6 Steps to Get Started as a Freelance Blogger

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

You have been blogging for a while and you think it’s finally time. You want to stretch your wings and fly into the world of freelance blogging!

You’re not sure what to expect though, or if you’re even qualified to be a freelance blogger.

I can almost hear you now…

“What are people going to expect from me?”

“What if they don’t like what I write?”

“What if I get rejected?”

These are all questions I asked myself (and, just between you and me, sometimes I find myself still asking them!).

I know you are scared, and thinking about how hard this is going to be. Basically talking yourself out of even trying.

It’s ok to be scared, but you need to stop thinking about how hard it’s going to be. Just start writing. It’s that easy.

Do you love to write, and do research, for your articles? Do you love being able to reach out and connect with your readers? I know you do, or you wouldn’t be here looking for the help you need to get your butt moving.

Let me give you six tips that helped me when I was starting on my journey to become a freelance blogger.

1. Pick a topic that you feel very strongly about

When you write something that you are passionate about, you are put your heart and soul into each and every word. Your readers will be able to feel that — they will know that you truly care about what you are saying.

Think about it this way: when you are talking to a friend and you are really excited about an idea, or trip you are taking, or a band you are going to see… How do they react? They get just as excited as you are, right?

That’s what happens when you write about something you are passionate about. Your excitement shows on the page and will extend outward to the readers, and they will get excited too. Nothing sucks more than reading a monochromatic blog – BORING!

2. Get to the point!

Yes, some articles you write are going to need some kind of back story, an explanation, or a starting point to get the readers interested in what you are going to be writing about. Keep it as short as you can, make it as interesting as you can, and stay on point.

You want to grab the reader’s attention right off the bat or you could lose them.

Do not use filler and fluff to make your articles longer. People hate nothing more than finding an article that they really want to read only to discover there are 20 paragraphs of rambling before they “get to the point” of the article.

3. Pictures or no pictures?

Did the editor ask for pictures? Does the blog use pictures? If so, what types of pictures do they use? Entertainment, silly knowledge, or the how-to types of pictures?

Research who you are trying to freelance for to see what their style is, then try to follow it the best you can. Remember, you are trying to get your work published, so you want it to be the best it can be.

If you find some information that is relevant to the article, but is not long enough for an entire section, you can use an information block. I love those little blocks! They are picture-sized blocks that have extra little tidbits of information in them that don’t really fit into the body of the main blog, yet are still very important. They will usually put them into the place where a picture would be.

4. Know the subject matter

You would think that this would be an easy one to follow, yet for some, it is not. As a reader of blogs myself, I find it to be very frustrating when I come across writers who don’t seem to know what they’re writing about. You know the ones. Their articles are usually a paragraph or two long and say absolutely nothing – just vague allusions to the title they were assigned.

Do your research.

Google is your new best friend, so you might as well get to know it well. Remember, there is more than one page to your search — you could find something very interesting on page ten, so don’t be afraid to search, search, search.

Then, when you think you are done searching, rephrase what you are looking up, and search some more. You will be amazed at what you can find out there (I know I was!).

5. Need an easy article idea to get started? Answer a question

Go check out at least ten different blogs. Look for different types of blogs — don’t just go to Sam’s Cooking Blog and read ten articles.

See what you like, and don’t like about them. Then, turn those likes and dislikes into questions.

For example: you read one of Sam’s Cooking Blog’s articles and he talked about his kids fighting all the time, or how his daughter won the baton championship, or that his dog that just threw up (which is kind of gross for a cooking blog). You think he shouldn’t do that. So your dislike-turned-question would be, “Do you like reading about the writer’s personal life if it has nothing to do with the blog article?”

You could also just ask your readers what they get most frustrated with when they are reading an article online.

Then, write your research-based answer on your blog.

I don’t recommend using more than six questions. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience!

Once you’re done, post it on all of your social media sites.

6. FOLLOW THE EDITOR’S RULES AND GUIDELINES

If you want to do things your way, I suggest you stick to blogging on your own site. If you want to get into freelance blogging, you’ll have to follow the rules.

The editor of the blog you are trying to get a guest post published at is your next possible boss. They have given you a set of guidelines to follow, but you don’t like them, so you do it your way…

Guess what! You just blew your chance at getting that guest post spot you wanted so badly. There isn’t a boss on this planet who wants or likes their rules ignored.

They use them for a reason, even if you don’t know what it is. So if you know how to follow the rules and you use the guidelines the editor gives you, you will have a greater chance at getting your guest post published.

By searching for information to help you get started on your freelancing path, you have already taken that first step. Is there still more that you could learn? Of course there is! I am constantly learning. You’re not going to know everything just from reading one article.

Each editor you work for will want something different, but you won’t know what that is unless you take that thinking cap off and put your writer’s cap on!

What are you waiting for? Switch them caps, and get a move on doing what you love!!

Nikki Dearolf is available to write blog posts and personalized poetry. She is just as comfortable writing about the difficult subjects, as she is the easy ones. She takes every job very personally, and will make it just the way you want it.

Posted in Blogging
2 comments on “6 Steps to Get Started as a Freelance Blogger
  1. Great stuff! Love that you addressed the fears that all freelance bloggers have.

    • Nikki says:

      Maria, You are very welcome and Thank you. Fear plays a significant role in why many people won’t, don’t or can’t follow their dreams. Fear can be paralyzing and hard to overcome; I allowed it to rule me for far too long but no more. Am I still scared? Yes, and daily but I will continue to push myself because honestly, I am tired of fear having the upper hand.

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