Have you always loved writing but the idea of turning it into a paying side gig seems out of reach? The truth is, making extra money with blogging is definitely possible if you know what you’re doing.
As someone who’s been making supplementary income through freelance writing over the last eight years, I can tell you that a love and talent for writing are the only requirements for getting started. Explore four steps on how to make an extra $200 every weekend by blogging.
The Day to Day Grind of Writing
If you’re a casual writer or don’t love the writing process, then you may have to think twice about whether making money as a writer is for you. The road between starting out and making decent money through paid blogs is paved with tons of writing, and much of that writing early on is done for free. To endure and thrive after hours of writing for a wide range of clients, it’s important to have a strong passion for the act of writing itself.
Is Blogging For Extra Money Right for Me?
The idea of doing something for extra money may be appealing, but it’s important to consider the reality of having clients that expect new, high-quality blogs each week on a variety of topics. To find out whether writing for extra money each weekend is right for you, consider some of these questions:
- Can you write quickly and competently even if a topic isn’t your favorite?
- Do you stay passionate about writing for a variety of topics, or just the one you love?
- Are you humble enough to accept criticism from various editors?
- Do you think you’d keep your interest in writing every weekend, for years at a time?
The Reality of Blogging for Extra Money
If you’re curious about the reality of blogging for extra money, I can tell you about it from first-hand experience. With three or more 500-word blogs to write each weekend, I know that each will take about an hour and a half or less with minimal distractions. That part is vital — you don’t want to be spending your whole weekend working on these because relationships, fun, and relaxation are crucial too.
Enjoying the writing process comes heavily into play here. To me, it’s barely considered “work”, and instead, it’s more of an intellectual and creative challenge. Whether I’m writing for a company that makes trendy sunglasses or an orthodontist, each article is approached with the mindset of making it the most powerful blog ever written. Making it a part of your normal habit is the key to accepting the extra work and completing it on time as a writer.
Prepare for the Journey
No one graduates from school and jumps directly into writing paid content. Before delving into the details, it’s crucial to realize that getting in the position to write for money each weekend will take some work. While the steps are outlined in this article, it’s up to you to want it bad enough to write, research, and make the right decisions that make your side gig one that’s worthy of your time and effort.
Four Steps to Making $200 per Weekend Writing Blogs
For those who enjoy writing and have a full-time job, knocking out a few blogs each weekend for a couple hundred extra bucks is an enjoyable side hustle. Discover the steps I took to make it happen and how you can use blogs to supplement your income as well.
1. Set Yourself Apart
As you might imagine, there are tons of bloggers out there and nearly infinite topics. To be chosen as a paid writer, the client will have to be confident that you know what you’re talking about, in addition to having faith in your writing abilities. This means taking a moment to consider the topics you know better than anyone else.
Use Your Life Experience to Get New Blogging Jobs
With thousands of writers out there, it’s absolutely crucial to set yourself apart from the masses as a writer. An excellent way to do that is to use your life experience in your favor to get blogging opportunities. Before you have dozens of high-quality examples, your personal experience may be your best lifeline for getting your blogging career off to a strong start. Here are some examples:
- If you played soccer your whole life, use that when trying to get a fitness or sports blog.
- Perhaps you did well in school and can write for a site that helps college students.
- Maybe you grew up seeing how a restaurant works and can provide unique insight on it.
- Know your local area well? Try writing for MapQuest or a local news website.
- Food lovers with knowledge of restaurants can seek out diet and recipe blogs.
- Have a college degree? That immediately makes you qualified to write certain blogs.
Sending Outreach Emails for Blogging Work
The first chance you’ll get to showcase your writing skills is in the email requests you’ll be writing to site-owners, editors, and entrepreneurs.
Ideally, you’ll want to be able to include examples of your recent work, but if you don’t have them yet, then this email is your chance to shine.
Consider these tips when drafting your outreach emails:
- Pay careful attention to the details they require in their submission guidelines.
- Don’t come off like you’re selling something or most people will treat the email as spam.
- Feel free to use bullets to highlight some of your strengths in a concise way.
- Use the business owner’s name in your greeting – who you reach out to matters.
- Track the sites you reach out to on a spreadsheet so you can review your progress.
