When I first started freelance blog writing online (after getting FIRED from my shitty 9-to-5), I wondered:
“What are the writers getting paid $200-$400+ per blog post doing that I’m not?”
This thought wasn’t unprompted.
It happened because I got some pretty shitty client feedback from a client I was REALLY excited to work with.
It was my first blog post writing project in a new niche I was DYING to work in. I excitedly submitted my first piece, and his reply (weeks later) was:
All that work, for NOTHING.
I didn’t know what to do next.
See, I had no college degree, virtually no useful experience, and no entrepreneurs in my family.
So it was just me and good ol’ Google.
But I was COMMITTED to succeeding at freelance blog writing, so I worked to piece together what I was doing wrong.
It took some time to figure out the mistakes I was making.
But once I did (and fixed those mistakes), my income increased drastically.
I made $5,000 per month by MONTH FOUR of running my freelance blogging business full-time!
It happened as quickly as I was willing to learn and improve (pretty fast!).
Before I knew it, instead of getting shitty feedback from clients (and being paid not nearly enough), I was suddenly:
- Getting paid $200-$400+ per blog post
- Getting my blog posts ranked on page one of Google Search
- Getting awesome client feedback and testimonials
- Winning awards for my own blog
- Getting referrals and going on to make $8,000 in a single month
…That is a BIG difference from undercharging and floundering I was doing before I corrected my mistakes!
If you want those same results (instead of worrying about whether or not you writing is good enough and being too scared to even charge $50+ for a blog post), keep reading.
Because today, we’re going to talk about some of the WORST freelance blog writing mistakes keeping your broke and stopping you from getting your dream clients.
These are MAJOR mistakes the the best, highest paid freelance blog writers NEVER make.
Let’s get started with one of the most important of all.
7 Rookie Freelance Blog Writing Mistakes Getting You Rejected and Scaring Off High-Paying Clients
Mistake #1: Not knowing your client’s target reader/customer.
If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you know I preach the fuck out of the importance of having a niche.
A lot of that has to do with YOUR marketing. It’s approximately 1,353,423x easier to market yourself and land high-paying clients when you’re a specialist and not a generalist.
But another reason you need a niche?
Your niche allows you to get better at the *ONE* thing you specialize in over time.
And that means that, over time, you’ll get more client testimonials and better results for your clients.
Which will snowball and allow your business to grow even more.
(Compare that to a niche-less writer, who not only struggles to land high-paying clients, but also has to re-learn a new target audience and client type EVERY time they take on a new project. Not much room for consistent improvement there.)
Part of niching down is knowing your target client.
And when you know your target client, you know THEIR target reader/customer, which allows you to write blog posts in a results-driven way.
Let’s talk about an example.
Say you’re a finance writer, and you specialize in freelance blog writing for finance software companies.
Imagine you’re writing for a company like Freshbooks (my favorite invoicing software for freelancers).
Knowing that their target customer is freelancers, you would NOT say things like this when you write:
“Make invoicing easier for your finance department!”
…Because this would only make sense for a large business with a finance department. Not a freelancer.
So instead, you WOULD say things like:
“Quickly and easily create professional invoices that knock the socks off your clients so you can spend more time doing creative work!”
See how that works?
When you understand your CLIENT’S target customer, you can address that exact customer’s needs, wants, and pain points in your blog posts.
And that, my friend, will lead to drastically better blog post results.
Mistake #2: Not understanding how your client makes money with blog posts.
I’ve said this a million times before, but I’m going to say it again here because it’s one of the MOST important things you need to know as a freelance blog post writer:
High-paying clients are NOT paying for words on a page. They’re paying for the business results of those words.
So if you want to be paid well?
You MUST know how your client’s blog posts – directly or indirectly – help them make revenue and grow their business.
Are they using some blog posts to get more brand awareness via SEO?
Are they some using blog posts to grow their email list so they can launch a product to that list of people later on?
Are they using some blog posts to directly sell a low-priced software product?
You have to figure this out.
And write accordingly.
Not sure where to start with this?
My blog post writing course for freelance writers, Fuck Yeah Freelance Blogging, walks you through exactly how you can write AMAZING BLOG POSTS that get results for your target clients.
…That way, you an CONFIDENTLY CHARGE $200-$400 per post!
(Instead of nervously sending a quote for a measly $40 for 4 hours of work.)
It’ll also teach you about SEO, topic selection, blog post writing, headline creation, and a LOT more.
Mistake #3: Writing shitty headlines that no one will click.
I shit you not – your blog post headline can mean the difference between a VIRAL blog post and a blog post that completely FLOPS.
I would know because I’ve had a blog post go viral.
(And multiple other posts get thousands of shares online!)
The viral blog post is called “How I Built a $5,000 Freelance Writing Business in 4 Months.”
What if I had just called it:
- “My Freelance Writing Journey”
- “How I Got Started Freelance Writing”
- “How I Grew My Freelance Writing Business?”
