You can write, people like your style and enjoy your work. But you can’t make enough money from advertising to pay your bills. What can you do? Have you considered blogging for hire?
“Professional Blogging” does not always have to mean selling advertising space or joining a blog network. Corporate marketing departments are slowly getting the idea that blogging could be a good thing for business and are looking into setting up blogs. While some begin with every intention of maintaining their blog using internal resource, as many realise that this is not realistic. That is where you could step in.
There are a few options, you can freelance your writing to companies or even “Ghost Blog“. Ghost Blogging involves writing for a company as if you are part of the company. You “become” a member of the staff, in some cases pretending to be the CEO or some other high powered executive. In other cases you might be nameless, write under your own name or take on a persona of someone in HR or PR. Personally, as a consumer and as a blogger, I prefer the straight and honest approach of writing as yourself.
You could say that Scoble is not far from this scenario. Scoble didn’t always work for Microsoft. While many Microsofties do blog, you could say Scoble was hired to provide a blog-voice for the company. OK, the post at Microsoft is taken but there might well be companies that you could apply your blogging skills for.
Another scenario is writing about a company on behalf of that company in your own blog. This is not so much an advertorial, more a transparent and upfront relationship like a spokesperson. You could say Hugh Macleod fits into this category with his pimping wine and bespoke suits. It is clear what the relationship is between him and the companies he represents and the companies receive a lot of attention they would not have without his work on their behalf.
The best part of all this is while it pays well, you could earn hundreds or thousands depending on the niche and the amount of work you do, but also it doesn’t have to take all your time. There is an opportunity to blog for income and then use your other free time to blog your own projects if you wish. It’s a good job to have too, compared to other ways of making a living. Blogging for a company can have many of the same benefits as blogging for yourself, no geographic ties, no need to 9-5 in a office, no commute, etc.
As well as being able to write well, you need to be able to connect with the companies audience and provide useful, interesting information. All your skills in research will be required and also you need to be able to talk the talk fluently. While it is probably best for you to already be an expert in the niche depending on your learning skills and the amount of support you get from the company in terms of facts and news you might be able to blog without any prior knowledge.
So how do you get these gigs? The obvious route is to pitch yourself to likely companies directly. Another route might be to find out the marketing agency of a company you are interested in and talk to them. Failing that more companies are now advertising on job boards and putting out tenders in freelance writing sites.
I think depending on the niche and the time commitment I would be happy doing this. Could you see yourself blogging for hire?