Get Paid to Blog: 5 Ways to Show Clients Your Value

Tips to Help You Get Paid to Blog. Makealivingwriting.comYou may know that a growing number of businesses hire freelancers who get paid to blog. And they get paid well. High-quality blog posts can pay $200 a post and up.

The question is: How do you get those better gigs? To get paid to blog (real money, that is), you need to show clients how the blog posts you write help bring in additional money.

A decade back, blogging was more of a ‘squishy’ soft-sell tactic than it is today. Now, companies increasingly understand how content marketing works. When it’s done right, blogging bring them more leads, opt-ins, and ultimately, sales. Which means they look to you for proof your posts will bring new business.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this challenge in Freelance Writers Den lately. So I thought my blog readers would probably like tips on this, too. In this post, I’ll give you concrete strategies for demonstrating the value of your paid blogging, even as a newbie.

Big tip: Don’t guarantee results to get paid to blog

Need to prove value as a paid blogger? It’s definitely a worry for freelance writers. For instance, here’s a question I recently got from a brand-new writer:

“I need info to back up pitches to business clients that I can ‘bring in more leads, increase awareness.’ Do business blogs tangibly work? And if so, how to ensure that? If I write great web content, will it attract customers?

“SEO best practices are always evolving, and my fear in launching this business is my writing won’t deliver on promises of increased sales. Or I’ll be asked for examples of ‘successes’ in this area.”

Business blogs definitely do work. Otherwise, businesses wouldn’t still be posting on them. If you want to get paid to blog, you will be asked for examples of your wins – and your job is to build those as fast as you can.

One other key thing to know in business blogging: Never guarantee results.

You get paid to blog for the effort you put into your writing, not on the contingency that the client get a particular result. Don’t fall into that trap.

Simply build your portfolio. Show your experience in driving traffic and getting visitors to take desired actions (social share, comment, opt-in for a free report, sign up for a course, etc.).

Here are five approaches that will help you quickly build a track record, show your value, and get paid to blog for big money (even if you’re a newbie):

1. Screenshots of social proof

Even before you have a single client, you might be guest-posting for free, or writing on your own blog. Anytime you have a popular post, take a screen shot of the share or comment count. A post that got hundreds of views, comments, tweets, or Facebook shares helps get prospects excited about what your writing could do for their business growth.

For instance, some of my early social-media wins were guest posts on Copyblogger.

They no longer show share counts with their social-share tool…but they do show number of comments. And comments are also a strong piece of evidence that you can write posts that make readers take action: They left a comment.

Get paid to blog: show social proof

 

If prospective clients ask if you know how to get readers engaged, that’ll do as proof.

If you don’t have a steady history of successful posts, a screenshot of one popular post can also be highly persuasive, especially on sites that show a view count:

Get paid to blog: Forbes view counts

My pro tip: Take a screenshot right away, any time you see good traffic or social stats on one of your posts.

When companies change sharing tools, counts often get reset back to zero. Or companies fold or reorganize their content, and the next thing you know, your big win has vanished. Preserve the evidence, and you’ll have social proof to help land a new client and get paid to blog.

2. Let your testimonials sell

It’s frustrating if your client won’t share stats with you, so you can quantify how your posts did. The next best thing is to harvest a testimonial from them, ideally one that mentions a specific win or two. Something along the lines of:

“Carol’s blog posts helped us double our monthly traffic and grew our list by 1,000 names.”

OR

“Carol’s post on the top 10 tools was our most popular this year.”

Of course, it would be better to have actual stats, and to be able to tie that directly to downloads, opt-ins, or sales figures on a specific campaign.

3. Get stats and take screenshots

Even if you have a paranoid client who doesn’t want to give you dashboard access where you can roam around and get tons of data, there are ways to get at least a bit.

If you can’t get access to all their stats, ask your client to give you one or two key facts.

For instance, ask:

“Which of the 10 posts I’ve done got the most traffic? Could you tell me what views were on that one?

“How did my post rank among all this month’s posts?”

“Can you tell me what the top three post headlines were that I’ve created, and their traffic?

“Do you see any trends in topics I’ve done that are doing well for us?”

