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How to make money as a blogger or freelance writer?

A Community sourced guide to growing content, gaining exposure and monetizing your blog.


On the cover it is a guide to effective freelance writing by successful bloggers, coaches and educators. Deep inside it is a ticket to the Community of Influencers where you can use the resources of each other to increase exposure of your blogs.


Contents:

  • Being a writer in a coaching industry by Jennifer Bouley
  • Secrets of successful travel blogger
  • Interview with Hollie Lowes
  • Interview with Chase Robbins
  • Interview with Holly Reisem Hanna
  • How to be the best edu blogger
  • Interview with Monica Burns
  • Interview with Suzanne Shaffer
  • Insights from professional bloggers and marketers
  • Interview with Kulwant Nagi

Being a writer in a coaching industry

by Jennifer Bouley

Jennifer Bouley

I am a career coach who works with people who truly want a change in their lives. For the past three years I have been working with people who are mid to entry level in their careers, newcomers to Canada, recent graduates, youth, people who are in between jobs, or people who need direction in their careers and lives.

So you are thinking about being a freelance writer? With this plan, you are probably also wondering how can I actually make a living full-time or part-time with this sort of gig.   Working as a freelance blogger comes with several advantages, you have the ability to be creative with the topics you choose, and you also have the ability to write informative blogs and articles the truly educate your reader about their interests. Being a writer comes with responsibility, to create content that not only engages your reader, but also doesn’t place a bias on any topic. The key is to be an expert on the chosen content and then create an engaging conversation within your content.

The coaching industry is a vast terrain. With coaching being a relatively new profession, it is important that before you start any writing you know who your client is and what you can provide them with. Avoid making the mistake of being a coach to everyone! Each coach has unique skills to offer, which will be as unique as each client you serve. Begin with actually writing out who your client is, what problems will you be offering them help with, and how you are able to serve them. Keeping track of your goal and who your audience is, is vital to keeping the content fresh and will help with avoiding repetitive topics.

So how do you really get started as a freelancer writer or blogger?

  1. Know what your passion is – Let's face it, even people who write for a living face the dreaded “writer's block”. Writing requires a steady stream of fresh content, each with its own viewpoints and strategy. The first thing you must do is know what it is that you want to communicate with the rest of the world. Whether its human rights issues or a blog about the medical profession, this must be a topic that you know a lot about and are able to view from various perspectives. The key is putting a fresh spin on each thing you write about, and at all costs, you don’t want to be stuck writing about the same thing over and over again.
  2. Proof of your talent – So you know how to write and have picked a pursuit to follow. When showcasing your writing talent, you need to have actual examples of your work. Begin by having 4 to 5 work samples ready to show when requested. Starting with a blog is also another great avenue to showcase your work as well, it allows for online exposure, and can be increased through the implementation of SEO, tags, and social media.
  3. Pick a strategy – When beginning a new writing venture as with anything to keep a focus you need to have a plan. Begin with writing out what your mission is to educate others about with your work. Once you have this done choose a list of topics and how they work together to fulfill your mission. Keep notes on this so that you can refer back to it when you are progressing through your work. It is especially helpful to make notes on how these topics work together during the beginning stages of your venture as it will help to build on ideas and will allow for more comprehensive writing.
  4. Reach out – Reaching out in person is really effective when it comes to writing. While there are opportunities to reach out via social media there are several chances to get your hard work noticed through networking. When I began writing a few years ago I wanted to get noticed as a local writer, I ended up going to local networking events where small online magazine owners would be and discussing with them what kind of topics I write about. In the beginning, a lot of my work was done free, but it got me exposure on the outside. Another thing to do is go on websites and job boards and search for freelance writing gigs. Consider having a link on your website that will allow you to showcase your work that has been done for others. This also is great promotion for the company that agreed to partner with you and post your work.

You will be surprised how many people are often looking to outsource articles to independent writers.

Building the Pipeline

Prior to any venture, you should always have a plan. Constructing a think tank operation is always a great way to start off your writing adventure. Begin with brainstorming, anything that you think will be useful for your chosen topic of expertise. Build a record of each topic and how they can fit together to make your story line and knowledge flow as you begin to craft your articles. 

