Case Study | The Birth Of A Freelance Blogger – Chapter 1 Part 3: Taking Massive Action

Taking Massive Action

I woke up this morning with excitement in me that is hard to describe. It’s the kind of excitement a small child gets when it’s time to open those Christmas gifts. That kind of excitement you get when you’ve been looking forward to something for quite some time and now that time has finally arrived.

I remember laying in bed and thinking by myself that today I must make things count as huge things are about to happen; I realized I needed to get ready.

The last update I did to my journey of becoming and living the life of a successful freelance blogger, I mentioned that after everything had been successfully set up here on the site, it’s finally time to get out there and land that very first paid freelance blogging gig. I outlined briefly the strategy I was going to follow: I mentioned that I had been given the advice of looking for decent writing gigs over at the Job Board and that’s exactly what I was planning to follow.

And so I did. Firstly I crafted my pitching template. Of course every job listing has it’s own unique requirements so having a template to use for my pitches is only to serve as a general guideline. Every pitch still needs to have its own voice with a personal touch to the specific requirements of the listing.

As soon as I had my general template constructed, I went over to the Job Board. I am sure this is not the norm and I believe that the Problogger Job Board is definitely a lucrative place to land those golden nuggets of freelance writing gigs. Many success stories prove just that but nevertheless, my first day on there wasn’t nearly what I was expecting. Maybe my hopes were up just a little higher than I realized but for some reason, I am not sure if it’s because of the time of the year, but I couldn’t find too many interesting listings that caught my attention right away.

Not all were bad though and I think I may have applied for two to three of the listings on my first day. I remember there were quite a number of listings to sift through, especially it being my first time and listings generally being displayed for thirty day or more. I haven’t seen or applied for any of the older listings before so the idea was to go through as many that caught my attention as possible. As I’ve mentioned, not too many did so I only ended up applying for two to three at most.

Of course I am still determined to land my first writing gig as a freelance blogger as quickly as I possibly can so stopping and giving up is simply not an option. I had to change my strategy somewhat though.

See, at first I thought I should land my first gig fairly quickly as “I’m sure there are hundreds of listings posted daily on the Job Board” so all I need to do is pitch to as many as I can and eventually they’ll start accepting one by one, right?


That simply is not the case. Firstly, there aren’t as many listings as I anticipated and certainly not as many appealing ones as I anticipated either. Secondly they aren’t updated as often as I initially thought they would be. This called for a serious strategy change and the need to having to look at other alternatives evolved.

Only with a small little problem…

I had no idea where to next. I have been advised to use the Job Board as this is what worked for the person who referred me to it in the first place. He never had to go anywhere else. He got his first client from there and then the rest was history. This didn’t look like my forte though. Regardless, I was stuck. I needed to find other places to look for job listings and I needed to do it fast.

Initially the thought of going to places like Elance, Odesk and Craigslist came to mind. That thought vaporized as quickly as it came though as I immediately remembered being warned against those avenues right from the start. The truth about those places are, once you’re in there, and you’ve become accustomed to that level of compensation; many a story out there from freelancers stuck in that race testify of horrid experiences having to work for peanuts for a long long time being stuck and not being able to get out easily.

I didn’t want to go there, as appealing as it sounded. All I wanted was my first paid freelance blogging gig! But not like that…

I Saw Some Light…

I tried various methods trying to find other places, valued and trusted places to go and find some gigs I can pitch to. I even tried good ole’ Google Search using search terms like “freelance writing jobs” and the likes. Yes I got a few decent results that can be categorized together with the Problogger Job Board, places like the Freelance Switch Job Board and Freelance Folder. But the same were true for those: I do believe that many a successful and long term writing gig was found using those avenues in the past and I am sure it’s not the norm, but for me this is not working right now and certainly not what I expected.

It really may have something to do with the time of the year and companies closing off for the year, I am not sure. Nevertheless, I still need to find work regardless of what the times tell me.

Then something amazing happened. I did my usual following of the people within my niche and industry, learning as much as I possibly can from them with every opportunity I get. Out of the blue, and I am not even sure exactly how I came to hear about her (my sincerest apologies Sophie :) ) but I heard about a woman called Sophie Lizard who has done interviews with two of my personal “writing mentors” if I may call them that, Danny Iny a.k.a. The Freddy Krueger Of Blogging from Firepole Marketing and Write Like Freddy as well as Tom Ewer from Leaving Work Behind.

I just had to get in and I quickly signed up to Sophie’s list and got to the interviews, listened to them and of course, got renewed inspiration all over again, feeling even stronger about the fact that I am passionate about making a success of this career. I am determined having this journey turn out to be one of the most successful ones I’ve ever been and ever will be on.

