If you’re a regular reader of Making Sense of Cents, you may know how Michelle went from making money on the side to quitting her job and becoming a freelance blogger. If you are considering to start your own freelance business but you’re not sure whether blogging is right for you or not, this post could help you.
It’s easier for current writers to make the transition from a hobby to an online business. However, as a beginner blogger you probably have more doubts.
You Love Writing
I’ll start with the obvious here. Forget about office reports or meaningless documents. I’m talking about creative writing. It’s time to remove the dust from your forgotten kid’s perspective. Wake up your inner writer. If you enjoy telling stories and sharing information, you are halfway there.
You Read A Lot Of Blogs
Chances are you already read personal finance blogs (You’re reading this, right?). You could even read other topics like diy home projects or new technology and apps for your smartphone.
The more you read, the more you get to know the blogging business. It gives you the opportunity to find out which topics you enjoy writing about.
Think about your favorite blogs. They have ads or affiliate marketing programs. Some other blogs sell their own products as memberships or online courses and ebooks.
As a freelance blogger your goal will be to help your clients succeed writing relevant content for their readers. This builds trust and eventually leads the audience to buy the products the blogs offer.
You Like Meeting New People Online
Most online business owners don’t get daily face-to-face with clients and colleagues. Sure, there are meetings and events but the usual is to be in front of the computer all day.
Your biggest asset will be your online community. If you’re uncomfortable talking to new people or meeting them online, then this may not be for you.
You Are Willing To Reach Out To Clients
When most creatives start out, they usually believe their only job is to create.
Take musicians as an example. It’s an old cliché to see this authentic musician with his long beard composing amazing songs. And that’s it. Money and fame won’t knock his door.
A famous musician reach out to disc records, sell them his album, go to TV interviews, sign autographs and deal with paparazzis.
Maybe you’re not a musician, but you still need to play more than one role. You’ll make cold calls, send proposals, write guest posts and build your online presence.
It’s part of your job to guarantee you’ll have work to fill your schedule to eventually become a full time blogger and quit your job.
You Are Excited To Learn HTML And CSS Coding
You are in charge of your blog. It’s your responsibility to install security plugins to avoid someone breaking through your site.
You’re the only one doing backups and adding anti-spam plugins. You manage your mailing list, your blog’s theme. You are the developer modifying your code to personalize your blog.
You are the business owner reading statistics and understanding what SEO means, what is the bounce rate and how to improve your visitor’s experience.
Someone has to do the dirty work. At least, while you’re still poor. You can hire a web designer eventually.
You Want To Run Your Own Business
Let’s face it. Most of us don’t want to work for someone else.
Do you dream of running our own business? So it’s your job to know the time you have available for writing, calculating a fair price for the service provided and increasing the productivity to reach your income goals.
Remember you’ll also be working non-billable hours completing tasks like invoicing, registering expenses and answering emails.
You Have Self-Discipline
Working on your own is tough. It’s especially true when you have a day job.
You finally got home after your daily commute. You need to find energy to sit in front of your laptop and pitch to prospects, write blog posts and network with other bloggers.
Unlike your office job, no one but yourself is going to force you to do this.
This is as important as self-discipline, they go hand in hand. Motivation is key to build a successful online business.
Creating a freelance career is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires hard work and compromise.
Let’s say you reached out to 30 potential clients, wrote a lot of blog posts but you’re still not making enough money to quit your job.
Remember this: The hardest moment you’ll face will be before your first success. Don’t give up too easily or you’ll not be able to achieve it.
You’re OK With Controllable Risks
Quitting a day job and becoming a freelancer is scary. That’s why most freelancers started slowly. They don’t quit the day jobs right away. They build a reputation, work for clients and make money until they reach the point where they don’t need the 9-to-5 job anymore.
Trusting yourself is a vital part of becoming a solopreneur because you have to make the jump some day. Freelancing means not getting a bi-weekly paycheck anymore. You’ll have good and bad days.
You can minimize the impact of non paying clients and slow months by creating a client agreement and marketing yourself, but the risk will still be there.
You Like Working On Your Own
As a freelance blogger, you’ll probably be working from home, a library or the local coffee shop.
You can rent a shared office to keep contact with other entrepreneurs.
However, your main work will be you in front of your computer. It’s up to you to get out of the house and meet with friends and family.
You Are Good At Setting Up Your Schedule
One of the reasons I don’t like my day job is not knowing how my day is going to be. You’ll see, working in the IT industry, our clients are small businesses with emergencies, such as hard drive crashes and broken servers. So I’m constantly depending on our support department so I can do my job.
Blogging’s nature is different though. You can schedule what you need to do. Unplanned or last minute events are rare.
You Believe In Meaningful Projects And Creating A Purpose
One of your goals could be quitting your job. I get that. However, if you only care about leaving your work and nothing more, freelance blogging is not for you.
You are capable of sharing your thoughts and useful information with readers about a topic you love. You’re helping your clients to build their online presence. If that’s not exciting, I don’t know what is.
Where To Start?
Test The Waters
Pick A Topic – Michelle blogs about personal finance. I enjoy writing about freelancing, relationships and self-development. Now think of your own interests and pick one or two.
Begin Your Own Blog – You won’t know if you like blogging until you do it. Experiment with your blog design, your writing style and showing your personality.
Do Guest Posts – Network with other bloggers in the topic you chose. Let’s say you blog about fitness. Find popular blogs about that topic and write for them. Related topics are valid too. A healthy food blog is related to fitness, so you can explore those blogs too.
Reach Out To Prospects – You have two easy ways to do this. You could search on job boards or reach out to clients directly. Offer your services and continue building your brand.
Write – You got the job! Now it’s time to overdeliver. Write excellent content for your client, reply to comments and improve your writing.
Get Paid – You could accept credit cards, but I recommend using online payment systems like Paypal or 2checkout to make your clients feel safer. These systems take a small commission but it eliminates you a big headache.
Repeat – Now you’re a paid freelancer. Ask your clients for feedback. It will help you to improve your services and it makes you look professional.
Do you want to blog? Why or why not?
If you want to freelance online, I recommend you read the articles below: