Ready to Leave Your 9-5? Here Are 5 Tips to Becoming a Full-Time Freelance Blogger
Have you dabbled in freelance blogging but never made the commitment to leaving your full-time job to work for yourself? Making the jump from a steady paycheck to a freelance income is one of the scariest career moves you can make – but also one of the most fulfilling.
When you decide to leave any career in order to become a freelancer, you are leaving the security and stability of whatever life you’ve become accustomed to. However, you are leaving it in order to have the freedom to work for yourself, make your own hours, choose projects that you’re passionate about, and work from wherever you’d like.
While making this leap from stability to some uncertainty can leave people a bit stressed, we are here to help guide you through this! Keep reading to learn how you can leave your 9-5 job for a more enjoyable and fulfilling career!
Make a Plan, Set a Goal, & SAVE
Quitting your day job in order to pursue a full-time freelance career won’t happen overnight. You will have to take into consideration that clients won’t just come knocking at your door and want to hire you right away.
This means that you should set a goal for when you want to make the switch and plan for the future by putting money aside to cover bills while you build your clientele. Ideally, you will set a goal and a date for when you desire to make the switch. In the meantime, continue working with the clients you’ve already obtained to begin building your portfolio.
Freelancing is full of ups and downs – when there is work, there is more work than you feel you can handle, and when it dries up, it is stressful. Even after you’ve quit your regular job, you will still need to set money aside each month for taxes and for when there aren’t many projects.
Your Online Presence
If you haven’t done so already, you will need an SEO-friendly website. This website will be a great source of leads and will help potential clients find you. On your website, you should include a link to your portfolio and if possible, client testimonials.
Be sure to also incorporate areas that you specialize in, otherwise known as niches. This is attractive to certain clients and many are willing to pay more for a writer who is knowledgeable in their industry.
Aside from a website, update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your abilities and consider making a professional Facebook page dedicated to your new line of work. Ideally, you will be active on both of these platforms which will increase your visibility to new clients.
When you receive a lead regarding a possible project, it is important to follow up with them quickly by gathering details about the project and what they wish to accomplish. Once you have an idea of what they are looking for, present a proposal detailing your rates, the number of allowed edits, and what is included with your services.
Use a project proposal template to help maintain your professionalism and show that you aren’t a fly-by-night blogger. If the client wishes to amend the scope of the project or add to it, you can certainly do so, but remember to adjust your rates accordingly.
Finding Steady Work
Finding work as a freelancer isn’t the same as finding a normal office job. There usually isn’t an interview; you must find an open position and typically submit several pieces of your previous work or your entire portfolio.
As your experience grows, you will want to branch out to find higher-paying clients. There are several websites that can help you find work as a freelance blogger. Some of the more popular sites do take a percentage of your earnings but this ensures that the client actually pays. Do thorough research on the best ones by looking at what other people have to say about them. Reviews, such as this Toptal vs. Upwork one, are a great source of information about the ups and downs of some of the best freelancing platforms.
Ideally, after you’ve found a few reliable clients, you can focus on their needs and upcoming projects, developing an almost exclusive relationship with them.
Speaking of Rates…
As a new freelance blogger, you will likely have to take a number of lower-paying clients in order to build your portfolio and to make ends meet. This is somewhat the natural course of progression as people with more experience take years to successfully earn money from blogging.
However, you shouldn’t set your rates so low that you must work 15-hour days but you also should be aware that there are always bloggers charging less. This basically means that you must stress to your clients the old adage that cheap isn’t good and good isn’t cheap.
If you are working with a new client that you’ve yet to establish a rapport with, consider asking for a down payment before beginning your work. Doing this will help to ensure that your customer doesn’t find someone else to complete the work and may ease some of the fears of the client skipping out on the bill after receiving the order.
The best way to set your freelancing rates is to research what others are charging and price yourself based on your level of experience.
You Are Now a Marketer
Becoming a freelance blogger means that you not only market your skills but you also market yourself. Every time you speak with a new individual is a potential lead and an opportunity to make money.
Depending on your marketing strategy, you may choose to grow a subscriber list and use email marketing or opt for cold calling. In order to see the most out of your efforts, research the latest sales statistics to see what combination of tactics will work for you.
Be sure to keep a few business cards with you at all times that include your contact information as well as what it is you do. Believe it or not, people will ask (and ask often) for them. The last thing you want to tell them is ‘no’ as it makes you look unprepared and unprofessional.
Freelance blogging isn’t for everyone. You’ll have to develop a tough skin because some clients can be brutal when reviewing your work. You’ll have to learn to save when times are good for the inevitable slow seasons.
However, if you follow these tips before you choose to make the jump into freelancing, you should have a good start on how to handle your new profession.
Remember this: you will be told ‘no’ probably twenty times before securing a job – be persistent and keep trying! It is possible to lead the life you want by choosing to be a freelance blogger!