Stumbling into Staff Writing

I never planned to become a staff writer.  At the time, I had just been blogging for 4 months and was realizing there was money to be made through advertising.  I was also throwing myself into the new Yakezie blogging forums like a crack addict – I mean imagine, a whole forum full of other personal finance geeks like me! 

My First Gig

It was during one of my many hours on Yakezie that I saw a post from Daniel at Sweating the Big Stuff (SBS) asking for staff writing applicants.  I honestly hadn’t thought of staff writing before that moment, but I had been reading SBS for months.  The idea of writing there too sounded like fun, so I sent over my initial letter of interest along with links to my favorite writing samples.  Happily, Daniel knew me as a regular commenter already and liked my writing style.  In short, we hit it off and I have been writing for SBS once a week ever since.

My Gigs Now

I also found the rest of my staff writing positions through the Yakezie and a couple via word-of-mouth.  I started Crystal-For-Hire Blogging Services and have received a few more emails thanks to my experience and authority based on all of the writing I’ve already done.

For anybody thinking about staff writing, my experience hasn’t taught me all of the ways to pursue it.  Based on what I can tell, most bloggers need help and they love to get it from good writers with a bit of personality and excellent grammar.  Networking through forums and blog discussions is a great way to get your name out there.  Your writing will speak for itself, but it is your job to get it in front of people’s faces, lol.

If blogging forums aren’t your cup of tea, I also know a few people have found jobs through sites like the Problogger Jobs Board.

Are there any other staff writers tuned in right now?  How did you find your positions?

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20 comments to Stumbling into Staff Writing

  • JT

    I freelance two investment newsletters. I would be lying if I said that it was the pure money that really got me interested in it; if I was doing it solely for money and wasn’t already investing the research time for my own portfolio I wouldn’t even touch it.

    Staff writing does seem to be all the rage right now, though.

    BTW, Crystal, I’d be interested in a post about how you choose domains. After running BITFS, a name you said you wished was shorter, what attracted you to “HowIMakeMoneyBlogging.com,” which is also five words. I’ll admit, this one is definitely easier to remember (although I’ve got them both down now!). I guess there aren’t many short names available for the making money online niche? Seems like that niche would be dominated with domain squatters.

  • I got my first staff writing position at StupidCents from telling Tom from Canadian Finance that I was looking for extra work. He asked that I send him some samples and it’s been great ever since. I’m now contacting different bloggers asking if they’re hiring. I have some try out guest posts in the mean time.

  • I’ve got two gigs, one that’ll be announced very soon. I was approached in both scenarios.

    It might be a coincidence, but I received both offers shortly after making a page on my blog saying I’d write for money. I’ve applied for a couple opportunities, and been denied.

    So if you follow my path, just wait for people to approach you, lol. On second thought, maybe just follow all the blogs you can and keep an eye on who’s looking.

  • I won’t really consider myself successful until someone approaches me about either wanting to be a staff writer or wanting me to be a staff writer on their blog. Til then, I’ll keep fighting the good fight :) Congrats!

  • I got my first staff writer position because you recommended me! (Thanks, again!) Plus, the blog owner knew me from another site (not a blog) that we both wrote for.

    I love staff blogging because it’s a way to earn some up-front income while building up your own blog at the same time. I hope to do more of it.

  • Crystal,
    I noticed on your last post that you prepare 8-10 staff posts per week. What is the typical range of compensation that you might expect for each post? Are you compensated per article? Just curious if you don’t mind sharing.

  • @JT, I chose budgetinginthefunstuff since that was what I wanted to write about (I didn’t know about SEO). I give full credit for howimakemoneyblogging.com to Suba at Wealth Informatics. She suggested I start this blog and then took pity on my very crappy SEO domain skills. She found that “make money blogging” gets 30,000 visits and came up with cool names for me to pick from that were still available. She’s amazing and should sell her services.

    @20 and Engaged, guest posts and word of mouth are the way to go.

    @Financial Uproar, congrats on the two gigs! Yep, if you write well and let people know you are willing to write for others, opportunities will eventually come to you. :-)

    @Money Beagle, I will keep you in mind for sure if I’m ever looking! Thanks for being such a great supporter!

    @Julie, I am glad that worked out! I like the upfront income too.

  • It seems I sort of fell in the blogging world backwards. I started staff writing by answering an inquiry for customer bloggers in the user community of the debt management company I’m enrolled in. I’ve been doing that for the last 16 months. From there, I expanded into twitter, and just recently I started my own personal blog.

  • @travis, hahaha, it just happens differently for all of us, doesn’t it?

    @kidgas, I am compensated per post. My current range is $20-$30 per post but I have no idea if that is a good going rate or not…

  • I still think you should approach some companies in TX and do some company/corporate blog type stuff. I bet you can command some real cash going that route.

  • Thanks for sharing all of your tips!

  • @First Gen, I might now that I have time, but I rather run advertising for more bloggers. It’s just more fun.

    @Super Frugalette, no problem!

  • I applied for that first job with Daniel as well, but you were too fast! Thanks for being an inspiration to us all.

  • [...] get offered at least one staff writing position every couple of weeks, but I have a minimum that I will accept that helps weed out low [...]

  • [...] about 15 hours on Saturday and Sunday to only putting in about 5-8 hours of writing time for staff writing.  I have loved this [...]

  • [...] you may already know, I have been a staff writer for quite a few sites over the last year.  I have moved on amicably from some positions and have [...]

  • I actually just started two staff writing positions. It’s very rewarding work and it’s interesting to see the comments from readers who have never been to your own blog. I don’t know if I could prepare 10 per week. (Right now I shoot for 2 a week.) But at a minimum of 20 bucks a pop I bet I could get motivated really fast. :)

  • [...] on the blog? Crystal is a maniac when it comes to blogging. You’ll find her all over the place guest posting, posting daily on her own blogs, and working on various other projects with other bloggers. It’s [...]

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