Business Blogging: Get Profitable Gigs When You Create Them Yourself

After a few years in the wilderness, business blogging is back. Interested in getting decent-paying blog-writing gigs from companies?

Here are some B2B stats to inspire you. (B2B is business to business.)

You may wonder WHY companies are paying attention to business blogging once more.

Business blogging: as advertising costs increase, blogging provides value

Why do companies see value in business blogging in 2020?

One word: advertising. More specifically, rising advertising costs.

In Western economies local newspapers weakened and died, starting in the 1990s. Almost 30 years later, finding profitable offline promotional venues is a challenge. Online, Google, Facebook, and Amazon serve themselves first, their advertisers later.

YouTube’s ad revenue topped $15 billion in 2019:

Most of YouTube’s advertising revenue comes from brand advertising, while direct-response advertising is growing… Direct-response ads lead to sales, downloads and other immediate consumer actions.

Yes, advertising is expensive. My guess is that companies’ returns on investment for advertising are dropping, so business blogging isn’t the red-headed stepchild any longer.

A report from Inc.com, Why Everyone Is Adding Blog Content to Their Websites:

Not only do blogs help a consumer better connect with a brand via the sharing of information and helpful content, but they also help with SEO in a way that is costly to ignore: Tech Client found that websites that utilize blogs have a 434% chance of ranking higher in search engine results.

Many freelance writers gave up on offering business blogging services when advertising costs were cheap. Companies preferred to throw money into advertising; companies which understood blogging and valued it were scarce. In general “blog jobs” paid minimally; the hourly rate didn’t make sense for professional freelancers (in Western economies.)

If you’ve shuddered at blogging as a viable freelancing option, it may be time to revisit that.

Here’s a strategy which works to get great gigs: create the gigs yourself.

Want blogging gigs? Send mini-proposals (ideas)

Keep in mind: the best writing jobs are not advertised. Primarily because they don’t exist. You MAKE your own writing jobs by creating proposals. (Pitches.)

A proposal is essentially an offer to do something for money. It’s how you get freelance gigs which pay well. Moreover, you get to choose with whom you’d like to work.

While many writers know that they can make proposals to book publishing companies and companies which put their RFPs (Requests for Proposals) on websites like Upwork, most writers are unaware that you can make a proposal to any company you choose.

Here’s how it works. You get an idea; you research companies, then you send your mini-proposal to ONE company you select.

I encourage my freelance writing students to send mini-proposals to prospects. It shows you’re serious, confident, and that you’re paying attention.

A mini-proposal is a LOI (letter of introduction) offering ideas

Why a “mini” proposal? Because mini-proposals work.

Some tips for mini-proposals:

  • Use your LOI template as a foundation, but that’s all. Each mini-proposal is customized to the company to which you’re sending it;
  • Spend around half an hour on each one;
  • Keep it short — no longer than 200 words;
  • Pay attention to your subject line. I like to use “proposal” in the subject line. That may or may not work for you — if you use it, ensure that you have a website where clients can check on your bona fides;
  • Expect to send out several cold proposals before you get a company which bites: the ratio is around 6 to 1. On the other hand, if you’ve got warm prospects (clients for whom you’ve worked, or companies which know your name), the ratio of acceptances is around 3 to 1, or even 1 to 1.

Business blogging beginner: can you get good gigs when you’re starting out?

Short answer. Yes, if you use mini-proposals. The key to success is research — and work.

One of my beginner students landed a five-figure contract in her third month of freelancing. As I said to her when she initially baulked at the work involved in mini-proposals: if you want to do what other writers can’t, you’ve got to do what other writers won’t.

Happy blogging. 🙂

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