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The Perfect Side Hustle: Freelance Blog Writer

What are you doing to make extra money these days? I’ll tell you what I’m doing—and it’s working! I’m a freelance blog writer. I’ve often thought that the best way to make money—from a full time business or a side business—is to find something you’re good at, something you’re already doing, and then monetize it. I’ve been writing on my own blog for over two years, so why not take what I’m doing here and “sell” it somewhere else for extra income? The best ideas are the simplest ones–that’s why this is working.

I’m of the opinion that most everyone could or should have a side business—some type of additional income stream that isn’t dependent on a traditional job. The way the job market has deteriorated in the past few years, having a side hustle (or two) may be the best insurance against a career crash-and-burn. Put another way, multiple income streams are fast becoming the wave of the future. It’s mostly a matter of deciding which ones you’ll use.

Could you be a freelance blog writer?

The Perfect Side Hustle: Freelance Blog Writer

The Perfect Side Hustle: Freelance Blog Writer

OK, I’m biased, but I think the answer is a big, fat YES. And I feel that way because a little over two years ago I wasn’t even blogging, let alone making money at it. Not on my site, not on anyone else’s. And now I’m making money on both. I’ve always liked to write, but nothing in my previous careers (accounting and mortgages) prepared me to make a living from a writing career in any direct fashion. That’s why there’s hope for anyone who might want to take a serious shot as a freelance blog writer.

What are the qualifications?

Decent writing ability is a given, but don’t get hung up on that. Blog writing is more conversational in tone and presentation, so you don’t need to be able to write high prose or even encyclopedia articles. The ability to make your point concisely is by far the most important mechanical skill.

Passions and areas of expertise. Every one of us is better than most people at one or more things–and that’s the thing you can write about. We all have areas of expertise, passions and interests that make us natural “authorities” on a subject. If you write about what you naturally love, being a freelance blog writer can be your perfect side business.

Why not just get a part time job to make extra money?

I’ll wager that this is what most people think about when they’re looking to make some extra money. After all, once you get a part time job, the money starts coming in almost immediately and when you’ve had enough of it, you can just quit and move on. But here are just a few reasons why a part time job may not fit the bill—you can probably add to this list with very little thought:

  • You have to keep hours—which typically means nights, weekends and holidays
  • You will almost certainly have to work outside your home, which will really stink if that’s what you already do on your full time job
  • You will probably be paid minimum wage or slightly above–and you KNOW you’re worth more than that!
  • You will have a boss—I mean in addition to the one you have on your full time job
  • The job probably won’t take you anywhere, like to a promotion or a new skill set
  • It almost certainly won’t give you a chance to tap your hidden creative talents
  • It will be temporary, that is, until you burnout—or they get tired of you

In most situations, a part time job is a pure money play — and not a very good one at that. Rarely will it ever be anything more. If you’re looking to beef up your revenue stream, you’ll almost certainly have to look to do something more substantial.

Why being a freelance blog writer is the perfect second income source

Being a freelance blog writer is by far a superior way to earn extra money, and here are 12 reasons why:

  1. You don’t have to leave your home
  2. You can work as much—or as little—as you like
  3. There are no barriers to entry—no specific credentials are needed
  4. You don’t have to worry about what you don’t know—it’s all about what you DO know
  5. Blog writing has grown through the recession—there are no “job security” issues
  6. There are NO geographic restrictions—you can even do it while you’re away on vacation
  7. Work around YOUR schedule—there are no hours to keep
  8. It’s a business, not a job, and you can take it as far as you’re willing and able
  9. You’ll be paid to create—and you can create content that you believe in
  10. It pays better than most part time jobs (more on that below)
  11. It will cost you nothing to enter
  12. It will blend better with your personal and professional life than just about any other side venture you can think of.

And here’s a bonus: if you like, you can even go for that look of the laptop literary legions who populate places like Starbucks during regular business hours, dressed in their who-cares-about-the-business-world khaki’s and sandals, nursing a latte while crafting their latest creation. Yes, that could be you — I’m just sayin’.

You’ll be self-employed, which is to say that you can work when you want, where you want and for whom you want. All of which opens up incredible options.

How much money can you make as a freelance blog writer?

Easily $500 to $1,000 a month or more for part-time. Pay for blog posts typically ranges from $15 to $50 per post and you can easily average $25 per post — or more. If you can write five posts per week — 20 per month — you’ll earn $500. If you can write 10 per week you’ll be up to $1,000 per month.

If you can write a typical 600-800 word post in about an hour — and many blog writers can — you’ll earn about $25 per hour, working from home in your PJs and furry slippers. As you get better as a freelance blog writer you should be able to write one in under an hour. Over time, as your writing efficiency improves and your rates increase, you might consider turning it into a full-time venture.

