Successful bloggers can make a lot of money â€“ itâ€™s perfectly possible to generate more than $100,000 a year if you have a large enough following. In fact, if you hit the big time â€“ like Perez Hilton has done â€“ then the skyâ€™s the limit. However, the truth is that most bloggers struggle to make a living, particularly when they are first starting out. While their income builds over time, they often need to find other ways of supplementing their income in the early days.
While there are many ways to do this â€“ for example, taking a part-time job or even putting in long hours to hold down a full-time jobâ€“ one of the best approaches is to find other writing gigs that will generate extra cash. Not only does this keep money rolling in the door, it also helps to build your writing skills, and will give you useful contacts for the future.
One gig that can deliver a regular income stream is writing articles to help clients build their brand and bring an audience to their site. Of course, many companies invest in these articles in the hope that they will increase their rankings in search engines. While you wonâ€™t make a fortune, you should be able to charge a reasonable rate. Youâ€™ll have to look around to get a decent rate â€“ there are writers in India, for example, that will do 500-word articles for less than a dollar â€“ but there are those who will pay for good quality. This is particularly the case now that Google has modified its ranking algorithms to reward good content. Now that low-quality articles are fairly useless for SEO purposes, more and more companies are realizing that they have to invest more in quality content in order to get the results they want.
Another way of generating income is to write posts for other blogs. While individual bloggers usually donâ€™t pay for this, some companies are willing to if you write relevant, interesting posts for their corporate blogs. Again, there are writing companies from low-income countries that will do this for a pittance, but you have the advantage of producing high-quality content. Even if a company is not willing to pay you, you may want to consider writing the occasional free blog entry provided that they give you credit and let you link back to your own blog â€“ this will help you build your own following and will help to push your blog up the SERPs. Try to go after companies that are related to what you blog about â€“ for instance, if you blog about human resources, then target a blog to discuss career-related developments. Similarly, if you are a technology blogger, go after technology companies. If you do this, youâ€™re more likely to win contracts, and you will also find it easier and more interesting to write about the subject.
If you are looking for a change of pace, consider writing company website copy. Again, go after areas that you know something about, and be prepared to show what you have written on the topic in the past. However, keep in mind that writing website copy needs a different style from the one you use in your blog â€“ depending on the company, they may want anything from an authoritative third-person approach through to an enthusiastic, promotional tone that uses the second person. What they donâ€™t want for the most case is an overly familiar and personal approach â€“ and using the first person is definitely not a good idea unless you are asked to do so.
To get started writing website copy, try looking on freelancing sites such as Elance and Guru. You will get a somewhat lower rate on these sites than if you find the work yourself, but on the other hand you donâ€™t have to look for it. Of course, these sites should serve as a way for you to build up your portfolio and eventually go after more lucrative work with higher hourly rates. The more experience you have, the easier it becomes to persuade clients to work with you.
Finally, donâ€™t be scared of promoting your writing services directly to companies. When you start this, itâ€™s best to look locally â€“ this allows you to meet with potential customers in person, which can build their confidence in you. However, once you have some jobs under your belt and your portfolio is starting to grow, thereâ€™s no reason not to look further afield.