Your Own Blog vs. Writing for A Website (paid)
1. Prepare to Pitch, Edit, and Rewrite
When you are being hired to write a blog for a website, you have to abide by the established tone and standards. Sure, you've been hired because of your skills and voice, but that doesn't mean you get complete freedom. For example, I write for a top entertainment website--The Richest--and I have rewritten one piece four times to please my editor (over 16 hours). I pitched several spins on the same topic, and then kept editing and eventually rewriting several times until my editor was happy. If you want to succeed as a professional blogger, you have to be able to go the extra mile. My editor was happy with my work; she simply felt spinning the piece in a different way would increase the amount of views. You cannot take things personally when it comes to writing for a website.
In terms of your own blog, you have complete freedom. You can choose to post about a specific topic, and edit each post if you feel like it. However, you still have to respect the needs of your audience, and work hard to keep them reading.
2. Money, Money, and Mo' Money
There are the lucky few who are making big money on blogging, such as Perez Hilton. However, for the majority of peeps, it's not very lucrative. Or, the money that you make isn't consistent. Writing for a website allows you to make a consist amount of money if you're good at what you do. For example, because I have had viral posts on The Richest, I am now able to write as many articles as I would like each month. Typically, you have to prove yourself in order to start making good money as a Freelance Writer. When I first started blogging, my payment per piece was incredibly low.
The reason that I tell people to really think about writing for your own blog, or for a website is because it takes time to grow your audience. However, you can make BIG money once you get a following and learn how to market to your audience.
3. It's All About Who You Know
When you write for an established brand, such as BuzzFeed or Mashable, that will begin to open up doors because they are recognizable and respected names. After I worked for a celebrity brand as well as large corporations, I started to get opportunities I was never afforded. Sometimes in your career you have to make smart decisions; working with a successful company in your field is a great example of that.
The great thing is if you're a Freelance Writer, you can easily maintain your own blog while also writing for other websites. Just focus on being creative and working your tail off. Soon enough you will begin to see results. What I mean by working hard is not occasionally putting in an extra hour or two. Working hard is doing what I am doing now: Writing on a Sunday when all of my friends are out having drinks. #DoWhatYouHaveToDo.
Those are just a few differences between blogging for your own website and being paid to write for a different one. The important thing to figure out is which path you want to take, and then to stick with your plan. However, if a career changing opportunity comes up, be open to it!
Keep in mind that all of my advice is meant for those who don't already have a hugely successful blog, or website. For those that do, obviously you can create revenue by having a strong marketing and content strategy in place. If you need advice, feel free to email me at: HamiltonWriting@gmail.com. My consulting fees are completely reasonable.