Is Upwork Legit and Can You Actually Make Money Here

Is Upwork Legit and Can You Actually Make Money Here

There have been lots of controversies lately about Upwork, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear anyone ask this question – is Upwork legit or is Upwork safe? 

As a college student, life can prove hard at times, and you can’t entirely rely on your parents; you need to step up and get something useful to do; something that will take care of your bills. 

And freelancing sites like Upwork or Fiverr are some of the platforms every college student or someone wishing to quit their job will look at. 

Sadly, there is a lot of confusion regarding Upwork, and so it’s quite hard to know if Upwork is legit or safe. So I stepped up to answer this question in this detailed post. 

Now, in this post, I’ll explain how I went from a broke college student to a top-rated Upwork freelance SEO writer. Let’s cut to the chase. 

What Is Upwork

If you are entirely new in the world of freelancing, you’d be probably asking yourself – what is Upwork. Well, Upwork is a freelancing platform that offers a ton of opportunities for freelancers like YOU. 

All you need to do is identify your skills, sign up for Upwork and start offering your skill services. Now, it is essential to note that Upwork is almost similar to Fiverr and that you’ll be offering your services remotely. 

As such, you will need to have a functioning laptop or computer to help you connect with freelance clients all over the world and even get your projects over the line. And in case you don’t have an idea of what services you can offer on Upwork, below are a few suggestions: 

  • Freelance writing services
  • Data entry services
  • Data mining
  • Video editing
  • Transcription/ transcribing
  • Translation
  • Consultation 
  • Machine learning
  • And more. 

Is Upwork Legit – Frequently Asked Questions

Apart from this question – is Upwork legit or is Upwork safe, people also ask some other questions, and it would help if we also cover them. 

1. Can you actually make money on Upwork?

Now, this is one of the million-dollar questions that aspiring freelancers ask quite often, and it’s not bad because nobody wants to spend time on something that won’t bring a positive ROI in the long run. 

And the truth is that the majority of freelancers are earning big on Upwork. And while you will go through a lot of hassles from the start, Upwork can be a real goldmine if you keep on grinding and learning new tricks. 

To prove to you that Upwork is a goldmine, check out the screenshots below of freelancers from different job categories crushing it on Upwork. 

2. How much can I earn from Upwork?

How much you can earn on Upwork depends on your charge per project or your Upwork hourly rate. Now, you probably are asking what you should charge to make more on Upwork. 

But the truth is that nobody can ever tell you what to charge. Freelancer rates will vary depending on many factors such as the kind of project, the industry you are working in, the location, years of experience, among others. 

So, in my opinion, I suggest that you always charge and set your Upwork hourly rate considering in mind the above factors. Also, you can decide to charge, depending on what you think is worth your time. 

Getting Started on Upwork – How I Got Started on Upwork 

If you have been to college, you probably know the life there – OMG, it’s quite hard, and there are lots of things you may need and to rely entirely on your parents for support is the worst idea. 

When I joined campus in 2016, I was focused on my academics and pushing it hard to get the best grades in a procurement class of over 200 students. 

I was active in class, active in group discussions, and I could spend my entire time with friends discussing academic issues. 

In my opinion, I thought life was all about books until it dawned on me. I needed to change my lifestyle and lead a better life. 

So I did a quick Google search to identify if there’s anything I could offer remotely and earn a living while still on campus. 

My experience before setting my foot on Upwork

I don’t want to narrate to you the whole story. Trust me; it will be quite boring to learn how I failed on Upwork several times. 

To be precise, I have created more than five Upwork accounts, which have been suspended or have gone completely dormant due to inactivity. 

At the time of writing this, I only have one standing account that is approximately six months old. 

Before I decided to join Upwork again, I was working with multiple agencies across the world in the United States and Australia. 

And my experience with digital marketing agencies is wanting. These people recruit many freelancers, then end up going bankrupt. 

So after a month or two, issues crop in, and you fall out. You are shown the door and forced to look for a new gig. 

Almost getting scammed by the so-called business coaches

In October 2019, I was left with not even a single client; no jobs and no monthly invoices to send to clients. I was desperate for jobs, and I scheduled numerous calls with the so-called business coaches to help me figure out how I could go back to my earning days. 

And it is from this experience that I realized most coaches that exist today are total crap. I’m down financially, and someone in the name of a coach wants me to pay $500/ hour for a call, seriously? 

And if you take a careful look at this coach, you will realize that they don’t even lead a good life themselves. They are just lurking around on Facebook groups waiting to scam dummies with their crappy services. To hell with them. 

Long story cut short – I joined Upwork again; this time more focused than I ever was on Upwork. 

I signed up for Upwork and started bidding jobs. And because consistency is critical, I submitted at least 3 Upwork proposals daily. 

Within the first week, I landed my first Upwork contract of $5. This was a one-time project, and after completing the task, I got a decent Upwork testimonial and review. 

In less than three days, I landed one of my biggest clients during that time, paying me $100/ 1000 words. 

Going from a broke college student to an Upwork top-rated writer

Approximately three weeks later, Upwork invited me to become a rising talent. So to get the Upwork rising talent badge, I had to take the Upwork skill test and pass it, which I did. 

Life being a rising talent gave me a ton of priorities, and I got nearly every job I applied to. I can’t explain the algorithm behind it, but my understanding tells me that Upwork pushes rising talent profiles up the searches. 

In a couple of weeks, I got my Job Success Score (JSS), and because I had continuously delivered pure gold, I was awarded 100% JSS. 

To get to Upwork top-rated status, you must attain certain conditions. For example, you must have earned $1k, maintained your JSS at 90% and above for 13/16 weeks. 

Thanks to God, I got my top-rated badge on my 13th week. It was a new dawn, and I couldn’t hide the happiness. 

Again, life as an Upwork top rated freelancer was even better. I enjoyed a ton of perks, such as decreased Upwork fees on my earnings, customized Upwork job invites, among others. 

I also landed a gig from one of the best clients who taught me several digital marketing techniques. This client paid me $18.75 per hour and even more offered jobs every week. 

And yes, that’s my “little success.” But as a college student waiting to graduate (after the Covid-19 pandemic,) this is a huge success. 

All this story sounds encouraging, but what about the question – is Upwork legit? Can we now answer it in detail? Sure, here we go.

Is Upwork Legit? 

From my success story above, you probably can tell that Upwork is legit, but let’s get a few questions answered to confirm this. 

1. Is Upwork any good? Is Upwork worth it? 

I always thought that Upwork was a shitty bidding site like other influencers put it, but I came to realize that not everyone will succeed with something. So when others fail on Upwork, they will probably rush and say that it’s a shitty bidding site, and that is their opinion. 

However, I encourage you to test out different platforms – Upwork or Fiverr or Freelancer and see what works best for you. And while others cling on cold emailing and saying that you could scale your business fast with it, it is essential to test out that too and see if it works. 

So, in my opinion, Upwork is excellent and worth your time. You must make sure that you are sourcing for the right jobs and working with the best freelance clients. Many people may be criticizing Upwork because they have been falling into the trap of bad clients.

So make sure that you are working with the best clients. 

2. Can you get scammed on Upwork?

This can be a little disappointing, but yes, you can get scammed on Upwork if you are not careful. Just like you’d get scammed with cold emailing, or any other way of getting freelance writing jobs is the same way you’d get scammed. 

But there are a few things you can do to make sure that you stay safe on Upwork and that you don’t get scammed. First, you need to make sure that you identify the right jobs on Upwork and that the client you are about to work with has a verified payment method. 

More on that later in this article. 

3. Upwork or Fiverr – which is better? 

As I mentioned earlier, you must never criticize any platform before testing it out. Additionally, people find success with different platforms. So you may succeed on Upwork and fail on Fiverr and vice versa. So you must test and see what works best for you. 

From my experience working on both freelancing platforms, I can say that Upwork has worked in my favor as compared to Fiverr. Now, Fiverr is a little bit different from Upwork because you don’t have to write detailed proposals on Fiverr as you do on Upwork. 

In my opinion, Fiverr is more of a take account, where clients go and order services from freelancers. So if you have no better persuasion skills to write detailed proposals on Upwork, I’d suggest giving Fiverr a try. 

4. Does Upwork pay well?

Millions of jobs are posted on Upwork every month, and nearly half of the clients in there are million-dollar companies, so you can expect to work with big clients. 

For example, I have worked with million-dollar tuition agencies across the world, such as SmileTutor Agency in Singapore, Q-dees in Malaysia and EduardK in Spain. 

All these clients have paid me well. Again, how much you will earn depends on the factors we talked about earlier – what you charge; your Upwork hourly rate, location and experience. 

How Does Upwork Pay – Upwork Payment Methods and Fees

Now that we have known that Upwork is legit and safe let’s now look at how you can secure your Upwork payments. 

How much does Upwork take? 

Upwork charges a flat fee of 20% on every job you land on Upwork, but the fee decreases as you gain more experience and bag more money. 

For example, Upwork will reduce your fee to 10% if you are top-rated and you have worked with a client worth more than $501. (please take note that the 10% fee will only apply to every client you work with and that you have earned more than $500 from this client.)

Additionally, your Upwork fees will be slashed to 5% after you have hit the $10,000 mark with your Upwork client. (again, please take note that the 5% fee will only apply to every client you work with and that you have earned more than $10,000 from this client.)

Upwork hourly rate, fixed, and bonuses on Upwork

Upwork has two types of jobs – the hourly rate jobs and fixed priced jobs. 

The hourly rate jobs require you to login in hours using the Upwork desktop app. On the other hand, fixed priced jobs require the client to set up milestones and fund the projects before you can work on them. 

Whenever a client is happy with your work or wants to pay more than what you agreed in the fixed price agreement, he or she will send you a payment, often called “a bonus.” A bonus is like a tip for the excellent work or topping up the deficit of what the client ought to pay you. 

Payment methods and vendors 

Upwork provides three payment methods, namely: 

  1. Direct to U.S Bank
  2. U.S Dollar Wire Transfer 
  3. Direct to your Local Bank

Additionally, Upwork provides additional payment vendors, which include: 

  1. Mpesa for Kenyan freelancers only
  2. PayPal
  3. Payoneer 

Upwork Terms 

  • Your Upwork overview – This is a section within your Upwork profile where you can showcase your expertise and tell your prospective client what you can offer. 
  • Your profile picture – Your Upwork profile picture is one of your identification elements to show your real identity. 
  • Upwork work samples – These are proof of your previous works, proving that you can handle the job at hand. 
  • Upwork chat – Upwork chats refer to the conversations you have with your clients or prospective clients via the messages to discuss more about a project. 
  • Upwork skills test – Upwork skill tests are tests provided by Upwork to help them gauge your understanding about a specific field. As at now, Upwork only offers Upwork readiness tests to those invited for rising talent. 
  • Upwork video verification – Upwork ID verification process – This is a verification process done by the Upwork support team to help them verify your true identity through a video call. Usually, only freelancers who have scored their first job are eligible for the Upwork video verification.  
  • Upwork tracker – This is an Upwork tool that tracks down the time you spend working on hourly contracts for billing purposes. Usually, this process is done using the Upwork desktop app. 
  • Upwork contract – An Upwork contract is any job agreement you enter in with a client. It could either be a fixed price contract or an hourly contract. 
  • Contact Upwork – Contact Upwork is how you can reach the Upwork support team whenever you have issues regarding Upwork. 
  • Upwork portfolio – Upwork portfolio is a section within your Upwork profile where you can add your work samples that clients will refer to whenever they want to hire you. 
  • Upwork milestones – These are subdivided contracts on the fixed price Upwork gigs. A client should set milestones and fund them before you can start working. 

How Can I Get Job in Upwork Fast – How to Get Work on Upwork

By now, I expect that you understand how Upwork works and that you are ready to score your first job. Getting your first job on Upwork can be a little tricky, so you need to position yourself well if you want to succeed on Upwork. Below are some of the things you need to do to secure your first and subsequent jobs on Upwork: 

1. Make sure you have your writing samples ready

Before you start applying to jobs on Upwork, you need to make sure that you have work samples, and in our case, writing samples that will prove you can handle the job. 

Creating writing samples doesn’t have to be a daunting process. This article on how to become a ghostwriter outlines how you can create your writing samples. 

To give you a clue, make sure that you have enough samples to prove your worthiness to the client (at least three work samples.) 

2. Identify a job and read the description 

Next, you need to identify a job that you can handle and complete successfully. Most newbies on Upwork will apply to nearly any job, and that’s a wrong strategy.

 

To identify the right job, you should ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Can I handle this job? 
  • Do I have time to complete this job? 
  • Do I have the necessary skills required to complete this job? 

These questions should help you judge whether or not you can do the job. 

Ideally, these pain points should form the basis of writing an excellent Upwork pitch. 

3. Apply for the job

Next, you need to apply for the job. Here, you need to make sure that you have captured the client’s pain points and addressed them appropriately. 

In my opinion, this is what makes the difference between good freelancers and bad freelancers. Suitable freelancers will tell the client how best they can help them. 

On the other hand, bad freelancers will focus on themselves and start talking about their experiences that are not directly related to the job. 

So to help you write a good Upwork pitch, I created this article, just for you. Check it out and write better Upwork proposals. 

How to Get Hired on Upwork

You have applied for a job on Upwork, and you are on an Upwork interview with the client. So how do a client hire you for a project? 

This is quite critical, and you need to make sure that you do the following before you start working on an Upwork contract: 

1. Your client must set a milestone or an hourly contract

Before you start working on any Upwork contract, you need to make sure that your client has either set a milestone or an hourly contract with the limit hours. 

This is what indicates that you have entered into a contract with the client. Additionally, it acts as proof that you are in agreement with a client in case there are any disputes. 

Once the client has set a milestone or an Upwork hourly contract, you will receive an offer. Make sure to confirm that everything is in agreement before you accept it. 

2. The client must have a verified payment method

If you don’t want to fall, a victim of Upwork scams, you need to make sure that the client you are dealing with has a verified method of payment on Upwork. 

is upwork legit

This will act as security in case you have any disputes with the client once the contract commences. So make sure that you have confirmed that the client has a verified payment method even before you apply to a job. 

3. The client must fund the project

For chrissake, don’t ever begin any Upwork contract before you can see that the amount has been funded on Escrow. Below is a screenshot of what I mean. 

is upwork legit

So if you don’t see anything like this in the section of your contract, then you need to request the client to fund the milestone before you start working. 

Amounts on Escrow will help protect you from Upwork scams. So instead of a client walking away without paying you, Upwork will follow up and make sure that you are paid. 

4. Agree to the Upwork’s terms of service

Usually, before you apply to a fixed price job or accept an Upwork offer, you will need to accept Upwork’s terms of service. 

This shows that you agree to the terms and conditions provided by Upwork and that you confirm that you will abide by them. 

And you don’t need to stress yourself much about this. It’s all about checking the box of “agree to the Upwork’s terms of service.” 

How to Be Successful on Upwork – Make Money on Upwork

Don’t let your guard down just yet. You need to make sure that you get the best out of Upwork. So how do you make sure that you become successful and make money on Upwork? 

1. Leverage Upwork forum

Like any other company, Upwork provides a free environment where freelancers can air their views, ask questions and get answers. This environment is called Upwork forum

By doing a quick Google search, you can find the Upwork forum, log in using your Upwork login details and start participating by asking questions and sharing your ideas. 

2. Make the most out of Upwork interviews 

Upwork interviews refer to when you apply to a job, and a client reaches out via the messages, or a client posts a job then invites you for an interview. 

If a client reaches out via the message, one rule is that you MUST never allow this client to slide into another freelancer’s inbox. 

In my opinion, the more swift you are to responding to a client will limit the chances of him or her inboxing another freelancer. 

is upwork legit

Also, make sure you are clear on how you are going to help the client during your Upwork interview. 

Since I started on Upwork, almost all of the clients that landed in my inbox ended up hiring me, and that should be your aim, as well. 

3. Set your Upwork rates well

Your Upwork hourly rates is a significant determinant of how much you will earn on Upwork. 

Now, some beginners feel they can’t charge more on Upwork, and I’m afraid I have to disagree with this. Some freelancers are less experienced than me and are charging super-high rates. 

is upwork legit

So go to your Upwork profile and charge what is worth your time. 

4. Reach out to Upwork help if you have any issues 

Upwork has an excellent support team that will always be there for you anytime. You can reach out to them via email, Twitter or Facebook. 

I think emails delay, so I usually directly contact them on Twitter. At least I’ll get a response within 30 minutes or so. 

But this depends on how urgent and the nature of help you may need. Just make sure that you are using the right channel to contact Upwork. 

5. Aim for Upwork top-rated status

The Upwork top-rated status can open many doors for you on Upwork. First, Upwork support team will give you top priority whenever you ask a question on Upwork community. Additionally, you will have access to some perks only available to top-rated professionals on Upwork.         is upwork legit - top-rated status

To get to top-rated status, continuously deliver pure gold and aim for decent feedback/ Upwork reviews. 

Once your JSS is available, maintain it to 90% or higher for at least 13/ 16 weeks out of the. 

Is Upwork Legit and Is Upwork Safe

Upwork is legit and safe, so you can jump into the bandwagon and start making money on Upwork. As I said, Upwork needs you to be more careful. Follow the guidelines they have put in place, and you are free from Upwork scams.

Now, it’s your turn, and I’d love to hear from you. Have you experienced any Upwork scams? Is Upwork legit or is Upwork safe, according to you? What challenges are you facing on Upwork? And is there a way I can help you make your Upwork experience much better? 

Let me know in the comments below. As always, I will reply to all comments and try as much as I can to be helpful. 

