How Bloggers Can Benefit From Thinking Like Freelancers
Over the last five years I’ve held the titles of both freelancer and blogger. My freelance business has always been my bread and butter and when I initially started blogging back in 2014, I only thought of it as a way to express myself creatively and connect with new people; not as an opportunity to expand and even create a new business. That was my biggest mistake.
Knowing what I do now I can tell you that blogging is so much like freelancing. You have clients and deadlines and services and expectations… The list goes on and on. Here are five reasons bloggers can benefit from thinking like freelancers.
Your Blog Is A Business
If you’re one of those people who says that they only blog “for fun,” two things: One, I don’t believe you. Two, do you not like making money? Your blog is a business that provides a service to your readers. Whether you blog is about fashion finds, your travels or life as a new mom - the content you produce and share is a product with the capability of generating income. The sooner you realize the nuts and bolts of your blogging business, the better you’ll be able to service your readers and potential brand partners.
You Are Providing A Service
This echos a bit from the first reason but it’s really important to think of your blog as providing a service. What do your readers expect from you and what can you provide to keep them coming back for more? For my freelance business, it’s the quality of work I provide and ease of collaboration that keep my clients returning. So I take that sentiment to heart with my blogging business, too. Determine the service you’re providing, how it helps your audience and how you can continue to improve and expand what you provide others.
Brands Are Your Clients
If your audience are your customers, then consider brands your clients. Each brand collaboration is a new project opportunity to expand your client list and increase credibility of your work and value. I’ve had the privilege of working with brands on blogging campaigns in the past and it’s so much like working with my freelance clients. Here are some basic steps to follow when discussing a potential brand collaboration:
Determine their goals for collaborating and why they are interested in specifically working with you
Clearly outline expectations for deliverables, creative direction, deadlines, revisions and budget
Agree to terms of payment and process for invoicing
While it is exciting to be approached by a brand for collaboration, don’t let it intimidate you from treating it like any other business conversation. It’s better to be upfront with deliverables from both parties than being surprised by expectations or deadlines after you’ve agreed to working together. And yes, it’s OK to asked to be paid! Remember, you’re providing a service and they reached out to you because they saw value in collaborating.
Your Time = $$$
Time is money, right? So why should your time be devalued just because you’re a blogger? Short answer: It shouldn’t. Any freelancer will tell you that determining rates is no easy task and bloggers are no exception. A few things to take into consideration when determining your rates:
How long will it take me to accomplish these deliverables?
Do I need to hire a photographer, videographer, graphic designer, etc. to complete this request?
What is the reach of my audience and is this content they are interested in engaging with?
How many platforms do I need to create content for this collaboration?
Once you’ve taken these factors into effect, don’t be afraid to express the amount you need to not only complete the task but also gain value from the collaboration. Another way to go about negotiations is to ask what budget the brand has for the partnership and then determine from there what you can provide.
Prove Your Work To Get More Work
The key to freelance success is following through; and blogging is no different. In order to grow and be successful, it’s important to show proof of work and the value it provides. Anytime you work on a collaboration, follow through with the deliverables you promised and then some. Highlight an inspiring comment from a reader on the activation, share any analytics you think could be of value, provide feedback where you see they can improve. These small additions not only add value to you as a business, but will help you develop a relationship with the brand that leads to future collaborations and potential new partnerships.