Regardless of how much added inspiration I gained from listing to those interviews, I still had to come up with ideas on where I am going to find those writing gigs to pitch to. Listening to the interviews got me inspired because I know I can do the job and they got me pumped up to get on with it and do the job, but I still needed to find them first.

As mentioned earlier, I went on and followed the people that I do, learning as much as I always can. I got a notification about a post on Firepole Marketing that Megan, I believe the content editor of Firepole Marketing these days, wrote about her being busy pitching other blogs in her niche about guest blogging opportunities. Of course this immediately caught my attention as this was planned to be my next strategy after applying for those initial writing gigs: apply for guest posting opportunities on authority blogs within my niche to increase my credibility and also help me establish my brand as a freelance blogger.

I remember thoroughly enjoying Megan’s post which even inspired me to leave a meaty comment after the read about how I was inspired again to get out there and get back into the game of guest blogging, especially after my new launch here at

This is what I need at this stage – other audiences to notice me and hopefully to gain some followers of my journey in the process.

And there she was… Sophie Lizard from Be A Freelance Blogger, again. Believe it or not, for the very first time I saw that she was a freelance blogger! How cool is that!! I never realized this before. I ended up leaving a comment to her comment as well, mentioning that as soon as she had her website launched, I would like to pitch her with a guest post topic I’d like to do for her site. She replied telling me that she can’t wait to see what her guest bloggers will come up with when she’d launched.

(note to self: to me this of course was no direct indication of her turning my idea down, so I’ll definitely keep that option open.)

However, later that day I was back to thinking of ideas on how I could land that first paid writing gig as a freelance blogger. Suddenly I just thought of Sophie. I immediately thought of reaching out to her and just asking her advice on the subject .I reasoned that the worst that can happen was that she’d say “go blow your whistles somewhere else my friend; I’m in this business for myself and myself alone.”

I jumped onto Facebook. Got her profiles opened up in front of me and at first I wondered if I should maybe try and be a little active around her first before asking her advice straight out. I decided against that longer route and decided to private message her immediately. I mean the worst that could happen…

I needed things clarified and rolling as soon as I possibly could.

Miraculously she replied asking me if I had read her list of 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per post published. I was blown away! 45??? Really?? There is a list of 45 blogs that paid freelance bloggers $50 or more per post they write and I didn’t know about it?? I mean really?? Alas, I didn’t waste much time, thanked her (felt like I could kiss her feet!) and immediately head over to the link she gave me. This is a 24-page guide with a list of 45 blogs that pay writers $50 or more per post in almost all major niches you can think of, from fashion and food through to web development, graphic design and even, yes…WRITING!

Here is that list again:

List of 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per blog post – Thanks a mil Sophie; you’re a lifesaver!

Now that I just wrote 1762 words on this post so far, do you think it’s appropriate for me to tell you where “Taking Massive Action” contained within the title of this post comes in?

Here goes…

Today I have written and pitched a total of eight (8) sites within my areas of interest about writing an article for them and getting paid at least $30 which was the lowest of the lot with $60 being the highest, per post of course. I left out one application which was to Inkwell Editorial, a non-paid normal guest writing gig, only because they were the only one from them all requiring the full article you want published to be submitted with your pitch, and at this time I had an idea of a post but haven’t written it yet.

THAT is taking massive action!

I pitched them all with the same topic idea with the following being an excerpt from the pitch I sent to them all:

“For my first post on Addressee I would like to write an article about the transition from being a regular guest blogger to being a paid freelance blogger, sharing my personal experiences this far on my journey.”

These are the sites I pitched:

  • About Freelance Writing (non-paid)
  • Freelance Folder (short- and long term being non-paid and paid respectively)
  • One Spoon At A Time (paid)
  • Read Learn Write (paid)
  • Rock Solid Finance (non-paid)
  • Small Business HQ (paid)
  • The Renegade Writer (paid)
  • Writers Weekly (paid)

Earlier this week I pitched to the following hosts:

  • All Freelance Writing
  • Hire Priority Staffing
  • Idea To Appster
  • Audio Micro
  • Top Secret Writers
  • Referral Candy
  • UICloud
  • WB Marketing

On both sets I used my general pitch template I wrote earlier with slight variations specific to each listing’s requirements, with the following being standard in them all:

“To whom it may concern,

…I believe I have above average research, writing and editing skills with ample guest writing experience being a regular contributor to sites like,, and I have written for Firepole Marketing in the past. I am proud to have recently been accepted to and where my work will be published in the near future.

Feel free to take a look at examples of my work in order to get a better idea of my writing style and capabilities at

I have recently made the transition from being a regular guest blogger to being a freelance blogger. I set up my writer’s website at not only to offer my writing services but also to document my journey of becoming and living the life of a successful freelance blogger.

For my first post on Addressee I would like to write an article about the transition from being a regular guest blogger to being a paid freelance blogger, sharing my personal experiences this far on my journey.