Playing the Numbers Game
When you’re first starting out as a freelancer, it might take a lot of outreach emails before you’re getting a favorable response. By continually improving your emails, tracking your progress, and focusing on your goal of being a paid writer, it won’t be long before you’ll have people wanting to hire you to cover content for their site.
2. Build Your Portfolio
Once you’ve started sending email requests and getting responses, all of the blogs you do will be wasted if you’re not putting them into an online portfolio. While Contently has served that purpose well for me, there are other options for choosing an online portfolio that will display your blogs so they can be easily reviewed by potential clients.
Example of a Contently Portfolio
As you can see in the example above, a portfolio provides a bio, photo, links to your social media sites, and any content you put in there. For our purposes, this content will be blogs, but your portfolio may also hold other work such as design projects or podcasts as well. Regardless of which type of portfolio you choose, finding one and putting all of your written work in it is a critical step to becoming a paid writer.
The Power of Your Portfolio
Once you have some content in your portfolio that you’re proud of, it will be your greatest tool for procuring new writing gigs — in fact, it’s far more important than your resume. The reason your portfolio is so crucial for your success is because you can post the link to it in your email requests.
In just one click, the potential client will be able to view dozens of assignments that you’ve completed, all at a single glance. This makes the process of finding new writing gigs so much easier.
3. Focus on Your Purpose and Expand Your Clientele
With so many potential blogs and guest blogs you can do, it can seem overwhelming to find the right types for you. This is why it’s important to stay focused on not only your purpose, but the topics you’re trying to write about as well. Essentially, this means taking the blogs you’ve done so far and using them to find better opportunities. Here are some examples of how to grow and expand as a blogger:
- If you only have free blogs in your portfolio, make it a goal to find a paying one.
- If you’re used to writing for $25 per blog, actively search for one that pays $50.
- Refine your search to the point where you’re only accepting paid work.
- Decide if you want to focus on a certain category or expand into many.
The Goal is to Get Higher Paying Blogs
Going from zero work to earning $50 per blog is unlikely, but if you have a collection of blogs you’ve completed for $25, you’re far better qualified to write for $50. This strategy applies endlessly and can be used to get as big as you want to be as a blogger. The standard rate for freelancing is 10 cents per word, so if you’re able to get $50 for a 500-word blog, you’re in a good spot to start making decent money for your time.
4. Leverage Your Connections
The tricky part about blogging is that it’s not only high paying blogs that are valuable but prestigious blogs as well. For example, if you’re a business writer and you get the opportunity to write for a well-known brand such as Forbes or Newsweek, it’s worth taking this opportunity even if it doesn’t pay.
Once you do, it’ll be in your portfolio for all other potential clients to see, and the status of these well-known sites will directly reflect on you. It’s a matter of social proof — if a business owner sees that you’ve written for someone like Forbes, they’ll be far more likely to trust you to write for their website as well.
Connecting Topics You’ve Covered to New Blogging Options
Not only do you want to pay attention to the prestigiousness of the blogs you’re getting but the topics themselves also can influence your new opportunities. For instance, this blog called “Exploring the Pros and Cons of Dental Tourism” may lead to new dental blogs, travel blogs, or even blogs related to a specific country.
The Key to Successful Blogging: Recurring Work
If you’re having to fight tooth and nail for every blogging opportunity, it’s going to be a time consuming and exhausting process. Instead, make it a goal to connect with the person who hired you and provide outstanding work that makes them want to hire you again and again.
After a few successful blogs, they’ll consider you a trusted part of their team, and this is when reliable supplementary income will begin. When you know that you have clients depending on you for new content every week, you’ll be in a prime position to turn your passion for writing into a legitimate source of extra cash.
Writing Can be a Fun Source of Supplementary Income
In 2019, more people than ever are looking for ways to make an extra buck. If you consider writing one of your greatest strengths, then there’s potential to turn it into a money-making endeavor that lets you grow your portfolio and gain experience.
These tips outline the path that I took to become a paid writer, but there may be numerous other paths as well. Feel free to comment with tips you’ve used to make money as a writer as well.
About the Author
Nick Napier: After serving 7-years in the Navy and traveling to 22 countries, Nick settled in San Diego where he earned his MBA. He currently works as an SEO Specialist while hosting the Rogue Writers Podcast and writing a wide variety of content on a daily basis