If you’d like to try being a freelance blog writer, order a copy of my new e-book, The Freelance Blog Writer Side Hustle. It will show you how to write blog articles quickly and completely, how to find ongoing sources of topics, how to find blogs to write for, and just about everything else you’ll need to make it work. Even if you’ve never written professionally in the past, this book will give you a step by step course to guide you into it.

Take the plunge and see if being a freelance blog writer can be the perfect side hustle for you!

What do you think about being a freelance blog writer as a side business?

( Photo from Flickr by blakespot )


37 Responses to The Perfect Side Hustle: Freelance Blog Writer

  1. David Ogilvie once said he would never take on a client so big that he could not afford to lose him, for that would skew one’s priorities, perceptions and fear (I paraphrase). Yet that is what people do when they take on full-time employment – a single client, too big to afford to lose. Side hustles, provided they do not conflict, are a great idea.

  2. Kevin M says:

    Good point Gerry–in my ebook I actually discuss how to handle the employer situation–and there ARE ways around it.

    Yeah, I also agree with a full time employer being “a single client, too big to afford to lose”. But a lot of people WILL lose that “client” someday, and having a successful side business is one way to prepare for it. If you can get it going before you get laid off, you can avoid the cold start that hits when you start a business from the ground up.

    Just having a backup plan could make you do your main job better since you’ll be less worried about what you’re already prepared for.

  3. Miranda says:

    Side hustle? It’s my job! ;)

  4. Kevin M says:

    You’ve been my inspiration Miranda–no foolin’. You’re what I hope to be if I ever grow up! ;-)

  5. Peter says:

    Miranda is a great example of someone who has taken what some see as a side hustle and making it full time. She’s good at what she does, and you can tell she enjoys it! I know she’s good cause I hired her for my site!

    I’m in total agreement about having a side hustle, however. While I don’t write for other sites, I have my own blogs as my income source. I prefer owning my own sites as opposed to writing for others – just because I enjoy the other stuff that goes along with blogging. Owning a blog can be extremely lucrative as well if you do things right – I’ve replaced the income from my wife’s day job via my blog, and it does make us feel a lot more secure – than me just having the one day job.

  6. Kevin M says:

    Pete – I agree on blogging in general. Having a blog generates passive income and also creates opportunities. But for the person who doesn’t want to get involved in owning and managing a website – and all that goes with it – blog writing is a comfortable way to make money on the web.

    And as I wrote in the post, I think everyone should have a side business–at least one! And since everything that’s anything seems to be on the web right now, this is a good place to start.

  7. Blogging can be a side business. You have to be consistent.

  8. Kevin M says:

    Doable – That’s so true. You have to develop a system for turning out good quality posts, quickly and steadily. If you can, it’s one of the very best part time businesses you can be in.

  9. I think it’s a great side job. Unfortunately for me, it takes me about 3-4 hours to write my posts – especially when I write for other sites. I think I’m too picky, and I am never sure of myself, so I constantly pick over what I write and make changes.

    If I didn’t suffer from that, I could write much more often.

  10. Kevin M says:

    Hi Khaleef, that’s been a bit of a struggle for me too. I used to take 3-4 hours, then got it down to two, now I’m coming close to an hour for a standard post. Of course, there are the deeper ones that take longer, but they often pay more too!

    BTW, I think you’re in the top 1% of all writers I’ve seen on the web–that might explain the 3-4 hours!

  11. Hi Kevin, thanks for this closer look at making money from writing. I’ve thought about this a few times but haven’t taken the plunge. I’ve been doing a very different sort of writing so I’m still learning how to knock out a quick 700 words. :)

    I definitely agree with the idea of creating multiple streams of income. My husband and I are working on a side business in addition to his job, our investments, etc.

  12. Kevin M says:

    Hi Jennifer–The side business aspect is really the key. The more income streams the better, since jobs are so unreliable these days. Best to have one or more in the flow before the pink slip comes. Of course the side venture doesn’t have to be freelance blog writing, but there are advantages to it that make it doable for a lot of people who might not have definate ideas on what business to try.

  13. Angela J. Shirley says:

    Hi Kevin:

    I am in the process of reading a copy of your awesome ebook and will be back to comment.

    It was so NICE of your to share this info with us – thank you :)

    Angela
    My Website: Surviving Unemployment!
    http://survivingunemployment.weebly.com

  14. Kevin,

    Outstanding post. I am not a freelance writer, but I am a full time blogger…and member of Yakezie as well. Good luck in your endeavor and glad to see you compiled your knowledge and experience into an ebook.

    Good luck with that as well.

  15. Ironic that the current company I work for is seeking a content writer, and has been doing so for several months now… Even with a very difficult job market it has been virtually impossible to fill this position. It seems as though most people don’t account for all the skills they possess to make a few quick bucks, or even a full time career. I think blog writing on the side is a great way to make money. It is relatively easy to sit down in your comfy cloths and write a few articles for how ever long you would like.

