Blogging or freelancing which is profitable online business to start?
This blog post is for freelancers and bloggers, who can’t figure out what’s best way to make money online. Also for people who want to start blogging or freelance business. Specially for freelance writers and bloggers because they do one thing in common which is “write articles to earn money online”.
I am comparing bloggers and freelancers who just started their career. Who are earning from Google Adsense and freelancing such as article writing, ghost writing, copywriting etc.
I have earned in four figures ($$$$) in 2-3 month from freelance copy writing. I see many bloggers are working on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc. They are working to earn instant cash. I also see many freelancers have blogs to showcase their blog samples and portfolio.
I am blogging from many years and I am quite knowledgeable about blogging. I have earned quite well through my blogs and my Youtube channel. The primary source of my income is Google Adsense.
So without further ado I would like to throw some color on today’s topic “What’s best way to start an online business and what is best, freelancing or blogging?”. I am going to compare blogging and freelancing on the following parameters,
- Short-term Vs Long-term
- Time & Freedom
- Security and reliability
- Business model and road-map
- Earning Potential
- Qualification and Skills
- Credibility and Branding and networking
- Hard-work, Challenges and Motivation
Why start blogging or freelancing?
Opportunity to work from home
Blogging and freelancing gives you freedom and flexibility to work from home or anywhere. You are flexible to work part-time while doing your 9-5 job. You can complete your articles/projects from your hotel room, restaurant, or, while you are travelling.
It adds an extra income stream and helps you in increasing your bank balance.
If we compare blogging and freelancing, blogging gives you more freedom compared to Freeeelancing – Oh! I just made a mistake but it’s my blog and I have freedom to do whatever I want to do. 🙂
If I would have done this while writing client article, they would have asked me to edit it. Freelancing has some limitation on freedom and flexibility such as deadlines, formats, quality, etc.
Opportunity to start your own business
If you want to leave your boring 9-5 job and want to build an online freelancing or blogging business, you can start working part-time. You can leave your 9-5 job, once you feel you are earning enough.
Before we get started, I would like to explain few terminologies to to novice bloggers and freelancers.
What is Google Adsense
AdSense (Google AdSense) is an advertising placement service by Google. The program is designed for website publishers who want to display targeted text, video or image advertisements on website pages and earn money when site visitors view or click the ads. Source – Webopedia
We are just scraping the surface here, the Google Adsense earning depends on various factors. But just to simplify it – It depends on the traffic you are getting. The more traffic you get the more money you generate.
What is blogging and what does blog and blogger mean?
What is a blog?
According to Dictionary.com, blog means – a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.
What is blogging?
Blogging is to maintain or add new entries to a blog.
Blogging is a medium to express your thoughts by writing blog posts. It could be about your hobbies, daily routine, opinions, reviews, etc. Blogging is more than writing articles, to manage your blog effectively you require more than writing skills.
What is Blogger?
Blogger is a person who maintains a blog and earn money from blogging.
You can earn by monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, CPA offers, your own products and services. Many bloggers cover a niche, they write about a specific topic they are knowledgeable about.
What are the pros and cons of blogging
Blogging is not just about writing and posting blog posts. I need to perform different tasks to keep my blog in momentum. For example, I need to write blog posts, promote my blog posts, research on the upcoming topics, social media scheduling, networking, backlinking, etc etc.
Short-term Vs Long-term
Advantage – Blogging is long-term income source
Blogging is better than freelancing because it’s a passive income source. You can earn money through various methods while you are sleeping. Once your blog is setup it’s generating money 24/7 – 360 days. You can enjoy your vacations and earn money from your blog.
Blog is like launching a rocket, once it is in the space you just need keep it in the momentum (maintain it). You have to maintain the quality of the content and keep your brand value intact to retain your readership.
So when it comes to choosing between short term income goals versus long-term income goals blogging can give you long-term passive income source but you have to work hard to launch you heavy rocket with a lot of hard work and dedication to keep it in the momentum.
So in conclusion blogging is long-term passive income source. Freelancing is short-terms income source.
Time & Freedom
Advantage – A successful blog gives you freedom
Blogging is hard in the beginning but once your blog your build audience and readership, you have time and freedom to work on your pace. You can blog monthly or focus on the core areas of your blog. You just need to maintain your blog quality to keep your audience engaged.
Disadvantage – Blogging takes a lot of time
Blogging needs hard-word and patience. It’s not like you start blog and post your first blog post and it will get rank tomorrow. It takes time to get your website ranked. Your consistency makes or breaks your blog, if you are not consistent then your blog suffers.
Security and reliability
Disadvantage – Blogging is not secure
Is blogging secure? There are plenty of reasons why blogging is not secure as freelancing. Search engines can penalize your blogs, you have many competitors, and your affiliates and ad networks can ban you. However I don’t think blogging is completely insecure but it is not reliable as freelancing.
