Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

140 Websites That Pay Writers in 2014

Posted in Blog on July 20th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 22 Comments

Online markets that pay freelance writersBy Jennifer Roland

Way back in 2010, Carol decided to bust a move here on the blog.

As an advocate for writers seeking out good-paying work rather than writing for “exposure” or pennies, she decided it was time to start paying the writers who guest posted here.

Then, something really cool happened. Other bloggers started paying their guest posters, too. Some were inspired directly by Carol, and some blog owners just decided on their own that great content was worth paying for. So Carol gathered a list of those blogs as a resource for her readers.

But things on the Internet change fast. Fourteen months later, it’s time to post an updated list.

Our 2014 list of blogs that pay

Here is Carol’s fresh, new list of websites that pay at least $50 for guest posts. They’re listed alphabetically:

  1. Be a Freelance Blogger — Sophie Lizard hosts a contest six times a year for one guest blogger to win $100 for their post. The contest is judged on outlines, so you don’t have to write the post on spec.
  2. HouseLogic — This site operated by the National Association of Realtors pays $1 a word — Carol had an opportunity to interview their editor for an article for The 2013 Writer’s Market. If you’ve got a good twist on a shelter story and strong reporting skills, this could be a great place for you.
  3. Make a Living Writing — Carol pays $50 a post. Due to overwhelming response, though, she now only takes guest posts from students or grads of Freelance Writers Den or Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course.
  4. Patch  — AOL’s Patch.com, as of this writing, often pays $50 and up for short blog post–like articles. Patch closed many of its hyperlocal news sites at the end of 2013, so do a little research to see if there’s still a Patch near you.
  5. Read.Learn.Write. — Paying $50 a post after seeing Carol’s Problogger post about paid guesting in Feb. 2012. (We just got word that Read. Learn. Write. is not accepting guest posts.)
  6. David Worrell’s blog, Rock Solid Finance was the first niche blogger to jump on the bandwagon and start paying $50 for guests posts back in late 2010.
  7. SlickWP — Are you a WordPress pro? Then this might be a great place for you to write. They pay $50 per post plus a link back to your site.
  8. Social Alexis — This is actually a group of sites, including The Penny Hoarder and Brazen Careerist. Some of the sites pay $50+ or a link, so make sure you’re pitching a paid post and that the editor agrees on the fee BEFORE you submit your final work.
  9. Strong Whispers — This multi-topic site is paying $50 a post.
  10. Tuts+ — Tuts+ is owned by Envato, which used to run Freelance Switch. Carol guest blogged for Freelance Switch for quite a while. They pay around $75 for shorter posts, and can pay $150 or so for longer ones.
  11. The Work Online Blog — This site is all about how to run an online business, serve clients, and other topics related to the gig economy. They also pay $50.
  12. Your Online Biz — Darnell Jackson is paying $100 a post, so this is another great market to look at if you’re a pro at building your business online.

Not enough for you?

Other bloggers in Carol’s network have created lists of paying blogs — between this list and the ones linked below, that’s 140 potential guest post markets for you.

Even more paying markets

Two are by Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge, and one is by the above-mentioned Sophie Lizard of Be a Freelance Blogger. One is part of a larger market listing on Jennifer Mattern’s site, All Indie Writers. The final one is from the freelance-training site Matador — it’s a little older, but it lists a wide range of online sites and blogs that pay at least a bit.

Here are the links to grab those lists:

I compared these lists to make sure I didn’t overstate how many blogs out there are paying. And even when you ignore the duplicates, there are still 140 unique paying websites and blogs here.

Not too shabby. Hope these resources help you find more paying online markets!

Have you gotten paid to guest post? Tell us about your guest-blogging experience in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer, and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing and public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, 10 Takes on Writing, will be out in late 2014.

So, How DO You Promote a Blog Post, Anyway?

Posted in Blog on May 12th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 44 Comments

Young blogger trying to promote his blog postIn the beginning, you set up a blog. Then, you write a blog post.

After that, often, nothing happens. No comments. No readers. No subscribers.

Why?

It’s because many new bloggers don’t understand what it is they’ve created when they write a blog post.

Writing a blog post is like crafting a hammer. You’ve created a marketing tool that can be used to raise awareness about your writing or other products or services you (or your freelance clients) might sell.

You wouldn’t expect that hammer to jump up and start hammering nails by itself, would you? Someone must pick up the hammer and start using it for the house to get built. And you’ll also need some nails, right?

