Launch a freelance writing career and scale your way to big paychecks? Or start your own blog and attract affiliate opportunities and products to review?
Most aspiring freelance writers seem to choose one of these two paths. In reality, you can do both at once and skyrocket your earnings by launching your own, personal Lifestyle Content career. The idea is to create freelance writing work around your existing skills and passions to build and promote a lifestyle you love.
The “Lifestyle Content” technique can be especially useful if you’re a stay-at-home Mom or busy parent looking for ways to earn more than just income. For example, you can create a blog and build your expertise as a Mom product tester and earn everything from free toys to diapers.
Kickstart your journey by positioning yourself as an expert in your niche by writing for authority blogs and websites, trade journals and industry publications. You can find resources for freelance writing jobs, right here. At the same time, you should launch a personal or hobby blog to attract perks in the same field.
Depending on your goals and niche, you could earn as much as $2,000 to 3,000 in part-time writing work each month while growing your writing business. Meanwhile you could earn a few thousand in freebies and perks. For nearly 10-years, I’ve earned income plus event tickets, products to review and free travel.
Here’s how I did it, and how you can do it too.
1. Position Yourself as a Content Superstar
Anyone can break into freelance writing by leveraging the skills and experiences they already have and connecting it to a great story idea for the right outlet. For example, if you’re a CPA but love writing about parenting, you can position yourself as a personal finance expert for families or how to plan for college. Write up a piece for your local parenting magazine, or a national outlet, and start building credibility.
I pieced together writing clips from my days as a video editor to land a long-term travel writing gig. I connected my experience as a segment writer for an educational TV show to family-focused educational web copy to family travel. It was a bit of a stretch to connect the pieces together, but it worked and I continued to keep leveraging all of my experiences to land more and more travel writing and small business writing work.
2. Launch a Tightly Focused Blog
I’ve launched and folded several blogs over the years, but once I really refocused my personal and “hobby” writing work, it opened even more doors in my professional writing work. Not only I do I earn affiliate commissions and sponsorships, but it leads to other freelance writing work for websites and magazines.
Although your blog should be tightly focused, you can still diversify and choose a sub niche or multiple interests. For example, I love blogging about building freelance businesses to earn more and do what you really love like traveling. This leads to content about content marketing, budget travel and productivity while traveling among other areas.
3. Plan Your Content Strategy
When I landed a part-time freelance writing position as a travel editor, I didn’t sit back and wait for other opportunities to come my way. I immediately started pitching ideas and services to anyone I could think of from publications to small businesses.
Through a lot of trial and error, I landed both travel and small business writing work in The LA Times, The Boston Globe, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine and eight travel guidebooks. This led to free products to review, press trips and event tickets which gives my career more rewards than just income. Identify markets that can both open doors, and lead to the content lifestyle you’re looking for.
For example, freelancing for a business magazine probably won’t give you much leverage to earn free toys to review. Meanwhile, you can find an in with small regional parenting websites and magazines.
4. Make Connections
Developing focused content that both pays well, and earns perks like free products to review, is only the first step in creating your own lifestyle content business. You also need to make the right connections from PR pros to brands to loyal fans in order to raise your brand awareness. This can take a lot of research and putting yourself out there, but pays off.
Start your campaign by attending press events, conferences and digital hangouts like webinars and Twitter parties to be seen and heard. However, don’t confuse having strong, authentic connections with a huge social media following. You can have a relatively small following online and off, and still succeed as long as your connections are highly targeted and relevant to your niche.
5. Pitch Yourself
It’s not enough to just sit back and wait for opportunities to come your way. You have to go out and ask for them. Repeatedly. Connect with PR companies and brands and scour their social media activity for any upcoming opportunities. Set-up a calendar alert for yourself to check-in with your wish list of companies every 6 to 8 weeks to see what’s available.
Draft an email letting them know where you’ve been published and any relevant information like how your professional or personal expertise relates to their brand and how you can help raise their awareness. And if you already have a robust social media following, give them your stats and let them know how you can help get their brand in front of the right audience.
In the meantime, see what types of publications are regularly publishing content on the topic you’re vying for. For example, travel websites and bloggers who regularly talk about their media trips to Disney are connected to the right people who can open these doors. Study the type of content they’re publishing on their blog, who else they’re writing for, and their social media following. The more clues you follow back to their success, the better informed your strategy will be on next steps.
6. Stay Incredibly Persistent
Creating your own writing and lifestyle business doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes trial and error to figure out what works with your existing skills, passions, and ability to produce great content. But it’s also a fantastic way to earn more than just money in your freelance writing. This combination can be a huge asset for anyone looking for part-time work, a stay-at-home Mom or anyone looking to pivot and scale into full-time self-employment.
For more information on how to create a lifestyle content career, grab my free guide,”5 Paths to Profitable Lifestyle Content Careers You Can Hack in 6-Weeks or Less“.
Latest posts by Susan Finch (see all)
- How to Build a Lifestyle Content Career to Earn Income + Perks - December 20, 2016