I’ve been running a blog writing business since about 2013 and have worked out how to make money from blogging – handsomely.
I enjoy it, too, but I’ve taken to the digital airwaves today to challenge an often-held belief that I think stops many people from starting up their own blogging business.
This advice is for anyone who wants to get paid for writing blogs on behalf of businesses. The market is huge for this; there are so many business owners out there who understand the value blogging plays in marketing but simply don’t have the time to do it themselves.
So, what might be preventing a hobbyist blogger from turning their passion into a business?
When I first started blogging for other businesses, I had one overriding fear.
I’m going to have to imitate these businesses and they’re all going to have different styles, personas and tones. How am I going to, a) learn the idiosyncrasies of each one, and, b) switch between those styles each and every day?
This fear was eventually confirmed. The first few jobs I received came with ‘strict brand guidelines’, examples of previously written blogs, and all manner of dos and don’ts.
So, I played ball and read some of the examples. And you know what? They felt natural – familiar, even.
The reason? I’m a firm believer that there’s only one blogging style. It’s the one you’re reading now, and the one you’ll probably read as you make your way through the internet today.
Let me explain
After seven years of blogging for other businesses, I can confirm that I rarely, if ever, change the style. This isn’t out of blind ignorance or by way of simply quelling those initial fears I had – it’s simply because I haven’t felt the need to.
Every time I’m given a new client to work with, I have a quick read of the blogs that have come before and simply nod to myself.
Yes, that makes sense; it’s a standard, no-nonsense, conversation style article. That’s what I do. It’s what every good blogger does.
Sure, there are some minor exceptions where I get to be a little more irreverent or have to tighten up the language somewhat (for instance, for industries where there’s a large, traditional following who won’t engage as well with a conversational style).
But, on the whole, those instances really are few and far between. When I write for another business, I write as I would for any other business, because what matters is the story. Whether it’s a thought leadership piece or blog that’s intrinsically linked to a product, I write like I’m talking to just one person in the same room. And it works.
To date, no one has questioned my blogging style. I receive feedback for revisions, of course, but, on the whole, I’ve never had anyone come back and say:
Erm… this doesn’t follow our brand guidelines. Please re-write.
That’s because they simply don’t care. If the piece is well written and engaging, they’re happy. And, let’s be honest, how many brand guidelines are written once and filed forever?
That initial fear I had of blogging for other businesses existed because I didn’t want to make the leap into blogging for money only to discover that I hated it, or failed to deliver. As it turns out, that fear was totally unfounded. The reality is that, if you can write, you can publish blogs for companies in pretty much any industry.
If you’re feeling nervous about getting into this game, I have two pieces of advice:
- Don’t be led by the get-rich-quick schemes that are related to blogging as a living – they’ll guide you down an ultimately depressing path – instead, start writing for other businesses, because that is far more profitable and achievable.
- Don’t be put off by brand guidelines, they’re largely irrelevant.
Go forth and write! Do what you do best – there’s value in those words for businesses of all shapes and sizes, I promise.