You can spin this as “I’m just trying to improve and help you succeed here.”

A little data – or even a narrative answer about your success – that you can show new prospects is far better than no proof at all that your posts are effective.

One possible way to gather data: On many popular blogs, they offer you a home page for all your posts on the platform. That may have traffic stats. For instance, I’ve been able to get paid to blog by simply showing prospects the stats from my Forbes channel:

Get paid to blog: Total stats

Obviously, I’m not directly selling anything on this editorial channel. But driving 2.5 million visitors with just 165 posts still makes a strong case that I know how to get eyeballs on a post.

4. Propose trackable projects

When you’re new to business blogging, you’ll often have clients who don’t know much about conversion. They may not be withholding data from you – they may just not have any!

So be a genius and propose a post that has a valuable download in it, or a P.S. that links to an offer for a paid product or service.

The secret? Suggest they set up a unique page that is only linked from that post. That way, they can track clicks to that page and see how the post performed compared with other ways they promote the same offer, or with past promotions of that offer.

Be sure to circle back and ask them for data after the campaign, so you can document the sales or opt-ins you got.

5. Pitch relationship building

If you don’t have any sales victories or impressive shares or traffic stats to report, consider a different angle. Instead, talk about how your post ideas could help grow their network of influencers, or build rapport with readers by delivering high value.

If you’ve ever gotten a big influencer to share your post or otherwise mention you in a positive way in a social comment, screenshot that! (And if you haven’t, work on it by targeting post ideas they’d love directly to them.)

Here are a couple of those that I’ve held onto, to show around as far as driving traffic on this-here blog:

Get paid to blog: Darren Rowse RTs me

Get paid to blog: Jon Morrow compliment

If the many marketer emails I get each week asking me to share their company’s posts are any indication, influencer marketing is of huge interest right now. Demonstrate that you’ve had well-known names share your post or mention you, and you’ve shown you know how to build buzz for a blog. And that buzz leads to sales.

Commonly, some posts in a content marketing campaign simply build rapport with readers and deliver value. Those purely useful posts help future salesy posts be more successful. You can always talk up how valuable content builds authority with their audience.

Can’t get traffic? Get help

One final tip: If you’re struggling to get traffic on your paid blog posts, ask for help from the client. Learn what has done well for them in the past, and it may open the doors to success for you.

When I started out with that Forbes channel I showed above, my posts were mostly being ignored. I asked if my editors could help me succeed with their audience.

That request got me a one-on-one coaching session from a top online editor. After I got those tips, I wrote different types of posts, based on what was proven to work for their audience – and my traffic took off.

How do you show value to blogging clients? Let’s discuss on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Get paid to blog: Get a free e-book (100+ Freelance Writing Questions Answered by Carol Tice) and free updates! Sign me up!

The post Get Paid to Blog: 5 Ways to Show Clients Your Value appeared first on Make A Living Writing.

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Return of the comet: 96P spotted by ESA, NASA satellites

Sun-gazing missions SOHO and STEREO watched the return of comet 96P/Machholz when it entered their fields of view between Oct. 25-30. It is extremely rare for comets to be seen simultaneously from two different locations in space, and these are the most comprehensive parallel observations ever taken of this comet.

To Impact Globally, Think Locally

As I leave CityLab Paris, I take with me a week full of new ideas. The conference, hosted by The Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, brought together mayors, urban experts and business leaders from around the world. My time there revealed the importance of our partnerships, and our ability to collaboratively drive solutions to combat cities’ biggest challenges.

I saw a few unifying themes that can add to The Nature Conservancy’s ongoing work in the cities space:

Mayors agree that they can and will make a difference when it comes to climate action. They argue that most of the decisions around transportation and energy are either made or implemented at the local level.

Cities work at the right scale: the human scale. I heard, more than once, an emphasis on the idea that cities are ideally suited to communicate practically to folks about complicated issues like climate. Mayors this week were quick to point out that if we are asking citizens for support for these initiatives they need to make sense. TNC has experience in this arena with our ballot initiatives; framing the solutions so people can get behind them with a vote or other form of support is essential. And it was easy to see how people can see themselves in these calls to action:

  • Chicago commits to public buildings using 100 percent renewable energy.
  • Paris is working towards a post-car city; diesel cars will be banned from city streets by 2025.
  • LA will have zero emission buses by 2030.
  • Vancouver wants to be the greenest city by 2020.
  • Barcelona signed onto a Healthy Streets Declaration that emphasizes walking, cycling and public life in streets.
  • Tokyo has a program to become a zero-emission city.

Empower Everyone. These Mayors see that solving climate change is equivalent to making cities more affordable, more livable and more inclusive. As there should be, there was a lot of discussion about the disproportionate effects that climate change has on underserved and minority populations, and mayors were interested in hearing how TNC is working in this space. Our Whole Measures for Urban Conservation framework, developed in partnership with the Center for Whole Communities, is an example of how we can think about achieving conservation and equity in our solutions.

I think, at the end of this energizing, inspiring week in Paris, I left knowing that this is how we will succeed on a global scale: framing solutions collaboratively in a way that inspires people to take action city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, family by family, person by person we’ll get there.

Laura Huffman is the state director for Texas and founding director for the North American Cities Program for The Nature Conservancy.

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to Outlining Success

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to Outlining SuccessForget turkeys and football. NaNoWriMo-or National Novel Writing Month-has turned November into da Writing Month. But as so many authors have learned over the years, the best way to be successful in November is to start preparing for NaNoWriMo in October (aka Preptober).

If you’re going to have a decent shot at writing 50kgood words in 30 days, you’ll want to have some solid preparation-aka outlining-under your belt before you start.

In past years, I’ve written extensively about how to do this, so I won’t risk repeating myself this year, but rather just direct you to my series on outlining for NaNo, as well as my published resources, such as my books and my brand-new Outlining Your Novel Workbook software, which is perfect for getting all your thoughts lined out before the big novel-writing rush begins.

Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland

Outlining Your Novel Workbook

Structuring Your Novel IPPY Award 165

Structuring Your Novel Workbook

Creating Character Arcs

Creating Character Arcs Workbook 165

How to Outline for NaNoWriMo (Complete Series)

Part 1: Should You Outline Your Novel?

Should you outline your novel before the first draft? And, if you do, how much is the right amount for you? Get ready to write your best novel with this new series!

Part 2: Start Your Outline With These 4 Questions

Where do you start your outline? Right here! Use these these four questions to discover the big-picture skeleton of your story’s plot.

Part 3:3 Steps to Find the Heart of Your Story

Can you outline your story’s theme? If you start by asking yourself these three questions, you will be able to find the heart of your story every time.

Part 4:How to Find and Fill All Your Plot Holes

When you approach plot holes purposefully during your outline, filling them in can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire writing process.

Part 5: How to Write Backstory That Matters

Backstory influences plot events, character motives, and thematic subtext. Here are the only 4 questions you need to find your best backstory.

Part 6: 3 Tips for Weaving Together Your Story’s Pieces

It’s impossible to figure out how to outline any one aspect of your story in isolation. Instead, learn 3 ways to bob and weave from one to the next.

Part 7: How to Structure Your Story’s Outline

Once you’ve discovered a general idea of your plot, you can use these three steps to figure out how to structure your story’s outline.

Part 8: Making the Most of Character Interviews

Character interviews increase both the ease of writing a new character and his success in driving your plot. Grab my master list of interview questions!

Part 9: How to Write a Scene Outline You Can Use

Here are 6 tricks to making the most of the final outlining step. You’ve been waiting for it a long time, and here it is: how to write a scene outline!

Part 10:How to Outline a Series of Bestselling Books

Figuring out how to outline a series may explode your preconceptions about the process and teach you so much more about outlining and storycraft in general.

Bonus:6 Tasks You’ll Love Yourself for Checking Off Your NaNo Pre-Writing List

Don’t head into November without a plan. Arm yourself with this NaNo Pre-Writing List and you’ll already be more than halfway to NaNoWriMo victory!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! Will you be preparing for NaNoWriMo this year? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments!

The post Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Your Guide to Outlining Success appeared first on Helping Writers Become Authors.