Is blogging reliable? Your traffic does not reflect your earning. As I said before your Adsense earning depends on the various factors. Your blog can be one of those blog exceptional blogs who gets tone of traffic but not earning tone of money.
Blogging also gives you full control but your earning is unpredictable you can earn $12 a day or you can earn $100 a day. You have no control what kind of ads you are showing on your blog, when your accounts going to get terminated, the terms and conditions of monetisation, etc.
Business model and road-map
Disadvantage – Blogging is not a business
Is blogging a business?
Blogging is not a business it is just way to express your thoughts. Ad networks and affiliates shares a percentage of their revenue with bloggers. They are paying bloggers to show their ads on their blogs.
Advantage – Blog helps in lead generation
Blogging can support your business website to get more exposure and increase your search engine visibility. Your blog can be part of your content marketing strategy, as people love to stay connected with industry trends and explore latest happenings. Your blog can serve their needs and generated potential customer leads.
Blogging Earning Potential
Advantage – Multi-Stream, unlimited earning potential
There are multiple ways to monetize your blog. You can earn from various methodologies you can add multiple ad networks, you can accept guest, sponsored posts and you can also add affiliate products to get commission on sale.
Disadvantage – Low to zero income in the beginning
One of the biggest disadvantage of blogging is, it does not pay immediately. Many bloggers start blogging to earn money from Google Adsense because they read on other blogs how easy it is. But the reality is many bloggers don’t earn single penny from their blog in the beginning.
Qualification and Skills
Advantage – No qualification and skills required
When you read my about me, you will get know I don’t have any formal education in computers, writing and web development. You don’t need any formal education to start your blogging or freelancing business.
Disadvantage – Learning curve and skill development
This is contradictory to above point, but let me explain.
You can easily start a basic blog on WordPress on blogger.com but internet is very competitive and noisy place, you have to stand out from the crowd. For that you have to learn and improve your blogging skills.
Blogging requires different skills such as writing, digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, keyword research, designing, basic HTML, etc, etc.
Disadvantage – Blogging needs investment
There are two types of investments, time investment and money investment. Blogging needs both, time and money. To start your website or blog your need to invest money to purchase hosting and domain name.
As I said before, blogging has a learning curve and you need to invest time to learn blogging.
Advantage – It adds dimensions to your life.
In order to maintain your blog you learn lot of things. As blogger you need to take care of multiple things. You need to wear lots of hats, you have to be a content writer, an editor, designer, marketer, and so on. You work on yourself to to become a better blogger, writer and content creator, etc.
You get better at time management and productivity.
Branding, Credibility, and Networking
Advantage – You become a personal brand
It increases your credibility in the marketplace and help you to get exposure. When you build an authority blog, people start trusting you. People buy products and services you recommend. People purchase your products and services.
You get connected with other bloggers and influencers. It increases your network among like minded people. It helps to increase your networking and your network is your “Net worth”. Your network helps you to grow yourself.
Hard-work, Challenges and Motivation
Disadvantage – Blogging is challenging and needs hard-work
Being a blogger and solopreneur, I feel very overwhelmed when I think about the tasks I need to perform. Blogging requires hard work every day to get traffic from search engines and social medias. In the beginning, blogging gives you less money and more work. Initial days of your blogging are difficult and challenging.
Blogging is challenging than freelancing career.
Disadvantage – Blogging requires self-motivation (Discipline, habits, time management, productivity)
Blogging needs hard-work, dedication, and patience. Initially you don’t get traffic and money, you need to self-motivate to get going even you are not seeing any result. It needs inner motivation to stay focus in the journey.
Your low traffic and earning demoralizes but you need to firm on your blogging goals.
What is freelancing and what does freelancer and freelance mean?
What is freelancer?
According to Dictionary.com, freelancer is a person who works as a writer, designer, performer, or the like, selling work or services by the hour, day, job, etc., rather than working on a regular salary basis for one employer.
Freelance means – I am working for different companies at different times rather than being permanently employed by one company. It means you are working online remotely for different employer.
What is freelance business and services?
Freelance business is a business where a team of people or a person work remotely for multiple clients. A team or a person can offer writing, designing, bookkeeping, data entry, any other services on hourly or fixed rate basis.
What is a freelance blogger (writer) and freelance blogging (writing)?
Whenever I blog it’s whether for my blog or for my client’s blog. If I blog for my blog I would be a blogger and whenever I write for my clients, I would be a freelance blogger.
I work as a content writer for a business anonymously. Writing blog posts anonymously for a businesses is called Ghostwriting because people don’t know the real writer of blog post.
What are the pros and cons of freelancing (freelance writing)
Today businesses are looking for article writers to increase their search engine visibility. They are hiring freelancer bloggers and content writers.