Getting personal contacts and growing your professional network in the area you write in is also another great way to not only build your own knowledge, but it can also help you get to know others in your industry. As with any career being a freelance writer is more than simply pushing out content, it also has a lot to do with who you know and how you connect with your community.

A great place to begin is by seeking out informational interviews with other professional writers. These can be sought out on websites like LinkedIn, Meetup, and 10,000 coffees.

When connecting with the people ask them how their career started and what strategies worked best for them in the beginning. Understanding the methods of others is a great place to start, it will also give you insight as to how to avoid potential mistakes along the way.

Getting content noticed

Сontent when writing is always King. When writing your articles consider the following points before distributing your content:

  1. Is the content unique and factual to the reader?
  2. I have set out my goals of the article, does the article have a beginning, middle and end that speaks to the message I want to present?
  3. How relevant is my content to my proposed reader?

When preparing content always consider your reader and what they are actually doing online and where they go to find their content. This comes back to knowing your client and what they are looking for. As with many companies knowing who their customer is, where they shop and what their methods are, so it should be the same approach when targeting your reader. For example, with career coaching, a lot of your audience will be actively seeking employment and are likely using a website such as LinkedIn and Twitter to aid in their search. Create an account on Twitter related to your content and share it using hashtags and mentions. A great way to use hashtags effectively is to highlight your sentence keywords with hashtags, rather than mentioning several hashtags after you write your tweet. In the case of career content, the use of LinkedIn blogs would give an additional place to post your content. Always include to link to where all of your content can be found at the end of your articles. Starting out as a writer requires a lot of networking and relationship building on the part of your readers and those asking you to create content. When starting out be sure to take the time to get to know your audience and ask them the kind of content they want to know more about. Make use of social media and have a scheduled time to release your new content. When you create consistency and announce insights to the content you are going to be releasing, this can help to create excitement among your audience, resulting in a loyal list of subscribers.  


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Interviews

Interview with Hollie Lowes

Hollie Lowes

Hollie Lowes

Blogger-in-Chief

backpacksandbudgets.com

As featured on Best 25 Travel Blogs for Students. The infinute traveler.

What are your best tips on producing best travel content?

Before you even start your blog and producing content... Here is my biggest tip: Don't be impatient. Do not release your website or content until you genuinely feel you're ready to commit to it and know your exact plan for your blogs path. I waited over a year and a half before I even considered starting. I wanted to know exactly my audience, my page's purpose and my exact game plan for success. Once you start a travel blog, you have to keep up consistently with no breaks between. After launching, my biggest goal with Backpacks and Budgets was for people to come back to my page. Not because of me but because it benefits them in a way. I don't blog about my personal life, I blog to help people from making the same mistakes I made on the way.

I am also very blunt or some would call "sassy" in my approach which still gives my readers and followers a taste of my personality even in the most straightforward of how-to articles.

Ultimately, find a way to make your followers come back for both you and the help your content gives them.

What tools do you use for blogging?

There is so much more to a single post that anyone realizes, more than I could have imagined until I had jumped in. After you have already written your article, there's many steps that go with it to get the recognition it deserves. I first, track down the images I want that correlate with my posts, give them a simple edit to brighten them up. Then for my feature picture, I usually use an app to put some words art on the images with the title. People under estimate the power of visuals. I design the post to keep it as visually appealing as possible, sometimes I will spend up to an hour just design the post with moving the text placement, images, etc. From there, SOCIAL MEDIA! Nothing is more powerful than social media in this day in age. I always make sure I write a relevant, short and simple Instagram post and tell them to check it out. Facebook, I either re-post the Instagram or post the link with a sassy comment next to it. Any simple post can take upwards of 5-7 hours if it's done properly.

What’s your advice how to promote your content on the web?

As I said before - social media! It is amazing the power it has to change everything for your platform! I post on all social media platforms and usually the shares from followers go from there. Stay interactive as you can with followers and potential followers, comment back to them, if you see their own picture, comment on it and make them know they are noticed and valued! Word of mouth goes a long way too, give the right, helpful content that you will over hear people in a different content talking about how much they love your blog!

How do you think bloggers can work together to grow their audiences?

We stick together! I recently have joined a few travel blogger Facebook groups and it is amazing how much of a strong and helpful community it is! You can post anything on there and people will help in any way possible. I also have feature bloggers write for me all the time. I get to promote people to their page by them writing for me and they get to promote me by sharing their post!


