After publishing my most recent article last week, sharing a very powerful weapon writers can use to take their careers to the next level, citing an example on how I’m now able to make up to $800 for an article in just 2 years of being a freelance writer, I’ve gotten a lot of a great responses.
A particular email from one of my readers stood out, and here’s an excerpt from the email.
“I had been blogging and writing for some sites. I had been running in DP and ODesk for several time to get a good writing job and has never got it. Till today, the highest rate i ever got for a post is $5 or $8…….
“Your success stories are inspirational. But why aren’t any of them working for me ??
“My English is not so good since i’m not a native speaker, But I’m trying to improve day by day. But How do I get these kind of high paying webmasters who are willing to pay a good amount to their writers ???”
PS. The parts in bold were highlighted by me.
What is Wrong?
I’m very happy when I get these kinds of emails from readers, because it helps me know what my readers’ pain points are, and it helps me address them in details in my articles.
If you take a look at the above email I quoted, you will notice that something is wrong.
The ‘wrong’ element that stands out – based on that email – is the foundation.
The reader who contacted me is able to get a few clients who are happy to pay peanuts thanks to sites like oDesk, but is ignoring what it really takes to succeed as a writer.
Yep, that’s what it takes.
I’m sorry, but reading through that email I can’t see any signs that the reader who contacted me is taking action based on any of my tips.
The fellow is probably inspired by my success stories or examples, but there’s no indication he is putting my tips into action.
I’ve said it over and over again on this blog, that the key to building a successful freelance writing career (without having to struggle like other freelance writers) is to have a blog.
I even created a presentation on it a few weeks ago, which you can see below.
Of course, there are many more ways to getting high-paying freelance writing clients, but I believe blogging is the best one there is.
Here are a few reasons why you should start a blog today, if you don’t have one yet.
1. It Makes You an Expert
While self-confidence is important, like I said in my last article, ignorant self-confidence is arrogance.
People won’t just pay you big bucks for being confident. They’ll pay you because you’re confident about what you know!
The difference between someone paying you $5 for an article or $50 for the same article is whether you’re perceived as an expert or not.
To be honest with you, people don’t go to freelance writing portals like oDesk and eLance to find “experts”.
People don’t post the same job offer for 20+ “experts” to bid on, looking to offer the job to the lowest bidder.
Why? Because experts don’t bid!
Having a blog makes it easy for people to get in touch with you directly, without a middle man, and without any distractions.
Instead of focusing your energy on getting the same job 20 other people are interested in on oDesk and eLance, why not focus that same energy on building your blog to attract quality clients.
2. It Takes Away the Competition
Real experts don’t compete, or at least not obviously.
A writing job that needs several people to compete for it is probably not the right choice for you.
The only acceptable option is to negotiate with your clients on an offer, not to bid with others.
To be more direct, clients who create an opportunity for you to compete directly with others who can do the same job as you, are playing mind games with you.
The idea is usually to gather people who have something to offer, and pit them against people who have little or nothing to offer. As expected, those who have nothing to offer will charge literally nothing for the job at hand. Those who have something to offer will think their pricing is normal, and will – as a result – charge a lot less than they are worth.
Blogging strips away the competition and lets you communicate directly with your clients.
Not all clients will be willing to pay your price, but being able to communicate with them alone is better than bidding with dozens of other writers.
3. It is Easy to Maintain, Effective and Long-Term
This is probably the reason why many freelance writers don’t have a blog yet.
They believe it is difficult to maintain, and that the chances of getting results are slim.
That belief is totally wrong!
Of course, blogging is a long-term strategy.
Even if you give it your all, you might not get any results until after 6 months of starting it, but start counting today and you’ll see how fast 6 months can go by.
Blogs are also very easy to maintain, not as difficult as most people will have you believe.
To show you what I mean, here’s a screenshot of requests I’ve gotten from my hire me page in the past few months.
According to the screenshot, here’s the number of client requests I’ve gotten in the past 3 months:
PS. The above numbers are small compared to my monthly average, but I intentionally used those numbers because I didn’t update my blog regularly starting from May. I got 7 requests in April alone.
Here are the number of articles I wrote for the months listed:
May: 2 articles
June: 3 articles
July: 1 article, at the time of getting the two client requests.
That’s an average of 4 client requests every month, with an average of 2 articles published in a month.
Most of these articles only take a few hours to write and promote, and this blog focuses on writers, who aren’t my ideal clients, so your chances of getting more clients will probably increase if your blog is niche-specific.
What I’m trying to point out in this section is that you don’t need to write a gazillion articles to get more clients; just writing a few of the right articles will go a long way to help you.
Of course, this will be different if you’re just starting out, as you need a lot of quality articles to grow your blog, but this number can reduce significantly as your blog grows.
4. It is Focused on YOU
Whether you like it or not, freelancing platforms like oDesk and eLance are focused on benefiting the owners, not you.
Of course, superficially, it looks like they are the ones helping you, but in reality they aren’t.
Let me give you an example.
Due to Payment issues (not being able to use Paypal etc.), I use oDesk for billing with one of my clients. In other words, I work for the client and send an invoice via oDesk.
You probably wouldn’t believe it, but oDesk takes 10% of any amount this particular client pays me.
I received $3k+ recently from this client and was charged $300+.
If I make $10k, I’ll be charged $1k; there’s no other way to go about it.
Just take a look at the above, and you’ll notice that while oDesk is helping me solve a problem that is very difficult to solve, it is taking more than it should from what I make.
This example is based on Payment issues, but the same thing applies to getting clients.
Blogging is different!
Everything is focused on YOU. You get all the clients, and you make all the money; no third-party!
5. It is Search Engine Friendly
The articles that resulted in most clients on this blog are articles I wrote months ago, and the top source of traffic to these articles are the search engines.
In other words, search engine traffic can be very powerful for you as a freelance writer if you can learn to leverage it.
Blogging makes this easy, because blogs are very search engine friendly.
The search engines are literally sleeping in front of your door waiting for your next content to arrive so they can index it.
Of course, it takes more than just writing content to get traffic from the search engines, but your chances of getting indexed faster and getting ranked better will be higher if you have a blog.
How to Start a Blog
Are you convinced about the benefit of blogging and want to start a blog today? Read my personal guide on How to Start a Blog: The Basic Step-by-Step Guide.