Occasional freelance writing or a full-time career
There's lots of ways to get paid to blog, from writing for someone
else to creating your own blog-based website. If you're interested in
making money online as a freelance writer, blogging can be a great way
to make a name for yourself, get published and start your new career.
Getting Started - Get Your Own Blog
Even if you don't want to make money from your own blog
in the long-run, if you want to get a job blogging, you need have your
own blog. This will be your portfolio-in-progress. When you are
applying to get paid to blog, it will be a great place for folks to see
what you can do.
To get paid to blog at the entry level, you
will need to be able to demonstrate some basic skills, make sure that
your personal blog shows these off. You will need to know how to use
Wordpress, it's the industry leader. You will also need to show that
you can blog frequently and regularly. And, of course, make sure you
If you're starting a brand new blog, you can post
retroactively to build up some content on your site. However, don't
make this a long-term practice, it is not very professional.
Getting Your First Gig
Once you've got some content built up, and your site looks good you can
begin to look for a gig where you'll get paid to blog. This is the time
where you'll be getting your initial 'chops' for professional writing,
so don't worry too much about getting the best or ideal gigs - you just
want to get something where you'll be able to have you name in the
byline of someone else's blog.
you can, get something that pays right off the bat. If this isn't
possible, or if you're working another job until you can get paid to
blog full-time, try writing some guest posts for more established blogs
that are looking for content. While you won't get paid for these, you
will get your name out there, possibly a link to your website, and
build your portfolio and resume.
When you apply to gigs, you'll
be asked to submit a writing sample. You can submit your own blog, of
course, or if you have samples of other sites you've written for, those
are perfect. If you have neither, it will be worth your time to write
an original writing sample to fit their required specifications as
quickly as possible. Creating a good, original piece of work to
accompany your application is a great way to set yourself appart as a
candidate for a get paid to blog gig.
Keep applying for
jobs. It's just a numbers game - I had no experience but good
talent and it took me probably 20-30 applications to get any responses.
I'm good at sales so I was able to close the majority of those
responses into gigs, but you might need more if you're not used to this
type of thing.
Establishing Yourself as a Professional
got your first gig! Congratulations! You now are one of the people who
get paid to blog, not just someone who does it as a hobby. You're not
quite a professional blogger though yet, so here are some tips on how
to take your blogging to the next level and make more money.
If you want to be a professional, be professional
you want to be a professional blogger, if you want to get paid to blog
full time and be a real freelance writer, you need to behave in a
strictly professional manner. Complete projects (including spell
checking and editing two or three times) and get them to your editor
ahead of time. Work hard and diligently, don't be sloppy. Make life
easier on your editor and not only will they give you glowing
recommendations, they'll be more receptive to giving you more work or
an increase in pay.
Keep your records well
with the first one, but if you are going to get paid to blog, you'll
most likely need to be filing your own taxes and paying those on time
every quarter. Keep track of everything you take in in income and
everything you spend on your new business. Internet, rent, library
fees, etc. might all be tax deductible expenses. I highly, highly,
highly recommend using Outright Bookkeeping (free!) to keep track of
these sorts of things, it's easy and integrates well with invoicing
systems. Beyond your income and expenses, you'll also want to keep
track of how long you spend writing each blog post, so you'll know what
your hourly wage is. You'll also want to keep your
profile/resume/portfolio site updated on a regular basis with any blog
post that has your name in the byline. All of this will help you when
you get to the next step.
Raise your rates as quickly as you can
all well and good to take a $5 per post job when you're just getting
your foot in the door and don't have any previous experience. At least
you'll get paid to blog. However, if you've had one of these, you
shouldn't need to take another one (unless your first one bombed for
some reason.) Once you've gotten one gig, you'll know how long it takes
you (roughly) to write one blog post. Then decide how much you need to
make per hour to consider yourself full-time. Slowly raise your rates
with each new job you take until you are working full-time.
Learn to fire your low-paying jobs
you've begun to get paid to blog, you'll figure out that there's a huge
demand for this field. Especially for folks who can do it well,
professionally, reliably and for an affordable rate. As you get
experience you'll quickly find your plate fills up and you've got 8-10
hours of work per day and the possibility of more work. Now it's time
to weed your work load to make sure you're getting paid the most you
can for the work you're doing. If you're currently doing 40 hours of
work per week, take on an extra 10 at an increased rate that'll make it
worth your while to sacrifice your free time. Then give notice to your
lowest paying (or most boring, it's up to you) gig. Leave with grace -
if they want to pay you more and you want to keep doing the job, that's
good - just move on to firing the next gig. If they don't or you don't,
simply thank them and give them a week or two to find a replacement.
Turn down jobs you don't get credit for
you're starting out, taking a ghost writing gig that will allow you to
get paid to blog is fine because it's quick money in your pocket.
However, if you already get paid to blog there isn't a lot of advantage
(except, perhaps, more money for you) if you blog under any name but
your own. Educate potential employers to this point - let them know
that having a name and a personality helps build readership and
community. However, if you can't publicly take credit for the blog post
on your portfolio site, it's probably not wort taking. Or, at least,
not without additional compensation.
people who get paid to blog get paid the same amount. Some get paid
much, much more. If your eventual goal is to build a career writing for
others, not running your own site or blog, decide from the beginning
what blog (or type of blog) you want to get paid to blog for. If you
want to work for Gawker, target and get jobs that will establish your
name as a gossip blogger. If you want to work for The Huffington Post,
cut your teeth on politics and more 'journalism' type stories. If you
want to travel for National Geographic, well, good luck. You get the
The internet, at this point, depends
mostly on the written word. While that is slowly changing (and learning
to Video Blog or Vlog might be a good skill to add to your arsenal),
good bloggers and writers of all sorts continue to be in demand. If
you're bored to tears with auto mechanics, don't take a blog about that
- you'll fail. Write only about what you know, are interested in and/or
are passionate about.