Freelancing gives you upfront money from your clients to work on projects. Blogging gives you return on what you have created already the return could be 0 or it could be more than what you have worked.
Short-term Vs Long-term
Disadvantage – Freelancing is short-term and no passive earning source
You work and you get paid. Just like you are working for a company. If you can’t give results your boss terminates you, just like that in freelancing your client discontinues your services. You may get many projects line up but the money you are making if depends on the amount of work you do.
Blogging gives your earning when you are not working. Your blog traffic gives your commission from ad and affiliate networks when you are not on your desk.
Advantage – You get money whenever you need it
Contradictory to above statement and the flip side of the coin is, you get money whenever you need it. For example, you need $100. You just need to write 10 articles for $10 or you can write a single article for $100.
Freelancing could be a short-term income stream. Just like you are working part-time in your spare time.
Considering the time factor I think freelancing is more money in less time because you are working for money and it’s a business you are not getting revenue share from any ad network such as Google Adsense.
Time & Freedom
Disadvantage – Freedom of expression and creativity
As a freelancer you may feel the final result is best but your client may not like it. You have to think like your client in order to fulfill their requirement. You are bound to work according to your client requirement and you can’t get creative or express your own thoughts.
Disadvantage – No time for self-improvement, hobbies and social life
As you get instant money, you feel tempted to increase your clients to earn more money. You give no time for your family, friends, hobbies and self-improvement.
Security and reliability
Advantage – Freelancing is secure and reliable
There are plenty of job opportunities in the market place where you can convert your skills into money. You just need to approach your potential clients with right pitch. Freelancing gives you security and reliability you can rely on freelancing sources and earn from things you can do.
You have to earn client’s trust before you start working on their project. Your examples, demos, and experience help you to grab freelancing projects. Your qualitative work gives assurance to clients and and keep your business stable.
If you are newbie, start outreaching or if needed give free services to get the ball rolling. Once you earn client’s trust you get recurring freelancing tasks.
Once you establish yourself as a professional freelancer blogger or company, you have a business which can give you more reliability because you have scope to find new clients and to utilize your networking and get more work.
Disadvantage – Need to deal with bad clients which don’t pay
Your big client can ditch you, if they gets an alternative. Some clients don’t pay or discontinue their subscription without prior notice. If you rely on one client you may feel insecure.
Note:- It is always advised to take 50% upfront payment.
Business model and road-map
Is freelancing a business? yes it is.
Advantage – Freelancing is a business
Freelancing is a business where you work and you get paid. Blogging is not exactly a business but it is content which helps you in increasing your search engine visibility.
Freelancing also gives you a sense of being an entrepreneur. You have clients and work to do, you may have a team to work on your client’s project. You can start your business alone and become a solopreneur.
On the other hand, I truly think blogging is not a business. You are just monetizing your blog/Website, in simple words you are leasing your Website/blog space for third party ads network. On the other hand freelancing you have a business model you have business strategies to acquire new clients, you have strategies to increase your branding and make your clients happy.
Disadvantage – It’s a serious business
It is a serious business, just like an offline business. You have clients, they expect their services within a specific time period with out compromising the quality. You have to deliver services on-time to keep your business going.
Freelancing Earning Potential
Advantage – It is lucrative
It has enormous earning potential, you need more clients and work force to complete the tasks.
The best thing about freelancing is, you can make your earning goals tangible, for example if you want to earn $1000/month and you charge $10 per article, you need 100 article order. It could be one client or it could be 10 clients.
Tangible goals are easy to achieve because you can work accordingly.
When it comes to blogging you never known what’s your earning. It totally depends on the traffic you are getting.
Advantage – You choose your value
It’s up-to you what value you decide for yourself. It could be $1 per hour or it could be $10 per hour. So it’s easy to conclude freelancing gives you lot more control on how much you are going to make.
Advantage – You keep 100% of earning
Compared to blogging freelancing gives 100% money, you need to give taxes and services charges.In blogging you get share of commission from third parties.
Freelancing is good way to earn money because you work for money and you get it as soon as the work is complete.
Disadvantage – Fixed earning
Your rates are fixed and that’s why you put a limit on your earning. When compared with blogging, blogging gives you infinite income opportunities.
Qualification and Skills
Advantage – You don’t need to be professional when your are getting started
Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, People per hour, Guru, Freelancer, etc are born because people want to outsource their tedious tasks at affordable price. They are seeking people to do their bookkeeping, data entry, small designing and writing tasks.
That’s why when you are starting you don’t need to be professional. You must have basic knowledge about services you are offering. You can design a simple logo, you can write short articles or product description, you can edit audio/videos, you can handle company’s social media handles and there and plenty of freelancing gigs anyone can get when they are starting their freelancing journey.