Yet, many bloggers are baffled when they do nothing to promote their blog posts, and get no result.

The art of socializing

Recently, in a training, I was describing how I like to tack a monthly, $100 consulting hour onto my regular business blogging contracts.

I don’t enjoy writing 12-word Facebook posts. Instead of getting involved in the front lines of social-media marketing, I would offer to train someone on my client’s team — their teen, their secretary, a junior marketing staffer — on how to promote the posts I was writing in social media. That’s a process known as “socializing” a post.

This writer asked me:

“So, what did you teach them? How DO you socialize a blog post, anyway?”

Good question! Here’s what I taught those clients to do to grab attention for their blog posts — I’ll use one particular small-business client as an example, who has a business-loan blog.

Don’t worry if your topic is different from that — all the same stuff will work for promoting your personal blog, too.

1) Build relationships

As my guest poster Daryl Rothman noted last week, you really get traction in blogging when you build personal relationships. Start by reaching out to other bloggers in your niche.

Comment on their posts. Share their posts in social media. Try to have a Skype chat. Offer to guest post for them.

In sum, be a known name to some thought leaders in your corner of the blogosphere, so that when you have a post you want to promote, there are people who might help you. These other bloggers are going to be the nails you need to hammer home your idea by spreading it around to more readers.

In the case of one of my small-business blogging clients, he’d been doing a great job of this, sharing and commenting on other entrepreneurship blogs. So he was perfectly primed to succeed in promoting his own blog.

2) Get active in social media

Yes, you really need to. No, it’s not too late to start.

If you want to build a blog, the reality is that Twitter is one of the most important platforms for sharing, probably followed by Google+, at this point. If you’re in a home/food/how-to niche, Pinterest may be important to you as well. If Facebook seems like a place people talk about your topic a lot, it might be useful, too.

You may hear stuff about how to get more shares from bookmarking sites and retweet farms and lots of other things, but you don’t really need to get into using them.

You do need to build a presence, though, so that there are people who see and share your post when you retweet or otherwise share it around. Otherwise, you are tweeting to no one.

My client was good on this, too — he’d been building his Twitter following and chatting with people on there about small-business topics.

3) Have a social-sharing tool

I continue to be amazed at how many blogs I find that have no set of social sharing buttons. At this point, only your most rabid fans are going to take the trouble to mosey over to Twitter, hand-write a tweet with the post headline in it, and hand-paste your link into it.

There are plenty of tools out there — among the most popular are AddtoAny, ShareThis, and Sharebar (which is what I’m currently using). Pick one and get it installed. It will immediately signal to readers that you’d like them to share your posts.

4) Design your post for shareability

Instead of writing whatever you feel like and then desperately trying to get people to share it, take the opposite approach: Reverse-engineer your social-media success by noticing what sorts of posts get shared a lot in your niche, and writing something along those lines.

What are the hot topics? The buzzwords? The personalities whose mention inspires conversation? Riff on one of these in your post.

Begin with the key ingredient: Write a strong headline with key words that will help readers interested in your topic to find you.

From there, flesh out a whole post that thought leaders with huge social-media followings might take an interest in.

One no-fail approach I used repeatedly with my clients was to ask them to name their personal top gurus for information in their sector. Doing a post like this gives you a great opportunity to share that post with all the gurus mentioned.

Which brings us to…

5) Target your tweets and shares

The day your post goes up, you need to take action. Don’t just sit and wait for people to come and retweet your post. Be proactive in bringing your post to the attention of big names who might give your post wider exposure.

How do you do this? For starters, don’t beg. And don’t email people to ask them to retweet something. That’s just silly. Target them on that platform, for instance on Twitter with:

“@guru : Your readers might enjoy this post: [HEADLINE/LINK]”

or

“@guru : You’re mentioned in: [HEADLINE/LINK]“

No, not every busy blogger will take the bait, but some will. Remember, if you’ve done a list of 10-12 top gurus you admire, that’s a lot of different big bloggers you can try.

In the case of one top 20 gurus post I ghostwrote for my client, one of the gurus he dinged about it liked it so much, she ended up asking him to write a regular column for her much-larger blog! It was a huge win that brought him a ton more exposure.

Mentioning a blogger on your post can be a way to connect and lead to more opportunities for you to guest post and grow your blog.

