Should a blogger be a freelancer or vice versa?

BLOGGING

At some point of your work as blogger, you may reached a crossroad- should you be a freelance writer or a blogger? The same goes for the freelance writer- after all, if he could write for others, why not write for himself?

Why would a blogger want to branch out to content writing?

1. Earnings in blog too low
That is usually the main reason why a blogger wants to venture to content writing because the earnings in the blog is far too low. It is not easy to build a highly profitable blog with lots of subscribers and traffic.

To put food on the table, the blogger would need to find other sources of income and the closest one that comes into mind would be content writing. Other thoughts would be web development or go back to the workforce.

Or as it sometimes happens, a blog gets de-indexed overnight by Google, putting the ends of traffic and earnings. The blogger has no choice but to find some means to survive.

2. The blogger felt that blogging is just not for him
Blogging may not be for everyone. While there are the handful that rise to blogging stardom, for most people it is difficult to make ends meet. Bloggers work alone, day after day, night after night writing and churning out blog posts.

And hardly anyone is visiting the blog. After months (sometimes a matter of weeks), of not seeing the raving results as one what has hoped for, the blogger is prepared to throw in the towel.

3. Writing offers that one just cannot refuse
A blog can be a good portfolio to showcase one’s writing skills. A blogger may get the invitation to write for a well known site. Who could refuse such an offer?

4. Income diversification 
Long time bloggers know that they cannot put all their eggs in one basket. Hence some would diversity and build an income for themselves as content or freelance writers. After a while, they would have build a network that they can fallback on.

Many popular bloggers would recommend to create your own products such as ebooks, apps, software, plugin, courses which would help you generate a very high margin passive income. But that is achievable only if you have a huge following and targeted mailing list.

However content writing, no doubt is an active income, is much more easier to land in. You can slowly build up your network and get a good client base.

Now, let’s consider some factors of why a freelance writer would want to be a blogger

1. Want complete control
When you start a blog, you can select your own niche. You can decide on the look and feel of your site. The only deadlines you need to meet are the deadlines that you set for yourself. Running a blog requires discipline.

Niche or more narrow blogs tend to do better. Hence, if you have one blog, then your writing would center on the same topic of interest. You would need many blog posts on that niche. And the niche needs to be profitable.

When you are a content writer, most of the time the client retains the copyright for your article. But when you write for your blog, the article belongs to you. The thing to consider is would the article worth more in the lifetime it has sitting in your blog archives or the one time payment the client pays in order to own it?

2. Wish to earn passive income
Freelance or content writing is active income. No work, no money. Sometimes, there are also clients who refused to pay.

A writer who already have writing skill would be able to easily write blog posts. And we all know that blogs are a good way to earn passive income.

However it takes time for one to see results as new sites require about at least 6 months to rank in Google searches. With organic traffic comes the income. Meanwhile… you would still need those writing gigs to survive.

3. Sick of dealing with difficult and non paying clients

Many freelancers started from websites such as Upwork.com (formerly known as elance.com), Freelancer.com and Fiverr.com. Bidding for projects on these sites pretty much, as stated by Michael Thomas as ‘the race to the bottom’.  It is sad and demoralizing. But for those who persevere, they would be able to build up their own portfolio, or the very least, good learning experience with money.

However, as a blogger we would also go through the initial period of non existent organic traffic. Pouring out our heart and soul but nobody reads it because Google did not learn to trust your site yet. During those period, you would not be able to see returns for your labor.

For both the cases above, passion and determination would make one pull through. Without these two attributes, it is very easy to give up at the slightest challenge.

So, should you make the switch?

If you love to write and want to do it in your own terms, then blogging is suitable for you. You get to try out new ideas and make a name for yourself or your brand. You are answerable to no one except yourself (but listening to feedback may help to improve your blog).

However, blogging is a very competitive. Many bloggers are creative, intelligent and extremely hardworking. Some rise to the top of searches. And it takes hard work to remain at the top. Once a blogger rest in his laurels, he would start to lose his popularity and appeal to readers.

In freelancing, once you have established a good reputation (ie good writing skills, delivering projects on time, pleasant to work with), with a little networking, you would be able to land on projects on freelance basis relatively easily. And command better income for your time.

Still, freelancing is still a completely active form of income. If you are unable to work due to some unforseen circumstances, the income stops. If you take a break from writing, there is no income.

My thoughts on this

I have been blogger for more than 10 years. Whereas for the last 10 years of my corporate career,  I wrote tonnes of email communication and updates for my company’s intranet. Guess you can say I know how it feels like to do both.

Most of the time, running a blog is not lucrative for the majority. Some do make it and earn a lot of money by running an online business. You may chance into a breakthrough that may skyrocket your earnings.

If you never try, you would never know. If you love writing, you have overcome a major hurdle.

Start a blog, write quality content and let the blog ‘sit’ and mature. Be patient….because it takes time before you can see result. Don’t give up too soon.

After sometime, you would start to earn some passive income through ads or affiliate. It is worth the while. Granted, some blogs do not make enough to cover the hosting. I have some blogs that I know if I rely on them, I would need to pay for hosting out of my own pocket. But think of it as an investment- where the startup cost is very low (just getting your own domain name and hosting). If you see a potential, keep going. If not, then at least, you have given it a try. No regrets.

Meanwhile, you may want to also continue/venture into freelancing either as a writer or web design/ web developer if you need the income to continue to cover your living expenses.

 

 

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