How to Start a Successful Blog: The Ultimate Guide in 2020

How to Start a Successful Blog: The Ultimate Guide in 2020

This is a definitive guide on how to start a successful blog. In this guide, you will learn how to start your own blog and make extra money from home. 

So if you want to learn the most recent way of how to start a successful blog in 2020, this will be your only ultimate guide. 

Just briefly, here’s what I’ll cover in today’s post: 

  1. An introduction on how to start a successful blog 
  2. Choosing your niche and blog domain name 
  3. How to choose the best hosting service 
  4. Designing your blog to make it user-friendly
  5. How to create your main blog pages 
  6. Your blog SEO
  7. How to write and publish your first blog post
  8. Promote your personal blog 
  9. How to make money blogging 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t incur any additional costs if you click through those links and purchase anything with them, but I’ll earn a small commission, though.

Note: This post is 10,500+ words long. If you find it too long, feel free to save it on Pocket, or bookmark it and read it later.

Let’s cut to the chase. 

Chapter 1: Introduction on How to Start a Successful Blog

You probably landed on this page because you want to start a successful blog and make money. 

Denzil has started four blogs, which have all failed, and can you guess why? 

He heeded the “expert” advice to start a blog focused on QUANTITY content.

You see, that was in the past when you could churn out short pieces, fill keywords, and then publish. 

Today, Google has users at heart. Google cares about both you and me, and it’s ready to synthesize the best of information for both of us. 

Henneke, the founder of Enchanting Marketing, says that you need to start a blog considering two approaches. 

The first one is to get your blog ranked high by the masters – search engines like Google. 

And the second one is to create remarkable content that wins you a gazillion of fans. 

So your blog needs to be a library and, at the same time, a magazine. A library has every book you’d want to read, and your blog should do the same. A magazine, on the other hand, has fresh, exciting stories quite often. Your blog should be ready to feed readers with such fresh content regularly. 

That’s the approach I want you to take, even as you prepare to start a successful blog to generate extra money online. 

How to Start a Successful Blog FAQs 

1. What does blog stand for? 

If you’re antsy or expect me to write a two-line meaning of a blog, pardon me for today because I need to give you an exodus of how the whole story of a blog came to light. So what is a blog and how does it work? 

In 1994, Justin Hall, a student at Swarthmore College, created his first blog named Links.net. During this time, Links.net was far from being called a blog, but rather a homepage. 

Then in 1997, the word “weblog” came about from the renowned blogger, Jorn Barger. According to Jorn Barger, the weblog was to help him log the web while browsing the internet. Later in 1999, Peter Meholz shortened the word “weblog” to “blog.”

From this short chronology, you can learn that a blog was a personal journal where one could share his or her information and thoughts in chronological order – in such a way that new posts were seen first. 

Today, a blog is an updated website with frequently updated content written in a conversational and informal tone. Usually, blogs attract readers, build trust, and make extra money online. 

2. Can I make money from a blog? Why do people blog?

Today, a ton of people prefer to work from home and earn some extra money online. Fortunately, blogging is one of the work from home side hustles you can dive into RIGHT NOW. 

And the good news is that blogging doesn’t require huge startup capital like other business ventures. You can even start with some of the free blogging platforms. The best of all is that you can choose to either blog part-time or full-time. 

With as low as $3.95/ month, you can start a blog with Bluehost, have more time with your family, and make extra money on the side or full-time. 

That said, there are a couple of people making money from blogging. For example, Elna Cain of Twins Mommy, who teaches moms how to increase their blog traffic, is doing quite well with her blog. Elna has a ton of money making online courses – from writing your way to $1k to Ready Set Blog Traffic. 

So yes, you can make money from a blog. 

3. Can I start a blog without technical experience? 

There are no techie skills required to start a blog. If you choose to get your hosting from Bluehost, you won’t experience any hassle setting up your blog because customer support will walk you through the entire process. 

Additionally, I created this guide on how to start a blog purposely for you; to make things pretty simple; because I know there are many things in your head right now. So I’ll try my best to keep things straightforward and to the point. 

4. Is blogging still relevant in 2020? 

Do people still read blogs? Is blogging still relevant in 2020?

New bloggers (those aspiring to start) have asked these questions, and I’m guessing you are asking the same. 

Now, the short answer is yes; you should start a blog. But let’s dig in deep and see why: 

There are a total of 4.84 billion active internet users. Out of this number, seventy-seven percent of them read blogs, according to Statista. 

Additionally, B2B companies with blogs get sixty-seven percent more leads than more companies. 

That said, there are significant opportunities you are missing out on if you don’t have a blog. 

And you could leverage these opportunities by starting a blog today if you want to make extra money online. So should I start a blog? Yes, you should. 

How much does it cost to start a blog

This is basically the amount it will cost you to start you own blog. Bluehost has plans that start as low as $3.95, which means that you will pay roughly $71 if you are getting started with the basic plan and only going for the one-year package.

Chapter 2: Choosing Your Niche, and Blog Domain Name

Having a specific niche can be of significance to your blog. However, you don’t need to be a techie to come up with an idea – your idea should, therefore, be one of its kind. 

Sure, you have unique experiences. Your voice is an exception. And maybe, you have a high-spirited personality that will surely attract tons of fans to your blog.

Meanwhile, there are two primary questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the right niche for your blog.

1. Am I Passionate About this Topic?

Let’s face it – the biggest mistake you can ever make is to start a blog when you don’t even love what you’re blogging about. The zeal towards the topic will automatically show in your writing. 

As such, you need to develop an undying passion for whatever topic you pick. Most importantly, be someone who is naturally curious so you won’t run out of ideas. 

If that doesn’t help, reflect on some of the topics you can offer quick solutions and be significant on that. Perhaps, you’re an expert at solving relationship blocks or even providing guidelines on healthy living. You name it.   

2. Are there others who are passionate about the same topic? 

You probably feel like the only teenager who’s fascinated with football. Unsurprisingly, there are tons of people out there. 

By doing a quick Google search, you’ll find thousands of people with the same interests. And, this leaves you wondering whether or not your idea is out of the ordinary.   

Choosing a specific niche while avoiding generic terms is a good bet. Let’s say you love cooking, adopting a more specific topic like “cuisine,” will help you stand out from the others. 

That said, how do you identify the right niche for your blog?

How to choose the right blogging niche or topic 

Curious about the biggest problem with blogging? 

Most bloggers spend a lot of time creating blogs that have zero chances of succeeding. As such, they lose hope only to start over again and invest years, creating another one that fails. 

Reason? 

Wrong choice of a blogging niche. 

However, it is worth noting that the rules differ when starting a blog. First, do you find the topic interesting? Is it fun? These are the essential questions you need to ask yourself before making a step. 

But if you aim to start a blog that attracts massive traffic…

A blog that will generate a significant passive income…

Choosing the right blog topic is a good bet. You can do this by outlining a list of topics that’s within your interests. 

This might include your hobbies or even niches you probably think are highly profitable to a blog. 

Meanwhile, you should be able to answer the questions below to help you choose the right blog niche idea:

  • Is there any blogs on this niche that have a Facebook page with 10,000+ followers?
  • Are there any existing blogs on this niche that have a Twitter handle with more than 50,000 followers? 
  • Is there any books available on Amazon with 30+ reviews on this blog topic? 
  • Does Google provide ads for phrases and words related to this niche?
  • Does Google Planner tool attract more than 100k searches on concepts associated with this niche?

The above questions will help you leverage the existing audience for your blog topic. But why is this essential anyway?

While most bloggers try to be unique, they tend to attract new audiences where they assume no competition exists. 

Heck! How is this even possible? The chances are that your online presence will remain anonymous if there are no competitors to connect to you.  

You probably don’t want that. Remember, the more the competition in the blogging industry, the easier it is for a beginner to strive into that blogging space. 

So, be simple. Don’t try to be eccentric because it won’t land you anywhere close to success. 

That said, your blog topic’s choice should be one that renowned blogs are already fighting for the audience’s attention. 

How to choose a domain name 

Here we are again – time to choose a domain name and a topic for your upcoming blog. 

The name of your blog often grabs readers’ attention. Therefore, your blog’s domain name should give a clear representation of the topics you’ll be blogging. It could be your name, a business name, or even a creative combination of words. You know best.

Now imagine this:

You’re flipping through the internet, and you come across a blog post dropline that grabs your attention. 

Probably a friend on Facebook shared the post with you, or it just appeared on your Google search, or perhaps it relates to the article you’re reading. 

Even so, you still click on the link, and immediately you start to wonder whether you should continue browsing through the post. Well, if you find it relevant, the chances are that you’ll keep reading the post.  

Not only that, but you may as well be prompted to check the web design, the domain name, and yes, other posts that seem to have generated a bunch of comments. 

Some domain names will, of course, tell what the website is all about. Generallifehacks.com, for example, represents the ideas or skills that enhance productivity and efficiency in all walks of life. 

How about Yourpassionmatters.com? Of course, it’s for people who are passion-driven in whatever they do. 

These will help you leverage on whether to stay or leave the site. Therefore, the right choice of a domain name will keep visitors glued to your blog. 

Meanwhile, choosing a perfect domain name can be a daunting prospect, especially if the one you had in mind has been taken already. 

However, to save you this hassle, I’ve outlined three distinct methods to help you find the right domain name for your blog:

  • Name the audience: Mentioning your audience in the domain itself is a plus. Such include SmartBlogger.com, InnovativeWriters.com.  
  • Name the topic: If you aim to focus on a specific niche, choose a domain name that best describes it. GeneralLifeHacks.com is a good example.   
  • State the benefit: Why should your audience stick around? The answer to this question can translate to a perfect domain that stands out. For instance, HowToMakeaLivingOnline.com tells more about the name.  

With the above strategies, choosing the right domain for your blog is a no brainer. You may alternatively use a blog name generator tool if you find them a hassle. 

What if I can’t think of a niche or topic today?

Are you still confused about what topics to blog? That’s okay – you may still start a blog. No one is perfect at the beginning of any journey; therefore, getting started right away is the ultimate guide to finding clarity.

Spending much time trying to recollect ideas is less of digging a ditch for yourself. You’ll garner insights as time goes by.  

What should I do if my desired domain name is already taken? 

You shouldn’t cough up your dreams if your desired domain name is already taken. Some hosting companies, such as Bluehost, will let you choose your preferred domain name later only when you start a blog with them. Therefore, you have more time to reorganize yourself as you think about your blog’s domain name.  

Can I change my blog name later? 

Oh, yes, you can. You have the flexibility of changing your blog’s name later if you don’t like the current one. All you need to do is to purchase a new domain name and have it set up. Meanwhile, don’t let this procedure hold back because you can always change the name of your blog in the future.

Chapter 3: Choose a Web Hosting Company 

I’m assuming you are all set to have a blog. 

In this section, I will be walking you through how you can choose your web hosting service provider, step-by-step. 

What is web hosting? 

Like I mentioned in this post, hosting is like your home, where people can pay you visits. In other words, web hosting is a service that allows people to visit and read from your website. This service includes keeping all your web files and making sure that they are secure.  

How much does web hosting cost? 

Fortunately, web hosting services do not cost much these days. Today, you can secure your website hosting from as low as $3.95/ month from a reputable hosting provider like Bluehost. 

And because web hosting is critical for your blog, choosing the right web host provider is crucial, and that’s why I’d happily recommend Bluehost any day. It’s what I’m using on this blog you’re reading from today. 

What’s the best WordPress hosting service to use? 

There are a ton of web hosting providers, including Bluehost, SiteGround, Namecheap (though it is known as a domain registrar), Hostgator, Eco Web Host, among others. 

But I recommend Bluehost because it’s what I use on this blog, and so far, I love it. At no particular time has this blog ever experienced downtime. 

Additionally, this domain name you are reading from (yourpassionmatters.com) was secured for FREE when I purchased my hosting from Bluehost. 

The best of all is that Bluehost customer support is top-notch and always ready to help whenever you have any issues. They helped me with technical problems when I first purchased hosting from them. 

So, yes, I recommend Bluehost and you can secure your hosting from them today from here. (This is an affiliate link, and I’ll earn a commission if you purchase your hosting using this link. All the same, you’ll get a discount when you use my link). 

I’m guessing you have made up your mind to go with Bluehost, so without further ado, let’s dive in and secure our web host, shall we? 

Step 1: Go to the Bluehost website and choose a plan 

The first step in setting up your website is to go to Bluehost and choose your hosting plan/ package. You are free to choose any plan you wish, but it would be a good idea to go with the Choice Plan, which will cost you $5.95/ month for your first two or three years, depending on what you choose. 

If you are just getting started and have a limited budget to work with, feel free to choose the basic plan and later upgrade because Bluehost allows you to upgrade once your blog has taken off. All you will have to do when you want to upgrade is to contact the customer support via live chat or email, and they will help you upgrade. 

how to start a successful blog

Step 2: Choose a domain name 

Once you have chosen your hosting plan, you should be directed to a page where you will enter your domain name. On this page, you need to input your preferred domain (Bluehost offers a free domain name) – the best name you’d like to name your blog. For example, my domain name is yourpassionmatters.com.  

Now, in some cases, your preferred domain name could be unavailable because someone else owns it. You have two options – to either brainstorm another domain name or skip this step and have your blog set up first then think of another domain name later using Namecheap, GoDaddy domain registrar. 

The image below shows where to insert your domain name if you already have one in mind. And as I said, if your domain name is already picked by someone else, skip this step because you can choose another domain name after setting up your blog with Bluehost. 

choose a domain name

Step 3: Create a Bluehost account 

The next step is to create your Bluehost account. This will be the account you will use anytime you want to access your cPanel area. Enter your details, such as your name, email address, phone number, city, state, and other information required in the image below. Make sure that you enter your best email address in this section because it is the email Bluehost will use to send you your login credentials. 

how to start a successful blog

Step 4: Choose your hosting plan 

In this step, you will be prompted to choose your package, depending on how long you want to pay upfront. Take note that Bluehost offers up to 3 years upfront payment – that’s 36 months, and it comes with a considerable discount. 

This will depend on your budget. I suggest that you choose the three-year plan by clicking on the “get started now” button, but don’t get overwhelmed if all you can afford for a start is just one year. As I said earlier, you can always upgrade. For example, I started by paying for one year but later upgraded to 3 years. Also, Bluehost has a money-back guarantee, so you can opt out before the period ends.

choose a plan

Step 5: Decide on what addons you want to keep 

In my experience setting up several sites, I feel you don’t need any of the addons. The reason is that they will hike your billing when it’s time to renew your package (after one, two, or three years) depending on the plan you chose. 

When setting up this blog, I skipped all the addons, and I can confidently say that I didn’t experienced any challenge in my first year. But if you must choose an addon, I recommend that you go with the Bluehost SEO Tools that will enable you to access some of the crucial SEO tools for your blog. 

Bluehost will offer you the domain privacy and the code guard essential addons for FREE. So you may only choose other addons that you feel are quite important to you. But I insist that you don’t need any of these. 

how to start a successful blog

Step 6: Key in your billing info

Once you have selected the addons you want to keep, it’s time to key in your billing information. Enter your credit card details and click on the “Submit” button. 

You have completed the first critical step in starting your blog. The next stage is to install your WordPress account, design it, and get your blog running. And of course, you don’t have to worry because I’ll walk you through all these steps.  

how to start a successful blog

Step 7: Install WordPress on Bluehost with One-Click

Upon signing up, Bluehost automatically installs WordPress on your domain name. Using your Bluehost account, click on the ‘My Sites’ tab to login to your WordPress site. 

Alternatively, select the ‘Log in to WordPress’ option, which will redirect you to the WordPress admin section. 

With Bluehost packages except for the basic plan, you have the flexibility of hosting unlimited sites. 

Click on the ‘Create Site’ option under the ‘My Sites’ tab to get started. 

You’ll be prompted to provide your site title along with a tagline (optional), after which you can launch the Bluehost WordPress installation guide. 

To continue, select the ‘Next’ button to choose a domain name for your website. If you already have one, proceed to the dropdown menu and choose your own domain name. 

how to start a successful blog

And because you can launch unlimited sites with Bluehost plans, feel free to add new domain names whenever you want. Simply select your preferred domain name from the ‘Domains’ page on your hosting dashboard.  

Once you’ve selected your domain name, you may now let Bluehost do the rest. The installer will help you install the essential plugins for your website. Click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed. 

Not only that, but the installer will also launch your WordPress website in a few. If the entire process is a success, you’ll receive an email from WordPress, which you’ll be required to click on the link to login to your WordPress account. 

Congratulations, you have installed WordPress on your Bluehost hosting account. That wasn’t too bad, right?

What is WordPress? 

I’m guessing you must have heard a lot about WordPress lately. So, what is WordPress anyway?

WordPress is a renowned Content Management System (CMS) across the globe, and as such, several bloggers are using it daily. According to recent research on blogging statistics, more than sixty percent of blogs operate on this CMS, including popular websites such as Forbes, Thought Catalog, NBC, New York Observer, TechCrunch, among others. 

What is a content management system? 

A Content Management System (CMS) is a platform that lets you write, design, and publish your blog posts. WordPress, however, provides a more straightforward interface that’s easy to integrate. Also, you have the flexibility to organize your content using the custom design themes.   

Is it a good idea to start my blog on WordPress, and is it free? 

While there are tons of CMS options worldwide, WordPress is still an exception. As such, I highly recommend a self-hosted WordPress because it’s the most viable CMS with long-term access.

And yes, it’s a free CMS and a good option for those who are just starting a blog. All you need is a web hosting plan to set things afloat. 

What’s more, unlimited flexibility, power, and long-term access are all you want in a CMS, and WordPress offers precisely that. 

Difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

It is worth noting that WordPress comes in two distinct platforms – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The name is almost similar, but a significant difference exists between these two:

WordPress.com

  • It is a free CMS that offers you a free blog with hefty restrictions.
  • It doesn’t allow a custom domain name. (i.e., yoursite.wordpress.com)
  • Offers limited marketing options – you can’t promote your ads. 
  • Doesn’t let you install plugins for scheduling emails, among others. 
  • It has restricted theme support, which makes site customization a challenge. 
  • In case you want to rebrand your domain name from WordPress ( i.e., yoursite.com,) you’ll have to incur additional charges. 
  • Restricted SEO and site analytics. 

WordPress.org

  • Fully custom-built design, unlimited plugin options, and no branding come in handy.  
  • Because it’s SEO friendly, the SEO features are excellent enough to enhance your availability on Google searches. 
  • You have the flexibility to launch or add an eCommerce store as a monetization option. 
  • The monthly hosting charges are affordable. 

While it’s your prerequisite, WordPress.org is a good bet if you want to monetize your blog and eventually earn a decent passive income from it. It provides straightforward guidelines on sites set up for those who are just starting a blog while keeping your website updated at all times.  

Log into your WordPress dashboard

In your preferred browser, head on to your WordPress login URL and attach /wp-admin ( or /login or /wp-login or/ admin) to the end of your domain name.

Such include: 

  • www.yourdomain.com/wp-login
  • www.yourdomain.com/admin
  • yourdomain.com/login
  • yourdomain.com/wp-admin

The links above will redirect you to your WordPress login page, after which you’ll be prompted to: 

  • Input the username and password you had previously created. 
  • Click Log In. 

Head on to your dashboard and start customizing your WordPress site.   

Chapter 4: Design Your Blog Using a Theme (+Plugins)

When getting started with your blog, it might not be a good idea to invest in a paid WordPress theme because the chances are that you have a limited budget. Plus, you would want to see what ROI your blog generates before investing. 

There are very many free themes you can choose for your WordPress blog. You will find some of them on your WordPress account, and you can use them with just a simple click. I recommend that you choose the Astra free theme because it offers a ton of cool features.

Astra premium theme has been proven to be the fastest WordPress theme, and if you are looking forward to investing a lot in SEO, this WordPress theme is your perfect match. Astra also has a paid version of the theme – Astra Pro, which costs $41. 

To install a theme on your WordPress blog, go to your WordPress admin area >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New Theme (you can either import a theme you already downloaded from WordPress.org directory). 

How to Activate a WordPress Theme

Once you have installed a free WordPress theme or a premium theme, you need to activate it. Of course, there will be options to either activate or preview your theme. 

You can always preview to see if it’s what you wanted and then activate. To choose a theme and enable it, go to Appearance (located on the left side of your WordPress admin area) >> Choose Themes >> Activate.

And that’s it. 

how to start a successful blog

Why your blog design is so critical 

I included this subhead because I love designs and can’t read from a blog with a poor design. 

So if you don’t care about how your blog looks, you will likely lose a ton of readers. 

A research done by the University of Basel and Google, it was found out that readers judge the look of your website after every 0.05 – 0.02 of a second. 

In other words, it will take readers quite a little time to decide whether or not they will trust your blog and probably return to read from it. 

The bottom line is that good design builds trust and readers view you as someone who cares about them. So I advise that you go for a good design. You can hire a web designer on Fiverr to help you out.

Install WordPress plugins 

There are many WordPress plugins and blogging tools, but as a beginner, you only need a few of them for a start. Later on, you can get additional plugins, depending on your needs. For now, these are the plugins you need: 

  1. Yoast SEO Plugin: Yoast is a WordPress plugin that allows bloggers to optimize their content – headlines, snippets, meta descriptions, image alt, etc.to make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. 
  2. WPForms: Readers or visitors may want to get in touch with you, and the easiest way is to include contact forms onto any of your pages. WPForms is a WordPress plugin that enables bloggers to include these forms with ease. 
  3. Google Analytics Dashboard: It’s essential to track your blog’s analytics directly from Google. Google Analytics allows you to view your blog analytics data directly from your WordPress dashboard using this plugin. 
  4. WP Rocket: I first learned this WordPress plugin when I hired my designer to customize my theme. This plugin allows you to clear the cache and reduce the sizes of your files so that your site loads faster. 
  5. Insert Headers and Footers: I’m not a techie, so I find it hard to edit my theme area. That’s why I downloaded the Insert Headers and Footer to help me add shortcodes without the help of a WordPress developer. 

Essential blog settings 

1. Permalinks 

Your website’s permalink is critical, and that is why you need to customize it to look more appealing for the search engines. I recommend that you set yours to domain.com/post-name. To do this, go to Settings >>Permalinks. Fortunately, websites hosted by Bluehost will come with this setting, so you don’t have to change it. But you should confirm to ensure it’s correct. 

2. Your blog homepage 

It would be best if you choose what you will include in your homepage. I have seen other bloggers who set their homepage as static, but I love to customize mine, so I can at least introduce visitors to my blog and capture a few emails. However, it’s up to you to choose what works best for you. To change your homepage settings, go to Settings >>Reading

3. Change the default URL of your blog 

When I started this blog, I didn’t know about this setting, so I happily submitted my sitemaps to the Google Search Console without changing it. When you first set up your blog, you won’t have the “www” before your blog URL. So if you need to add it, go to Settings >>General and change. So instead of your blog URL looking like this (https://yourdomain.com), you will change it to (https://www.yourdomain.com.)

Chapter 5: Create Your Main Blog Pages 

You don’t just blog without creating some of your most valuable pages, such as the blog about me page, and the blog contact me page. This section will focus entirely on how you can create these pages and dive deep to give insight into what you need to include in these pages. 

1. The blog about me page 

One of the pages visitors head to is your blog about me page. They want to know more about you or find out what your blog is all about. This is your only chance to convert your visitors to loyal followers who will form part of your marketing army. So how should you write your about me page? Below are questions to guide you: 

What value will your readers get from your blog? 

Most bloggers make the mistake of talking about themselves. But what you must know is that very few people care about who you are. Instead, they value what’s in it for them. So make it clear who your audience is and what value you have for them. In my blog about me page, I tell my audience how I began my freelance writing career and how I managed to beat all odds. I also encourage them that they can even succeed in freelance writing and that they should keep going. 

Why should your audience trust you? 

It would be best if you made it clear to your visitors why they should trust you. For example, you can include a short story of how unique you are. You can talk about the odds you overcame to reach where you are. This helps your visitors connect with you and feel secure that they have connected with the right person who understands their pain points. 

Additionally, it would help if you mentioned what your blog is about. For example, I cover everything that can earn your money from home. This way, visitors can quickly determine whether this blog is for them or look for another if their interests are not covered. Finally, don’t be scared to get personal because people connect better with personal stories. 

What should your visitors do next? 

You can write the most appealing about me page, but you will lose it all if you don’t tell your visitors what they can do next. Do you want your visitors to sign up for your newsletter, get a download, or do you want your readers to follow you on social media? It is important to tell them exactly what action you want them to take. 

It is essential to make your call-to-action brief and to the point. Additionally, don’t ask too much. These are visitors probably knowing you for the first time, so you don’t want to overwhelm them on the first day. Therefore, it would be best to encourage your readers to reach out to you if they need any help. 

2. The contact me page 

Another significant page on your blog is the contact me page. The chances are that people will want to contact you to inquire about something or reach out regarding a contract. 

However, you may also want to reconsider why you’d expose your contact information out there. Remember, there are spam emails that arrive in people’s inboxes, and you’d want to avoid these emails. 

So that is why you may only need a simple contact form, which you can create with the WPForms we had talked about in the must-have WordPress plugins. 

You may limit the number of emails you receive by including a Frequently Asked Questions section within your contact page. This will help people find answers to the questions they might have. 

On my contact me page, I have included both my email and the contact form built by the WPForm plugin. While putting your email out there is dangerous, I can easily mark any spam email and immediately send them to the trash.

Chapter 6: Your Blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 

Truth be told. If you are serious about making money blogging, then you have to optimize your site for search engines, and there’s no shortcut – you just have to learn SEO (even the basics will help.) 

So in this section, I will dwell on what you need to do before launching your new site. And I’m not going to dive so much in-depth because I know SEO is quite broad, and we can’t discuss it in a single blog post. 

Therefore, allow me only to cover the basics of SEO for a new blog. Here we go. 

Make it easy for Google to crawl your site 

It would be best if you made sure that search engines like Google and Bing can find your site, so be sure that to do the following: 

On the left side of your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings >> Reading >> make sure that “Discourage the search engines from indexing site” is unmarked. 

Find your XML sitemaps and submit them for indexing 

Before anything, you need to know what a sitemap is. A sitemap is a file containing your website pages information and the relationship that exists between them. This information allows Google to find all the necessary details to crawl and index your site. In other words, this information helps Google discover the fantastic content you publish because, at the moment, your blog is still new, with no backlinks pointing at it. 

You remember, I recommended the Yoast WordPress plugin. If you installed it, creating your XML sitemaps is easy peasy. To generate your XML sitemaps, follow these instructions below: 

  • On the left side of your WordPress dashboard, hover to SEO >> General >> Features >> XML sitemaps (make sure it is on) >> Click the “?” sign

Now that you have your XML sitemaps, it’s time to submit them to Google. When you click the “?”, you should be able to see this hyperlinked text “See the XML sitemap.” Click on it, and it should open in a new tab.  

Now that you have all your sitemaps, you need to submit them to Google search console one by one. So this is what you should do: 

Log into your Google search console account. If you haven’t created your Google search console, please watch this tutorial. If you already have a Google search console account, please follow these instructions: 

Go to Google search console >> Sign in to your Google search console >> Select your website (if you haven’t added your website, you’ll need to click the “Add Property“). There’s an HTML code you’ll have to copy, then paste it on the Script header section using the Insert Headers and Footer plugin you installed. 

Once that is done, on the left side on your Google search console, under index, click on “Sitemaps” From here, you can copy and paste each of the sitemaps one by one on the “Add a new sitemap” section.

Chapter 7: Writing Your First Post and Publishing 

Once you have your SEO sorted, you now need to start creating your first blog post. It is important to note that the format of a blog is most similar to that of an article. But before anything, you need to make sure that you come up with blog topic ideas that your visitors and readers will love. So how do you do that? 

There are many ways you can brainstorm blog ideas. Let’s go through a few of them. 

Use tools to brainstorm blog post ideas 

There are many tools you can use to discover blog post ideas. Most of them are paid, but I will also include a free tool you can use. I have used Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and BuzzSumo to generate awesome blog topic ideas. Both Ahrefs and BuzzSumo are paid, though you can use BuzzSumo on a free plan with limited functionalities. 

Ubersuggest, on the other hand, will give you almost the same features you may need. It used to be free until more features were added. Today, you will have to subscribe to get more of the tool. However, the free version of the tool can still offer much more than you may need. 

To get started, head over to Ubersuggest, search “Ubersuggest” on Google and click on the first search result you get. Once you are on the page, enter a competitor’s URL. On the left side of the page, hover to “Top Pages.” 

Next, click on “View All” and the dropdown should give you a list of keywords. Now, you should not randomly pick any keyword. Remember, your blog is still useful with no backlinks, and therefore, you only need to choose keywords with a lower SEO difficulty. 

The SEO difficulty is in the last column. I recommend that you choose any of the keywords that range from a keyword difficulty between 0-15. These are keywords that will need an average of 10 backlinks to rank on the first page. 

It’s essential to be organized, so you’d want to create a spreadsheet and jot down your keyword research. You can then research more related keywords related to your primary or target keyword on Ubersuggest. 

Instead of going to the “Top Pages” section, go to the “Keyword Ideas” section and enter your primary keyword (in this case, “what is affiliate marketing.”) Once that is done, filter your results and set your SEO difficulty appropriately. Caution: Don’t go for keywords with higher SEO difficulty. (Take a look at this screenshot below)

How to write catchy headlines 

Content marketing has changed, and that is why your titles matter. So you need to come up with titles that people can click. So what are some of the elements of a good headline? 

Elements of a Good Headline

1.Includes the primary keyword 

Titles are essential because they help Google understand what your content is all about and index it appropriately. 

That is why you should include the primary or target keyword on your headline. If better, let it be the first part of your headline. 

But what are keywords? 

Keywords are specific terms that readers type in on Google to get accurate information about a particular topic. For example, if someone searches the phrase “how to become a freelance writer,” that’s a keyword. 

Primary keywords are these same terms people type into Google to look for specific information. What makes primary keywords different is that they are the target keyword people are aiming to rank for. 

So, where should you include your primary keyword within the article? 

  • At the beginning of your title – “Freelance Writing: The Ultimate Guide.”
  • In between – “15 Writing Tools That’ll Make You a Better Writer.” (marked in red is the primary keyword.)

I encourage you to use the first option, but only if your blog post is 2,000+ words. This is because it would not make sense to call content below 2,000 words an ultimate guide. 

Also, you can always change the second part of your keyword (the ultimate guide) to either “the definitive guide, step by step guide, a beginner’s guide,” depending on the topic. 

2. Include benefit to the reader

For readers to click your title, you need to include a benefit that will lure them to click through your content. You need to answer the question, “what’s in it for the reader?” 

It is essential to take note that there are two types of benefits you can include in your headline – the explicit benefit and the implied benefit. 

With an explicit benefit, you state the benefit clearly in the heading without hiding anything. In contrast, an implied benefit is hidden, and probably, someone must read to know what the benefit is. 

  • Example of explicit benefit – “8 Blogging Tools That’ll Save You Time and Money.” 
  • Example of implied benefit – “Ghostwriting: The Ultimate Guide.” (the ultimate guide is the explicit benefit in this case.)

3. Include Click-Through Rate Boosters

Click-through rate boosters are the elements that you add to a headline to help attract more clicks. And there are two ways you can do this. 

First, you can include numbers, percentages, years to attract more click-throughs to your piece of content.

For example, “How to Start Blogging in 2020,” “We Analyzed 10 Million Blogs: Here’s What We Found out.” “56% of Freelancers are Earning This Much.” 

The second way to include click-through rate boosters is by adding parentheticals. 

For example, “How to Write a Pitch (with examples),” Education System in Singapore (+new changes.)

Note: You don’t have to use the three techniques in your headline – one or two of the methods is just enough. 

How to write the perfect intro

There are two tactics I have tested and proven. Again, you don’t have to use both in your articles. You can always choose one, but make sure not to use both. 

One technique is best for blogs that need engagements, such as comments and social shares, while the other is best when your primary goal is to create SEO engineered content. 

So what are these two techniques of writing the perfect intros? 

1.The Mind Reading Game Formula 

If you have read most blogs, you can attest that their intros guessed almost all your pain points. You probably felt like they got all the information about you. 

And yes, that is right. These are writers who have carefully researched the audience and know what they are going through. 

Fortunately, it’s not hard to read minds like those bloggers you admire. 

That said, you need to research your audience and know the following: 

  • What thoughts your readers/ audience have
  • How do they feel about the topic you want to write about? 

Once you have these, look for suitable examples that will resonate with your audience. 

Take a look at this blog post I wrote for my client about “How to Write for Blogs.” 

Picture this: 

You’re at the beach, staring at the glistering ocean, the sea breeze tousling your hair, listening to the slow, but the steady pattern of the tides. 

The environment is serene. Perfect for thinking. 

And so you’re organizing your thoughts with one hand while using the other to sip Sangria. 

You are a freelance blog writer. You are paid to write for blogs, and it’s work you can do from any part of the world.

This week you are at the beach. Next week you will be visiting the mountains, and you’ll probably be watching the El Classico at the Santiago Bernabeu the following week. 

From this example, you can see that I understand my audience. I know what’s going through their minds, and I know what kind of life they are hoping for. This is the same thing I want you to do. It doesn’t matter what industry you are writing for – whether personal finance or health, you can still pull the magic. 

2.The PBC Formula 

This is a straightforward formula. I derived it from Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, and it works pretty well. 

That said, the PBC formula takes three steps: 

  • Give a preview of your post/ content/ article
  • States the benefits your post has to offer
  • Then finally include with a call-to-action

For example: 

This is a definitive guide on how to become a ghostwriter. In this guide, you will learn all that it takes to be a ghostwriter and make money freelance writing. – the preview

So if you are looking forward to starting a freelance writing business as a ghostwriter, this will be your ultimate guide. 

Just briefly, this guide will cover – The benefits

  1. What is a ghostwriter 
  2. Why should you become a ghostwriter 
  3. How much do ghostwriters make
  4. What do ghostwriters get paid
  5. Become a ghostwriter 
  6. How to market yourself as a ghostwriter 
  7. Ghostwriter jobs 

Let’s cut to the chase. – call-to-action

What Your Body Should Include 

You have done most of the job, written your title, the perfect introduction, but it doesn’t end there. You still need to keep your blog visitor reading. But how can you do that? 

1.Use surprise subheads

The internet is filled with a lot of spin content. 

That’s why you should grab this opportunity and come out original with surprise subheads – contrary to what people always find across the internet. For example, “Trying to Make Your eBook too Valuable” as captured from the SmartBlogger post “How to Write an Ebook.” 

This subhead (Trying to Make Your eBook too Valuable) will be surprising to many because everyone expects their eBooks to be valuable to make more sales. 

2. Generate Curiosity

Curiosity killed the cat, but it can help if you want to keep your readers glued throughout your post. For example, “The One-Second Tweak I Made Generated Got Me Tripple My Traffic.” “This One Conversation Changed My Life.” “The PBC Formula.” 

