How To Make Money As A Freelancer While Blogging

How To Make Money As A Freelancer While Blogging
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In previous posts I’ve given you some great ways to make money from your blog, but have you ever thought of leveraging your blog to make money elsewhere?

Today we’re going to talk about how you can make money outside of your blog – by using the same tools you use every single time you work on your blog.

No matter what you blog about, there is always a way to make money from it.

I’ve always been quite upfront about what this blog makes (never more than a few hundred $’s a month) but what I haven’t mentioned before is what goes on outside the blog.

You see, I’ve been freelancing for a few years now, and I actually quit my job around 6 months ago in order to pursue higher paid (and more enjoyable) freelancing opportunities.

But, it’s important to note that freelancing was never part of my plan. I just wanted to blog and make money from that; I never really considered freelancing as an option.

Freelancing is something I sort of fell into, and I realized as I went on that (at least at the beginning of my online career) freelancing was going to be a lot easier and quicker to turn into a full time “job”.

At this point, I currently make $7-8k per month from freelancing.

But, the best part is that I get to keep almost all of that (other than taxes – ouch) as I work from home and my costs are so low.

Unlike running a traditional business, or even a popular blog, I have no marketing costs, rent or employees to worry about.

But, we’re not here to talk about my costs, we’re here to help you start freelancing and making some sweet cheddar too!

So, if your blog isn’t really making that much money right now, or if you want to create more money to boost your blog; here are some options for what you could do to start generating income by freelancing TODAY:

  • Writing – if you’re blogging then you’re already doing this anyway, why not do it for someone else too?
  • Design – you probably made your blog and came up with the logo/graphics yourself, could you do this for other people?
  • Web Services – you’ve probably handled your fair share of WordPress issues and perhaps even learned some code along the way. You could help other people with their projects.
  • Social Media Management – businesses everywhere are looking for savvy social media-ers just like you to run their campaigns!
  • Virtual Assistant – some people just need help getting organized; booking meetings, filtering email and other admin tasks.
  • Sales Rep – virtual companies are all the rage right now and you can join their sales teams.

There are a lot more, but these are just some of the things that almost anyone who’s a blogger can do.

You don’t have to be particularly skilled, as most clients are capable of doing these tasks themselves – but simply don’t want to, or don’t have time to.

The issue most people have is getting started.

How do you find clients? How do you pick a rate? How do you make sure you’re doing this right?

I see these questions on an almost daily basis in my Facebook groups and so here’s the simple answer: UpWork.

No, that’s not an affiliate link. No I am not getting any money or benefit from writing about UpWork.

I simply believe that it’s the best service out there for getting started as a freelancer.

How To Make Money As A Freelancer While Blogging

Here’s How To Become A Freelancer While Blogging

The tips you’re about to read are geared towards UpWork, but most apply to any freelancing platform out there.

Figure Out What You’re Good At

Thinking Monkey

What can you do well enough that someone would pay you for it?

Is there a task have you completed on your blog that was a real pain in the ass the first time, but you know you could easily do it again now that you know what you’re doing?

What do you enjoy doing? If you can find something you enjoy doing, and that someone will pay you for, then you’ll really be on to a winner!

Even if you don’t have a specific skill, could you work as a virtual assistant?

There are literally millions of freelance jobs out there, you just have to figure out which ones you want to do.

Just Do It.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start making money.

Freelancing isn’t going to be a walk in the park by any means, but it’s going to be quicker and easier to make money than most other methods.

Make the decision, and commit to making it a reality.

Envision yourself a few months, weeks or even days from now with money in your bank and a long list of satisfied clients.

Head over to UpWork now and get started.

Fill Out Your Profile As Much As Possible

UpWork (and other platforms) give you the option to add so much information, that at first glance it’s a little overwhelming.

What you need to realize though, is that potential clients will ALWAYS check your profile before hiring you.

If there’s no information there to show them how great you are, you’ll likely lose them to another freelancer, even if they preferred your proposal.

Make sure you take some of the on-site tests and make sure you flesh out your portfolio.

You need to make it incredibly easy for people to see your credibility.

Invest In Your Success

Grow Your Income

Get the $10 premium account. It’s worth it for at least the few months while you’re getting started.

Again, I’m not making any money from recommending that you do this. But, the premium account gives you enough benefits to justify using it, and you’ll make more than that cost back on your first job anyway.

The premium account gives you certain benefits, such as being able to apply to more jobs, as well as being able to see what your competitors have applied for and offered for price.

Being able to see what your competitors are doing is incredibly valuable here.

Tailor Your Proposal To The Individual Needs Of The Client

Finding jobs is the easy part, applying for them is a different story.

How do you stand out from the crowd and let the client now that you’re the one for the job?

You have to realize that these people are looking at a ton of applications, and you need to get yours noticed.

Don’t send a standard message. Clients get a ton of applications so if they even get the scent of something copy and pasted they’ll ignore you.

You could try offering mock ups, or even better – creating a full professional proposal and uploading it as a PDF.

I did this and had great success, but you’ll only want to do it for the higher paid jobs obviously due to the time involved with creating them.

Get Good Reviews

This is probably the most important one. The power of reviews is undeniable.

Buyers often go straight to your reviews as your previous paying customers are going to give them the best impression of you and your work.

It’s going to be hard work getting started out.

Sure, it’ll be tough, but the reward once you’ve got those reviews under your belt will be more than worth it!

Do whatever it takes. Lower your prices for your first few customers, get existing clients to hire you through UpWork, or whatever else you can think of.