  16. charles says:

    I’m not sure if writing a good quality article in 1 hr is sustainable. If you’re generating only a couple a day, then maybe it’s doable, but not 8 articles in an 8-hr day, or 4 in a 4-hr day. Also $25 per article seems high. As a blogger, I don’t think I could afford to pay more than $5 for 500 word article.

  17. Kevin M says:

    Hi Charles–Initially you’d want to do only 1-2 per day, and increase as you develop the skill and experience. I’m a firm believer that any business should start out as a side venture and be built up before becoming a full time business. $25 isn’t at all high, I’d say it’s the average. I don’t know many people who’d write for $5 per post, unless they’re looking to build a resume of posts. Even then, I’d do some free guest posts on some major sites if I’m looking to build a resume. There are content suppliers who can provide posts at $5 each, but I don’t know anyone who’s using them.

  18. Jessica M. says:

    Interesting post, especially for a new blogger like me! Thanks for being specific about how much you can actually make, many articles don’t go into that much detail. Cheers :)

  19. Kevin M says:

    Hi Jessica–You’re most welcome. Just keep in mind that how much you can make depends mostly on your abilities and willingness to put in the time and the effort. Blog writing is NO magical get rich quick scheme. What it is though is an opportunity at self employment and additional income that so many people find so hard to find.

  20. Shairease Rogers says:

    Hi. Thanks for your post. My name is Shairease Rogers and I ran upon your article via ChristianPF. I need help!! I recently left the Internal Revenue Service after almost 13 years as a government employee. I have always wanted to own my own business. I majored in English in college but I was hired by the IRS soon after I graduated. I was only looking for a summer job until I started teaching highschool…or at least that was the plan…but a marriage… divorce…. and two children(whom I adore :)turned what I had planned as a temp gig into 12 years and 10 months of working for the man. I enjoyed helping my clients. I was an offer-in compromise settlement officer and I grossed 56,000.00 a year with excellent benefits..that came at such a high price that I just could take it anymore. I was miserable. I worked 10 hour days plus overtime. We remained understaffed and over worked as many of the federal workers out there are. But because of the “security” that working for the federal government has been known for many suffer through it. The stress was almost unbearable sometimes. For the sake of my health I had to go. So, I resigned with the hopes of starting my own business doing taxes on my own. This has not panned out the way I thought it would. I am looking into blogging as another stream of income until my taxes business picks up. I just dont have a clue on how to get started. I have pretty good writing skill or at least I thing I do. I at the point of desparation now because my money is running out and i dont have any other means of support for my sons (my oldest is in college. Any advice would be great!!!

  21. Kevin M says:

    Hi Shairease–I think you’re in an excellent position to get into this right now, as in immediately. You’re bringing the experience of a tax preparer and seasoned IRS professional to the table just as tax season is unfolding. You should approach some large blogs about writing guest posts, just for the practice and to build up a portfolio of blog articles. Next I’d approach some blogs about being a tax correspondent for pay. I think if you work at it for a few months and you’re able to convert tax-speak into plain language, you’ll have blogs soliciting you for paid staff writing positions in a couple of months.

    You won’t make a fortune immediately, but with your background I can see you moving into some really good things as time goes on. The web has a desperate need for trained tax professionals to offer advice. That’s a niche you can fill.

    If you want to get into freelance blog writing, in your situation, I’d just plunge forward. Oh, and you might order a copy of my ebook to pick up dozens of tips to move you forward and keep you going. Sorry for the plug, but that’s why I wrote the ebook!

    Good luck Shaiease, and please stay in touch.

  22. Nunzio Bruno says:

    $25/hr is nothing to make light of. Even if you are looking for more than just a side hustle I think something like this could be great. One thing to keep in mind is that the set up can take some time and energy so it’s important to be patient. Once you find a rhythm you will have the potential to be a lean mean content creating machine :)

  23. Kevin M says:

    Hi Nunzio–You sound like you do this! It’s so true, you have to get into a rythym to create content. The idea of doing a post here and there will lead to nowhere. You have to sit down and crank out several at a time so you become fluid at doing it. And I agree, $25/hr is nothing to look down on, especially when you can do it from home with no special equipment.

  24. Lise says:

    How do you start bloging? I would like to try it.

  25. Kevin M says:

    Hi Lise–click the Freelance Blog Writer Side Hustle link in the post. The E-book will give you all the information you need to get started and build your book of business.

  26. Jose says:

    I like the idea of writing for extra money. My two biggest challenges would be time and quality. I barely have enough time to write articles for my own blog, I want to make sure I spend the time to write good informative and as much as possible, entertaining articles for my own blog. Quality, My writing (and editing) skills have improved a lot since I’ve started my blog. But, I’m not quite sure they are at the point where they would sell. All in all, at this point in time, I’d rather spend as much time as possible try ing to build my blog up.

