Four years ago I worked at the bank. It was one of the biggest banks in eastern Europe. At that moment I thought my life was perfect. I had a job in the bank. For me, it was a dream come true. Bank = money, right? Yes! But it's bank's money, not yours. After a year of work, I felt that it's not for me. I didn't like to work from 8 to 17; I had a small office (it was a small room), and I had the same tasks every day. Sell, sell and sell!
One day I came home from work and, I decided, that tomorrow I need to quit. I need to try something different! Bank is not the only place I can fit. I read hundreds of job offers, visited most favorite websites. But I wasn't interested in any of these offers. Accidently I saw an article about freelancers and different types of freelancing. Like coding, designing, writing and blogging. I read the article, and I decided - I'm going to be a freelancer. And after four years of freelancing, I can say I made it! Now I'm a freelance blogger and entrepreneur at the same time (I own a content marketing agency).
Today I decided to create a short guide on how to start blogging and maybe help someone to start their blogging career too. I will answer four different questions today:
- How to start blogging and get your articles published.
- Why and where to create a portfolio.
- The best tools for blogging.
- How to make money? (I think this one is the most important).
Let's get started!
How to start blogging and get your articles published?
With the first step, you should start writing. Just write about things you like or love. It can be articles about anything. Drones, clothes, food, marketing, finance, etc. The topic doesn't matter. If you write it with passion or expertise people will read them and share.
One of the biggest mistakes is starting a blogging career with creating a personal blog. Before starting a blog try writing for a few days to check if you will like it or not. Because creating a blog will waste your precious time.
To start a blogging career, you don't need to own a personal blog. You can write to various websites and blogs as a guest author. Most of the blogs and websites have "Write for us" or "Work with us" sections. You can contact them and submit your content there. In my opinion, it's even better way to start out, compared to owning your personal blog. Websites and blogs already have traffic and people will read and check your article.
To get your articles published you need to follow these easy steps:
Contact websites/blog owner or administrator. Tell them about yourself and pitch your ideas and topics. Your email should be very short and straight to the point. Don't send a long email, because nobody has time for that.
After they agree to work with you, send them a short outline of your article. To make sure you're thinking about the article the same as they are.
The last step is to write and article, create beautiful pictures and send the article.
P.S. Don't forget to ask if they have guidelines you need to follow.
Why and where to create a portfolio?
Building a portfolio is the easiest part. You just need to collect all your articles and put in one place. To have all the articles in one place will save you time in the future. When you apply new websites and blogs, it's enough to send the link of your portfolio, and they will be able to see all your work in one place.
The best places to create a portfolio:
Contently.com - helps brands do great content marketing at scale—with a network of 50000 freelance creatives. Also, it's a perfect place to create your first portfolio. (I use it by myself).
Clippings.me - the world's largest journalism portfolio site. It allows you to show off your PDFs and links.
Journoportfolio.com - here you can create a customizable online writing portfolio without branding or ads.
The best tools for blogging
Grammarly.com - my favorite tool! It will make you look like a professional writer. It’s a free grammar, spelling and punctuation checker.
Hemingwayapp.com - makes your writing bold and clear. The app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors and suggests alternatives.
- Writingstreak.io - tool that has been built to help you develop a daily writing habit.
- Coschedule.com/headline-analyzer - free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
- Titlecapitalization.com - automatically capitalize your essay titles, blog post titles, email subjects, and more.
- Writewellapp.com - allows you to organize your document visually in chunks, manage your research and writing on one screen.
- Canva.com - it helps you easily create outstanding blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters and invitations. No design skills needed!
So this is my a list of blogging tools I'm using every day. I can honestly say, that it's even more than enough for blogger or writer.
How to make money?
So let's answer the most important question - how to make money? The most important thing is that there is no perfect time for that. Sometimes people are waiting for a couple of months before they are starting to ask for money. They are trying to become an excellent blogger and writer. And writing and writing. I'm not trying to say that it's bad. But you can ask money before you become "perfect blogger".
If you know how to write, how to do research, how to create amazing pictures or screenshots go for it and ask money from the websites or blogs. Everything works the same like with the guest articles. Just know you need to be clear in your pitch that you're looking for money. 8-9 websites from 10 will answer you that they are not looking for writers or won’t reply at all. But you can be sure, that one of 10 will ask more about your skills, pricing and how many articles you can write per month or week.
How much should I charge?
There is no right answer for this question. Just ask yourself for how much I can work the whole day? Or per article? When I was starting my career, I was writing for free on two design websites and one website was paying me $15 per article. So, I think $20-40 per article is a good start for beginners.