Interview with Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Monica Burns

EdTech Consultant, Educator, Classroom Technology Advocate

classtechtips.com

As featured on 165 BEST EDUCATION BLOGS ON THE WEB.

How you started to blog about your education?

In 2012 I spoke at an Apple Education event in New York City. After my presentation teachers in the audience asked me where they could find more information about the favorite resources I shared. I began blogging to share activities from my classroom. My goal at first was to share just the free iPad apps I used in my one-to-one classroom. As my work evolved and I transitioned from a classroom teacher role to the a professional development facilitator, I started blogging about a wider range of content.

What are your best tips on producing best education content?

In order to produce the best educational content bloggers need to stay up-to-date on new developments. This includes developing relationships with other educators and companies that are doing exciting things in the field.

What tools do you use for blogging?

I use a customized Wordpress theme for my blog and keep track of my posts in Google Drive. Most of my content is drafted in a Google Doc but I use a Google Sheet to keep my editorial calendar organized.

What's your advice how to promote your content on the web?

Social media has been a game-changer for me. Twitter drives a considerable about of traffic to my site and I've recently spent more time optimizing posts for Facebook and Pinterest. If you are looking to promote your content make sure it is relevant to your audience and in a place they can find it.

How do you think bloggers can work together to grow their audiences?

Developing relationships with other bloggers is a great way to help each other promote your work. You might create a shared Pinterest board or Facebook group to bring all of your readers together in one place.


Interview with Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer

I've learned a few lessons along the way. The most important lesson is that I didn't have all the answers. And I had tons of questions.

parentscountdowntocollegecoach.com

As featured on 165 BEST EDUCATION BLOGS ON THE WEB.

How you started to blog about your education?

I started blogging about college prep after both my children had graduated from college. I wanted to share my experiences with other parents in the hopes that they could avoid some of the mistakes I made. I also wanted to share advice and tips from experts that I had met on Twitter.

What are your best tips on producing best education content?

Do your research and talk to the experts. All of my content is directed toward parents so I use my past experience, knowledge and expertise to help them navigate the often complicated college admissions process.

What tools do you use for blogging?

I use a Wordpress blog with plugins and add ons. I have a newsletter signup form and pop-ups to subscribe. I have social media buttons on each blog post, along with comment capabilities.

What’s your advice how to promote your content on the web?

I use social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram to promote my blog content. I also send out a monthly newsletter providing recent blog posts along with advertising my products. I also participate in Twitter chats on a weekly basis.

How do you think bloggers can work together to grow their audiences?

I exchange blog posts with other experts in the parenting and college fields. They post the content and share it through their social media accounts. I do the same for them.


Interview with Kulwant Nagi

Kulwant Nagi

Kulwant Nagi

I am a creative writer and a big thinker. My mission behind making my blog is to find the hidden potential in you to become a top blogger.

bloggingcage.com

As featured on the Huffington Post, PROBLOGGER, Quicksprout.

How did you start to blog?

I started my blogging career with the suggestion of a close friend of mine. I was looking for something which could change my life and help me life a better lifestyle. After doing job for 6 months, I got frustrated, so I started looking for better options to spend my life without a boss. After researching for 3 months, I found that blogging was a great option to live my life in my own way and make money while travelling the world. So I started a blog in September 2011 and never looked back.

What are your best tips on producing best content?

Creating best content is a science, which you can master after spending few months of analyzing of great blogs. You can go to Quora.com to analyze what people are talking in your niche and how creative their questions are. Understand your market at a deeper level and cover all the solutions in your blog post to make it one of the best content.

What tools can you recommend to use for blogging?

The best ever tool (actually CMS) I recommend to use in blogging is WordPress. WordPress is a content management system which makes blogging way easier than you can ever imagine. It has all those features and functionalities which should be there to manage an online journal. Apart from WordPress, you can use Wunderlist as your to-do tool to manage all your tasks.

What’s your advice how to promote your content on the web?

Best way to promote your content is social media platforms.

How do you think bloggers can work together to grow their audiences?

Blogging is a community of enthusiastic people working day and night to make internet a better place. If bloggers decide to work together, they can leverage the traffic of each other blogs and grow at a much bigger level with the help of each other. They can do cross promotion on their social media platforms or in their blog posts.

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