  27. Hi Jose–Freelancing isn’t for everyone. In some cases it could be easier to do if you worked in a “day job” that was completely unrelated, that way you’d avoid burnout. There really is a discipline and a commitment necessary for freelancing, it isn’t as casual as the word implies. Still, freelance blog writing can be the perfect side business and one you can eventually turn into a full time venture. You can work at home, be creative, work at your own pace, and all the other benefits I’ve described.

  28. Jose says:

    It may be something I pursue, once I get The WiseDollar established. I’m spending most of my free time working on that now. But I like the concept of being able to freelance write sometime in the future. It would be especially helpful when I hit Semi-Retirement.

  29. Sheryl S. says:

    My experience is that bloggers with subject matter knowledge are paid significantly more by manstream media and corporate clients.

  30. Hi Jose–It is a good income supplement when you’re getting a new venture, like a blog, up and running. And for semi-retirement–PERFECT. You work at home, at your own pace and write about what you like. That’s a tough combination to beat.

  31. Hi Sheryl–Not having written for the mainstream media (at least not yet!) I can’t comment on that. Thanks for weighing in though.

  32. Jim says:

    Great post Kevin, i haven’t yet monetized my blog, always wondered if you got paid for your site, cause I don’t see much advertising? Would love to know more about your side hustle, as I think you are a fabulous writer. Thanks!

  33. Hi Jim – There is ad revenue on the site, but the small number of ads is part of the less-is-more principal. The last thing we want is a blog saturated with ads! You can learn more about freelance blog writing by clicking through to the link in the last paragraph of the post.

  34. Pat says:

    Hi kevin,
    I am hoping that by contacting you I will not be opening the door to countless advertisements preying on people who are in financial crisis.
    I am 60 years old. My husband has been on social security disability for years now and unable to work toward a retirement. My only source of retirement will be from social security . I would like to find a way to be able to retire at 62, but at this point it appears impossible. I realize you are writing and promoting a book for income. I would like to ask for an honest opinion. Do you think blogging is worth my taking the time and effort to work towards when I desperately need more income now and additional income to enhance social security? I would really appreciate an honest answer and any advice you could offer. Thanks, Pat

  35. Hi Pat – Here’s my honest answer..Yes, I think it is IF you think you can. What I mean by that is that you have to have a real desire to do it, and to work it through. You have to have a passion to write – this is NOT a passive venture. It’s an earned income source, and like all earned income sources, you won’t get any more out of it than you’ll put into it.

    I can say (ok, write) these things because I’m making a living doing it, and I’m not the only one. Nothing in my background prepared me for this, and yet it’s worked. And since you’re looking for a retirement supplement, it should work even better because you have the time. Also, you can do it without leaving your house.

    Since you’re 60 now, you’ll have two years to get it up and running. That’s more time than you’ll need.

    At worst, you may use combination of freelance blog writing, Social Security and a part-time job to provide you with a semi-retirement. That will give you three income sources, one of which is completely passive (Social Security), one you do from home (freelancing)and one outside the home.

    Another subject I’ve written extensively on, both on this site and on others, is that we all need to get creative with regard to retirement. Most people won’t be able to afford the TV version that has you moving to a golf community or beachfront condo in the tropics. It’ll be a lot closer to life before retirement, but hopefully a more balanced and relaxed one.

  36. Pat says:

    Dear Kevin,
    Thank you for your email and your response online. It is encouraging to hear that you do not need a journalism degree to learn how to blog. I do realize you need a passion.

    My passion has always been and always will be for learning and enjoying the outdoors, specifically the state and national parks. We are currently campground hosting and want to do this full time when I retire.

    My husband and I have a passion for learning about birds, plants and trees and love talking to all of the visitors to the parks where we host.

    Maybe, I could think about writing about campground hosting and about our experiences in the parks????

    Thanks again,
    Pat

  37. Hi Pat – Those are definate niches, and ones I haven’t investigated. Please research them carefully to make sure that they’re viable. Some narrow niches have excellent potential, especially if you’re an expert (which you and your husband obviously are). Others are a labor of love, and not much more. My advice would be to start there, but branch out to some related topics so you can diversify your client base. I’m now writing about topics and on sites I’d never imagined when I started.

    The web is a highly dynamic environment, so be open to the opportunities that will come your way. You may end up in a niche or two that you never imagined, but that you can easily fill. I’m of the opinion that we all have more talent than we even know. You don’t find that out until you “take your show on the road” and start doing some experimenting and taking a few chances. It’ll be bumpy at first, but keep pressing forward and you’ll find your sweet spots, often in places you never thought to look. (Can you tell that I love doing this?!?!)

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