3. Personality

Personality is another way to spike your writing. With this, you need to speak out your mind and don’t mind what people will say or how people will think of you. A good example is Jorden Roper of Creative Revolt. 

Jordan Roper doesn’t like the idea of freelance writers working on Upwork, and she criticizes the platform because she feels that writers are not getting paid what they deserve. In one of her statements, she says,

Don’t fuck with content mills because I don’t fuck with them either.

This will spike different opinions because there are a ton of other freelance writers who find Upwork resourceful.

How to Write the Compelling Wrap Up 

One of the worst mistakes most writers make is to write good content then leave their readers wondering what they should do next. 

It doesn’t matter whether you have the best content out there if it can’t prompt readers to take action. 

So that is why I thought I’d share with you some of the ways you can end your writing with a compelling close. 

1.Remind your readers where they started

Definitive or ultimate guides are quite long, and that’s why it is essential to remind your readers where they started, so they can connect to how the post is ending. 

With this technique, you can quickly remind the readers of the primary goal; why you wrote the post or why they landed on the post. 

For example:

In the beginning, you were looking forward to knowing how you can become a writer. Having tackled the ways to become a freelance writer, you’re now just a step to becoming a reputable freelance writer.

2. Show your readers the way forward

Most readers will go through the content and then leave your blog without knowing what exactly they should do next. This isn’t good and should not happen. Remember, your primary aim was to help your reader achieve a specific goal. And this is what should happen in the end. 

Therefore, end your piece with a clear call-to-action. Tell your readers what next they should do. Tell them to take action by implementing the ideas they discovered. Give a soft warning about what will happen if they don’t take action. 

For example:

It’s now your turn. If you badly want to become a freelance writer, you must implement all these steps, one-by-one. Most aspiring freelance writers fail because they read such valuable tips, then fail to implement them. So take action today.  

3. Give readers a glimpse of the future

Another way to end your blog content is to give your readers a glimpse of the future; what will happen if they implement all the steps you have covered? This is because most people may only take action if there’s the hope of something better to come. Otherwise, many will read then end up closing the tab. 

So show your readers what their life will look like if they invest their time to implement the ideas they have at hand. For example, in the case of How to Become a ghostwriter, you can conclude with something like:

 I can see you are at the beach, typing with one hand while sipping lemonade with the other. You just completed one of your ghostwriting projects and sent your invoice. This is the life of a ghostwriter.

Chapter 8: Promote Your Blog/ Blog Posts

We are this far, and I’m glad you are still around. Your first blog post, second, and third are complete. Your blog is still new with no backlinks, so you need to promote your blog content with every resource available. So how do you promote your blog the right way? 

1. Leverage social platforms 

Social media platforms come in handy, especially during your first months of blogging. Get people to know your blog. But before you do that, you need to choose the best social media platforms, where you are sure your audience is spending most of their time. 

Facebook

Facebook remains one of my best social media platforms. It gives me the freedom to join Facebook groups, create my own Facebook group, and create a Facebook page. When I share my content through these platforms, I’m sure of getting a ton of traffic to my blog. 

However, you need to make sure that you don’t spam people, especially in the Facebook groups you join. Read the group’s rules and make sure that you follow them to a tee. Don’t promote anything, unless it’s a promotion day, which should only be done on a thread post. 

That said, check out some of the Facebook I recommend from this post. They are super helpful, and you can grow as a blogger or writer within no time. 

Twitter

Twitter is also great to connect with influencers and push your content out there. However, it can be quite challenging to get traction on Twitter, especially if you have no considerable amount of followers or don’t know how to connect with top industry leaders. 

Twitter needs you to be proactive, share only great content to your audience. Don’t be self-centered, but show love to your followers and your mentors over there. If you find useful content, retweet and keep the convo going. 

If you publish a new post, make sure you tweet it. You never know, some influencers could retweet your post with their larger audience if it’s super valuable. With that, only aim to create actionable and useful pieces of content. 

Pinterest

I tried Pinterest with my first blogs but didn’t get traction because I didn’t know the ins and out of this growing visual platform. I’m glad that I now know how the platform works, and I’m not making the same mistakes I made earlier.

Pinterest is best if you create a Pinterest Business account instead of a personal account. With a Pinterest Business account, you will link your business profile with your website, which is excellent if you want to drive a ton of traffic back to your site.

It is also important to note that Pinterest works pretty well with Tailwind and Tribes. Tailwind will help you schedule your pins without spending too much time planning them manually. Additionally, the Tribes enables you to reach a broader audience who are ready to repin your pins. 

I usually find it very relaxing to schedule pins for one or two weeks, then have time to work on my blog posts and clients’ work. To get started with Pinterest, click here. Below is also a video that can walk you through the entire process. 

Other social media platforms: 

2. Pick and grow your email list 

Email marketing is part and parcel of a blogging career. In fact, before you think of starting a blog, you need to figure out how you can build an email list using pop-ups, freebies, etc. An email list is a list containing the contact information of your followers. 

There are many ways to collect contact information from those interested in what you offer. But one thing for sure is that you will need an email marketing company to safely store your subscribers’ information. 

There are a ton of email marketing services out there, so you should choose only the email marketing service that can meet your needs. I recently created a post review between Aweber and MailChimp, and you can have a look. 

There are also a couple of other email marketing services that work pretty well. You can use GetResponse, Constant Contact, Aweber, ConvertKit, among others. A word of caution, though, make sure you have scripted a list of priorities before choosing an email marketing service. This will help you filter out the best email marketing service that can meet your needs. 

How to promote your content with your email list

Once you publish a new blog post, make sure that your content reaches as many people as possible. The first thing I usually think of is my email list because they are my best friends, seriously. 

Without an email list, you are almost no business. That’s why some blog posts put it that your subscribers are the lifeblood of any business. 

So depending on the email marketing service you use, create a short email letting people know about your new post and how they can access it. I have found short emails of less than three paragraphs work well. 

Creating a super long email when all you need is for your subscribers to click and read your post is a bad idea. Go straight to the point and make it clear to them what you want them to do. Also, I have realized that including a button works great. 

Guest blog 

Guest blogging is one of the ways to promote your blog and get backlinks to your site. According to Google, backlinks play a huge role in determining your ranking. In fact, many SEO tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest include how many links you will need to rank for a specific keyword, and this is pretty helpful because you can use this information to create and promote your content appropriately. 

Guest blogging has become a nightmare over the years, and this is because most blogs no longer need contributors or are just trying to avoid crappy writers. But there’s still hope. In this post, I have explained in detail how you can write a magazine pitch that wins your guest posts.

Chapter 9: How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners 

The chances are that you want to start a blog because you want to earn a side income. And that’s right; you need to make a side income after putting all your efforts into creating a blog. And there’s no need to fret because I will walk you through some of the ways you can make money blogging. So without further ado, let’s dive in. 

1. Promote your freelance services 

Freelancing is now a big hit, and most people are quitting their traditional jobs to get the freelancing share of income. According to qz, America now has more than 56.7 million freelancers, which could be one of the reasons why America has a steady economy. 

According to LMS, there were 4.77 million freelancers in Britain, and this number grew every year. Additionally, simplybusiness gives some of the freelancers’ spots in the United Kingdom. Take a look at the screenshot below: 

In other words, freelancing is lucrative. It gives you the flexibility and the financial freedom you have always wanted. You don’t have to wake up every morning, get stuck in a traffic jam, then leave your workplace wasted and wiped. 

That said, you can promote some of the remote work you offer. Wondering some of the freelancing services you can provide right away? Here’s a quick list to help you decide what you can start contributing as a freelancer: 

  • Ghostwriting services 
  • VA services
  • Graphic design
  • Web development services 
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Keyword research, etc. 

2. Affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money blogging. Of course, you will invest in some time and money, but you will enjoy the fruits of your hard work later. 

However, many bloggers seem not to do affiliate marketing the right way. They throw in some poor regurgitated content, then pray and hope people will buy through their links. 

Psychology proves it’s way more natural to promote a product or service you genuinely love and use. This is because you will, in most cases, have all the information you need to market a product or service. 

Now that you have a blog, you need to make sure you only choose products and services that directly relate to your blog niche. For example, I only promote blogging tools because my blog focuses on work from home ideas. 

If you are a home improvement blogger, you’d want to promote home improvement tools, especially on Amazon. If you are a parenting blogger, you may want only to promote children’s stuff or parenting stuff that will help them raise children better. 

Once you have chosen what products or services you want to promote, make sure you create high-quality content that will offer help to your readers, even as you develop these products and services. Remember, you will only convince someone to buy if they adequately understand what they are buying. 

That out of the way, you need to know some of the affiliate programs available to you as a blogger and sign up asap: 

3. Sponsored content 

Sponsored content may not be the best to discuss in this blogging for dummies guide, but you will need it in the future when your blog starts to receive a ton of traffic. 

Most companies suck at marketing, and they are ready to broker a deal with a professional blogger if their blog receives a ton of traffic. They may want you to help them put their content in front of your audience. 

Sponsored content is when a company approaches you to promote their offer or content to your readers at a fee. Such projects usually command very high rates because you will be allowing them to sell to your audience. 

To start sponsoring content, you will need to grow your blog and make sure it receives considerable traffic before you can begin attracting companies who want you to promote their offers or content. 

4. Create and sell online courses 

The invention of the internet is the best since sliced bread because it allows you to sell anything. You must not have degrees to create and sell online courses. You can teach based on your skills or experiences. So there’s nobody that can be locked out from this online money stream. 

There are several online teaching platforms you can use to create and sell your online courses. You can use Udemy, SkillShare, Teachable, Thinkific, Kajabi, LearnDash, Podia, Learnworlds, among others. 

Once you have your courses, you can promote them on your blog by including banners, inserting links to your course landing page, or add them on your blog footer like I have included mine. Check the screenshot below to see it: 

5. Start an online store 

You can also make money blogging by starting an online store. An online store allows you to sell your products on your website using WooCommerce plugins or by using ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify. 

Some people opt to have their own products on their websites, but this could cost you more when designing your website. You will need a savvy web developer to come up with a user-friendly WooCommerce website. Check out this post I wrote on how to start a dropshipping business. 

If you choose to sell your own products on another platform, such as Shopify, you can still promote your online store within your blog through blog posts, banners, and including your online store on your blog service page. 

There are more ways you can make money with your blog. For example, you can promote sponsored podcasts on your blog, sell advertisement renting space, make money through Google Adsense on your widgets section, and many more. Just make sure that you have a list of priorities outlined before you start monetizing your blog.

How to Start a Successful Blog – It’s Possible

Blogging remains one of the best ways you can make money from home. If done right, you can move from a paycheck to paycheck life, travel the world, and have more time with your family. 

It’s everyone’s wish to earn passive income, and you have to make your wishes come true. Fortunately, you have only one way to make all your dreams come true. 

To take action now and start creating your blog. 

You must not postpone anymore, and don’t let your muse go down the toilet. Hold tight and do this right away. There’s no other time you can do this, if not now. 

And of course, I’d want to extend my help to YOU, so that I see you through this. It’s a little weird, but I want nothing but to see you succeed with your blog. 

It’s now your turn, do you want to start your blog now and need help? Is there something that’s not clear to you and needs clarifications before you can dip in your feet? 

I’m here to help. Just leave me a quick comment, and I’ll be happy to help. 

How to Write a Pitch: A Quick Definitive Guide

How to Write a Pitch: A Quick Definitive Guide

This is a quick definitive guide on how to write a pitch. In this guide, you will learn how to write a pitch that wins you plenty of freelance writing jobs. 

So if you are looking forward to starting a successful freelance writing business, this will be your ultimate guide. Just briefly, here’s what I’ll cover today: 

  1. Pitch meaning 
  2. What makes a good pitch 
  3. How to pitch a story idea to a magazine or publication
  4. How to pitch an article job on Upwork 

Let’s jump right in. 

Pitch Meaning – What Does the Word Pitch Mean? 

In general, a pitch means submitting an idea to someone with authority – could be organizational changes, software ideas, procurement plans, etc. But what does the word pitch mean in freelancing? 

A pitch in freelance writing means a written submission to someone in charge, such as the editor in chief or a content strategist at company X, inquiring if they’d be interested in your writing services. 

Pitching has become popular over the years, and because of the changes, reputable freelance writers, book authors, etc. have found pitching a little scary. 

That is why I thought I’d share with you how to write a pitch. So let’s start with the basics – what makes a good pitch? 

What Makes a Good Pitch 

1. Make it easy for editors to accept your pitch 

Editors are quite busy people, and if you don’t draw their attention, the chances are that your pitch will land into the trash. 

According to prdaily, editors are exposed to more than 100 emails every day. Huh! 

So what must you do to increase the chances of an editor reading your pitch and finally accepting it? Make sure that your pitch touches on the following points: 

  • Why your pitch story is a perfect match for their audience. 
  • How it will add value to their audience. 
  • Whether or not it touches on the pain points of their audience. 
  • Why your pitch story is different from what has been covered on their publication. 

That said, don’t send canned pitches to editors and hope that they will respond. Canned pitches are those pitch templates that “gurus” recommend that you use in every pitch you send. Instead, make sure you tailor every pitch.

2. Personalize your pitch

Personalization has become an essential aspect of marketing. It feels more professional and friendly when you address someone by their name. 

According to Statista, personalized emails generate up to 18.8 percent as compared to emails without any personalization – 13.1 percent.  

Don’t ever start your pitch email with anything that reads “Dear Hiring Manager, Dear Recruiter Officer, Dear Editor, Dear HR, etc.” 

Instead, go the extra mile and look for the people in charge of content at the publication or magazine. And the good news is that there are a ton of ways you can identify the right person in charge of content at a publication. 

The first way is to head over to the publication’s about us page and see if you could find anybody with the title “content manager, editor, editor in chief, content strategist, chief marketing officer, etc.” 

You can also leverage social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to find information about a specific company. We will dive into other ways later in this guide, but for now, let’s look at how you can write your perfect subject line. 

3. A perfect subject line

We receive tons of emails every day in our emails, so what makes you decide whether you will read an email? Most people will read the subject line to see if it’s something relevant to them. So yes, a subject line will determine whether or not an editor will open your pitch email. 

According to Aweber, forty-seven percent of people open emails based on what’s on the headline. However, it would be best if you didn’t give away too much in your subject line, according to Brian Dean, the founder of the Backlinko blog. 

4. Dive right into the subject matter

Editors are quite busy, and they receive a ton of pitch story ideas everyday. That’s why you need to simplify work for them by getting to the point immediately. Beating around the bush could land your pitch email to the trash. 

You have the freedom to say something briefly about the publication (two or three lines) and then dive into the reason you are writing to them. Make sure this paragraph is benefit-driven to give the editor a reason to accept it. 

Finally, don’t be too wordy. Let every word that you write count – no fluff. In my opinion, you shouldn’t go beyond four paragraphs of three lines each.

And those are the four most crucial elements of a good pitch. But how do you write a pitch story idea using the above elements?

How to Pitch a Story Idea

1. Identify prospects 

The first step is to find your prospects. These are the publications or magazines you have always wanted to write for. Fortunately, there are many ways to find publication or magazine prospects.

But before you identify your prospects, there’s a need to choose a niche. A niche will help you filter out only the publications that are your perfect match.  

Once you have chosen your niche, start looking for your prospects. Luckily, there are many ways you can identify prospects. First, you can do a quick Google search using a phrase, such as “parenting+write for us,” “technology news+write for us,” “Marketing+write for us.” 

As you can see, we are basing our searches on the niches. So you don’t have to enter the same words as we have done using the above examples. Instead, choose your niche and add the phrase “write for us.”

You can also source prospects from social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. These two platforms are more like professional sites, and the chances are that you will get in touch with industry thought leaders. 

Take your time to connect with influencers on those social platforms, build stellar relationships. Who knows, these could form part of your prospects list. However, don’t spam people by sending them unnecessary DMs without their permission.

2. Research about your prospects 

The next step after identifying your prospects is to research about them to know them better. If you are targeting publications that pay writers, you will have to filter your list of prospects to make sure that the companies you are targeting have a considerable budget for content marketing. 

So assuming that you have identified publication X, check out if it is listed on either Crunchbase, AngelList, AcquiredBy, Owler, Zoominfo, etc. All you have to do is to enter the publication or company’s name on any of the sites above. You should find all the necessary information – from their annual income to whether or not another company acquired it. 

You may also want to check out if the company is on LinkedIn. Your primary goal is to know the number of employees they have. Companies with a range of 10-50 can pay you as a freelance writer. However, it may not be a good idea to target companies with so many employees, say, 100+.

3. Find contact emails 

You have researched your prospective publications. You also have an idea of who you should target with your pitch email. So what’s next? 

Finding contact emails for your target person at the company or magazine. 

This post list some of the email finder tools you can use to find prospect email addresses, but just as a recap, below are the email finder tools that can help you find nearly every person’s contact email: 

But that is not the only way to find the editor’s contact information. There are other ways you can leverage it. For example, if you already know who to contact, you can head over to Twitter and search for his name. 

The chances are that you will find his or her website details, where you can find the necessary information. From experience, I have also found out that if you can’t find the contact information of an influencer, the best thing is first to follow them, then show them, love by retweeting their tweets. 

Usually, this should help build a relationship. Once you are sure that they know you, you can request to send them a DM. There are higher chances that they will give you the freedom to DM them privately. 

Finally, you could find the editor’s contact emails easily by doing a simple Google search. This will help if you know the company’s website, or you know the editor’s name. Just enter either of these phrases on Google: “editor+company x contact,” “contact+company x.” Sometimes, the contact information could be staring you right on the contact page or about page. So it would help if you check out those pages, as well.

