The Renegade Writer

6 Ways Bloggers Can Earn More from Their Writing

By Nina Amir

Writers don’t like to write for free. I know this. I’m trained as a magazine journalist. One of the first lessons I learned in journalism school was, “Don’t ever write a word unless you know you will get paid.”

Yet, I’m a blogger. Bloggers blog for free not only on their own sites but on other bloggers’ sites as well. I do it day in and day out, and I tell aspiring freelance writers and authors to follow suit. Why? It’s a superb way to build author platform and to build expert status, both of which lead to increased writing income.

Here are the facts. It’s true you may not get paid for blogging—at first, but your blogging makes you a more valuable writer in the eyes of those who hire you and buy or contract your work. This boosts your earning potential in a variety of ways. Let me go through 6 points to explain why.

1. Bloggers leverage their expert Status

If you write on a specific topic—or two or three—and you choose to blog on these topics as well, you will eventually become an expert in these areas—even without “credentials.” According to Technorati.com, 56 percent of all bloggers say their blog has helped them establish a position as a thought leader within an industry. Additionally, 58 percent say they are better-known in their industry because of their blog.

As a thought leader or an expert in an industry or niche, you have the credentials to write articles and books on your topic. When you query a magazine, agent or publisher, they will take note, especially if you write one of the leading blogs on your topic.

2. Bloggers develop a platform for their other writing.

You will need to prove your new-found expertise to agents, publishers, editors, and clients. You do so by quoting you blog analytics: page views and unique visitors (readers). If you have driven your blog to the first Google search engine results page (SERP), you mention this. If you have landed media gigs because of your blogging endeavors, which you will over time, you mention this as well. Your blog should be tied into your social networks, and your fan base on these networks will grow as you share your posts with your followers; quote these figures, too.

All of these elements—readers, page views, SERP ranking, media appearances, fan base—plus your bylined articles and any speaking engagements you do, add up to what is called an “author platform.” Author platform is a built-in pre-existing readership for your work. Platform helps you sell articles and books—and just about anything. In fact, successful nonfiction books—ones that sell to lots of readers—are typically created with large platforms.

3. Bloggers get higher-paid assignments.

With expert status comes the ability to command more pay for your work. It’s true that some publications or companies have a set budget; sometimes, though, the budget can be “adjusted” for a writer with great credentials and platform that brings credibility and boosted sales to the publication or that offers the company superb experience and knowledge. A successful blog—one with thousands of readers per month—can be just the thing to push you over a pay plateau and into a whole new earning strata. You might find yourself with opportunities you never imagined before you began blogging.

4. Bloggers land tier-one magazine assignments.

With increased expert status and platform, you also will find it easier to land assignments with high-quality national magazines. They may even court you! Some of them also have online columnists or bloggers, and some of these positions pay; your blogging experience makes you more qualified for such positions. These publications pay better as well.

5. Bloggers score book deals.

Nonfiction writers must have platform and expertise to go with their ideas if they want to land a traditionally published book deal. They must be able to help sell books. A blog serves as one of the best promotional tools around, which is why so many publishers are publishing blogged material from successful bloggers—those with large numbers of readers. They also want aspiring authors with a blog strategy as part of their promotion plan. If your blog is up and running well, you’re more likely to get a contract. Plus, the bigger your platform, the larger an advance you can command.

You may even end up blogging your way to a book deal. You and your blog could get discovered by an agent or publisher or you could approach one with your blog-to-book idea. However, consider actually planning out content for a book and blogging it, a process called blogging a book, not just repurposing blog material into a “booked blog.”

6. Bloggers can find new sources of revenue.

As a blogger, you now have several additional ways to earn money.

  • You can get paid blogging gigs—by the post, part-time or full-time.
  • You can speak on the topic of your blog and get paid for these speaking gigs.
  • You can develop a consulting or coaching business around the topic of your blog.
  • You can place advertising on your blog, promote affiliate products, sell your own ebooks or pbooks, sell your own programs or courses, etc.

Yes, blogging may begin as free writing, but it can turn into quite a profitable venture for a writer.

How about you…have you ever leveraged your blogging to make more money or get more assignments as a writer? Let us know in the comments below!

Nina Amir is an Inspiration to Creation Coach and the author of How to Blog a Book, Write, Publish and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time (Writer’s Digest Books), 10 short self-published books and 5 blogs. She inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they Achieve More Inspired Results and motivates both writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products, careers as authors and to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose. Sign up for a free author, book or blog-to-book coaching session with Nina or receive her 5-Day Published Author Training Series by visiting www.copywrightcommunications.com or visiting www.ninaamir.com.

