How to Ensure You’re Prepared for Freelance Blogging Jobs
Let’s be honest — there are some negative stereotypes concerning freelance bloggers.
To many people, we’re lazing around in our pajamas blogging our random “deep thoughts” while spooning ice cream out of the carton. This isn’t entirely true. While I rarely put on a tie when working at home, freelance blogging jobs are not as easy to come by or to work on as some people would think.
The main struggle most writers face after landing a steady freelance blogging job is adjusting to the demands of the new work arrangement. Even if you’re a good writer, you need to know how to manage the freelance lifestyle effectively. This skill is sometimes the difference between a writer becoming completely self-employed or crashing and burning in their quest to escape the 9-5 grind.
So, in an effort to help you avoid that crash-and-burn, here are some of my tried-and-true tips for adequately preparing for freelance blogging jobs, and escaping the 9-5 grind — for good.
Know How Much You Have in Front of You
When you sign a new freelance client, one of the first things you should find out is how much they expect of you. Do they want one blog post per week, or a dozen? What is the word limit? Do you need to include meta information? What about images?
All of these are things you should figure out beforehand. Once you’re cruising toward a deadline with no time to waste, it’ll be too late to decide you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. It is important to give yourself enough time to complete the workload — and to do it well. If your schedule is jam-packed, the quality of your writing may suffer.
When it comes to taking on new blogging jobs, it’s vital to get clear on how much work you’re actually signing up for.
Give Yourself Some Extra Breathing Room
If you’ve got enough time to write all of your assigned content, you have nothing to worry about as far as the clock goes. Right? In most cases, yes. However, freelance writing is often an unpredictable field. Writers sometimes find themselves being caught off guard by requests for extra projects or old ones which require revisions.
Imagine you’ve determined how long it will take you to complete your weekly blogs and cleared that amount of time in your schedule. What if the client offers extra work, and sweetens the deal with higher pay? No writer would want to turn that down, so long as they have the time.
Likewise, revisions are a part of the writing life. If you’ve only left yourself enough time to handle current projects, you could become completely overloaded when a blog or two you’ve previously completed is sent back for revising. The point is, don’t overbook yourself. It’s always good to schedule some wiggle room into your calendar so that you have a little extra time, just in case you need it.
Set Up Resources for All Freelance Blogging Jobs
Let’s say you’re a freelance blogger who has landed an additional client. Things can get a bit confusing when you start to write for multiple clients, especially if they have different requirements. To make sure you don’t get things mixed up, it’s a good idea to have separate resources set up for each client. This can include a dedicated folder in your email inbox and separate style guides in Word.
Sometimes, the needs of one client may be radically different from those of another. At one point, I was writing technical blogs for a circuit board manufacturer and entertainment blogs for a news site. As I’m sure you can imagine, these are two completely different worlds and thus require completely different words.
To make sure you don’t get confused, make an outline of what each client looks for.
Things to Know About Your Client:
- Audience: Who are you writing your client’s blog posts for? What is the audience demographic?
- Perspective: Does your client prefer first-person or third-person?
- Tone: Is the blog professional? Casual? Informative?
- Specifics: Is there a defined word count target? Are you supposed to add a CTA? What about inbound links?
Every freelance client is different. When you land new blogging jobs, you can prepare by making a resource sheet containing information about what a client looks for. This “cheat sheet” can be your best friend when it comes to making sure you deliver exactly what the client wants.
Do Outside Research if Necessary
Most freelance writers aim for blogging jobs where they can write about things they love. However, if you’re a writer who is willing to take on any topic if it means delivering for the client, you’re going to need to get comfortable doing research.
This is one aspect of freelance writing that few people think of. While the bulk of a writer’s work is content creation, there is often a lengthy research period which accompanies any well-thought-out blog post. When you’re managing your time, you should always leave room for background research.
If you know the topics you’re working on ahead of time, it’s wise to find some websites that offer resources you can use. You can reference a good site repeatedly if you need to. If your topics change on a regular basis, you’d be wise to set aside at least a half-hour per blog post for research purposes alone.
It is also a good idea to research a company when you’re doing freelance blogging jobs for them. What is their brand about? Who is their target audience? What problems are they looking to help customers solve? Find these things out before you start blogging — they’ll come in handy when you’re creating copy.
Establish Reliable Communication Methods
Freelance blogging jobs are great because you get to work independently. However, you’ll still need to be able to contact the client when necessary. Whether it’s something as simple as having a place to submit your work or having a dedicated contact you can reach out to with questions, make sure you can communicate with your client before you start working for them.
You’ll also want to make sure you have payment information set up, and that you have any necessary paperwork signed before you begin working. Communication is everything when you work remotely. Unlike hourly or salaried workers, you can’t just walk in and talk to the boss.
Make sure that when you work with a client, it’s one who is easy to reach and responds quickly. Freelance blogging jobs can be very rewarding. But if you haven’t found out the best way to contact the client (phone, email, social media, etc.) you may be in for a stressful experience.