4. Writing a pitch – how to pitch a story

The final stage is to write your pitch story to the publication you have chosen. And while you do this, make sure that you know your goals. For example, if you are pitching a paid freelance writing job, make sure you tailor your pitch to that direction. If you want to do a guest post on a popular magazine, write your pitch in that direction. 

That said, you need to consider some of the elements of a good freelance pitch we mentioned earlier: personalization, the subject line, being brief, and going straight to the point without beating around the bush. This will help your freelance writing pitch stand out from the other crap pitches that usually land in editors’ inboxes. 

First, make sure that you know a bit of information about the publication or company. This will help you write a pitch that editors can easily accept. Remember that these publications only publish the best of information for their audience. 

Secondly, personalize your pitch by addressing the editor by the name. As I said earlier, you can always find the editors’ names from the about us page or below any published post on the company’s website. 

For example: Hi John

Next, you want to make sure that you have a catchy subject line that will quickly draw the editor’s attention. For example, if you are pitching a freelance writing assignment to an editor, you can use the suggested subject line by Bamidele “Content at Company X.” 

For example: Content at Your Passion Matters

Finally, don’t beat around the post, briefly state your knowledge about the publication, then dive right into your reason for sending them a pitch. If you are pitching a guest post idea, make sure that you have mentioned that. If you are pitching a paid content job, do the same. 

Briefly about the publication/ company – For example: I’ve been following Your Passion Matters for quite some time. And I must say you are doing a fantastic job. Your recent post about “Difference between article and blog” has completely changed my thoughts. 

If you are pitching a paid content idea, for example: “I’m reaching out to see if you are someone who will help you with your content marketing needs – keyword research, content creation, and social media campaigns at Your Passion Matters.”

5. Email pitch examples

We have covered everything on how to write a pitch (specifically for magazines or publications), but an example would give more clarity. Fortunately, we have tackled quite a few examples. What’s remaining is to put together these examples into a complete email pitch. So here we go: 

Subject line: Content at Your Passion Matters

Hi John, 

I’ve been following Your Passion Matters for quite some time. And I must say you are doing a fantastic job. Your recent post about “Difference between article and blog” has completely changed my thoughts.

I’m reaching out to see if you need someone who will help you with your content marketing needs – keyword research, content creation, and social media campaigns at Your Passion Matters. 

My name is {your name } and I can help with researching relevant and low competition SEO keywords that will give a massive boost to your website’s ranking. Besides doing keyword research, I can also help create audience-specific content that will not only get you a ton of organic traffic but also help you make more sales. 

I will be happy to discuss my experience and how I can help steer your business to the next level if you are interested. 

Cheers, 

{Name}

How to Pitch an Article Job on Upwork 

While most people are only familiar with magazine pitches, freelance writers on freelance marketplaces, such as Upwork also write pitches, resulting from job postings. 

So I decided to cover this part because I know there is a majority of people who heavily rely on freelance bidding sites, such as Upwork, to make a living. 

So how do you pitch an article job on Upwork?

1. Start by creating writing samples 

The first step as a freelance writer is to craft writing samples that will quickly get clients nodding yes. You know the aha moments when clients find themselves saying, “this is the right candidate. Her sample ticks all the boxes.” 

And fortunately, crafting a writing sample doesn’t have to be daunting. For example, freelance sites like Upwork features tons of jobs that you can use to create mimic samples. All you have to do is sign up for Upwork (this post has every detail on how you can get accepted), then identify a mimic job post, and create your writing sample from the job description. 

If you want to go in-depth on how you can create a writing sample, this post on SmartBlogger has a simplified version of how you can create your writing sample, step by step. Find time to go through it.

2. Identify the article jobs on Upwork 

Once you have your writing samples, you should identify best-fit jobs on Upwork. These are jobs you are confident you can handle and complete successfully.  

To identify your best-fit jobs, sign in to your Upwork account and go to your job feed. From here, you should be able to see a ton of jobs that perfectly match your skills. Upwork only shows jobs that are most relevant to you based on the skills you have on your profile. 

But what questions should guide you in choosing the right article jobs on Upwork? 

  • Do I have the necessary skills to handle this job? 
  • Is there enough time to handle this job? 
  • Has the client provided adequate information on the job posting? 
  • Is the client’s budget worth my time? 

The above questions will prevent you from applying to jobs that don’t match your skills. Remember, your reputation on Upwork matters because clients would only be willing to work with freelancers with better ratings.

3. Read the job postings 

This is just an extension of identifying the right jobs you want to pitch to on Upwork. Once you have chosen the best article jobs on Upwork, ensure that you have read the job description very well so that you are sure that you can handle the job.

In my opinion, the most detailed job postings are the best. These are possibly real clients who know the value of content marketing, which means that they could pay better rates compared to clients who are so brief in their job postings. 

It is crucial, though, to note that not all jobs with longer descriptions. There is also a category of freelance clients who want more done with a very low budget. My advice is that you ignore these jobs even if you are still a beginner.

4. Write your article pitch

Many gurus try hard to convince freelance writers that there is a specific way to write pitches on Upwork. Still, the truth is that writing good pitches on Upwork depends on your knowledge and experience of freelance writing. 

That is why I recommend that you read through the job description and identify the client’s pain points. Once you know what the client needs, you need to show the client exactly how you will help him or her. 

Also, it is essential to keep an eye on any conditions mentioned in the job description. Some clients will always want you to start your pitch with a phrase, to ascertain that you read through their job post. 

So how do you write a good Upwork pitch? 

  • Start by going through the past client hires to find his or her name. 
  • Jot down any pain points the client has to help you address them appropriately when writing your Upwork article pitch. 
  • Check out if there are any phrases you need to start with. 
  • Start your proposal with this phrase, “I can see you are looking for….” 

With that out of the way, what are the components of an excellent Upwork article pitch? 

Elements of a good article pitch 

  • Personalization: As I said, you need to research the clients’ names from his or her past hires. So it would be best if you ended up with something like: Hey Jamie, Hi Hannah. 
  • Next, include any phrases the clients want applicants to mention at the start of the pitch to ascertain that you read the job description. 
  • Now prove to the client that you read the job description and that you fully understand his or her pain point in a statement: “I can see you are looking for an SEO content writer..”
  • Your second paragraph should illustrate to the client how best you can help him or her. This is the section that will either make or break your pitch. If you don’t have enough knowledge about the job, clients will easily detect it from your pitch. So make sure that you are applying to your perfect match job. 
  • Include a sample. I have seen most freelance writers send out articles pitches (proposals) without including any sample. That’s quite bad and don’t fall victim to such. Instead, include two or three links to your most recent writings (could either be published or a Google Docs link.) It is also crucial that you include only relevant writing samples. 
  • Lastly, make sure you have an excellent call to action. In as much as your pitch can be one of the best, you could lose the chance of getting hired because you never told the client what he or she should do next. I have found out that call to actions that take the form of a question converts better. For example: “Would you mind if we had a brief talk via the messages to figure out the best possible way to make this project a success?” 

Upwork Article Pitch Sample

The Job Description:
how to write a pitch on upwork
The Pitch:

Hello Eduard, 

I can see you’re looking for copywriters who are well-conversant with any of the topics mentioned in your job post. 

First, let me acknowledge your content strategy because it’s almost similar to the one I use to steer my clients to success. So you provide keywords, then the freelancer builds content around the provided keywords. 

This is almost similar to my strategy. The only difference is that you don’t use a content brief and a competitor analysis. 

A content brief is a document that contains the content guidelines which the freelance must use when writing content. Usually, a content brief will have the keywords, title, searcher’s intent, client success criteria, content structure, and competitor influencers. 

On the other hand, a competitor analysis is a cheat sheet that the freelancer will fill when carrying out research. Remember, the focus is to compare content already ranking for the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Additionally, competitor analysis is used to assess whether or not the competitor content has enough visuals, the word count, or any other component making it unique. 

That said, I’ve worked with several clients across the world. Check out my latest projects on Upwork below: 

1. {writing sample 1} 

2. {writing sample 2}

3. {writing sample 3}

Those are my latest project on Upwork. Feel free to go through my portfolio to confirm these projects: 

{my upwork portfolio link}

Lastly, would you mind hopping into a 5-10 minute call or a brief message chat so that I can better explain my process of content creation and how it could be a significant boost to your business? 

Regards,

Denzil 

The client quicky sends me a message:

Hi Denzil,

I like the style of the VA Productivity and VPN Article.

I would need this fresh & cool & conversational style for my Articles

If you don’t mind, I would ask you for a sample article before we start working together.

Its 2.500 Words and I would pay you 75 USD for that:

Does this work for you ?

Let me know

Best
Eduard

The offer comes:

how to write a pitch

In Conclusion – How to Write a Pitch

That said, how to write a pitch – whether a guest post pitch or an article pitch doesn’t have to be scary. You only need to make sure you have done your homework the right way. 

And that is through researching your prospects to know more about them and understanding their pain points. With this strategy, you will land a ton of high-paying clients. 

But I’d love to hear from you too. Have you ever pitched a magazine or publication? Was it a guest post or a paid article pitch? What was your experience? 

Let me know your experience in the comments below. 

How to Become a Ghostwriter: The Definitive Guide

How to Become a Ghostwriter: The Definitive Guide

This is a definitive guide on how to become a ghostwriter. In this guide, you will learn all that it takes to be a ghostwriter and make money freelance writing. 

So if you are looking forward to starting a freelance writing business as a ghostwriter, this will be your ultimate guide. 

Just briefly, this guide will cover: 

  1. What is a ghostwriter 
  2. Why should you become a ghostwriter 
  3. How much do ghostwriters make
  4. How do ghostwriters get paid
  5. How to become a ghostwriter 
  6. How to market yourself as a ghostwriter 
  7. Ghostwriter jobs 

Let’s cut to the chase. 

What is a ghostwriter – what does ghostwriter mean?

A ghostwriter is a person who writes pieces, such as articles, blog posts (though these two have merged over the years to mean the same thing), web content, SEO content, email campaigns, etc. but not credited for his or her writing efforts. 

So instead of publishing these pieces under your name, they are printed under someone else’s name – could be your client or the company name. It is also important to note that you cannot use any of these writings elsewhere, unless with the approval of your client. 

However, it would help if you strike a deal with your client to convert the ghostwritten pieces into pdf and showcase them privately to potential clients who may need writing samples from you. This would not affect your clients in any way if they were already published. 

Why should I become a ghostwriter? 

What sense would it make to dive into ghostwriting business if you won’t get credit for your efforts? Maybe you need to look for any other lucrative freelance writing career and push ghostwriting into a bottomless pit. 

While this is what every beginner might think about ghostwriting, what they don’t know is that ghostwriting is one of the most demanded freelance writing opportunities right now. Additionally, ghostwriting jobs attract better pay because you don’t get credit for your writing services. 

Are there two categories of ghostwriting? 

There are two categories of ghostwriting – ghostwriting for beginners and ghostwriting for experts. As I said, ghostwriting attracts higher pay, but this may not be the case for all ghostwriters. 

The expert ghostwriters are likely to charge more as compared to beginner ghostwriters. And this is because of the tons of experience they’ve garnered as ghostwriters. Usually, these experienced level freelance ghostwriters find their ghostwriting gigs through pitching. 

On the other hand, beginner freelance ghostwriters usually find ghostwriting jobs on freelance platforms, such as Upwork. And the reason why I say that jobs found on such platforms are ghostwriting gigs too is that ghostwriters on these platforms never receive any credit for their work. 

I had to clarify this because experts in the industry get beginner freelancers confused on who is a ghost writer because they tend to make beginner writers feel like what they are doing on freelancing platforms such as Upwork is not ghostwriting. 

So the difference between these two categories of ghostwriters is the level of experience and ghostwriting rates. Otherwise, if you are working for anyone as a writer and never get credit for your work, you are a ghostwriter, whether or not you command higher rates. 

How much do ghostwriters make? 

As I mentioned earlier, ghostwriting services differ by the rates freelance ghostwriters charge. More experienced ghostwriters can charge up to $2,000/ project, depending on your client and years of experience. 

For example, ghostwriting for a celeb or an industry expert will earn you more than writing for just a broker-client on a freelancing platform, such as Fiverr or Upwork. 

On the other hand, beginner freelance ghostwriters can charge as low as $5, depending on the clients they fetch. So the bottom line is that there are no specific rates for ghost writers jobs, but the experience level and who you work with influences how much you get paid as a ghostwriter. 

How do ghostwriters get paid? 

There are many modes of payment ghostwriters can choose from. If you decide to work with direct clients, then you could agree to get paid via PayPal, wire transfers, Payoneer, bank transfer, among other payment means. 

The same will apply if you are working on freelance writing platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr. All you will need to do is add a payment method, such as your bank account, PayPal account, where you can withdraw your earnings once it matures. 

This far, I believe that you now know what a ghostwriter is, reasons why you need to consider becoming a ghostwriter, how much ghostwriters make, and how ghostwriters get paid. But how do you become a ghostwriter? 

How to Become a Ghostwriter 

When you do a simple Google search, there are probabilities that you’ll come across quite confusing steps of how to become a ghostwriter. In my opinion, I feel like there is more that has been left on these posts. So without further ado, let’s look at the steps to becoming a ghostwriter:

1. Create your writing sample

how to become a ghostwriter

The first thing you should do if you are serious about starting a ghostwriting business is to create a writing sample. Like any other job, ghostwriting will also require you to have samples you can present to potential clients. 

So how do you create ghostwriting samples? 

There are many ways you can create a ghostwriting sample – from the crystal ball technique to using the skyscraper technique by Danny Margulies and Brian Dean, respectively. 

The crystal ball technique is where you create a writing sample based on a job posting requirement and present it to your client as a writing sample. This method is most effective when using freelance platforms like Upwork to get ghost writing jobs. 

On the other hand, the skyscraper technique is based on a proven SEO strategy by the founder of Backlinko, Brian Dean. The ideology behind this technique is that you want to create a writing sample by targeting specific terms called keywords, in line with what Google considers worthy of ranking on page 1. In other words, you create your article by following the structure of the top-ranking articles on Google, but now make it more in-depth. 

To create your writing sample, I prefer that you use a sample job posting with phrases, such as ghostwriter needed and carefully analyze the job description to know what the client needs. You can get a sample job posting on freelance writing job boards, or freelance platforms like Upwork.

2. Become a freelance writer on freelancing platforms

become a ghostwriter

Once you have your writing sample ready, it’s time to job hunt on freelance marketplaces, such as Upwork. I highly recommend that you start your ghostwriting journey on Upwork. 

Upwork has become strict these days, and not just anyone will get approved to be part of the awesome community. So you need to make sure that your application to join Upwork is on point and that you have listed all the relevant skills you have. 

While this is not the 100% guarantee that Upwork will approve your account, there is a 100% technique that I have proven to work – the 2-step account creation. Now, with this technique, all you have to do is start by creating a none-writing profile. 

You could opt to create an engineering freelance account, a legal consultant account, or a machine learning account. The reason why you should choose any of these categories is that Upwork has a deficit in these areas. 

Start by researching data science (machine learning) or whatever you choose to have an idea of their job description, then rewrite this as your overview. Once you have crafted your Upwork overview, go ahead and start filling your application to join Upwork. 

Finally, you need to know that Upwork allows you to change your Upwork profile anytime you wish. So once you get approved, adjust your machine learning profile and begin sourcing for ghostwriting jobs for beginners. Take note to include as much information when filling your application.

3. Learn from your clients 

becoming a ghostwriter

Sourcing for the right ghostwriting jobs for beginners will help you land a few ghostwriting gigs. Learn as much as you can from your clients. I know some shitty clients are just hard to learn from, but try and only work with experienced clients. 

When I started writing on Upwork, I was lucky to have met some of the best clients. These are clients who run reputable tuition agencies in Singapore, former senior employees from Coca-cola and kindergarten owners in countries such as Malaysia. 

These clients gave me an insight into the new way of content marketing; they corrected me whenever I made mistakes, and this helped me create my blog. 

Be free and human with your clients while maintaining professionalism at the highest level. Work with the client step by step, keep updating them regarding how far you have gone with their project and they will always be happy to correct you politely when you make mistakes.

4. Improve your freelance writing skills

Learning never stops and trying out new ideas should help you up your game in the freelancing space. Take freelance writing courses, read from reputable blogs like Backlinko and acquire more knowledge. 

Additionally, keep practicing by writing daily. Developing a writing habit improves your writing skills. While there is no standard amount of words you should write every day, you can have a schedule and maybe start with 500 words, then increase the limit gradually.

5. Start a freelance writer blog 

ghostwriting jobs for beginners

Starting a freelance writer blog is just an extension of bettering your writing skills. Having a blog will help you improve your writing because you will have to update the blog with fresh content regularly. 

To start a blog, you first need to choose a niche you’d want to write about. It could either be parenting, health, relationships, technology, etc. Once you have selected a niche, brainstorm a domain name. A domain name is your blog name, and I prefer you choose a domain name with a .com extension—for example, yourdomainname.com. 

There are a couple of ways to settle on a domain name. You could name your blog by considering what you are passionate about. For example, Jon Morrow named his blog SmartBlogger, which means this is a blog for passionate bloggers. Also, you can decide on your domain name by mentioning the value people will get when they read from your blog, for example, beabetterblogger.com. 

Once you have a domain name, it’s time to choose your hosting company. I prefer that you choose Bluehost as your hosting provider because of the many features it offers users. Bluehost will provide you with a free SSL certificate, free domain name and excellent customer support through their quick and easy customer live chat. 

I use Bluehost as my hosting provider, and honestly, they are an excellent hosting service as compared to other hosting providers I have used in the past. (Ouch! I don’t want to mention names) . 

