Hi friends! Jorden here, and this week. we’ve got an exciting guest post for you from Kaleena Stroud! In this post, she’s gonna break down exactly how she landed a $350 blog post writing gig in just 8 hours. Lots of great tips here if you want to get paid to write blog posts… so get ready to learn! Before you leave, be sure to take my free class on how to make your first $1,000 freelance writing if you’re just starting out and want a step-by-step guide to getting high-paying clients with no experience. Over to you, Kaleena. 🙂
I landed my highest-paying article yet the other day.
And for a topic I am enthusiastic about.
At first I was excited.
My pitch was good enough to catch their eye AND they liked my outline enough to let me go ahead with it.
Then came the dread.
Wait… now I need to actually WRITE the 2,500-word article.
And cite references.
And other lengthy, time-consuming things I haven’t done since college.
I had worked my way up from earning peanuts for fluffy blog pieces to triple-digit dollar-earning articles since becoming a full-time freelancer, but this was next level pressure.
But things turned out alright in the end.
I got paid $350 to write a blog post – all because I followed the 5 steps you’re about to learn in this blog post!
Keep reading to discover the exact process I followed.
And then, use the tips to land your next big writing gig!
How to Land and Write a $350 Blog Post in 8 Hours
1. Pick a niche and know your shit.
I am a copywriter for ecommerce businesses in the health, wellness, and fitness industry.
So before pitching, I made sure to have a writer’s website with my niche clearly listed there and relative examples to show for it.
Here’s the first thing you see on my website.
Having a niche-optimized site set me up not only as a professional who’d be lovely to work with – but also as an expert in the field of eCommerce marketing.
…Which is a BIG reason why I get paid top dollar to write about selling eCommerce products on Instagram (the blog post I got paid $350 to write).
Now, I should mention that I’m by no means an expert with a degree in sales & marketing.
The good news is:
ANYONE can pick a niche and get good at it through experience.
That’s what I have done.
So when I was tasked with writing 2,500 words about Instagram for eCommerce, a topic that perfectly aligned with my niche, I knew I could do it.
You simply cannot write a $350 post in a day if you do not have a niche that you are marketing clearly on your freelance writer website and elsewhere.
You just can’t.
You need to know your shit and market yourself accordingly, and there’s no faking it at this stage.
Once you know your shit in the niche you’ve chosen, writing about the topic and standing out as a professional will come naturally.
**EDITOR’S NOTE: A big part of knowing your shit is optimizing blog posts for SEO! Click here to get my FREE SEO cheat sheet based on what I’ve done to rank at the TOP of GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS over and over. 🙂 **
2. Emulate the voice of the company in your pitch.
Once you’ve got your niche, it’s time to pitch!
To help you understand how to approach this, let’s talk about an example from the dating world.
Who would you rather go on a date with:
The guy who walks up to you out of the blue and says:
“Hey baby, can I buy you a drink?”
Or the guy who’s caught your eye across the room, makes his way over, and says:
“Hi there, I couldn’t help but notice you reading Mary Shelley. You know, I’m more of an Ann Radcliffe fan myself. What are you drinking? Let me get the next round for us.”
The first guy? We know something’s in it for him and he comes off as sleazy.
The second guy makes my gothic genre-loving heart swoon (a girl can dream).
Yes, he is still asking for something, but he’s taken the time to speak your language.
That’s what your potential client is looking for too.
They want you to speak their language – that way, they know they won’t need to spend hours editing your article to match their voice.
They need to know you can deliver.
So, how can you make them confident in your skills?
You need to know your client and emulate their writing tone.
In my case, I had been following the company I pitched to for months.
I was a huge fan of their content, so nailing their voice was easy.
For example, I know that the company loves using GIFs in articles and in emails, so I used a GIF in my pitch.
The proof is in the pudding:
Want even more pitch inspiration?
Follow this step-by-step guide on how to pitch a blog post idea and actually land the gig.
3. Follow their guidelines to a T.
Before you hit “send” on your pitch, you need to read the guidelines one last time and make sure you’ve followed them completely.
The site’s guidelines will typically include where to send your pitch (such as a submission form or someone’s email address), any topics they are looking for, and a deadline to send it by.
Then, it will usually have a specific headline to use in the email you send.
…THIS IS A TEST.
As someone who has hired freelance writers before, specifying a headline disqualifies any writer who didn’t read the requirements and can’t follow simple directions… no matter how good the pitch may be.
There may be more guidelines to follow even after your pitch has been “accepted.”
Check out the response I got when my pitch for the $350 blog post was accepted:
When you’re getting paid the big bucks, requirements like these should come as no surprise.
After all, these are not your run-of-the-mill, $50 fluff posts that so many people still believe are good enough.
We’re talking about a $350 blog post!
It’s not just words anymore.
it’s marketing perspective,
it’s actionable advice for a targeted audience.
…That costs dollar bills, y’all.
4. Research, research, research FIRST.
Once your pitch is accepted, it’s time to start researching.
I researched for 4 HOURS before I began writing.
I read around, grabbed, and highlighted parts of insightful articles that I thought could be interesting for the audience I was writing for.
My final article ended up including 12 data points.
…That’s not including the more than a dozen screenshots of Instagram profiles I used, which helped further illustrate my points.
Here’s a snippet that shows how I included my data:
Grab data points before you even begin to write in that Google doc of yours.
Blog posts of this caliber often require 10+ data points to be considered “data-driven.”
5. String what you have together and do ad-hoc research.
After – and only after – you have researched and found content you need, can you begin to form a beginning, middle, and end to your soon-to-be epic blog post.
It took me about 3 hours to put it all together, form the ideas I loved into my own words, and add a captivating introduction and conclusion.
During this stage, you may find that some claim you’ve made needs to be backed up and you don’t have anything in your previous research to prove your point.
Or, perhaps you need a great photo to drive the message home.
Do ad-hoc research.
Simply go back to your good friend Google, find exactly what you’re looking for from a reputable source, and voila!
Add another hour to sweep through it all to add voice, proofread, and maybe a GIF or two (yay!).
That’s a finished article within a day, folks.
I still had to make some changes after I sent this piece to the editors.
…And let’s just say it was a different experience from the $50 pieces I used to write for editors who didn’t know a lick more than I do about their audience.
But I guess clients paying top dollar have every right to be picky.
Here’s some of the feedback I received:
Luckily, those were great notes from the editor!
So I made the changes.
I got paid $350.
And we lived happily ever after.
To recap, the steps you need to follow are:
- Pick a niche and know your shit. Have a niche-optimized writer website.
- Read a lot of content from the business you’re pitching. That way, when you pitch them, you can emulate their voice and know what their audience likes!
- Follow the pitch and any subsequent guidelines perfectly so you don’t piss off the editor.
- Research BEFORE you begin to write + grab lots of useful data you can use.
- Write like a boss and use ad-hoc research to back up any new claims you’ve made.
If this sounds like something you can tackle – great!
You’re officially ready to stand out from the crowd, land high paying clients, and deliver great content.
Want more actionable steps on how to stand out from the crowd and get hired – even as a total beginner?
Take this free class on how to make your first $1,000 freelance writing – which is the class I used to land my very first quality client!
Author bio: I’m Kaleena. I write copy with personality for eCommerce businesses in the health and wellness industry. I believe in SPF 50 and the power of good, old fashioned journals. You can work with me by going here: www.kaleenastroud.com.