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Note from Lisa: The online world is constantly changing, which means what was working for you last year might not be producing results any more. To help you learn how bloggers can adapt in 2021, here’s a guest post from Sarah.
Take it away Sarah…
2020 was a hard year for writers and bloggers unless you blogged about gardening, recipes, and loungewear fashion. Travel bloggers saw a decrease in users and page views. Bloggers using Pinterest were forced to rethink their strategies as the platform went through a series of changes.
Medium too was not left behind. The platform went through a series of changes. Writers complaining about curation and low engagement. Articles under the ‘trending tab’ on Medium weren’t in fact trending.
In 2021, writers and bloggers need to test and adapt. Writers can put aside updating their blogs and focus on getting two anchor clients. Additionally, bloggers can look for other ways of monetization and growth.
1. Stay Up to Date On Changes in The Blogging World
Keep yourself up to date with the blogging atmosphere. This will help you make informed decisions with regards to creating content and monetizing content.
You can read other writers’ on Medium, Pinterest and follow them on Twitter. Additionally, subscribe to the Ezoic newsletter if your site earns through ads. Ezoic publishes industry findings on ads, RPMs, what to expect and what to implement.
Finally, use Pinterest predicts to learn and put in place 2021 content trends for your site.
2. Connect With Fellow Bloggers
You don’t grow your business without networking with others. To help, choose social platforms like Twitter and Medium. Although Medium is a blogging platform, it’s categorized as a social media platform. Think about it as long-form Twitter. Sharing content from Medium to Twitter is seamless. It makes it easy to find article authors and build a following on both platforms.
I don’t have a large following on Twitter (1.0K followers) or Medium (1.5K followers). Yet, I have gotten good-paying clients from sharing my work on Twitter.
It’s very easy to mine for sponsored campaigns on Twitter. Follow other bloggers and look at what is being shared on the blogging threads. This will also help you see which brands are working with other bloggers.
Freelancing clients have also reached out to me after reading my marketing article on Medium. It definitely pays to hang out with fellow bloggers and writers. Put your work out there as you never know who’s reading it.
3. Read Work from Other Writers and Bloggers
Writing online can be very isolating and intimidating especially if you’re a new writer. You’re baring your heart online to strangers. This can trigger your insecurities which can make you want to quit writing and blogging.
Engage with other bloggers by reading their work and participating in comment threads. Not only do you build engagement for your website but you get to see how other writers are structuring their work, what is working for them, and what you need to try.
If you’re looking to create a writing habit, and earn from your writing; I recommend reading Shaunta Grimes, Zulie Rane, Eva Gutierrez and Tom Kuegler on Medium as a starting point. They have good resources and articles on writing, host online writing sessions and coach bloggers and freelancers on how to make a career from writing.
4. Experiment with Other Blogging sites
Vocal Media is a platform for supporting, discovering and rewarding creators. I discovered Vocal around December 2020 It’s definitely something to look into if you’re looking to spread your writing wings.
On Vocal, writers earn through tips from readers, $10 from the Vocal team if your article is staff picked and earn through page views from readers. Non-paying members earn $3.80 per 1,000 readers while Vocal members earn $6.00 per 1,000 reads.
After writing on Medium for close to 3 years, I decided to run a trial on Vocal. While Medium favors self-help articles. Vocal favours personal stories that take a journalistic approach.
Another platform you can explore in 2021 is Newsbreak. I applied for Newsbreak and was rejected but I have seen Medium writers succeed. Newsbreak vets you as a writer and creates a contract for you stating the dollar amount per y number of pageviews. It also doesn’t allow self-promotion and favors long-form content.
If you’re from America and have no problem writing controversial stories, definitely look into Newsbreak. Their payouts are much better than Medium and it’s an opportunity to market yourself as a writer.
5. Look For Other Ways To Create Income
In the past year, I’ve seen bloggers with lots of traffic sell monthly ad space to other bloggers. If your blog receives a lot of traffic, this is definitely something to consider.
Ad publishing was affected last year due to the decrease in Pinterest traffic for many bloggers. Ad publishers also increased the number of sessions needed by bloggers.
It definitely pays to diversify your writing and blogging income and put effort into income channels that are high value. As a blogger you can:
- Run your own blog and pitch to brands for sponsored work.
- Freelance on the side.
- Write on platforms such as Vocal, Medium and Newsbreak.
- Sell ad space on your blog or email newsletter.
Try running 3 months experiments and go with the one with the highest yield. If you’re in a financial rut, I suggest looking for clients first. When you have one or two anchor clients, you will have the stability to spread your wings to other platforms.
Do you already have one or two clients or a steady income? Create lead-generating content or articles on Medium and submit to leading publications such as P.S I Love You, Mind Cafe, and Better Marketing. Most of my freelancing clients came from reading my marketing articles. I’m a marketing associate at my 9-5. Sharing my marketing knowledge has helped my readers and helped me get clients.
Be Willing to Change in 2021
Hopefully, if you grown weary of the writing and the blogging space after all of the changes of 2020, these tips will help you reignite the spark and create a profitable blog.
Note from Lisa: It’s hard to make changes to your business. But, it is one of the best things you can do for your bottom line. Freelance writers and bloggers can adapt and continue to grow, so they stay relevant as the industry shifts. Stay flexible and be willing to change.
If you need additional help growing your freelance business, read these posts:
Hello! My name is Sarah Nderi and I am Kenyan Digital Content Specialist and Data Analyst. I am passionate about writing, spirituality, reading books, traveling and love to help college graduates and bloggers find their footing, as I do mine.