6) Use hashtags

One of the things to do while you’re getting acquainted with Twitter is to learn about hashtags that relate to your niche. For instance, #WW or writer Wednesday, is a popular one for writers. When I have posts come out on Wednesdays, I always make a point to use it when I share my post. Small businesses might be checking out #startup, #smb, or #smallbizchat, to name a few.

Hashtags are great because people who aren’t following you can then discover your posts as well, because they’re scanning Twitter for that hashtag topic.

7) Use a scheduler

I’ll be honest and say I could get better at this, but it’s something you especially want to be using if you’re doing social-media marketing for clients. Because you’re going to want to keep sharing about that post for days or even weeks to come — and the easy way to do that is to write and schedule those all to drip out later, rather than having to sit on Twitter at all hours.

Most of us tend to share our post the day it comes out, and then move on. But marketing pros keep recycling that post.

If you use a scheduler such as HootSuite, it makes it easy. You can keep replicating your link, rewriting your tweets or Facebook shares, and assigning them new dates and times to be posted.

Big tip: Don’t just keep retweeting your headline and link. Instead, vary what you say. Mention that there’s a hot conversation going on in the comments. Ask a question that invites readers to come back and comment. Quote a snappy line from the post. Rewrite the headline. Post it on Facebook with a different graphic on the next day, so it looks fresh.

Other big tip: Be sure you share other things inbetween the repetitions of your new post. Do some scanning, find some interesting stuff, and lace it into your schedule as well, so you don’t start looking like an obnoxious salesman and continue to appear to be putting out useful, varied info.

Of course, there are many other ways to promote blog posts. Give talks and mention your blog, for instance.

But for those who need to do it quick and without leaving home, this gives you a simple, proven approach that puts the hammer and nails together with actions that should help you build your blog audience.

How do you promote your blog posts? Leave a comment and let me know.

How to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger

How to Get Awesome Guest Blogging Gigs With CPR

Posted in Blog on May 7th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 26 Comments

Freelance writer shakes with a new bogging clientBy Daryl Rothman

Have you ever had a great idea for a guest post and wish it could be featured on one of the top blogs for writers?

It can be.

I found a great list on Write to Done’s Top 10 Sites for Writers, but I had a huge problem when it came to pitching them my guest blog ideas.

I was a nobody.

Not as a person, but I had next to no publications to my name. Plus, the guidelines and submission formats — while crucial to adhere to — seemed so distant and impersonal. What would distinguish my random pitch from the plethora of inquiries these sites received?

I decided I needed to do something different: perform CPR.

No, my dreams were not dead, and neither are yours. But mine needed a revival, a jolt.

The Power of Relationships

When I say CPR, I don’t mean resuscitating a stopped heart. In marketing, CPR refers to Cultivating Positive Relationships.

After being published on several of the Top 10 blogs, with more scheduled, I can tell you, CPR was the key. Getting published on top blogs can be a huge boost to your own blog’s visibility, too.

Do relationships matter? Just today I sent a quick note to a top-ranked author and inquired how she was doing. “Thanks for asking!” she replied. “No one ever asks anymore.” Writers are people, too — a little basic human kindness can go a long way.

Reach Out

I’ve always been a people-person. That’s not necessarily synonymous with being a social butterfly. Some of the boldest writers are the most reserved people.

But I’ve always been more successful when I’m able to connect with someone at least a little bit, to say hello, get to know them a little, let them get to know me.

Be Authentic

Robert Steven Kaplan of Harvard Business School has spoken of the importance of giving something of yourself when building relationships. Tell them briefly about your writing and why you’ve contacted them. Demonstrate you’ve read their blog and sample posts and explain you have an idea for a fresh angle on a subject you think will interest their readers.

This hypothetical interaction is not the same as the pitch itself, so you don’t want to run long or unveil the entire pitch unless the author has asked you to do so.

Listen

Really. Listen in the same way you need to listen to the guidelines: they say, you do. (Or, don’t do. If they say they aren’t open to pitches, don’t pitch them) It’s knowing not only what to do, but what not to do.

If you get to submit a post, follow the guidelines, read sample posts, and submit the best draft you can. If the author asks you to revise it, listen meticulously to the feedback.

Reciprocate

The top-ranked blogger who publishes your guest post is conferring something of great benefit upon you. You get exposure to their vast readership, association with an esteemed author/blog, and myriad opportunities to connect with others through the comments.

