Out of the zillion blogs on the internet, you want yours to succeed. As a new freelance blogger, you want faithful followers who see you as an authority in your industry. So, what do you have to do to be like those amazing bloggers who already get loads of comments on their posts and boatloads of shares?
As a new freelance blogger, you already have a lot on your plate. Not only do you have to set up your workspace and website, you also have to track your projects and finances, create and follow a blogging schedule, send out pitches… WHEW!
OK, take a deep breath. It’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere. This new journey you’re on right now? This is where you’re starting.
Are you ready to learn the six major ways to kick butt as a new freelance blogger? Let’s get started!
1. Believe you can.
A firm belief in yourself will speed along your success as a freelance blogger, especially when you’ll be facing rejections left and right. Embrace those rejections because they’ll help you improve. It’s part of the game. Yes, it’ll sting at first and you’ll take it personally (don’t), but you’ll develop a thicker skin, and THAT’S what you want. You’ll hear plenty of “No”s before you get your first “Yes.”
Do as Stephen King did: Pin your rejections on the wall. You can print them out or save them digitally. I keep my rejections in a desktop folder. It’s fuel that keeps me going.
2. Set aside several hours daily just to write.
Making a writing schedule and sticking with it every single day will become a habit. Update your blog regularly — whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly doesn’t matter, as long as you’re consistent. (Confession: I’m still working this out myself!) This will keep you top of mind with your followers and the search engines cranking in your favor.
3. Pitch. Cold and warm.
Many freelancers get inbound leads but they’re seasoned pros, not newbies.
This is where pitching comes in. Don’t discount the power of pitching! Even seasoned pros still pitch.
Pitch far and wide. Start sleuthing and find companies you want to write for. This is easy when you have a niche so do some brainstorming about what kind of writing you want to do.
If you’re struggling to choose a niche, here are some industries currently thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Health care/Health and wellness
- Food/grocery delivery services
This is not a complete list, just some top industries getting tons of business.
Crank out a spreadsheet and keep track of your follow-ups. Follow-ups are CRUCIAL because most companies don’t respond after the initial contact.
If you don’t get a response after the third follow-up, I’d forget about it. I’ve heard of freelancers sending 10 follow-ups but do you really want to spend your valuable time doing that when you could focus on other companies who are more likely to want to work with you?
4. Get clear on your domain name.
When you’re a new freelance blogger, you’ll have some questions you’ll need to answer for yourself:
- What will my blog be about?
- Who is my target audience?
- What tone will I use for my blog?
Try to answer these questions before you name your domain (a.k.a. URL). You’ll avoid giving yourself a headache once you have this information. Plus, you don’t want to spend too much time on fussing over creating your website when you have plenty of things to do, like pitching and writing!
At the very least, your domain name should contain your name and your niche or what you do. For example, my domain name is juanawrites.com, which is my first name and what I do. Short and simple. The name of my site is Juana Writes Health (my first name, what I do, and my niche). The search engines won’t recognize “writes” but you’ll use your site to include relevant keywords.
5. You gotta read a LOT.
Get used to this, because butt-kicking freelance bloggers don’t just write, they also read. A LOT.
Blogs, books, whitepapers, case studies, all offer something new for you to learn. Use Google alerts to stay on top of emerging trends in your industry.
6. Prune your writing.
The more you write, the better your writing will get. Writing well takes practice. This is why reading is so important — you develop an ear for what makes good writing and bad writing.
Editing is just as important a skill as writing. I recommend using an editor from Upwork. You can find good editors there for reasonable rates, especially when you’re a new freelancer and don’t have a lot of money to outsource yet.
Following these six major ways to kick butt as a new freelance blogger will help you get on the path to freelance success!
The most important skill I want you to take away from this is developing an “I can!” attitude. When you truly believe you can, you can triumph over everything else. Nothing will stop you!
So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and kick some butt as a new freelance blogger! And then come back and tell me all about it!
After years of toiling in editorial, Juana Poareo is now a freelance writer and blogger for health and pet companies. She sometimes writes about deafness. Fun Fact: She ate her first chile pepper (a hot one!) when she was only two years old. You can check out her website, JuanaWrites.com, and/or connect with her on LinkedIn to hire her as a writer for your next project (or just to say “hi!”).