So, you’ve always wanted to write.

And get paid.

Maybe you’ve written a short story, had an article published, or publish a personal blog.

Now you want to take it to the next step and make money writing!

I pay people to write blog articles.

Every week at BlogWorks I receive inquiries from aspiring writers. Some are obviously talented and have deep experience as professional writers. Some are still getting their feet wet.

The reality is there is a lot of work out there and you can make a good income as a writer, if…

you have the talent, are willing to work hard, and have the skills to write professionally.

In this post, I’m focussing only on blog writing and what we are looking for when we hire writers. This article won’t immediately make you a better writer, but it could help you get hired.

Before we get to that, let’s deal with the elephant in the room…

What will I get paid to write blogs?

There is a huge range of fees for anyone who wants to make money writing. At the low end are the “content mills” that are positioned as low cost/high volume outlets and typically pay 5-10 cents/word.

Most of these online sites share a client’s writing request with a stable of hundreds or thousands of writers to bid on the job. The client gets cheap work, but there’s no continuity between writers working for that client.

If you’re ambitious and don’t mind bidding on lots of jobs you can search for individual contracts on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, ProBlogger.

The next level of pay would be marketing agencies that employ freelancers. Agencies want continuity and will build a small team of writers skilled in a variety of writing project types (ad copy, web site copy, blog articles, etc.)

Higher-end, boutique services (like BlogWorks) charge their clients more, pay their writers more, but also expect more from their writers. Our model is to have a stable of very experienced writers that we support with steady work.

The 2019 survey of 1,400 writers by Carol Tice at makealivingwriting.com provides a much more detailed analysis of writer experience and rates.

The 2019 Writers’ Pay Survey by Carol Tice is an exhaustive examination of how freelance writers make a living

At BlogWorks, we are more concerned about quality work and developing long term relationships between our clients and our writers.

We are always looking for smart writers who have the chops to turn out great content on time.

Here’s a breakdown of what we look for when we’re adding to our team:

1. Just enough research

make money writing blog articles in 2021 (5 skills you must know)

Before you write a great blog post you need to research your topic – just enough.

Before you can write for any client you need to do research. Even if you’re familiar with the genre, like pets, dental care, or yoga, you need to research the specific topic for that post.

But, here’s the catch…

You need to know just enough to write a really helpful article, but not enough to become an expert. You need just enough:

  • to add value for the reader – basic information is easy to find, your job is to provide better information or solutions.
  • to avoid an obvious faux pas – like writing about conferences during the COVID pandemic.
  • match the client’s “voice” – research might include reviewing what your client has written about this subject in their book, past articles, or even podcast interviews.

Remember, business blogs have one purpose: to attract business. They do that by solving a problem the reader wants to solve.

We recommend limiting your research to 15 minutes.

And here’s a huge time saver:

As you are collecting your ideas and examples from research, build your outline. In other words, as you find important points, come back to your draft and add that point as a subheading.

2. Hook the reader

How to make money writing blog articles in 2021 (5 skills you must know)

If you want your blog to succeed, you need to hook the reader.

The purpose of the blog article (again, we’re talking about commercial sites) is to attract readers to the site and to get them to take some kind of action. That action could be:

  • Read more blog posts
  • Go to the products/services page
  • Contact the company or fill in a client profile survey
  • Go to a resource page that might have affiliate links (the owner gets paid a small commission if you use that link to purchase something, like on Amazon)
  • Fill In an opt-in form to join a list and receive a lead magnet

Your job is to hook the reader, keep them on the article, and encourage them to take some small action.

The problem is too many blog articles start off with long-winded, boring introductions that risk scaring readers back to their Facebook newsfeed or cat videos on YouTube.

You need to hook the reader.

Look at how this article started:

So, you’ve always wanted to write.

And get paid.

Maybe you’ve written a short story, had an article published, or publish a personal blog.

Now you want to take it to the next step and make money writing!

My goal was to use the first sentence to hook the reader. I’m only interested in attracting readers who want to get paid to write, so that’s how I open.

The better you hook the reader with the first few sentences the more likely they are to get to the solution you’re building up to and to want to spend more time on this site.

3. Solve a problem

How to make money writing blog articles in 2021 (5 skills you must know)

The better you connect the reader to the problem the more invested they are to get to your solution

The heart of any blog is to solve a problem—even recipe blogs solve a problem. The problem could be procrastination, outsourcing, life skills, or how to train a puppy to pee outdoors.