So that marks the end of our steps to becoming a ghostwriter. By now, you should have landed a few ghostwriting and gaining experience as you work with more clients, but how do you market yourself as a ghostwriter? 

Get started with Bluehost.

How to Market Yourself as a Ghostwriter

Even while you have landed a few ghostwriting jobs, you must promote yourself and let potential clients know that you are a ghostwriter for hire. This way, you can end up adding more high-paying clients on your client’s list. So how do you market yourself?

1. Guest post on relevant blogs 

Guest posting on blogs helps you get more attention and people can know that you are a ghostwriter. But make sure to include a killer author bio that states that you are a ghostwriter for hire. This way, potential clients interested in hiring you can do so. 

There are a ton of “write for us” blogs, such as FreelancerFaqs, The Write Life, The Elephant, Digital Health Buzz, among other publications that accept submissions. 

Before you guest post on blogs, you will need to write a pitch to the platform’s editor through a pitch story idea. You, therefore, need to research what the blog is about, what’s the most shared post on their blog to increase the chances of your pitch story being approved. 

You should also know how to get editors’ email, but don’t worry about that because I’ll cover it in the next section – cold emailing.

2. Connect with industry influencers on Twitter/ LinkedIn 

The next way you can promote yourself as a ghostwriter is by connecting with industry experts on social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. 

It is essential to take note that building relationships go a long way than just spamming people using a follow for follow hashtag trend. 

What you can do instead is to be as helpful as possible by posting valuable and actionable advice on your walls. 

If you must follow anyone, make sure you are following only the people in your industry. And whenever someone within your industry follows you, show them love by following back. 

Below are the Twitter freelance writing accounts you should follow: 

3. Leave captivating comments on blogs 

Leaving comments on other blogs has been considered old school, but it still works when done the right way. Please, for chrissake, don’t leave spam comments, such as “nice post,” “excellent post,” and so on. This means that you did not read the post and therefore, are trying to secure a no-follow backlink or seeking unnecessary attention. 

Instead, read the post, digest it and leave a meaningful comment that will spike curiosity. Maybe, leave a comment by explaining how the post was timely because you were previously making some mistakes before you came across the post.  

5. Participate in Facebook groups 

how to become a ghostwriter

Facebook groups are also great. But you need to be more careful these days with what Facebook groups you join. I don’t like too promotional groups, where it’s like people are on a marathon promoting their products. 

I have seen this on most Facebook groups, which I have left to give me time and only focus on the groups that matter to me. That said, below are some of the groups that will help you grow as an online savvy – from freelance writing to virtual assistance. 

When you get approved to join the above mentioned Facebook groups, please be courteous and helpful. Don’t spam people and don’t get promotional. There are specific days in these groups when you are allowed to promote your products or services. 

And that marks the end of how you can market yourself as a ghostwriter. So how do you score expert ghostwriter jobs? I mean those that pay way better as compared to the freelance platforms, such as Upwork? 

How to Score Expert Ghostwriting Gigs as a Ghostwriter

1. Cold emailing

Cold emailing is considered one of the most effective ways to land freelance writing jobs, including ghostwriting jobs. Sadly, most have failed terribly with cold emailing. Many people give up within the first two weeks of trying cold emailing. 

But it’s not because cold emailing doesn’t work. It’s just that most people are now implementing it the right way. For example, instead of finding prospects on your own, you hire a data mining freelancer, who may not even know your specific goals. 

However, cold emailing can be a goldmine if practiced the right way. First, you need to decide on your preferred niche. You can do this by researching the most profitable niches on Google while also taking care of what you can comfortably handle. 

The Process

Once you have chosen your niche, you will need to identify the prospects you want to reach out to. There are several ways you can identify prospects. For example, you can do a simple Google search “your niche+companies”. With this tactic, you will end up with something like “eCommerce industries.”

Once you identify your prospects, make sure that they value content marketing and that they have active blogs. You can do this by hovering through their website pages and checking out their most recent post. 

The next step is to find the most relevant email addresses for those in charge of content in whatever companies you have chosen. There are a few email finder tools I have tested and proven, such as Snovio, Skrapp, Hunter, Voila Norbert, Findthat.Email, Lusha, among others. 

Finally, write your pitch email. When writing your article pitch, make sure that you keep it short and go straight to the point. Your headline should be relevant and be able to capture the reader’s attention. For example, “content at company x.” Also, make sure to personalize your email by including the person’s name.

2. Job boards 

While job board jobs will not pay you as high as gigs you land through cold emailing, they surely can be a great addition to your ghostwriting gigs marketplaces. There are a ton of job boards – both paid and free. 

Free job boards tend to be crowded by many freelancers and therefore may not present you with the best opportunities. However, you can still land a ton of ghostwriting gigs if you surely know what you are doing. 

Paid job boards, on the other hand, are not as crowded as compared to free job boards because you will have to pay a monthly fee, which many freelance writers won’t consider. If you consider yourself an expert and don’t want to spend a lot of time competing for jobs on free job boards, subscribing to a paid job board would help. 

That said, below are some of the job boards you can try out: 

Free writing job boards

Paid writing job boards

You Can Make Money Ghostwriting 

You must be wondering what the difference between a ghostwriter and a freelance writer is? And is the process of becoming one the same? 

The steps involved in becoming a freelance writer is pretty much the same as becoming a ghostwriter. The minor difference is what you will call yourself – a ghostwriter for hire or a freelance writer for hire. 

Also, you need to know that the phrase a “freelance writer” is the umbrella name for any remote writing gig. So don’t confuse the two. 

I’d Like to Hear From You

Now that you know the exact steps how to become a ghostwriter, what’s your next plan? Have you tried ghostwriting before? Did you find it confusing to differentiate between freelance writing and ghostwriting? And did you know we have two categories of ghostwriting? Let me know in the comments below. 

This is a definitive guide on how to become a ghostwriter. In this guide, you will learn all that it takes to be a ghostwriter and make money freelance writing. 

So if you are looking forward to starting a freelance writing business as a ghostwriter, this will be your ultimate guide. 

Just briefly, this guide will cover: 

  1. What is a ghostwriter 
  2. Why should you become a ghostwriter 
  3. How much do ghostwriters make
  4. How do ghostwriters get paid
  5. How to become a ghostwriter 
  6. How to market yourself as a ghostwriter 
  7. Ghostwriter jobs 

Let’s cut to the chase. 

What is a ghostwriter – what does ghostwriter mean?

A ghostwriter is a person who writes pieces, such as articles, blog posts (though these two have merged over the years to mean the same thing), web content, SEO content, email campaigns, etc. but not credited for his or her writing efforts. 

So instead of publishing these pieces under your name, they are printed under someone else’s name – could be your client or the company name. It is also important to note that you cannot use any of these writings elsewhere, unless with the approval of your client. 

However, it would help if you strike a deal with your client to convert the ghostwritten pieces into pdf and showcase them privately to potential clients who may need writing samples from you. This would not affect your clients in any way if they were already published. 

Why should I become a ghostwriter? 

What sense would it make to dive into ghostwriting business if you won’t get credit for your efforts? Maybe you need to look for any other lucrative freelance writing career and push ghostwriting into a bottomless pit. 

While this is what every beginner might think about ghostwriting, what they don’t know is that ghostwriting is one of the most demanded freelance writing opportunities right now. Additionally, ghostwriting jobs attract better pay because you don’t get credit for your writing services. 

Are there two categories of ghostwriting? 

There are two categories of ghostwriting – ghostwriting for beginners and ghostwriting for experts. As I said, ghostwriting attracts higher pay, but this may not be the case for all ghostwriters. 

The expert ghostwriters are likely to charge more as compared to beginner ghostwriters. And this is because of the tons of experience they’ve garnered as ghostwriters. Usually, these experienced level freelance ghostwriters find their ghostwriting gigs through pitching. 

On the other hand, beginner freelance ghostwriters usually find ghostwriting jobs on freelance platforms, such as Upwork. And the reason why I say that jobs found on such platforms are ghostwriting gigs too is that ghostwriters on these platforms never receive any credit for their work. 

I had to clarify this because experts in the industry get beginner freelancers confused on who is a ghost writer because they tend to make beginner writers feel like what they are doing on freelancing platforms such as Upwork is not ghostwriting. 

So the difference between these two categories of ghostwriters is the level of experience and ghostwriting rates. Otherwise, if you are working for anyone as a writer and never get credit for your work, you are a ghostwriter, whether or not you command higher rates. 

How much do ghostwriters make? 

As I mentioned earlier, ghostwriting services differ by the rates freelance ghostwriters charge. More experienced ghostwriters can charge up to $2,000/ project, depending on your client and years of experience. 

For example, ghostwriting for a celeb or an industry expert will earn you more than writing for just a broker-client on a freelancing platform, such as Fiverr or Upwork. 

On the other hand, beginner freelance ghostwriters can charge as low as $5, depending on the clients they fetch. So the bottom line is that there are no specific rates for ghost writers jobs, but the experience level and who you work with influences how much you get paid as a ghostwriter. 

How do ghostwriters get paid? 

There are many modes of payment ghostwriters can choose from. If you decide to work with direct clients, then you could agree to get paid via PayPal, wire transfers, Payoneer, bank transfer, among other payment means. 

The same will apply if you are working on freelance writing platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr. All you will need to do is add a payment method, such as your bank account, PayPal account, where you can withdraw your earnings once it matures. 

This far, I believe that you now know what a ghostwriter is, reasons why you need to consider becoming a ghostwriter, how much ghostwriters make, and how ghostwriters get paid. But how do you become a ghostwriter? 

How to Become a Ghostwriter 

When you do a simple Google search, there are probabilities that you’ll come across quite confusing steps of how to become a ghostwriter. In my opinion, I feel like there is more that has been left on these posts. So without further ado, let’s look at the steps to becoming a ghostwriter:

1. Create your writing sample

how to become a ghostwriter

The first thing you should do if you are serious about starting a ghostwriting business is to create a writing sample. Like any other job, ghostwriting will also require you to have samples you can present to potential clients. 

So how do you create ghostwriting samples? 

There are many ways you can create a ghostwriting sample – from the crystal ball technique to using the skyscraper technique by Danny Margulies and Brian Dean, respectively. 

The crystal ball technique is where you create a writing sample based on a job posting requirement and present it to your client as a writing sample. This method is most effective when using freelance platforms like Upwork to get ghost writing jobs. 

On the other hand, the skyscraper technique is based on a proven SEO strategy by the founder of Backlinko, Brian Dean. The ideology behind this technique is that you want to create a writing sample by targeting specific terms called keywords, in line with what Google considers worthy of ranking on page 1. In other words, you create your article by following the structure of the top-ranking articles on Google, but now make it more in-depth. 

To create your writing sample, I prefer that you use a sample job posting with phrases, such as ghostwriter needed and carefully analyze the job description to know what the client needs. You can get a sample job posting on freelance writing job boards, or freelance platforms like Upwork.

2. Become a freelance writer on freelancing platforms

become a ghostwriter

Once you have your writing sample ready, it’s time to job hunt on freelance marketplaces, such as Upwork. I highly recommend that you start your ghostwriting journey on Upwork. 

Upwork has become strict these days, and not just anyone will get approved to be part of the awesome community. So you need to make sure that your application to join Upwork is on point and that you have listed all the relevant skills you have. 

While this is not the 100% guarantee that Upwork will approve your account, there is a 100% technique that I have proven to work – the 2-step account creation. Now, with this technique, all you have to do is start by creating a none-writing profile. 

You could opt to create an engineering freelance account, a legal consultant account, or a machine learning account. The reason why you should choose any of these categories is that Upwork has a deficit in these areas. 

Start by researching data science (machine learning) or whatever you choose to have an idea of their job description, then rewrite this as your overview. Once you have crafted your Upwork overview, go ahead and start filling your application to join Upwork. 

Finally, you need to know that Upwork allows you to change your Upwork profile anytime you wish. So once you get approved, adjust your machine learning profile and begin sourcing for ghostwriting jobs for beginners. Take note to include as much information when filling your application.

3. Learn from your clients 

becoming a ghostwriter

Sourcing for the right ghostwriting jobs for beginners will help you land a few ghostwriting gigs. Learn as much as you can from your clients. I know some shitty clients are just hard to learn from, but try and only work with experienced clients. 

When I started writing on Upwork, I was lucky to have met some of the best clients. These are clients who run reputable tuition agencies in Singapore, former senior employees from Coca-cola and kindergarten owners in countries such as Malaysia. 

These clients gave me an insight into the new way of content marketing; they corrected me whenever I made mistakes, and this helped me create my blog. 

Be free and human with your clients while maintaining professionalism at the highest level. Work with the client step by step, keep updating them regarding how far you have gone with their project and they will always be happy to correct you politely when you make mistakes.

4. Improve your freelance writing skills

Learning never stops and trying out new ideas should help you up your game in the freelancing space. Take freelance writing courses, read from reputable blogs like Backlinko and acquire more knowledge. 

Additionally, keep practicing by writing daily. Developing a writing habit improves your writing skills. While there is no standard amount of words you should write every day, you can have a schedule and maybe start with 500 words, then increase the limit gradually.

5. Start a freelance writer blog 

ghostwriting jobs for beginners

Starting a freelance writer blog is just an extension of bettering your writing skills. Having a blog will help you improve your writing because you will have to update the blog with fresh content regularly. 

To start a blog, you first need to choose a niche you’d want to write about. It could either be parenting, health, relationships, technology, etc. Once you have selected a niche, brainstorm a domain name. A domain name is your blog name, and I prefer you choose a domain name with a .com extension—for example, yourdomainname.com. 

There are a couple of ways to settle on a domain name. You could name your blog by considering what you are passionate about. For example, Jon Morrow named his blog SmartBlogger, which means this is a blog for passionate bloggers. Also, you can decide on your domain name by mentioning the value people will get when they read from your blog, for example, beabetterblogger.com. 

Once you have a domain name, it’s time to choose your hosting company. I prefer that you choose Bluehost as your hosting provider because of the many features it offers users. Bluehost will provide you with a free SSL certificate, free domain name and excellent customer support through their quick and easy customer live chat. 

I use Bluehost as my hosting provider, and honestly, they are an excellent hosting service as compared to other hosting providers I have used in the past. (Ouch! I don’t want to mention names) . 

So that marks the end of our steps to becoming a ghostwriter. By now, you should have landed a few ghostwriting and gaining experience as you work with more clients, but how do you market yourself as a ghostwriter? 

Get started with Bluehost.

How to Market Yourself as a Ghostwriter

Even while you have landed a few ghostwriting jobs, you must promote yourself and let potential clients know that you are a ghostwriter for hire. This way, you can end up adding more high-paying clients on your client’s list. So how do you market yourself?

1. Guest post on relevant blogs 

Guest posting on blogs helps you get more attention and people can know that you are a ghostwriter. But make sure to include a killer author bio that states that you are a ghostwriter for hire. This way, potential clients interested in hiring you can do so. 

There are a ton of “write for us” blogs, such as FreelancerFaqs, The Write Life, The Elephant, Digital Health Buzz, among other publications that accept submissions. 

Before you guest post on blogs, you will need to write a pitch to the platform’s editor through a pitch story idea. You, therefore, need to research what the blog is about, what’s the most shared post on their blog to increase the chances of your pitch story being approved. 

You should also know how to get editors’ email, but don’t worry about that because I’ll cover it in the next section – cold emailing.

2. Connect with industry influencers on Twitter/ LinkedIn 

The next way you can promote yourself as a ghostwriter is by connecting with industry experts on social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn. 

It is essential to take note that building relationships go a long way than just spamming people using a follow for follow hashtag trend. 

What you can do instead is to be as helpful as possible by posting valuable and actionable advice on your walls. 

If you must follow anyone, make sure you are following only the people in your industry. And whenever someone within your industry follows you, show them love by following back. 

Below are the Twitter freelance writing accounts you should follow: 

3. Leave captivating comments on blogs 

Leaving comments on other blogs has been considered old school, but it still works when done the right way. Please, for chrissake, don’t leave spam comments, such as “nice post,” “excellent post,” and so on. This means that you did not read the post and therefore, are trying to secure a no-follow backlink or seeking unnecessary attention. 

Instead, read the post, digest it and leave a meaningful comment that will spike curiosity. Maybe, leave a comment by explaining how the post was timely because you were previously making some mistakes before you came across the post.  

5. Participate in Facebook groups 

how to become a ghostwriter

Facebook groups are also great. But you need to be more careful these days with what Facebook groups you join. I don’t like too promotional groups, where it’s like people are on a marathon promoting their products. 

I have seen this on most Facebook groups, which I have left to give me time and only focus on the groups that matter to me. That said, below are some of the groups that will help you grow as an online savvy – from freelance writing to virtual assistance. 

When you get approved to join the above mentioned Facebook groups, please be courteous and helpful. Don’t spam people and don’t get promotional. There are specific days in these groups when you are allowed to promote your products or services. 

And that marks the end of how you can market yourself as a ghostwriter. So how do you score expert ghostwriter jobs? I mean those that pay way better as compared to the freelance platforms, such as Upwork? 

How to Score Expert Ghostwriting Gigs as a Ghostwriter

1. Cold emailing

Cold emailing is considered one of the most effective ways to land freelance writing jobs, including ghostwriting jobs. Sadly, most have failed terribly with cold emailing. Many people give up within the first two weeks of trying cold emailing. 

But it’s not because cold emailing doesn’t work. It’s just that most people are now implementing it the right way. For example, instead of finding prospects on your own, you hire a data mining freelancer, who may not even know your specific goals. 

However, cold emailing can be a goldmine if practiced the right way. First, you need to decide on your preferred niche. You can do this by researching the most profitable niches on Google while also taking care of what you can comfortably handle. 