Depending on the traction and viability of the post, I’d be more than willing and eager to write further posts on either freelance blogging tactics, how to earn more money as a freelance blogger or share more of my personal experiences I encounter on my journey as a freelance blogger.

Thank you for this opportunity and I appreciate your time – I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Ruan Oosthuizen”

I know some experts will reckon that my pitch may be a little too long and I do see some truth in it but I still feel that I am comfortable with the length as I am able to say what I feel I need to. Whether my reasoning will work remains to be seen. Hopefully I’ll get some replies in the near future.

Speaking of which, David from Rock Solid Finance which offers non-paid guest writing opportunities already replied to my pitch, explaining that his target audience consists of CEO’s of $1 million to $10 million in sales revenue and if I think I can entertain them with an article on corporate finance etc. then I am more than welcome to submit for review. As much as I want to, at this time with my main focus being to secure my first paid writing gig as a freelance blogger, I am going to let that one slide for just a bit until I have some extra time to educate myself on a topic that will interest those type of white collars.

As I was busy writing the previous paragraph I got another reply from one of the pitches I sent out earlier. This one is from One Spoon At A Time and Paul Wolfe left me quite inspired yet at the same time a little sad after reading his reply:

“Hey Ruan

Thanks for the pitch.

If it’s any consolation it’s about the best pitch I’ve had since I started offering guest posts.

However the status with One Spoon is currently that it’s on hold. I’m not sure when – or even if – I will take up publication again with it.

By all means keep your eye on the site and if you see me start to post again then contact me again.

At this stage I have no idea what the future holds.


At least I knew that my pitch can’t be that bad. I’m sure Paul got many guest writing pitches in the lifespan of One Spoon At A Time. Yet I feel quite sad as this was one of the sites I got a little extra excited about, beyond and above the huge excitement I got from the others. It will be interesting to see what happens to One Spoon At A Time. Maybe not all is lost, we’ll see.

That’s about it for this update.

If anything, take this away…

The important part I want to leave you with after reading this post is that if you need to see the best results, you need to firstly determine what you need to do in order to get the ball rolling and then you need to take the bull by its horns and get the rodeo riding! Take action, massive amounts of it! Do what you need to do, and ask if you don’t know what to do but just do something. Stop thinking too much and do more. If you make mistakes, it’s okay, we move on. If what you did doesn’t work, it’s also okay, we try something else next time.

Key is to keep on doing something and NEVER, never stop keep on keeping on!

Your thoughts?

Do you perhaps have anything you’d like to add to the above? How did you take action when you needed to? How important do you think it is to take action when you have a burning desire to make a success of something?

Please tell me all about it in the comments below; we’d all love to hear your thoughts!

As always, my best of freelance blogging success to you!

Ruan Oosthuizen | Freelance Writer | Professioanl Blogger

P.S. Last Minute Edit

As I was about to finish off with the last editing of this post and hit publish, I got a reply from Jennifer from All Freelance Writing. I sent her a pitch on Sunday afternoon. You tell me if I should jump through the roof with sheer excitement or not; your call…

Hi Ruan,

Thanks for getting in touch.

All Freelance Writing really isn’t looking to add any regular contributors in the foreseeable future.

However, it does sound like you have an interesting story to tell. And I love blogs that are designed to detail the blogger’s path in business. It’s actually how All Freelance Writing started — as a group blog called So I understand the passion behind that kind of site. :)

That said, how would you feel about doing an interview rather than a guest post? It sounds like you have plenty of guest posts under your belt already, and a Q&A style post might be a good way to tell your story in a different way (and a bit more personal from the reader perspective). I’d be okay with either, so just let me know. If you’d like me to interview you, I’ll send out questions early next week (a bit swamped this week).

Take care.


photo by: Jonathan Kos-Read
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5 Responses to “Case Study | The Birth Of A Freelance Blogger – Chapter 1 Part 3: Taking Massive Action”

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  1. Sophie Lizard says:

    Thanks for the mention, Ruan! I’m really glad you made good use of the Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs – keep on doing what you’re doing, and I’m sure you’ll pick up more long-term freelance blogging contracts over time.

    • Ruan Oosthuizen says:

      Wow, thanks for taking the time to come say Hi and for those encouraging words, Sophie; they mean the world to me!

  2. Megan says:

    Remembered when I started doing freelance writing. I was at first so desperate to get a gig that I would send out my application in bulk and would even bid the lowest. And then I realized, why am I doing this to myself? I should be better than this! And that taught me how to value myself. Ah, memories. Hehe.

    • Ruan Oosthuizen says:

      Gosh that sounds all so familiar, Megan! I remember having tens of different gigs on fiverr at $5 bucks each! Thank goodness for those experts like Carol Tice and the likes whom helped me see the light and realize my own worth!

      Thanks for stopping by and all the best – hope to see you around! :)

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