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Tom Ewer shares what it Takes to be a Successful Freelance Blogger

A great way to succeed as a freelance writer is by specializing and focusing.

Tom Ewer is a master at that. He’s mastered the art of freelance blogging and he now averages at least $4,000 online every month by freelance blogging.

Tom recently released what I’d like to call “The Ultimate Guide to being a Successful Freelance Blogger“; I enjoyed the guide so much that I decided to interview Tom to share his process with us.


Bamidele: The WritersinCharge audience would love to know more about you. Can you please introduce yourself and let us know where we can find you?

Tom: Absolutely! I am a 27 year old guy living from the UK. Last year I decided that I wanted to quit my job, and at the end of 2011 I did exactly that! The main driving force that allowed me to do so was the rapid expansion of my freelance blogging business. I have my own blog, Leaving Work Behind, where I reveal literally everything about my efforts to make money online.

Bamidele: Are there any major benefits to becoming a freelance blogger as opposed to being a general freelance writer?

Tom: Lots! I’m not saying that freelance writing is bad, because it certainly isn’t. In fact, certain forms of freelance writing (such as copywriting and white papers) can earn you a great deal more than blogging.

However, I love blogging for many reasons. It’s so flexible and easy-going. It’s pretty easy to establish yourself and earn a decent rate (think $50 per hour and up), and if you’re interested in establishing your own blog, working on clients’ blogs can teach you an enormous amount about the whole process!

There are actually a bunch more reasons why I love freelance blogging — I could go on for a while. But the above should be enough to whet your appetite 😉

Bamidele: How was your journey to making your first $1,000 as a freelance blogger? Will you say it was easy or difficult?

Tom: For me it was surprisingly simple, but that is not to say that everyone will experience the same results. I guess the key for me was that I was simply not willing to work for really low pay. I had no interest in the $3 per article content mill stuff, nor was there any pressure on me to accept such work when I was starting out.

As such, I only applied for jobs that offered decent pay, and only got those! As you can see from my income reports I made my first $1,000 in January 2012, which was about 3 months after I started. As soon as freelance blogging was my sole income-provider, I was able to ramp it up relatively quickly to $4,000+.

For anyone struggling to make good money as a freelance writer, I would advise that you focus on the fundamentals:

  1. Value yourself appropriately
  2. Curate a great collection of samples
  3. Concentrate on sending great pitches
  4. Look to deliver above and beyond what you promise

Bamidele: In your guide, you recommended having a blog and even outlined a step-by-step process freelance bloggers can follow to create a successful blog which gets freelance blogging clients. Is it possible to make it as a freelance blogger without a blog, or with no interest in having one?

TomI would say that it’s a contradictory move. Unless you have a great portfolio of published blog posts on authoritative blogs, why would anyone want to hire you?

Having your own blog is a great way of demonstrating your capabilities — not only as a writer, but to also show that you are familiar with content management systems (especially WordPress), image formatting, and so on.

But most importantly, a blog can be an excellent source of client referrals, as you know Oni. If an aspiring freelance blogger had no interest in creating their own blog, I would do all I could do to convince them to change their minds.

Note from OniTom is on-spot here and this is something I’ve learned from experience. I’ve shared my process on this blog before, but I think something worth noting is the new blogging challenge where I plan to build a successful freelance, client generating blog in 3 – 6 months. Don’t miss the challenge!

Bamidele: Based on your experience – having done this for a long time, do you think a newbie can build a successful freelance blogging business and make a full-time living out of freelance blogging. If yes, how long can this take?

Tom: Absolutely, and it doesn’t have to take long at all.

I had a rather lackadaisical approach to freelance writing when I started — in fact, I’ve never really pushed hard to win new clients. I’ve been happy to work 15-20 hours a week and make a decent living whilst I focus on other areas. So if you are focused and determined (and of course, a talented writer), I see absolutely no reason why you can’t build up a full-time living within six months or less.

Lack of experience is not an excuse — I had barely even read a blog before June 2011, let alone written for one. Even moderately talented writers can succeed if they take it seriously, follow the right advice and really hustle.

Bamidele: If you were to start again as a freelance blogger with no connections, influence or resources whatsoever, how would you go about making 4 figures monthly in 1 – 2 months time?

TomThat’s a really interesting question — I’m almost tempted to do it as a case study (although I believe you already are)!

The first thing I would do is create a blog — just a nice clean design, nothing fancy. The topic would be in whatever niche I’d like to write about. I’d write perhaps five posts up front, and add a new post every week. I would then go out and guest post on five authoritative blogs. I’d add a “Hire Me” page to my blog and add a selection of links to the guest posts, as well as the posts on my site, to serve as samples.

Once I had done that, I would scour all of the best job boards (such as ProBlogger and FreelanceSwitch) and apply to anything that seemed promising. I would use Google to find the most authoritative blogs in my chosen niche and apply to write for them (even if they were not advertising). Given the short timeframe, I would probably also reach out to local businesses to see if they needed help with their blogging (although business blogging isn’t something I major on). I might also consider joining a site such as

Assuming I could attract an hourly rate of say $20 in such a short space of time (and I’m being very conservative here), I would need to work just 50 hours in a month to make $1,000. Piece of cake!

If the prospect of freelance blogging sounds interesting to you, then you should check out Tom’s newly-released freelance blogging guide  which I’m a proud affiliate of. It’s the ultimate guide on the subject and you also get a bonus list of 45 sites that pay  you to blog for them so you can get started asap.

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Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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