Any writer who has been in this industry for a while, knows all too well the feast or famine cycle.
Here’s the script: one month your writing income finances a big flat-screen T.V. with fancy features.
The next month, you’re surviving off Ramen Noodles, and praying for loose change under couch cushions.
There are more fluctuations than with the stock market.
Inconsistent, sporadic pay can produce stress. And stress can lead to writer’s block. And writer’s block can block your cash flow, which leads to more stress.
There’s a better way.
If you’d like to angst less, and add another income stream to build your writing business and your bottom line, consider the benefits of blogging.
How to Build a More Profitable Writing Business Through Blogging
Since I added blogging-related services to the creative offerings I provide to my clients, it has increased my income by thousands of dollars each year. And it can for you too.
Today’s savvy writer recognizes the importance of offering ancillary services to remain competitive and “stay in the black.” For this reason, you’ll often find writers who also provide photography, or edit other writers’ works, or do coaching on the side. Of the many creative options available, blogging gives you more “bang” for your buck. Here’s why it makes sense to incorporate it in your writing business.
- Quicker pay. Instead of writing feature articles that pay upon publication, (which can be any where from a couple of months to a year), many times blogging gigs pay upon acceptance. In Ghost Blogging, it gets even better. Typically clients pay a deposit before work begins.
- It’s less time consuming. Though it varies depending upon the type and scope of project, comparatively speaking, it’s quicker to pen posts than to write articles. Consider that the average blog post is 400-800 words, and requires little, (if any) research. This enables you to “work smarter, not harder” and successfully juggle various creative assignments without detriment.
- Blogging “is the new black.” Once considered merely a medium for sharing rants and showcasing creative hobbies, blogging has evolved into a powerful marketing tool used by businesses to expand their customer base; by authors, to build a platform, and by organizations seeking to promote charitable causes. This makes it a skill that’s in high demand.
Here’s what a few other freelancers have to say about blogging and its impact on their careers.
“I have not yet incorporated it into my business, so I can’t give you a bottom line figure, but I do know more and more businesses and not-for-profits are creating blogs, and at a recent business networking meeting, the only writing anyone talked about hiring for was blog writing. So I think it is potentially useful. I do think, however, that one should probably pick a topic one loves or wants to learn about, as I doubt anyone will ever pay enough for blog entries to make it worth the time if you have to start from scratch for every topic — because the research can take a lot of time if you don’t know the subject area.”
Cynthia Clampitt, President of Midwest Writers Association
“As a writer, blogging has helped sharpen my skills, tighten my writing, and connect with
writers and others who I might not have met otherwise. Guest posting on other blogs
has had its benefits as well. Both have generated exposure and work in a number of areas.”
Karen Lange, Author and online writing instructor
Now that we’ve covered “why” professional blogging works, here’s how to work it!
• Start at home base. Construct your own blog. The best way to hone your voice, build your “blogging chops” and establish your expertise, is to create a quality site that enhances your online image and demonstrates your skill to potential clients and editors. In the beginning of my blogging career, I actually set up an “experimental” site where I tested design schemes, gadgets, and functionality. I credit this trial and error experience for the success of my current blog.
• Have a strategy plan in place. How will you create a buzz about your blog? Where will you do guest posts? What type of clients will you target? What kind of services will you provide? The clearer you are, the fewer detours you’ll have on the road to success.
• If opportunity doesn’t knock, create your own “luck.” Though blogging jobs are abundant these days, there’s great competition for the ones listed at popular writers’ sites. For this reason, I have been known to periodically approach companies that I’ve researched online to “pitch” my blogging services. This strategy also works well for your existing client base, if they already have a site, but have difficulty producing quality content on an ongoing basis.
WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES TO OFFER…?
- Ghost blogging—You might be surprised to learn that many businesses, entrepreneurs, and even celebrities hire ghost bloggers to put their thoughts into words; either because they lack the time, desire, or ability to blog on a regular basis. Over the last few years, I have been a Ghost Blogger for a CEO, a teacher, a publisher, and a few business sites. It pays well and work is relatively steady. To find gigs, check out sites like Craigslist.org, ProBlogger.net, and Thumbtack.com.
- Guest blogging—Bloggers can earn pay for their say by responding to the growing “calls for submissions” listed at various sites. Guest bloggers are often sought because they add variety to sites, give busy bloggers a much-needed break, and provide links that can increase Google ranking and exposure. Expect to earn anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 per post for 500 to 1000 words.
- Setting up sites for others—Are you a whiz with WordPress? Do you have an eye for design? Do you know your way around a dashboard? Businesses, authors and aspiring bloggers often contract the services of those with technical skills (and the patience) to set up their blogs, or to provide instruction to help them more easily navigate their way. This could be you.
In addition to the benefits outlined here, there’s one more smart reason to add blogging to your business plan: it’s fun. Blogging is a great way to mix business with pleasure, and increase your earning potential in the future.
About Jennifer Brown Banks
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, creative strategist, award-winning blogger and columnist. Her publishing credits include: Pro Blogger, Daily Blog Tips, Write to Done, Men With Pens, Writing-World, Tiny Buddha, and other top-tier sites.
She holds a bachelors degree in Business Management.
Banks teaches writers and businesses how to “work smarter, not harder” and increase their bottom line at her “Top 25 Writing Blog” – Pen and Prosper.