…Not NEARLY as interesting or clickable, right?
Adding numbers and timelines to a blog post headline is a quick and easy way to make it FAR more enticing for people to click.
Of course, numbers and timelines don’t apply to every single topic, so you need to know lots of other ways to create crazy clickable headlines to build a super profile freelance blog writing business.
Seriously – headlines are KEY.
And the good news is that most freelance bloggers don’t know how to write a DAMN good one.
So if you do?
You’ll be well on your way to charging the big bucks.
Mistake #4: Choosing lame-ass topics readers don’t care about.
Of course, before you can write a bangin’ headline, you need to pick an irresistible blog post topic. This a a KEY freelance blog writing step.
This goes ALLLLLL the way back to knowing your client’s target customer.
When you know your client’s target customer, you can research to figure out that person’s biggest pain points and questions in relation to your client’s business/product, and choose topics accordingly.
For example, if you write for an invoicing software company that targets freelancers, you need to tailor your blog post topics to FREELANCERS specifically – not just general invoicing and finance tips.
In Fuck Yeah Freelance Blogging, you’re going to learn LOADS of amazing (and free) ways to find the *best* blog post topics…
Topics that will immediately signal to your clients that you know your shit and have them ready to pay you the big bucks.
Mistake #5: Writing like a college student or a novelist.
Classic rookie mistake here.
(And one I personally have made, as have most writers since freelance blog post writing means unlearning everything we learned in school!)
Let me be clear here:
When you’re writing a blog post, you should be writing at a middle school reading level.
Now, I know that sentence is probably sending some of you into a panic, and some of you are thinking, “No, that can’t be right.”
But it IS right.
And the more you fight it, the more you’ll struggle to get results with your blog posts and land high-paying clients.
The reason you need to write at such a low reading level?
Blog posts don’t exist for you to show off your extensive vocabulary and use the most flowery and artistic language possible.
Blog posts exist to help the reader learn what they need to learn in the quickest and easiest way possible.
And if you’re writing at a post-grad level every damn day, readers are going to take ONE LOOK at your blog post and LEAVE the site.
…Which is obviously not good for you or your clients.
So save the self-indulgent artistic expression for your personal writing.
And save the technical, complex lingo for your scientific essays.
(Pro Tip: Use Hemingway App to check the reading level of your writing!)
So far, the body of this blog post you’re reading right now is showing a 7th grade reading level. PERFECT!
Mistake #6: Failing to structure the blog post correctly.
One of the earliest (and most painful) pieces of client feedback I ever received said that my blog post structure was off.
But the client was right.
I was still SUPER early in my career, and really didn’t understand the kind of structure that makes a blog post amazing.
When you write a blog post, you need to structure and format it in a way that keeps the reader reading.
Otherwise, they’ll leave your client’s blog ASAP. Which means no new customer and no business results for your clients.
Now, I don’t buy into the whole “People don’t read – they skim!” thing completely.
In my years of experience as a successful blogger (both freelance and here on my own blog), I’ve found that people SKIM to decide whether or not they should read the whole thing.
So, they ARE willing to read an entire piece if they immediately get a sense that it’s going to give them the answers they want in a quick and simple way.
This means you can’t be throwin’ long-ass walls of text up on your client’s blog.
You need to use white space, lists, headers, etc. to break up your text and give the reader a sense of your blog post quality and content FAST.
Take a look at the blog post you’re reading right now, and you’ll see how I’ve done it.
Mistake #7: Not writing blog posts from a marketing perspective.
This is really the “big picture” mistake MOST freelance bloggers make that keeps them broke and working with asshole “clients.”
They write “words.”
…When they SHOULD be creating results-driven content from a marketing perspective.
What do I mean by that?
Well, I mean you MUST have a deep understanding of stuff like:
- How to create headlines that drive clicks and traffic like crazy
- How to become an endless source of the BEST blog post topics for your client’s target customer
- How to optimize your client blog posts for SEO
- How to get the desired result for your client with blog posts
- How to write the BEST content in your client’s industry
^ These are the things that set apart a pennies-per-word Upwork writer and a writer who charges $200-$400 per blog post.
So, tell me:
- Do you nervously send client quotes for $50 or less per blog post, horrified that your client will say you’re too expensive?
- Do you wonder what the HECK kinds of clients really pay $200-$400+ for blog posts?
- Are you unsure of what a $200-$400 actually looks like and what it should include?
If you’re over there like, “YES, I NEED HELP AND WANT TO GET PAID $200-$400 PER BLOG POST!”
…Then I have something for you:
Blog posts that get business RESULTS for clients.
You’ll also learn how to write like a marketer, what it takes to write a viral blog post, and allllllll about how to work efficiently as a freelance blogger.
(Including my EXACT blog post writing process I use to write fast and cover topics that require lots of research!)
See you inside the course!! 🙂