I always offer what I can. I’ve offered to beta-read, and to link their work. I understand their following dwarfs mine, but the more positive buzz the better, right?

I offer this even if they have rejected my request to pitch. It never feels good to be told “no,” but I try to reframe back into CPR mode, rather than pouting.

Follow Up

If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If they grant permission to pitch, do so promptly.

Maybe the author asked you to read a few more posts and get back in touch. If so, be strategic and organized. Maintain a tracking system. The last thing you want is to generate interest and start building relationship with a great author, only to come off disrespectful and amateur by neglecting basic courtesies and follow up.

How has Cultivating Positive Relationships paid off for you? Tell us in the comments below.

Daryl Rothman writes novels, short stories, flash fiction, serial fiction and articles. He has guest-posted for KM Weiland, CS Lakin, Joanna Penn, and Firepole Marketing.

How to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger

Become the Best Ghost Blogger Ever in 30 Minutes Flat

Posted in Blog on April 13th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 25 Comments

A half hour is all freelance writers need to become a great ghost blogger.Does the idea of writing as a ghost blogger for a client make you nervous?

I hear from a lot of writers who wonder how that’s done. How do you successfully write as someone else? And how do you keep from becoming a schizophrenic if you’re ghost blogging for multiple clients?

I’ve also heard from quite a few writers who’ve tried ghost blogging but ended up with unhappy clients. The posts just didn’t ‘sound’ right. Something was off.

And they ended up losing the gig. Which really hurts, especially if you’ve lined up a good freelance blogging client who’s paying $100 a post or more.

I hate when that happens! So today, I have a couple strategies to share that will solve this.

2 Steps to perfect ghost posts

There is an easy way to do this ventriloquist trick, where your writing comes out sounding just like the client would have written it. Your client is ecstatic, the posts are easy to write, and this gig becomes a nice, ongoing deal.

It’s a two-step process that I’ve done many times, and it works like a charm.

I caught on to these tricks fairly early on in my small-business ghost-blogging career, sort of by accident. Once I tried these techniques, I was blown away by the results.

Clients universally raved about my ghostwritten posts. “That sounds just like how I would have said it!” they’d say.

How can you do this? It takes a little time. Really, very little! A half hour ought to do it.

Here’s how to become a terrific ghost blogger — fast:

Make an appointment

Tell the client you need a half-hour chat with them to get the blog rolling. You probably need to talk to them anyway, just to map out the topics you’ll write about and firm up a publication schedule.

Lots of freelance writers have an aversion to client meetings and talking on the phone, and try to get this figured out on email or instant chat. Do *not* do this with ghost blogging clients.

Instead, get them on the phone, and start a conversation. Tell your client you’d like to ask a few questions to learn about their business and get up to speed. Some questions that work great:

  • Why did you start your business?
  • Who are your customers and how do you solve their problems?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the business today?
  • The biggest opportunities?
  • What are you hoping to accomplish with the blog?

Get a business owner talking about what they do and their marketing goals, and you’ll hardly be able to shut them up. You’ll hear their passion coming through and learn why they love what they do.

Either record this conversation or take lots of notes. Pay particular attention to words and phrases they use repeatedly. Note industry jargon and ask what it means.

Presto: Now you have a written record of exactly how your client ‘sounds.’

Pick up those words and phrases and industry lingo and use them in your ghosted blog posts. If they like to start sentences with, “Anyways…” or say “sooner than later” a lot, use it in your post.

The results will amaze you. Clients will wonder how you got it to sound just like them!

Simple: You listened, and you used their words in their posts. No surprise, they love it.

Do an exercise

One more thing while you’re having that client chat that will help you is to ask them one key question. This will help you to write the posts so they’re in the tone and style the company wants.

Yes, you can study their existing marketing materials for a bit of this, too. But pose this one challenge to your client, and you’ll nail it.

Ask the client to describe what they want customers to feel about their company when they read the blog. What are they trying to convey about their business, at the emotional level? Ask them to use no more than five adjectives for this description.

Is their company friendly? Approachable? Authoritative? Innovative? What are the most important values they want to impress on readers?

Make your client give you a list of descriptors, and it’ll be easy to craft prose that delivers on their vision.

Now when you sit down to write ghosted blog posts, you aren’t facing a blank page. You have ideas, you have their own words in front of you as a swipe file, and you understand the tone they want to set with their blog.

What are your ghost blogging tips? Leave them in the comments.

How to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger