“So this is yet another generic and obvious post on how to make money one way or the other as a blogger” -says you. Granted, I would probably think the same thing seeing a headline like this.
Heck, I would be even sure that it’s just a matter of time before I see the main blogging cliché advice: “create quality content and engage with people.”
But bear with me for a moment. I promise to make it as non-obvious as possible, and list a handful of things that indeed CAN make you money without having to wait months for any noticeable results.
Getting straight down to business, this post is about offering freelance blogging services. In other words, offering your knowledge and expertise as a blogger in exchange for money.
Many bloggers have tried this way of making money as an addition to their “passive income” efforts or other projects. The reason is that freelance blogging brings immediate results. Meaning that after you find a client, and deliver the job, you get paid, no witchcraft involved and no one standing in your way (like Google, AdSense, AdWords, affiliate programs and so on).
However, the ever-lively problem is how to find clients in the first place. The following list presents some approaches that have either worked for me already or that I’m testing right now.
Flippa is an online marketplace of websites – you can go there whenever you’re in the mood of buying or selling a website. But this isn’t the reason why I’m listing it here.
It is quite obvious when you think about it. People who buy and sell websites are often also interested in good content creation/writing services for their sites.
Flippa is therefore a great place to contact some of them directly and offer your services just like that, with no beating around the bush or soft-selling. Moreover, Flippa’s audience is by definition an audience of buyers, which makes them just the right kind of people to reach out to.
Note. Keep in mind that all of the places and techniques described here can work for you no matter if you want to get hired as an in-house blogger or a guest blogger. The only difference is how you construct your initial offer.
2. “Millionaire mailing”
I love this technique. I’ve used it a couple of times (should probably start using it more often) and it got me my best paying client so far.
The process is rather simple in itself:
- Go through your niche or market (or ANY niche or market for that matter if you’re brave enough) and find big authority sites that you’d like to work with.
- Find the things that the sites are doing wrong in one way or another. Maybe their content lacks in some way, or there’s a design problem, or user experience problem, etc. Basically, find something that you know is wrong because your expertise tells you that it’s wrong.
- Email the owner of the site listing the things that you’ve discovered. Also list some ways to fix those problems, but don’t make the solution detailed, only a headline-like description.
In a lot of cases, you will get an email back from someone in charge to discuss the problems further, and at some point you will probably get a job offer or a gig to fix it.
This email marketing technique really works. The first time I used it was 1.5 years ago or so and I’m still working with the client. Also, a couple of weeks ago Neil Patel described this very technique in detail on his blog (hence the name – “millionaire mailing”) calling it one of the most effective things ever (not exactly his words).
3. Go for a walk and find local businesses
This day and age is probably the best time ever to go for a walk and find some local businesses you can help. Even though the internet is a fairly known thing for years now, local entrepreneurs didn’t use it all that much for business purposes until just recently.
Nowadays the situation is different. Mainly, the mindset is different. People know that the web is powerful and that it can bring them new customers, but they don’t have the resources to take care of their online presence by themselves. This is where you come into play with your services.
You can use your blog as a kind of proof that you know what you’re talking about and that you can indeed deliver. Working with local businesses gives you a great opportunity because you can do a multitude of things for them, unlike with established websites that usually need just one specific task done.
4. Create a good “hire me” page
Scratch that. Create any old “hire me” page. The sole existence of this thing sends a very clear message to any visitor who comes across your site, and sometimes that’s all you need.
If your blog is good enough evidence of your skills then some prospective clients will know right away that they could use your services and the only thing they need is an indication that you are actually offering some.
For this reason, I like to link to my “hire me” page straight from the main menu of the site, instead of hiding the link in the sidebar or the footer.
When it comes to the page itself, there are some standard elements you can place there:
- Your picture. Because people like to know who they’re going to be working with.
- Short paragraph introducing yourself and your credentials. It’s also good to mention some of the sites you’ve worked with, or some sites where you had your posts published.
- Links to your best content/projects.
- Your offer, obviously.
- (Optional.) Your rates.
- Contact form (through a plugin like Jetpack or Contact Form 7).
- Some social media share buttons for more visibility (also doable in Jetpack).
Let’s close the list with LinkedIn – probably the most straightforward way of getting client leads on the web. Although very often overlooked, LinkedIn is a great social network and the biggest professional social network on the web. It’s widely used by headhunters and all kinds of other people who go there solely to find new force to bring on their teams.
The first step to do is to craft your profile properly to present your skills, experience, and the range of services you can offer. A good approach is to treat your LinkedIn just like the “hire me” page on your blog. You can even recycle most of the content.
Next, reach out to your blogging friends and connect with them on LinkedIn with a simple message like “Hey, it’s Name from Site.com, just wanted to connect.” Since people are in a very business-driven state of mind on LinkedIn, soon, you should start seeing various endorsements coming your way from your friends. Because they know you already from your blog, they will probably endorse you for blogging related skills. Of course, returning the favor is a nice thing to do.
I don’t use my LinkedIn actively in any other way than what’s described above, and I still get contacted by a couple of people every month. Although it’s not much, let’s remember that it’s free marketing and that I didn’t spend a dime to get those leads.
Okay, let’s wrap this thing. These are the 5 ways that I’m using right now to get new leads as a freelance blogger. I hope you’ll try some of them out for yourself. By the way, have you started offering any freelance services on your blog yet?