I recently read an article that detailed how to make $30,000 annually by writing and maintaining a blog. Much of the article included abbreviations – like CPC and EPC, among others – that I still don’t understand after two years of blogging on my own website.
I’m not sure I want to understand what they mean. I got into blogging to write and market my work, not to be a corporate advertising portal. However, I do need to feed my family, and my chosen way to accomplish this necessary goal is to write for money. It turns out that you really can make money blogging.
So how do you do it? I’ve read many articles about this theoretical possibility, but not many about how to find these blogging jobs. Here are a few ways to turn theory into practice.
Define Your Areas of Expertise
When I quit my teaching job to write for a living, I applied for any writing job that looked at all promising, and even some that didn’t. My favorite experience involves an ad seeking writers to supply movie reviews for a website. I liked to write, and I liked to watch movies, so I thought it was a great opportunity.
I submitted the necessary materials for the initial screening and after a couple of days I was invited to participate in the next step of the hiring process. Enthusiastically, I clicked on the link, and up popped, “DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH P*RN?” in bright red letters.
My mouth gaped open as I stared at my computer screen.
The simple answer was no, in fact, I didn’t. But I have to admit that for about 30 seconds, I considered whether or not I could just watch it so I could write for money.
Then I decided I was crazy, and closed the website. Clearly, I needed a strategy.
The easy way to make money blogging is to write for websites in your particular area of expertise. For me, this was easy. I had been an elementary school teacher for nine years, so I started to seek out writing jobs in the education field.
Once I narrowed down my area of expertise, my job search was no longer overwhelming. It became easier to find legitimate opportunities, and I could more thoughtfully research and apply for promising positions.
After I narrowed down my focus to educational writing, I began hunting down opportunities. I wasn’t stalking in a criminal way, but I was definitely devoted to finding a job writing for money in my chosen field. I signed up through Yahoo Groups with people in the same area of expertise as well as freelancers looking for writing jobs. I looked on Craigslist in the “Writing/Editing” and “Writing Gigs” areas, as well as “Education,” on a regular basis. I subscribed to writing newsletters that publicized professional writing opportunities, and looked specifically for those in the field of education.
I also scouted out educational websites. It will take a bit of research, but commit time to finding the websites that apply to your area of expertise and check them daily. Find and read the blogs in the professional areas in which you would like to write, occasionally making comments and linking your own website back to them. Networking, as well as the previously mentioned strategies, will help you get to know other professional writers and get a feel for available opportunities.
Before I found my current blogging job, I used all of the previously mentioned resources to apply for jobs that included test-writing, writing copy for educational websites, curriculum development, and transcription for the hearing-impaired. And, of course, educational blogging positions. Try Again…And Again
All of these strategies combined will diversify your job search, but here’s the most important piece. Don’t give up. Apply for every legitimate writing opportunity – many of these include blogging jobs.
I applied for several jobs before getting past the first level of submitting my resume and writing sample. But I didn’t give up – consistency refined my search as well as my submitted material.
I remember thinking that writing for money was a dream that was never going to come true. It turns out that, happily, I was wrong. My job-hunting strategies helped me find a job blogging professionally for an educational company, and my children continue to be fed. It’s a great balance.
Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer. She has her own active blog at www.WilsonWrites.com, as well as a money-saving book, Live Cheap & Free! Strategies to Thrive in Tough Economic Times. Kelly lives with her husband and two small children in Portland, Oregon, blogging for money with Teaching Resource Center.