The Process

Once you have chosen your niche, you will need to identify the prospects you want to reach out to. There are several ways you can identify prospects. For example, you can do a simple Google search “your niche+companies”. With this tactic, you will end up with something like “eCommerce industries.”

Once you identify your prospects, make sure that they value content marketing and that they have active blogs. You can do this by hovering through their website pages and checking out their most recent post. 

The next step is to find the most relevant email addresses for those in charge of content in whatever companies you have chosen. There are a few email finder tools I have tested and proven, such as Snovio, Skrapp, Hunter, Voila Norbert, Findthat.Email, Lusha, among others. 

Finally, write your pitch email. When writing your article pitch, make sure that you keep it short and go straight to the point. Your headline should be relevant and be able to capture the reader’s attention. For example, “content at company x.” Also, make sure to personalize your email by including the person’s name.

2. Job boards 

While job board jobs will not pay you as high as gigs you land through cold emailing, they surely can be a great addition to your ghostwriting gigs marketplaces. There are a ton of job boards – both paid and free. 

Free job boards tend to be crowded by many freelancers and therefore may not present you with the best opportunities. However, you can still land a ton of ghostwriting gigs if you surely know what you are doing. 

Paid job boards, on the other hand, are not as crowded as compared to free job boards because you will have to pay a monthly fee, which many freelance writers won’t consider. If you consider yourself an expert and don’t want to spend a lot of time competing for jobs on free job boards, subscribing to a paid job board would help. 

That said, below are some of the job boards you can try out: 

Free writing job boards

Paid writing job boards

You Can Make Money Ghostwriting 

You must be wondering what the difference between a ghostwriter and a freelance writer is? And is the process of becoming one the same? 

The steps involved in becoming a freelance writer is pretty much the same as becoming a ghostwriter. The minor difference is what you will call yourself – a ghostwriter for hire or a freelance writer for hire. 

Also, you need to know that the phrase a “freelance writer” is the umbrella name for any remote writing gig. So don’t confuse the two. 

I’d Like to Hear From You

Now that you know the exact steps how to become a ghostwriter, what’s your next plan? Have you tried ghostwriting before? Did you find it confusing to differentiate between freelance writing and ghostwriting? And did you know we have two categories of ghostwriting? Let me know in the comments below. 

Difference Between Article and Blog (+ New Changes)

Difference Between Article and Blog (+ New Changes)

You once referred to an article as a blog and vice versa because you didn’t know the difference between article and blog writing. 

Surprisingly, I had the same challenge. 

When I started my freelance writing journey, it was quite hard to differentiate between an article and a blog. 

I knew they were pretty much the same thing, so I ended up using the two phrases interchangeably. 

Today, I decided to clear the air and point out a few elements to help writers understand the difference between the two and command better freelance writing rates. 

Let’s dive in. 

Difference Between Articles and Blogs 

1. Purpose 

What is an article used for? 

The primary purpose is to inform by giving in-depth guidance or insight on a specific topic. An article is written in a scholarly, educational, and journalistic tone and the second or third person. Furthermore, articles are most common in medical journals, online archives, and databases. 

What is a blog used for? 

The primary purpose of a blog post is to give valuable and actionable information in a much-simplified version. Blog posts are conversational and are written in the first person, though it shouldn’t surprise you if you spot a blog written in either the second or third person. Unlike articles, blogs don’t take an educational tone. Instead, blogs have a casual tone and should be intriguing. 

2. Inclusion of SEO Keywords 

Online marketing has become more intense over the years, and savvy content marketers now see the need to practice Search Engine Optimization. There’s more to SEO, but now, know that SEO facilitates content to a broader audience. That said, blogs are created around specific and relevant terms called keywords. These keywords help Google and other search engines understand your content better and rank it appropriately. 

Articles don’t need the inclusion of keywords. Back then, articles were meant to provide in-depth knowledge about a specific topic. Before an article was written and published, the topic had to be thoroughly researched and lots of statistics to help readers better understand the topic. Additionally, unlike blogs, where users may search for a term and scan to determine if they meet their needs, articles are primarily meant to give information to a specific audience. 

3. Length and Style 

One of the key differences between article and blog writing is the length. Blogs can range between 500 words to 1,000 words, depending on your clients’ needs. However, articles tend to be longer – from 1,000 words to 5000 words. 

Blogs are opinionated – that is, they are written from a writer’s perspective, from experience, and so on. For example, I may write a blog about becoming a writer from my experience as a freelance writer. 

On the other hand, articles are more scholarly and take a journalistic tone. They should be professional and formal. Unlike blogs, articles are not opinionated and should be backed by concrete statistics and expert advice in the industry. 

4. Editing 

Reputable publications majorly publish articles, and these pieces usually go through a chain of editors to catch any grammar errors and spelling mistakes. 

On the other hand, blogs are run by individuals and may not go through thorough editing than articles. In most cases, you will find one person owning a blog and may not have the capital or time to edit the work thoroughly. 

However, things have changed, and editing has become a crucial step in the writing process. Nobody ever wants to read a piece full of grammar and typo errors. So even sole-proprietor bloggers would go the extra mile to hire editors to help them polish the content. 

5. The Medium 

This is another quite challenging aspect of the difference between article and blog writing. But think of it along this line – where does an article or blog appear? On a company website or an individual website?

A blog, will in most cases, appear on an individual’s or company’s website. In some cases, you will find out that blogging is the main focus of the website. For example, Your Passion Matters is a blog, and it primarily focused on blogging about making money from home topics. 

On the contrary, an article is purely educational and should provide in-depth information about a specific topic. You will often find articles on large organization’s websites or news websites, such as usnews.com, healthline.com, etc.  

Are Articles and Blogs Still Different in 2020? 

We are in a competitive world, and it’s a no-brainer that we have to change how we do things if competition gets stiffer. This has happened over the years, and today, articles and blogs are pretty much the same. 

The above comparison I made is what articles and blogs used to be, but as more and more websites started crowding the internet, there was a shift in purpose and intent. Like articles, blogs began to include interviews, statistics, and many more features. 

Additionally, blog posts became longer – so instead of just churning out a 500-word blog post, bloggers began writing more in-depth pieces (from 1,000 words to 5000+ words.) Blogs got more professional and started to add case studies and statistics to make the information more credible. 

On the other hand, articles began to include SEO keywords to reach a wider audience. Instead of articles getting longer, they became shorter, especially for the print media, because advertising went online, thanks to the advancement of the internet. 

Additionally, article headlines changed to match blog posts could also get targeted traffic (the same thing bloggers were doing initially). This brought about a complete change in how people thought about articles and blogs.  

Writing an Article vs. Blog Confusion 

Today, there’s much confusion about the article and blog writing format. Sadly even freelance writing clients don’t seem to know where the clear distinction is. And while it is true that the format of a blog is most similar to that of an article, there are still some differences that can help freelance writers command better or higher pay. We will discuss this in the next section. 

Blog vs. Article – What Writers Should Charge 

If you land blog post writing gigs, it’s best to go below $100, which depends on your location. For an American citizen, this may be peanuts, but this is better pay in my country. However, article writing jobs will pay better – between $200 to $500 (sometimes up to $1,000, depending on the topic.)

Some publications may offer below the stated rates above, but they will help you build your portfolio as a freelance writer. As I said, article writing rates may differ depending on your country, experience, and technicality or complexity of the topic you will write. 

But How? 

To take advantage of an article vs. blog writing confusion, you can use a few tactics to command better rates as an article writer. 

First, make sure that your client clearly defines what they mean, especially when they need articles. This is because, in most cases, they need blog posts. 

As we said earlier, a blog post doesn’t involve a lot, such as interviews, but has to convey the information in a casual tone with no grammar mistakes. 

If the client needs you to go in-depth, include stats and interviews, then know that he or she is referring to an article, and you should, therefore, charge more. 

Another way to take advantage of the article vs. blog confusion is to explain to your clients that what they need is an article and not a blog post. It would help if you charged articles higher as compared to blog posts. So do your shit and charge what is worth your time. 

Finally, educate your clients on how Google’s algorithm has changed and why it’s essential to focus on writing articles rather than blog posts. For example, inform them about the critical updates Google made, such as the Google Panda Update and the Google Hummingbird Update.  

Difference Between Blog and Article – The Bottom Line 

How writers create articles and blog posts has changed. So instead of having two different types of writing, we have article-style blog posts. These tend to go more in-depth, including interviews, case studies, statistics, and industry-related trending news. 

It is, therefore, essential to focus on writing article-style blog posts and command even better rates as a freelance writer. I hope that helped clear the confusion that now exists between articles and blogs. 

Now, it’s your turn.

Let me know if you had the same confusion and how this piece will change how you work with clients in the freelancing space.

Aweber vs MailChimp: Which Email Marketing Service is Better?

Aweber vs MailChimp: Which Email Marketing Service is Better?

This is a comprehensive, brutal, and honest Aweber vs MailChimp review. So if you are muddled about which email marketing service to use in 2020, this post is for YOU. 

In this MailChimp vs Aweber guide, I will compare the following: 

  • Flexibility and design
  • Ease of importing email subscribers
  • Automation 
  • Email capture forms
  • Customer support
  • Pricing
  • Ease of editing emails 
  • Segmentation
  • Deliverability

Let’s jump right in. 

Introduction to Aweber vs MailChimp 

I have used both MailChimp and Aweber. So this review is based on my personal experience with both. And because I started my email marketing journey with MailChimp, let’s make it our jumping-off point. 

What is MailChimp? What is MailChimp Used For? 

These two web design enthusiasts – Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut came up with the idea to start a side hustle with an email marketing service, which is today known as MailChimp, in 2001. Initially, the two Georgia residents aimed at helping small businesses manage their customers. 

Today, MailChimp has grown to a reputable email marketing service boasting of over 16 million users, with 12 million+ customers. In a report published by Enlyft, 426,321 companies are using MailChimp. 

What is Aweber? 

Aweber, on the other hand, was started by a college dropout, Tom Kulzer, in 1998. Tom was a passionate wireless modem salesboy, and it is through his modem sales that he thought about the idea of starting an email marketing service company. 

Today, Aweber is one of the go-to email marketing services boasting over 100k customers worldwide. Aweber is the go-to email marketing software because it offers users over 700 email templates, autoresponders, free stock images, etc. 

Great! 

From that introduction, you can see that both Aweber and MailChimp are reputable email marketing companies. But which email marketing tool is better in 2020? 

Let’s cut to the chase: 

Head to Head Comparison – Aweber vs MailChimp

1. Flexibility and design

You know that your emails should be kept simple and that you have limited time to create simple, but good-looking email layouts. 

Both Aweber and MailChimp provide email template layouts for their users, which can help you save time and the hassle of creating email templates from scratch.

For example: 

MailChimp offers 80 clean and beautiful email templates for its users, while Aweber offers over 700 email templates you can readily use. 

MailChimp’s email templates are easy to use as compared to Aweber. When trying to create my email design with Aweber, it took a couple of hours. I had to send a couple of test emails to ascertain that I was sending out perfect emails to my subscribers. 

Winner: Aweber has got lots of template layouts, but MailChimp beats it in this category because of its ease of use. A beginner will find it easy to use MailChimp template layouts as compared to Aweber. So, I choose to go with MailChimp templates. 

2. Ease of import 

Building an email list is a hassle. So you do not want to start building your email list from scratch because you started a new blog. Instead of building a new email list from scratch, you can import your existing email list to your current email marketing company. 

Both Aweber and MailChimp allow users to import their email list, but the ease of import varies depending on which email marketing tool you are using. 

Aweber allows users to add subscribers manually, but some restrictions come with it. For example, you’ll get an error if you add 40+ subscribers manually. Additionally, Aweber allows users to import subscribers in a spreadsheet, through copy and paste, among other formats. 

On the other hand, you can import your subscribers to MailChimp in CSV or excel sheet files, and it’s super simple because MailChimp focuses on user experience. 

A few days ago (before writing this post), I decided to import my MailChimp email list to Aweber. So I downloaded my file in a spreadsheet. To date, Aweber has not updated my list. As a result, I’ve lost patience, and I’m now importing my subscribers manually. 

Winner: Importing my email list to Aweber was a hassle. On the other hand, I have tried importing subscribers to MailChimp, and the transition was smooth. So MailChimp beats Aweber in this category again. 

3. Automation

You’ve got lots of important stuff to attend to. So you don’t have time to send out emails to every new subscriber. Ugh! It’s a complete waste of time. Fortunately, these two email marketing giants come in handy. You can set email automation using both Aweber and MailChimp. 

MailChimp autoresponders allow you to launch different campaigns, depending on the tags you apply. So if you’d like to offer a free mini-course running for five days, you can automate the lessons in a five-days sequence. You can also write and upload your email marketing series, then schedule them depending on which dates you want to send them.

Related: How to set up MailChimp autoresponders

Aweber equally offers solid autoresponders for its users, just as MailChimp. The only difference is the ease of setting up these email automation. I tried automating my free mini-course series in Aweber a few weeks ago. And to be honest, setting up my five-day email series was quite simple, unlike the hassle I experienced setting them up on MailChimp. 

Furthermore, Aweber provides email campaign templates that you can easily edit and schedule without any hassle. I recently used this feature to run an email campaign for three consecutive days, and it was quite a smooth process. 

Winner: Aweber beats MailChimp in this category. This is because setting up automation using Aweber is simple through its drag and drop feature. On the other hand, MailChimp is not beginner-friendly and is likely to confuse individuals who are just getting started with email marketing. 

4. Email capture forms

It would help if you made it easy for your subscribers to sign up for your newsletter. You can do that by creating a form using Aweber or MailChimp. 

MailChimp makes it easy for its users to create sign up forms using a drag and drop feature, and you can add fields such as city, name, among others. You can pre-segment your subscribers by allowing them to enter the product or service they love on your pages. That way, you can group your subscribers and create specialized content for them.

Nice. 

Aweber, on the other hand, provides even more features. With Aweber, you can create up to 25 fields, but c’mon, you don’t need all those – you probably need at least two fields (the name and email). While there are premade form layouts you can use on Aweber, you also have the freedom to come up with your design and publish once you are done. 

aweber email capture forms

Easy peasy! 

When I started my blogging career, creating sign up forms and adding them to my WordPress account using MailChimp was a hassle. MailChimp needs you to add the code from the theme editor – not so beginner-friendly. On the other hand, you can add the Aweber code on your widget in just seconds. 

Winner: I’ll go with Aweber because adding the code on WordPress is quite straightforward. You can add it by following these steps: Appearance >> Widgets. From here, you can drag and drop the text box and place it right before the footer boxes on your right. Here’s a tutorial to walk you through.

5. Customer support

You’ll frequently encounter challenges when using either of the email marketing services. And the truth is that every user (including myself) would be companies with better customer support. 

Now, both Aweber and MailChimp have resources to get you sorted. MailChimp, for example, has a ton of resources where you can find help whenever you need it. With this in mind, MailChimp is not looking forward to more people contacting them directly. Additionally, MailChimp offers one-month consistent customer support for free users. Once the one-month period is over, you have to find how to survive. Doesn’t sound good to newbies, right?

Aweber, on the other hand, offers tons of resources that can provide quick help when you encounter any difficulty. However, I must admit that you may never find everything you are looking for in their resource base. Additionally, Aweber offers both email support, telephone support, and live chat support. I don’t love telephones or email support, so I always choose to use the live chat support option. 

Aweber customer support is always there 24/7, so I encourage you to contact them through their live chat option. Usually, you will be served instantly, unless there is a queue when you’ll have to wait for approximately five minutes. Better than waiting for days. 

Winner: Aweber carries the day in this category. MailChimp tries to perfect everything to avoid customers from contacting them directly. The truth, though, is that everyone will always encounter challenges, no matter what. And because Aweber offers consistent customer support, I’d recommend it any day. 

6. Pricing – Aweber versus MailChimp

If you are just getting started with email marketing, pricing should be a top priority. This is because you don’t want to overspend before your business gets off the ground. 

Aweber cost

Aweber offers users different packages starting from $19 for between 0-500 subscribers. It gives a 30-day FREE trial, so you can try their service for a full month before choosing to commit to any of their plans. 

mailchimp vs aweber

Nice! 

MailChimp Pricing

MailChimp, on the other hand, offers users with three plans – the Free, Grow, and the Pro plan. That said, this marketing company will help you host up to 2,000 subscribers with their free plan, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. 

Even more, MailChimp offers a plan called Pay As You Go, which allows you to send emails considering your budget. For example, you can send up to 1,000 emails per month at $30, 5,000 emails for $150 and 10,000 emails at $200. 

mailchimp pricing

Cool! 

Winner: There’s a tie in this category. MailChimp offers users a Pay As You Go plan, which can be of help to small businesses. On the other hand, Aweber offers a free 30-day trial before you can choose to commit. 

7. Ease of editing emails 

Email marketing is the lifeblood of your business. So you need to make sure that your email campaigns are clear, concise, and error-free. Fortunately, both MailChimp and Aweber offer users drag and drop functionality to help you edit your newsletters quickly. 

But Aweber does it a little bit differently. With Aweber, you can see the changes you are making in real-time. On the contrary, MailChimp only allows you to edit from the backend, and you can only see changes once you are done editing your campaigns. 

Huh! So who’s the winner in this category? 

Winner: Aweber is my pick in this category. This is because it allows you to see the changes you are making in real-time, and that’s what makes Aweber unique. Otherwise, MailChimp would still be a good option. 

8. Segmentation 

It’s always essential that you segment your email list, so you don’t send irrelevant emails to your subscribers. Segmentation is breaking down your email list into subgroups, depending on their interests. 