Disadvantage – You need qualification and experience to get high paying clients
On freelancing websites profiles with more rating, qualification, and experience get exposure. High-paying clients investigate about the qualification, experience, work samples, etc before handling out any project. That’s why to get high-paying freelancing jobs you need higher qualification and experience.
Advantage – To start your freelancing business you don’t need money to invest
One of the best thing about freelancing is, we don’t need to invest money to get started. You can open an account on Freelancer.com, Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, SEOClerks, etc and you are ready to earn money online.
Credibility, Branding & networking
Disadvantage – You don’t have scope to increase your credibility and branding
What is ghostwriter – A ghostwriter is a person who is hired to author books, manuscripts, screenplays, speeches, articles, songs, blog posts, stories, reports, white papers, or other texts that are officially credited to another person.
Clients use their own pen name or company name to publish articles written by you. You write for money for clients and you sign an agreement to not reveal that you hav written the content, this is known as ghost writing. Source
Disadvantage – Limited Networking
You get connected with few people mostly with your clients and their referrals.
Hard-work, Challenges and Motivation
Disadvantage – Competition among freelancers (Bidding)
This is one of the biggest reason I don’t like freelancing websites.
Freelancers are working at very low price to get the job. Companies are willing to pay high price but because freelancers are working at very low rate they are using this opportunity to get their jobs done at very low price.
Because qualified freelancers and freelancing companies are working at very low price, it’s becoming harder to get jobs for newbies. Although it doesn’t make any sense to work at dirt cheap price but novice freelancers don’t have any option to enter in the market place.
You need complete on various factors. Even your nationality plays vital role, for example – if you are from Asian countries clients always concern about your English comprehension as it’s not your first language. They always prefer native English speakers.
Advantage – Freelancing is easy compared to blogging
Freelancers have few tasks to perform compared to bloggers. You can feel relaxed when you don’t have any work or you have enough work lined up.
You have lesser worries in comparison with blogging. You are always in control because you have limited tasks to perform.
Freelancing is more controllable because you have control on how much you want to earn, how much you worth, which clients you want to work with, how much time you require for project completion, etc.
Disadvantage – Freelancing is boring and monotonous
Over time because of continuous freelance writing on same topic or same type of projects, freelancing feel like work. You don’t enjoy it because of monotonous and boring routine.
Disadvantage – Bad boss Issues and you are still working for someone else
If you are starting freelancing to get rid of your boss/job, then freelancing could be more tough. As a freelancer you have to satisfy your clients. You need to deal with clients who don’t understand what problems you are facing. Clients always insist on the deadlines and want the work completed anyhow. The work you do must be professional and high-quality.
Advantage – Freelancing motivates you
Ever wondered, Why are freelance workers more motivated?
It is motivating because you are earning money from your work. As a freelancer you are getting money upfront, you are feeling motivated to work more and more to increase clients base, increase your portfolio, satisfy your clients and want to finish the work asap.
Blogging doesn’t show earning and result in the beginning and that’s why many blogger feel demotivated and quit blogging.
We always want instant result that’s why freelancers feel motivated to work because they work for money and they get it upfront or on project completion.
Who earns more bloggers or freelancers?
I would say both earn because how much you want to charge your clients is up-to you and how you monetize your blog is up to you.
Blogging – you can simply rely on Google Adsense or monetize your blog through various methods. You can accept guest blogs and sponsored posts but I are thinking about the Google Adsense and the earning from Google Adsense.
Freelancing – you can hire a team or work with high-paying clients only. You can charge $10 or $100 per hour.
Bloggers’ earning increases gradually if they keep blogging and increase traffic. It increases earning from 0 to 100 and 100 to 1000 how much time it will take to jump from 1 to 100 and from 100 to 1000 is totally depend on the hard-work they do.
Freelancing can be stable earning source. You have limited time and limited clients but if you are giving quality then you can charge more and earn more than bloggers.
How to make your decision
If you confuse whether you should writer for your own blog or freelance for other bloggers? Ask following questions to yourself, (let me know your answers in the comment)
- What do you wan to achieve in your life?
- Do you have want to achieve it in short-term or long-term?
- Do you have money and time to invest?
- What resources and skills do you have?
You can evaluate yourself and decide, what’s best way to make money online.
You have two choices work for yourself (your blog) or work as a freelancer (writer) for other bloggers (businesses).
Here is my take – If you want to build a long-term earning source then you should be blogging and if you want a short-term earning source you should freelance.
The best way to build your online business is to freelance while you are blogging. You can freelance to earn money and invest it in blogging, self-development, marketing courses, business development tools, etc.
What would you choose, freelancing or blogging? let me know in the comment and share this post to help your blogger and freelancer friends.
If you are still confused here is a post which can help you – 23 Experts Roundup – What’s best way to make money online blogging or freelancing.