Just get at least 3 solid reviews and you’ll be set.

Be Honest With People

Remember that behind that grainy profile picture (or lack thereof) there’s a person.

People appreciate honesty, so don’t be scared to talk to client’s the same way you’d talk to anyone else.

Obviously keep your profanities to yourself, at least until you’ve built a relationship up, but any other communications and requests should be as if you’re meeting the client for a coffee and having a chat.

Be upfront. Your clients will appreciate it.

If you’re offering a lower price to get a review, let the client know that. The result will be that they won’t dismiss you as “cheap”; they’ll accept you as “smart”.

Make sure you stay in close contact with your clients and let them know of any updates or issues you may be having.

No one likes to be kept in the dark – especially when their time and money is on the line.

Remember that the client has never met you before, and while their money is securely held by UpWork, they don’t want to waste time having to find someone to replace you if you don’t meet a deadline.

Check Out Your Competitors

Cyclists Stealing Your Clients

You know that thing you do on Facebook where you snoop on your friends of friends? Well, it’s time to do it professionally.

Go and creep on other people offering the same services as you.

That way you price yourself on your profile accordingly, without underselling yourself, or overpricing.

You could also consider slightly undercutting your competitors to appear more attractive to buyers.

Make sure your rates are still high enough that you’re making enough money though.

Don’t fall into the trap of getting an awesome recurring client, only to have the awkward conversation down the line of “please sir, can I have some more?”.

Last But Not Least

Something you’ll come to realize very quickly is that there are two types of clients on UpWork;

1. This client only wants a cheap project. These people are looking for cheap work and are more worried about price than anything else. You’ll have a hard time getting these jobs because you have to compete with people overseas that will work for a lot less.

2. People (professionals) who need work done but don’t have know anyone to do it.

These are the ones you want, and the ones I’ve had the most success with.

If you keep your prices competitive with your local competitors you will find you attract more of no.2 (as long as the quality of your work is good).

Once you’ve got 3-5 jobs/reviews under your belt you’ll notice that you’ll start to get invited to jobs and you won’t even have to apply for them.

From here on it’s pretty easy. I don’t even really use UpWork much any more because I have enough recurring work to keep me straight!

The other great part is that technically I could work from anywhere in the world. This makes me feel a lot more comfortable about the future and what adventures there are left to be had.

Do you have followup questions, or want me to go into more detail anywhere? Hit me up in the comments!

Tom Watts
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Tom Watts

Blogger from England, living in Canada. I blog about blogging, SEO, Social Media, Web Design etc. Monday lover, coffee consumer. The glass is always half full. Read my full story here: Read More
Tom Watts
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13 Comments

  1. Lynda Kenny says:

    Excellent post Tom, You point out all the ways people can make money from blogging if they choose to. I use mine for branding purposes and to train and coach people the hows.
    I also use it to gain coaching clients.
    Thanks for sharing this. I am certain many people will find the information you provided very useful.

  2. Wow so many ways Tom that I’ve never even considered before. Congratulations on all your success and thanks for sharing so much value today

  3. Blogging is fun and allows us to put value out in the world. When it pays, that is very cool too.

  4. This has to be one of the best blog posts i’ve read on this subject. Lots of great ideas and tips based on experience. Writing and blogging inparticular is meant to be fun and you’ve put that across very well.

  5. Thank you for sharing this about freelancing!

  6. These are great suggestions Tom! I might add other freelance platforms like elance and fiver because they brought me lot of money in last couple of years. If nothing else, these tools offer a nice opportunity for gaining some experience and building up an assortment of clips you can use to land more contracts.

    • Tom Watts says:

      Great input Rancho, I think Elance merged with another company to create UpWork, but you’re still right. I actually started out on Fiverr, and I have an article on this blog about how I was making about $1,200 a month from it at one point.

      Thanks for commenting, looking forward to seeing you here again 🙂

      Tom

  7. Good points Tom. This will really help those who want to move into freelancing and already have experience blogging. My recommendation if you already know how to blog and want to freelance is to check out problogger for any jobs or maybe sites like Upwork or Guru. I earned a lot of money from those, especially Upwork.

    • Tom Watts says:

      Good suggestions Vladimir! I just focused on UpWork due to my own experiences, and I think a platform like theirs is a great way to get started because you can really just focus on acquiring clients and completing projects. You don’t really have to worry about taking payments or marketing yourself or anything else. If you start with a freelancing site you can separate and focus on making your own business further down the line (like I did).

      Thanks for the awesome comment, hope to see you here again soon!

      Tom

  8. Bloggingbook says:

    Good reviews and be honest with the people are very important. Useful post man.

    Thanks 🙂

  9. Tamal Anwar says:

    Sorry to say but Upwork is the worst. You will be paid peanuts for your effort and they cut 20% off of all of your earnings!

    You will have better earning potential just by offering your services to your blog readers. That way you can charge what you want and don’t have to pay 20% service fee. You can take payment via paypal or payoneer.

    • Tom Watts says:

      Hi Tamal,

      I agree that UpWork isn’t worth it in the long run, and yes the fees for the first $500 you make are extortionate. However, if you have a particular skill, but have no means of starting a business or marketing yourself, or maybe you don’t have the personal confidence to just walk into businesses and ask for their money; UpWork (and other similar sites) are a good place to get started. It’s super easy to find high paying clients, and once you’re “big” enough you can move on from UpWork, ditch the fees completely and do your own thing – like I did.

      Thanks for the comment, hope to see you here again soon 🙂

      Tom

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