The better you connect the reader to the problem the more invested they are to get to your solution. In other words, readers can find answers to their problems anywhere—your job is to make your blog article the best solution.

Here’s a 3-step approach to delivering your solution in a way that works. To get the full writing template (it’s a huge time saver) go to this page.

Announce the problem

1-2 sentences that hook the reader and make the problem obvious.

A great example: “I can’t remember having a goal. An actual goal.

There are things I’ve wanted to do, but if I didn’t do them I’d be fine with that too. There are targets that would have been nice to hit, but if I didn’t hit them I wouldn’t look back and say I missed them.

I don’t aim for things that way.” – Jason Fried

Connect the reader

Why are you the expert? What’s your personal experience? What expert’s opinion are you quoting?

A great example: “I can experience moments of brilliance, where I feel like I’m on fire, bursting with ideas.

“But there are times when I allow things to affect me too much, to push me back, to drain the life from my chest until it is hollow.” Alex Mathers

Solve the problem

Deliver your solution in bite-size chunks that are actionable. Bullets and lists are best.

A great example: “Ever since I started writing, I’ve been honing this skill. It’s not a hard and fast science — everyone has off days. But staying aware of a few patterns can help you find people with great character — and shape the person you may wish to be. I look for these eight subtle clues in my interactions with people to understand who they really are.” Ayodeji Awosika

4. Sharpen your writing

A few small changes can turn a boring article into a brilliant one readers love.

Blog readers want results. You’ve hooked them with your headline and opening, now you need to sharpen your writing or avoid losing them.

At BlogWorks we train our writers to use these writing techniques:

  • Short paragraphs – a large block of type will turn mobile readers off—2-3 sentences should do it.
  • Remove unnecessary words – according to blogger Neil Patel, redundant and weak language can “decreases your authority and makes your writing sound lethargic. “ Here are examples of words to remove:
    • very – As Mark Twain wrote: “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
    • that – in most cases, removing that makes your sentence stronger.
    • maybe/perhaps – if you want to be perceived as an authority avoid using maybe and perhaps.
  • Avoid redundant phrases, like “own personal”, “past history”, “absolutely certain”, “add an additional”, “added bonus”, and “advance notice.”
  • Use cliffhangers: A cliffhanger teases the reader to keep scrolling, for example: “Before I get to that, let me ask you a question…”,
    • “And then it happened…”,
    • “And one more thing…”
  • Bullet points – ideally a bullet list is more than 3 and less than 8 points.
  • Subheadings – these should be intriguing and ideally include the SEO keywords for the article.
  • Dash, semicolons, and em-dash. Here are two versions of the same message. The second version is 8 words less and easier to read:

    Leadership is most often a game of motivation and guiding every team member to take action needed on their own accord.

    Leadership is about motivation—guiding team members to take action on their own accord.

5. Understand SEO basics

A part of your job is to include the keyword phrases that people are using when they type a search inquiry.

If you want to get paid to write you do need to know the basics about SEO. The good news is you don’t need to be an expert.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization), is “the practice of optimizing content to be discovered through a search engine’s organic search results.” (Ahrefs)

Think of it this way:

Search engines, like Google, Bing, Safari, and Firefox are constantly searching and indexing the content they find on the web. They are trying to understand what’s there so they can match your search inquiry with a valuable result.

If you want to get paid to write blogs you need to know the basics about SEO

That’s easy for restaurants in your town, not so easy for blog articles about leadership, pet grooming, or how to diagnose back pain.

A part of your job is to include the keyword phrases that people are using when they type a search inquiry.

Makes sense?

A quick place to start with your SEO research is Google Trends. For this article, you can see the results over the last 12 months comparing “writers wanted”, with “get paid to write”, a “earn money writing.” The clear winner for search traffic is “get paid to write.”

Next, you need to either use an SEO tool, like Arefs, Moz, or

Get started

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to make money writing!

The best writers practice their craft – even when they aren’t getting paid.

You can practice going public with posts to Medium.com or create a personal blog. When we hire at BlogWorks we are looking for talent, but also experience. The more the writer has tackled assignments and delivered (on time) the more excited we are to interview them.

Enjoyed this post? Here are 3 more articles all about getting blog traffic to your site:

21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year
How to increase blog traffic by almost 30% in only 90 days – a case study
How to overcome writer’s block with this 7-step template

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