find some steady, ongoing blogging clients at nice rates, take a look at the successful businesses in your town — the ones big enough to have a marketing budget. Or look at bigger businesses nationally, within your chosen niche.
Then, start hunting for those ghost-town blogs. Those businesses need your help.
How do you find paid blogging gigs? Leave a comment and share your tips.