Nov 8, 2012 Advice, Blogging

18 Responses

  1. Erica says:

    Nina, thank you for this post! I love it. My baby blog is still my own fun, free sandbox. And I blog for a local non-profit (it’s a small, grassroots charity, so I’m working pro bono).

    This post is a great reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing and what my baby blog will be if I keep pluckin’ away. You’ve also given me some ideas on how to work on my blog now so that it’ll be more ready when it starts attracting more readers than my mom.

    Great information and ideas. Thank you!

    Erica

    • Nina Amir says:

      Hmmm. I replied to you yesterday, Erica, but it doesn’t seem to have posted. I’m sorry. A baby blog grows up into a toddler, then an adolescent and before you know it a teenager and an adult. They always need our care an attention to some extent…like most children, but they do eventually start supporting us. (Or we hope are children will care for us in some way!) You are on the right track.

  2. Nina Amir says:

    You are very welcom, Erica! Good luck with your blog, and consider blogging a book as your blog takes off (or before)!

  3. I’ve worked on several blogs now, some unpaid and some paid, and have used them to increase my chances of winning corporate assignments. Even if the blog content did not pertain to the corporate content at hand, it certainly helped “round” me out and make me a more interesting individual.

    • Nina Amir says:

      Working on corporate blogs can certainly bring in more corporate work, and those gigs tend to bring in more income for freelancers. So that’s a great strategy, Halina.

  4. Khaled Allen says:

    I just published my first ebook, after hard promotion for two months on Twitter and an e-mail list. The experience taught me a lot about how to make money from thin air, and it was all from donations. By writing consistently, I’ve become accepted as an expert on empowering psychology and health and fitness. So, everything in your article applies! :)

    • Nina Amir says:

      It’s amazing what a difference a book makes in people’s eyes, isn’t it? But the promotion of that book can be tough. I saw my pre-sales go up each time I sent out a blog post…so that tells you something about the impact of a blog on your book sales. And a blog tour like I’m doing now on well respected blogs (like this one) is a great way to increase your credibility in a niche as well.

  5. Nina, thank you for such a well-thought-out post. I’m going to point my students to this post in the future; I usually get a few, usually new writers, who are obsessed with a topic and I tell them to start a blog. They’re always confused because they think I’m telling them to write for free. Your post will clear it up for them. :)

    • Nina Amir says:

      Yes, well, there’s some confusion about that. Blogging is writing for free in one hand. On the other, it’s TOTALLY about establishing your authority on a topic by giving away free information. When people trust that you are the expert, it’s amazing what happens. My business increases tremendously after my book came out, but it continues to increase because of my blog. And the book was a result of my blogging–building my expert status via the blog. So tell them to come see me if they have questions!LOL

  6. […] Six Ways Bloggers Can Earn More From Their Writing […]

  7. Shiful Alam says:

    Thanks for the ideas. Actually, I’m trying to establish myself as a writer. That’s why I have chosen blogging as the platform. I hope I will earn some extra income in the near future.

    Your tips will help me find the great inspiration I’m searching for.

  8. Hi Nina,

    This post just encourages me to keep going with my blog no matter what.

    About a year after starting my blog, I scored a part time blogging gig. A few months later, I was scouted for a project related to my blog topic. I also got a freelance gig with a local magazine using my blog as evidence that I could write.

    Just a few days ago, someone told me I should start turning my blog into a book, so that’s where I’m going with it now.

    Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

  9. […] who need to build author platform (built-in readership for your book); platform helps sell books. Freelance journalists also benefit from platform, however; it helps them garner assignments with larger publications for more money. Authors also […]

  10. […] Six Ways Bloggers Can Earn More from Their Writing – The Renegade Writer […]

  11. I love this list! Blogging absolutely kick-started my online writing career – even though it wasn’t ever my intention to find full-time work as a writer.

    It can be frustrating to write your own content for free and not see much of a return on your efforts, but I think that if you’re open to different possibilities, it’s surprising how many directions this skill can take you.

    • Good point! I didn’t start earning good money from this blog until a few years ago…it probably took three solid years of writing twice a week, marketing, etc. to make it happen. And you’re write — you need to be open and think beyond paid ads.

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