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Bloggers and freelancer writers are quite similar in terms of what they do and how they work. They both write articles to earn money, and they write mostly for an online audience. However, there’s always the question: which of these two ventures is more profitable? Here, we'll discuss both options and which one is a better way to make money.
A blog is simply a website that contains the experiences and opinions of a writer or group of writers. They are usually expressed in the form of text, images or videos. Blogging refers to the act of maintaining and adding new articles to a blog. Most bloggers say they started blogging as a means of expressing their thoughts and views through blog posts. This expression could be about politics, hobbies, religion, fashion, relationships, products or even personal routines of the blogger.
Bloggers earn money by monetizing their blog; most bloggers prefer affiliate marketing. Others use pay-per-click ads or even rent out part of their blog space to advertisers. They may also sell their own products and services on the blog as a means of earning some money.
One distinctive thing about bloggers is that they write about things in which they have profound knowledge. They write about their expertise, and there are various tools and services that a blogger can use to create excellent posts.
Upsides of Blogging
- Long-term source of income: Blogging can be a good source of passive income over the long run. The avenues for making money are also diverse. To start a blog, you need to set it up initially and then maintain it consistently. If the quality of the blog posts is high it attracts loyal readership, which helps ensure constant income over the long run once your site is monetized.
- Some element of freedom: Blogging gives people an opportunity to express their opinions, which is the essence of freedom. In addition, once the blog has attracted a lot of traffic and has built a loyal readership, the blogger has much more freedom and time at their disposal. You can work at your own pace without much pressure. Ideally, money will also be trickling in without much hassle (if you dedicated time and effort in the beginning to build a brand and attract traffic).
- Can help generate leads: If you have a business website, a blog can support it by generating leads to the site. Add an e-book offering useful information, and you can increase the ranking and visibility of your site on search engines. Your blog could even serve as the content marketing strategy for your business website. It could be used to update people on current trends, emerging issues, and upcoming products. All these result in more lead generation, which converts into clients.
Downsides of Blogging
- Time-consuming at first: It takes a lot of time and effort to build a successful blog. For it to be ranked highly and attract more traffic, you will definitely have to be patient.
- Low or no income in the beginning: A blog doesn’t pay immediately; you will likely go for several months with no or very little pay.
- Subject to a steep learning curve: With increased competition online, your blog may suffer a few setbacks before you perfect it. You'll need to keep learning and improving in order to stand out.
- It requires a huge initial investment: Blogging requires an upfront investment of both time and money. To get a website, you'll need to part with some cash to purchase hosting space and a domain name. Some investment will go into your web design and development. You'll also invest a lot of time in creating and maintaining content that attracts readers.
A freelance writer is a person who writes to earn money. Freelance writers can write for a few hours per day, handle multiple tasks each day or be contracted for just one job. Freelancers can work for different entities at different times, and they usually work remotely.
As a business, a freelancer chooses to work for particular clients when projects arise. Companies often choose freelance writers if they want to outsource services instead of hiring permanent staff. Freelance writers complete varied projects like article writing, content writing, editing, web content, SEO writing, designing, data entry and bookkeeping. They charge a fixed project rate or an hourly rate depending on the nature of the work. They can also write content for a blog, but this is usually done anonymously (a practice known as ghostwriting).
The good thing about freelance writing is that money is paid as work is completed, or sometimes even up-front. The freelancer doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in a certain field, but being an expert could be an advantage for them. The core skills they need are the ability to research and write for varied topics and clientele; it's as simple as that.
Upsides of Freelancing
- Saves time: Compared to blogging, freelancing can save you a lot of time. Before a blogger gets their first paycheck, they'll likely have to work for at least several months. They would have to get a blog first, then write content and finally promote that content to their audience all before making a dime from advertisers or affiliate relationships. This takes a lot of time! With freelancing, you get paid by the hour or after each project is completed. At times, the money can be paid in advance (depending on your work agreement).
- Requires minimal initial investment: There are few (if any) initial or recurring expenses when you are freelancing. With your laptop and an internet connection, you're good to go. Bloggers have bigger initial investments since they must purchase and operate their own site. They also have recurring expenses like web hosting, domain registration, etc.
- Multiple sources of income: A freelancer can be likened to a jack of all trades. They get jobs from all over, which means their income streams have the potential to increase. Doing various jobs in different fields may also make the freelancer versatile, which can give them more opportunities to work online.
Downsides of Freelancing
- No passive income: The bottom line is that a freelancer has to work in order to earn — no writing, no pay. There are no streams of passive income in this business model.
- Limited freedom of expression: All freelance work has to be written to the specifications of the client. Thus, a freelancer has less opportunity to express their own thoughts and ideas. This is quite limiting, since they can only write what the client wants (if it's a project they're being paid for).
- Can lead to overwork: Freelance writers get paid per project, and they can usually do their work anywhere...even from the comfort of their beds. This can tempt them to look for more work and more clients to earn even more income, since their earnings usually correlate to the number of hours they work. As addicting as this lifestyle is, it sometimes intrudes into the freelancer's personal life, social life or hobby time.
So, given the above facts on blogging and freelance writing, which is a better way of making money? Though it may not be the answer you want, as far as income is concerned freelance writing is the way to go. It can be lucrative since you get the chance to dictate what you'll earn. Blogging more hurdles that leave you waiting before making any money and investing a lot of time up front.
If you want to make money and are thinking about blogging, see what freelance writing has to offer first. You may be impressed...and you might not ever look back!
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