How to get freelance blogging work
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So you write your own blog and now you’re thinking that you’d like to make money writing for other publications? There are plenty of opportunities out there but finding them isn’t always easy! Mandy Mazliah, founder of Sneaky Veg and Veggielicious, and freelance writer, shares her tips on how to get freelance blogging work.
How to get freelance blogging work
Do your research
Read the blog/website/publication you’re interested in writing for in detail. What kind of articles do they publish? Can you see a gap that you can fill? Do you like the content? Does it fit with your niche? If it doesn’t feel right then move on.
You don’t have to aim for the Huffington Post straight away – is there a local news site or blog that would be glad to publish your content? Get in touch, let them know that you’re local and would love to write for them. This can be a great way to build your portfolio and make contacts with local businesses and brands.
Search your niche
Try googling the name of your niche – for example “gluten free” and “write for us” – you should find sites that are looking for writers. They might not all be paid but hopefully you’ll find something that fits.
Traditional print media
Is there a magazine or newspaper that you always buy? Do you have a story to share that would resonate with their readers? Have you interviewed someone for your blog who you think would be a great fit for a feature in your local paper? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them. You can usually find the editor’s details on a page near the front of the magazine.
Guest posting for other bloggers
Maybe you want some more examples of your work that aren’t on your own blog. Writing a guest post for another blogger is a great way to get this. It’ll also give you a backlink, help you build relationships and be great for PR. Don’t be shy to ask around.
Run with a great idea
If you have a strong opinion about something in the news or feel like you represent a voice that isn’t being heard then get in touch with blogs and news sites and offer to share your story.
Sally Bunkham of Mum’s Back did just that recently when she got sick of people criticising new mums for drinking alcohol. She contacted The Independent and offered to write a piece with them. Two days later her article was published!
Sally says: “If you have a good idea then it’s definitely worth pitching it. Be succinct and clear in the brief and go for it!”
Speak to friends, family, colleagues etc. Maybe they know someone who needs blog posts for their corporate website or have a useful contact for you. It’s always worth telling people that you’re looking for this kind of work.
Once you’ve found some blogs you’d like to write for…
Get in touch
Many sites have a “how to write for us” page. Here’s the Huffington Post one. But not all do and it can be hard to find out exactly who to get in touch with to offer your services as a blogger.
Try looking on social media and reading the bios of people who’ve written for them recently – often the editor will still write posts.
You might even find a blogger that you already know who is writing for the publication – in which case feel free to ask them to recommend you as a potential blogger! Without spamming or hassling them of course.
Include pitches in your initial email
Most editors are very busy and receive tons of emails every day. To make sure yours cuts through the noise you should include:
- a short introduction to who you are
- your own blog URL and brief description
- what you can offer the publication
- and most importantly your pitches. I suggest that you send over at least five ideas that you think would work well on their site. Show that you’ve done your research and can add value to their site or publication.
Of course, if the “write for us” page says to do something different then follow those instructions.
Don’t expect to be paid a lot
You probably won’t be paid a lot for working as a freelance blogger – at least initially. However, there are other benefits. Backlinks to your own blog from a high ranking site can count for a lot.
Most bloggers hate the term “exposure” as it’s usually linked to a request for free work. However, in my experience when I started writing for Metro the contacts I received from PR agencies multiplied rapidly. They weren’t always interested to hear about Sneaky Veg – but they often were and I received a fair amount of paid work this way.
Many sites don’t pay anything at all so think hard about whether the SEO and potential PR benefits are worth your time and effort.
Be prepared for rejection
There’s a good chance that some of your pitches won’t be accepted or that you might not hear back at all. If that’s the case, send over more pitches (unless you’ve been asked not to).
Don’t take it personally – after all, the blog editor knows their readers better than anyone and they know what will work.
If your pitch is rejected by one publication try another – pick yourself up, dust yourself off and compose another email.
I’ve had over 10 rejections so far from one particular publication but they’ve encouraged me to keep sending ideas over, so I’m hoping that something will work out eventually!
Your pitch has been accepted? Great!
Make sure you deliver quality work
So your pitch has been accepted? Congratulations! Now make sure you do a great job.
Find out what the deadline is, ask if there’s a house style and whether they want you to source images or not. Deliver what you have agreed and hopefully there will be more work to come.
Don’t forget to proof read your own work, check it fits with the style guide if you’ve been sent one and be sure to submit it on time.
Tell the world who you are
Make sure you include a short bio at the end of your post. Not all sites will publish this but most will and it’s your best chance to explain who you are, add a link to your site and include your contact details. This is what will help you to get more work. Three lines is usually enough. For example:
Mandy Mazliah is a vegan mum of three from London. As well as blogging about her efforts to convince her reluctant kids to eat their greens at sneakyveg.com, she blogs easy vegan recipes at cookveggielicious.com. Mandy’s work has been featured in The Guardian, metro.co.uk, WIRED magazine, Vegan Food and Living Magazine and Psychologies amongst others.
- How do blogs make money?
- How to make money on your blog… with sponsored posts
- How bloggers can best work with PRs and Brands: what the PR professionals say
- How to treat your blog like a business (and start actually making money!)
- A beginner’s guide to guest posting for bloggers
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This a great article Mandy, it’s really helpful and has given me lots to think about. Thank you for sharing Eb.
Thanks Lesley! It’s super useful, isn’t it? Eb x
Great tips Mandy. Writing isn’t really my thing, but I’d love to get more of my recipes published (and paid for).
Thanks Choclette. Mandy’s got some great tips, hasn’t she? Eb x