Most people who start blogging have ideas of building a huge following and supporting themselves through affiliate marketing. And while that is certainly possible, a lot more people are using their blogging skills to freelance.
The freelancing possibilities are abundant in the blog-o-sphere, and these are often highly paid positions with huge amounts of flexibility. And really, I think that is the true end goal for many bloggers – to make a good income while living life on their own terms.
Why Blogging is Perfect for Learning New Skills
Blogging is the perfect platform for learning skills that you can use to start earning more money. As you build a blog, you’ll learn all the different parts of blogging and figure out exactly which parts you naturally enjoy. Plus, you’ll be meeting other bloggers who can eventually become your clients.
You can start a blog for just a few bucks a month and learn for free. There are tons of tutorials online and new blogger Facebook groups where you can get and give plenty of help as you grow.
Remember, the goal here is to learn. There is a lot to learn when it comes to blogging. Think of it as an adventure. You are building a new skill set, networking, and figuring out what your favorite parts of blogging really are.
As you build and grow your site, pay attention to the parts you find fun. Notice what questions from other bloggers you enjoy answering. These areas are where your freelancing potential is. Just because something doesn’t feel like work to you doesn’t mean it’s not valuable to someone else.
Getting paid to do something you enjoy doing is awesome! It doesn’t have to be drudgery to be worth a lot of money.
How to Make Money with These New Skills
A blog is a business just like any other. A new blog is often run by a single person, but as the site grows, the tasks quickly get overwhelming, and one person simply can’t do it all.
Successful bloggers need people to help them, and the best people to help are other bloggers. As you build your own site, you’ll meet other bloggers and become part of a larger blogging community. Through this community, you’ll hear of people looking to hire on their sites.
These positions are almost always freelance, meaning that you will work as an independent contractor. You will submit an invoice at the end of the month for the work you’ve done and will be paid by your client. Taxes will not be withheld, and benefits will not be provided.
Because of this, you’ll likely start freelancing as a side hustle. If you want to take freelancing full-time, you certainly can, but you don’t have to. That’s what is awesome about freelancing – you can always arrange it to fit your particular needs.
Skills You Can Learn
There is a lot that goes into running a blog. One person can’t do it all, and a successful blog owner will often turn to their network when the workload gets to be too much.
Here are a few of the common positions bloggers are looking to fill as they grow their team.
Social Media Management
Social media management is often one of the first things a blogger will outsource. It’s very time-consuming for the site owner and very easily defined as its own role.
As a social media manager, you’ll create and schedule all the social media posts across the various platforms. You may also engage with followers and host events on social media.
You’ll need to be familiar with the requirements and culture on the major social platforms and be proficient at using at least one of the common scheduling tools.
You can level up this position by also offering group management, such as moderating a Facebook group.
Writing blog posts is another very common freelancing position. You’ll receive assignments from the site owner (or editor) and complete them according to the standards of the site.
This position is also highly flexible. Turn around times are often long, and you can choose to take as much or as little work as you’d like.
For this position, you’ll need to be familiar with using Google Drive as you’ll likely submit your work on a Google Doc. It’s also a good idea to have some familiarity with the big project management platforms, such as Asana and Slack.
Email marketing is a big part of blogging. Most, if not all, blogs have regular email newsletters they sent to their followers plus nurture sequences to welcome new subscribers. If they sell products, such as courses or coaching, they will also have sales sequences that encourage people to buy.
That is a lot of emails to write, send, and keep track of.
If sending emails is your favorite part of blogging, you can certainly do this for someone else. Optimizing these emails is a big deal. A working email sequence can generate thousands of dollars worth of product sales or affiliate commissions, all on auto-pilot. That’s worth a lot to any blogger.
Optimizing a blog for search engines is an ongoing practice, and getting it right can mean the difference between the success or failure of a site. So if you love SEO, you definitely have a marketable skill.
SEO consultants can work either on a project basis or as an ongoing consultants. A project might consist of researching and delivering a list of target keywords the client should go for, and that’s it. Or you could do ongoing work, optimizing new articles, digging through old articles, and suggesting SEO updates.
Another avenue to take here is through coaching. All bloggers want to learn about SEO, and not everyone can afford to pay a consultant. So teaching new bloggers how to optimize their sites for search is another great way to make money.
The first hurdle to starting a blog is designing your site. In fact, many new bloggers get so caught up in the design of their site that they never get past it. They just get frustrated and give up.
But if you find graphic design easy and fun, this might be the perfect opportunity to earn some extra cash.
Graphic design can mean anything from designing a logo to building entire websites. You can also design social media graphics as well, which is perfect if you prefer long-term clients that offer steady work.
Can’t decide? That’s ok. There are a million little tasks that need to be done that don’t fit neatly into any particular category. A lot of bloggers need a general virtual assistant to just “help out.”
The beauty of being a VA is that you don’t need much experience to get started. As soon as you have this blogging thing figured out, you can start offering VA services to other bloggers.
You can decide which clients to take and which jobs to do for those clients. This could be anything from email and calendar management to website maintenance to any of the jobs listed above. Being a VA will give you a great idea of what parts of blogging you like best.
As you figure out where your strengths are, I recommend starting to specialize since you can often earn a higher hourly rate by becoming an expert in a particular area instead of being a general VA.
How to Get Your First Client
Getting your first client can be a little scary, so here are some tips to make this process less painful.
First off, it’s easiest if your first client is a friend, and it’s totally ok if they know you are just starting out. You’ll definitely know how to do the work you were hired for, but there is a lot that goes into freelancing outside of just doing the exact work. Stuff like communicating with your client, invoicing, pricing, etc.
If you are friends and they know you are just starting, it’s ok to ask “dumb” questions and work together to set up good systems.
Secondly, don’t worry so much about what to charge. The experience you get from having your first client is worth more than what you’ll be getting paid.
That said, you should not work for free or even heavily discounted rates. For example, don’t charge $5 an hour when the going rate is $25, but it’s ok to charge $20.
For now, focus on getting the job. You can optimize for every dollar once you’ve gained some confidence and experience.
Starting a blog is a great career move. Not only could the blog itself take off and provide income, but you can use it to launch a high-paying freelance career.
The skills needed to run a blog are highly marketable, and your blog gives you a platform to learn and demonstrate those skills; and the blogging community is the perfect marketplace to find clients.