For example, I have segmented my list depending on my subscribers’ interests – “start a blog,” “podcasting,” “Vlogging,” “affiliate marketing,” and “e-commerce.” This is super helpful because it helps me send the right emails to the right people. 

Related: 

How to start vlogging on YouTube – step by step guide

How to start dropshipping on Shopify – step by step guide

You can create segments on Aweber using your subscribers’ activities. For example, I have segmented my list, depending on what every user signed up for. So if you signed up using a vlogging pop up, you will be automatically added to the “vlogging” subset. You can also segment your email list, depending on who opened your emails and abandoned carts, among others. 

MailChimp also offers a ton of segmentation options, depending on your plan. Using MailChimp, you can segment your list depending on the campaign activity and automation report data. 

Winner: I found segmenting my email list using Aweber to be quite simple as compared to MailChimp. Back then, when I was using MailChimp, I had to hire freelancers to help me with segmentation, which cost me extra. So Aweber is my pick in this category. 

9. Deliverability – Aweber vs MailChimp

Deliverability refers to whether or not your email campaigns reach your email subscribers. For me, this is important because I want to maintain professionalism and never spam my loyal subscribers. 

Both MailChimp and Aweber put in place measures to make sure that your subscribers don’t get spammed. For example, Aweber complies with the ISP standards and closely monitors its users’ accounts to make sure no subscriber gets spammed. 

MailChimp, on the other hand, uses a system called Omnivore that automatically detects spam emails. Once it catches these spam emails, MailChimp moves those emails from the active area to the spam complaint area. 

But before we compare the next feature, let’s look at EmailToolTester’s findings on deliverability for both MailChimp and Aweber. 

aweber vs mailchimp

Winner: Both email marketing services have excellent deliverability rates. I have used MailChimp and Aweber and not a bad experience, though there were times when most of my emails sent through MailChimp would land in spam. So if I were to choose one, I would go with Aweber. 

Great! 

So we have compared the most crucial 9 features you should look for in an email marketing service. It’s now time to know which of the two email tools suits you and how you can get started with either of them. 

Aweber vs MailChimp: Making the Choice

Who Should Use MailChimp?

If you are just getting started with email marketing, the chances are that you don’t have adequate funds to invest in an email marketing service. So you want to try out a few things, build an email list before opting for a paid version. If this is the case, MailChimp is for you. In summary, MailChimp offers the following attractive features: 

  • MailChimp free plan, which allows you to have up to 2,000 email subscribers. 
  • A ton of autoresponder options. 
  • Email campaign scheduling features with a free plan. 
  • Basic email campaigns you can use to send out your email campaigns. 
  • MailChimp integrates with many third-party applications and tools. 
  • It guarantees you excellent RSS. 

Related: 

OptinMonster vs MailChimp

Constant Contact vs MailChimp

Get Started With Mailchimp

Signing up for MailChimp is super simple. You will need the same information required to sign up for any other service – email address, username, and password. 

MailChimp won’t ask for your credit card information as it gives you access to their lifetime free trial. If you like, you can choose to commit to their paid plans once you have built a huge email list. So to sign up for MailChimp, head over to their official sign up page and enter your details. 

Related: 

GetResponse vs MailChimp

MailChimp vs Convertkit

Aweber vs Mailchimp vs Getresponse

Who Should Use Aweber 

But what if I’m a business with an affiliate marketing plan in mind? Well, Aweber will be your best bet in this case. Apart from offering affordable plans, Aweber has an affiliate program that lets you market their service and earn a commission whenever someone signs up through your affiliate marketing unique link. I have not heard about the MailChimp affiliate program, though. In summary, here’s what you will get when you opt for Aweber: 

  • 700+ email templates. 
  • Easy to set up and easy-to-use autoresponders. 
  • Drag and drop editor that allows you to add features and make your email look just the way you want it. 
  • Get a ton of FREE stock images. 
  • Timely customer support service.

Get Started With Aweber 

Getting started with Aweber is also quite straightforward. They have a big button on their sign up page “start your free trial,” which goes for 30 days. The difference is that Aweber will ask you to provide your credit card information. So to get started with Aweber, head over to their official sign up page and hit the “start your free trial” button. 

Aweber vs MailChimp: Final Verdict 

From this Aweber vs MailChimp review, I feel that Aweber is still the go-to email marketing service if you are a business. While MailChimp offers a lot with a lifetime free trial, it still limits you with a ton of features, plus, it never gets updated from time to time. So let me know what email service you are using and your experience with it in the comments below. 

This is a comprehensive, brutal, and honest Aweber vs MailChimp review. So if you are muddled about which email marketing service to use in 2020, this post is for YOU. 

In this MailChimp vs Aweber guide, I will compare the following: 

  • Flexibility and design
  • Ease of importing email subscribers
  • Automation 
  • Email capture forms
  • Customer support
  • Pricing
  • Ease of editing emails 
  • Segmentation
  • Deliverability

Let’s jump right in. 

Introduction to Aweber vs MailChimp 

I have used both MailChimp and Aweber. So this review is based on my personal experience with both. And because I started my email marketing journey with MailChimp, let’s make it our jumping-off point. 

What is MailChimp? What is MailChimp Used For? 

These two web design enthusiasts – Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut came up with the idea to start a side hustle with an email marketing service, which is today known as MailChimp, in 2001. Initially, the two Georgia residents aimed at helping small businesses manage their customers. 

Today, MailChimp has grown to a reputable email marketing service boasting of over 16 million users, with 12 million+ customers. In a report published by Enlyft, 426,321 companies are using MailChimp. 

What is Aweber? 

Aweber, on the other hand, was started by a college dropout, Tom Kulzer, in 1998. Tom was a passionate wireless modem salesboy, and it is through his modem sales that he thought about the idea of starting an email marketing service company. 

Today, Aweber is one of the go-to email marketing services boasting over 100k customers worldwide. Aweber is the go-to email marketing software because it offers users over 700 email templates, autoresponders, free stock images, etc. 

Great! 

From that introduction, you can see that both Aweber and MailChimp are reputable email marketing companies. But which email marketing tool is better in 2020? 

Let’s cut to the chase: 

Head to Head Comparison – Aweber vs MailChimp

1. Flexibility and design

You know that your emails should be kept simple and that you have limited time to create simple, but good-looking email layouts. 

Both Aweber and MailChimp provide email template layouts for their users, which can help you save time and the hassle of creating email templates from scratch.

For example: 

MailChimp offers 80 clean and beautiful email templates for its users, while Aweber offers over 700 email templates you can readily use. 

MailChimp’s email templates are easy to use as compared to Aweber. When trying to create my email design with Aweber, it took a couple of hours. I had to send a couple of test emails to ascertain that I was sending out perfect emails to my subscribers. 

Winner: Aweber has got lots of template layouts, but MailChimp beats it in this category because of its ease of use. A beginner will find it easy to use MailChimp template layouts as compared to Aweber. So, I choose to go with MailChimp templates. 

2. Ease of import 

Building an email list is a hassle. So you do not want to start building your email list from scratch because you started a new blog. Instead of building a new email list from scratch, you can import your existing email list to your current email marketing company. 

Both Aweber and MailChimp allow users to import their email list, but the ease of import varies depending on which email marketing tool you are using. 

Aweber allows users to add subscribers manually, but some restrictions come with it. For example, you’ll get an error if you add 40+ subscribers manually. Additionally, Aweber allows users to import subscribers in a spreadsheet, through copy and paste, among other formats. 

On the other hand, you can import your subscribers to MailChimp in CSV or excel sheet files, and it’s super simple because MailChimp focuses on user experience. 

A few days ago (before writing this post), I decided to import my MailChimp email list to Aweber. So I downloaded my file in a spreadsheet. To date, Aweber has not updated my list. As a result, I’ve lost patience, and I’m now importing my subscribers manually. 

Winner: Importing my email list to Aweber was a hassle. On the other hand, I have tried importing subscribers to MailChimp, and the transition was smooth. So MailChimp beats Aweber in this category again. 

3. Automation

You’ve got lots of important stuff to attend to. So you don’t have time to send out emails to every new subscriber. Ugh! It’s a complete waste of time. Fortunately, these two email marketing giants come in handy. You can set email automation using both Aweber and MailChimp. 

MailChimp autoresponders allow you to launch different campaigns, depending on the tags you apply. So if you’d like to offer a free mini-course running for five days, you can automate the lessons in a five-days sequence. You can also write and upload your email marketing series, then schedule them depending on which dates you want to send them.

Related: How to set up MailChimp autoresponders

Aweber equally offers solid autoresponders for its users, just as MailChimp. The only difference is the ease of setting up these email automation. I tried automating my free mini-course series in Aweber a few weeks ago. And to be honest, setting up my five-day email series was quite simple, unlike the hassle I experienced setting them up on MailChimp. 

Furthermore, Aweber provides email campaign templates that you can easily edit and schedule without any hassle. I recently used this feature to run an email campaign for three consecutive days, and it was quite a smooth process. 

Winner: Aweber beats MailChimp in this category. This is because setting up automation using Aweber is simple through its drag and drop feature. On the other hand, MailChimp is not beginner-friendly and is likely to confuse individuals who are just getting started with email marketing. 

4. Email capture forms

It would help if you made it easy for your subscribers to sign up for your newsletter. You can do that by creating a form using Aweber or MailChimp. 

MailChimp makes it easy for its users to create sign up forms using a drag and drop feature, and you can add fields such as city, name, among others. You can pre-segment your subscribers by allowing them to enter the product or service they love on your pages. That way, you can group your subscribers and create specialized content for them.

Nice. 

Aweber, on the other hand, provides even more features. With Aweber, you can create up to 25 fields, but c’mon, you don’t need all those – you probably need at least two fields (the name and email). While there are premade form layouts you can use on Aweber, you also have the freedom to come up with your design and publish once you are done. 

aweber email capture forms

Easy peasy! 

When I started my blogging career, creating sign up forms and adding them to my WordPress account using MailChimp was a hassle. MailChimp needs you to add the code from the theme editor – not so beginner-friendly. On the other hand, you can add the Aweber code on your widget in just seconds. 

Winner: I’ll go with Aweber because adding the code on WordPress is quite straightforward. You can add it by following these steps: Appearance >> Widgets. From here, you can drag and drop the text box and place it right before the footer boxes on your right. Here’s a tutorial to walk you through.

5. Customer support

You’ll frequently encounter challenges when using either of the email marketing services. And the truth is that every user (including myself) would be companies with better customer support. 

Now, both Aweber and MailChimp have resources to get you sorted. MailChimp, for example, has a ton of resources where you can find help whenever you need it. With this in mind, MailChimp is not looking forward to more people contacting them directly. Additionally, MailChimp offers one-month consistent customer support for free users. Once the one-month period is over, you have to find how to survive. Doesn’t sound good to newbies, right?

Aweber, on the other hand, offers tons of resources that can provide quick help when you encounter any difficulty. However, I must admit that you may never find everything you are looking for in their resource base. Additionally, Aweber offers both email support, telephone support, and live chat support. I don’t love telephones or email support, so I always choose to use the live chat support option. 

Aweber customer support is always there 24/7, so I encourage you to contact them through their live chat option. Usually, you will be served instantly, unless there is a queue when you’ll have to wait for approximately five minutes. Better than waiting for days. 

Winner: Aweber carries the day in this category. MailChimp tries to perfect everything to avoid customers from contacting them directly. The truth, though, is that everyone will always encounter challenges, no matter what. And because Aweber offers consistent customer support, I’d recommend it any day. 

6. Pricing – Aweber versus MailChimp

If you are just getting started with email marketing, pricing should be a top priority. This is because you don’t want to overspend before your business gets off the ground. 

Aweber cost

Aweber offers users different packages starting from $19 for between 0-500 subscribers. It gives a 30-day FREE trial, so you can try their service for a full month before choosing to commit to any of their plans. 

mailchimp vs aweber

Nice! 

MailChimp Pricing

MailChimp, on the other hand, offers users with three plans – the Free, Grow, and the Pro plan. That said, this marketing company will help you host up to 2,000 subscribers with their free plan, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. 

Even more, MailChimp offers a plan called Pay As You Go, which allows you to send emails considering your budget. For example, you can send up to 1,000 emails per month at $30, 5,000 emails for $150 and 10,000 emails at $200. 

mailchimp pricing

Cool! 

Winner: There’s a tie in this category. MailChimp offers users a Pay As You Go plan, which can be of help to small businesses. On the other hand, Aweber offers a free 30-day trial before you can choose to commit. 

7. Ease of editing emails 

Email marketing is the lifeblood of your business. So you need to make sure that your email campaigns are clear, concise, and error-free. Fortunately, both MailChimp and Aweber offer users drag and drop functionality to help you edit your newsletters quickly. 

But Aweber does it a little bit differently. With Aweber, you can see the changes you are making in real-time. On the contrary, MailChimp only allows you to edit from the backend, and you can only see changes once you are done editing your campaigns. 

Huh! So who’s the winner in this category? 

Winner: Aweber is my pick in this category. This is because it allows you to see the changes you are making in real-time, and that’s what makes Aweber unique. Otherwise, MailChimp would still be a good option. 

8. Segmentation 

It’s always essential that you segment your email list, so you don’t send irrelevant emails to your subscribers. Segmentation is breaking down your email list into subgroups, depending on their interests. 

For example, I have segmented my list depending on my subscribers’ interests – “start a blog,” “podcasting,” “Vlogging,” “affiliate marketing,” and “e-commerce.” This is super helpful because it helps me send the right emails to the right people. 

Related: 

How to start vlogging on YouTube – step by step guide

How to start dropshipping on Shopify – step by step guide

You can create segments on Aweber using your subscribers’ activities. For example, I have segmented my list, depending on what every user signed up for. So if you signed up using a vlogging pop up, you will be automatically added to the “vlogging” subset. You can also segment your email list, depending on who opened your emails and abandoned carts, among others. 

MailChimp also offers a ton of segmentation options, depending on your plan. Using MailChimp, you can segment your list depending on the campaign activity and automation report data. 

Winner: I found segmenting my email list using Aweber to be quite simple as compared to MailChimp. Back then, when I was using MailChimp, I had to hire freelancers to help me with segmentation, which cost me extra. So Aweber is my pick in this category. 

9. Deliverability – Aweber vs MailChimp

Deliverability refers to whether or not your email campaigns reach your email subscribers. For me, this is important because I want to maintain professionalism and never spam my loyal subscribers. 

Both MailChimp and Aweber put in place measures to make sure that your subscribers don’t get spammed. For example, Aweber complies with the ISP standards and closely monitors its users’ accounts to make sure no subscriber gets spammed. 

MailChimp, on the other hand, uses a system called Omnivore that automatically detects spam emails. Once it catches these spam emails, MailChimp moves those emails from the active area to the spam complaint area. 

But before we compare the next feature, let’s look at EmailToolTester’s findings on deliverability for both MailChimp and Aweber. 

aweber vs mailchimp

Winner: Both email marketing services have excellent deliverability rates. I have used MailChimp and Aweber and not a bad experience, though there were times when most of my emails sent through MailChimp would land in spam. So if I were to choose one, I would go with Aweber. 

Great! 

So we have compared the most crucial 9 features you should look for in an email marketing service. It’s now time to know which of the two email tools suits you and how you can get started with either of them. 

Aweber vs MailChimp: Making the Choice

Who Should Use MailChimp?

If you are just getting started with email marketing, the chances are that you don’t have adequate funds to invest in an email marketing service. So you want to try out a few things, build an email list before opting for a paid version. If this is the case, MailChimp is for you. In summary, MailChimp offers the following attractive features: 

  • MailChimp free plan, which allows you to have up to 2,000 email subscribers. 
  • A ton of autoresponder options. 
  • Email campaign scheduling features with a free plan. 
  • Basic email campaigns you can use to send out your email campaigns. 
  • MailChimp integrates with many third-party applications and tools. 
  • It guarantees you excellent RSS. 

Related: 

OptinMonster vs MailChimp

Constant Contact vs MailChimp

Get Started With Mailchimp

Signing up for MailChimp is super simple. You will need the same information required to sign up for any other service – email address, username, and password. 

MailChimp won’t ask for your credit card information as it gives you access to their lifetime free trial. If you like, you can choose to commit to their paid plans once you have built a huge email list. So to sign up for MailChimp, head over to their official sign up page and enter your details. 

Related: 

GetResponse vs MailChimp

MailChimp vs Convertkit

Aweber vs Mailchimp vs Getresponse

Who Should Use Aweber 

But what if I’m a business with an affiliate marketing plan in mind? Well, Aweber will be your best bet in this case. Apart from offering affordable plans, Aweber has an affiliate program that lets you market their service and earn a commission whenever someone signs up through your affiliate marketing unique link. I have not heard about the MailChimp affiliate program, though. In summary, here’s what you will get when you opt for Aweber: 

  • 700+ email templates. 
  • Easy to set up and easy-to-use autoresponders. 
  • Drag and drop editor that allows you to add features and make your email look just the way you want it. 
  • Get a ton of FREE stock images. 
  • Timely customer support service.

Get Started With Aweber 

Getting started with Aweber is also quite straightforward. They have a big button on their sign up page “start your free trial,” which goes for 30 days. The difference is that Aweber will ask you to provide your credit card information. So to get started with Aweber, head over to their official sign up page and hit the “start your free trial” button. 

Aweber vs MailChimp: Final Verdict 

From this Aweber vs MailChimp review, I feel that Aweber is still the go-to email marketing service if you are a business. While MailChimp offers a lot with a lifetime free trial, it still limits you with a ton of features, plus, it never gets updated from time to time. So let me know what email service you are using and your experience with it in the comments below.