How to be a Freelance blogger besides a 9 to 5

by Robert Dolmans

To have a blog and write down all the stories of adventures you made throughout the world is a passion. Making money out of doing your passion, is that not what everybody dreams about? Being a Freelance blogger, especially in the Travel department, is tough and not for everyone. With a lot of competitors striving for the same greatness, it is already hard enough. But what if you do not have all the time in the world to be that full-time blogger you see spamming your social media channels with holiday pictures? Let the reason be a job, study or just your personal situation, not everyone will have the luxury or the wish to pursue full-time travelling. As a Recruitment Consultant, I do not have a standard 9 to 5 job. On top of that, I am pursuing my Masters degree and my private life while maintaining a blog. How do I do it? Read all about it further on!

What is Freelance?

Let us first start with the basics, what is a Freelancer anyways? Freelance can be translated to someone who is self-employed and hired to work for different customers / companies on particular assignments. In professional companies you will see a lot of specialists who hire themselves to different companies who are in need of their expertise. The same can be applied to blogging. As a travel enthusiast, you want your work to be seen and you want to be hired to do what you do. The first thing you have to do, is to network.


Networking is something I am quite familiar with. Being a Recruitment professional, my job responsibility is to create a network of professionals who are active in a specific field. For me, that is Mechanical-, Production-, Manufacturing- and Mechatronic Engineers from around the globe who are looking for opportunities in the Netherlands. Me and my team are responsible to network and that means to do acquisition and get our services known with all the big countries in the sector that we are active in. We know what we are good in, that is finding professionals for specific general positions and sometimes something out of the ordinary. Now all we do is network, network, and, network. Going to events related to the fields of interests of the professionals we want to attract, speaking to professionals through different social media channels and being active in different groups were these professionals can be found. A lot of activities which you as a Freelancer also need to do! Work is not handed to you on a silver platter, you have to earn it. Get your work to be known, join public social media groups and share your work, find like minded Freelancers and work together to strengthen your network and speak with companies to gain profit from the things you are good at.

Give it time

If you are a Freelancer who has a lot of activities in his/hers private life like me (let it be work, sports or private situation), the key is to be patient and just do the things you love. If you want to grow steadily with limited time, try to do things you are good at. Time management comes to order. For me, it is all about planning. Every Sunday I check my work schedule, which days will be longer, were will I work, and what time do I have left. Then I plan accordingly when to go to sports, what time do I think I need for my assignments for my University and when do I plan these times, when do I have things planned with my partner, and finally when do I have a slot free for blogging. Blogging does not happen over night, and your first paid gig might take months. But, real winners never quit, they go on till they achieve their goals.

Stay cool

Give it goals

To see results, you have to set goals. Make a list and tell yourself how much time you want to spend on your Freelance assignments. Is it 4 hours, what do you expect to do in those 4 hours. Write one blog and reverse it before publishing a week, or do you want to spend it on social media and promote your earlier work? It is up to you to set the goals for what you see as a success.

Every Sunday when you start planning your week ahead, see what goals you want to achieve. Also make a plan for the long term, how many blogs do you want to write, think about stories you want to experience as input for your blog, think about your goals regarding social media and followers. There is a lot of work that comes with being a Freelancer, especially one with a full agenda. No, you cannot just take a plane and leave everything behind and do your nomad lifestyle, that is not for everyone. What everyone does have in life is goals they want to achieve. Make the most out of life and get let your Freelance work strengthen you in your other fields of interest. The great wall of China was also not built in a day!

To build something up takes time

How to get paid

Getting hired to do blogging is not easy. I can suggest you do a lot of research of paid opportunities in line with your blog’s focus. Google search engine is your biggest friend on that regard. You can use Boolean search strings to look for specific search results. Boolean? It is one of the perks of being a Recruitment professional, my life is about searching. Boolean helps you to define your search and get the best results possible.

Boolean is a string of commands you put with your key words to combine search terms in your results. The first command is ‘AND’ operator. If you are googling for ‘Travel’, you get very wide search results with all sorts of travel related websites. But, of course you want to get paid while blogging about travel. If you search Travel AND paid AND blog, you will find relevant websites which contains all the three key words travel, paid, and blog.

The second operator is ‘OR’. It is to search for similar words. One person says blogs, the other one says articles. If your search term would be: blog OR article, you will find websites with either blog or article on their page.

Using quotes enables you to search for two words which are standing at least two words from one another. If you search would be “travel paid”, you will see results where travel and paid are key words used in the same sentence in your search results.

Now comes the fun part, combining these operators to maximize your search results. Let’s say you want to know about travel blogs or articles which pay about Mexico, specifically in Cancun. If you use brackets in the mix, it will search all the results you put in there. Putting a space between the brackets search terms is considered an AND operator by Google. Your search would be: (“Travel blog” OR “Travel article”) (“paid opportunity” OR “paid blogging” OR “getting paid for blogging”) (Mexico AND Cancun). Your life just got a bit better.

There are a lot of online free training opportunities regarding the maintenance of an own blog, be sure to use it. Be also sure to enter competitions. There are a lot of opportunities on platforms which encourage bloggers to post on their platforms. Take advantage of it, win some competitions and gain some experience with working on a deadline, and use that on your website to refer to your previous jobs to build your own portfolio. Get known and get hired! You will see that opportunities will come to you, with job offers sailing towards your inbox.


As someone with a busy life, you have to find the balance. By working on your network, setting goals, using time management, and building on your portfolio you can slowly grow your own empire while being happy and in balance with the other important things in life. And you will see that it will help you in your daily life as well. Do not forget to have fun in the process! Having fun gives motivation!

Balance enabled me to be a loving partner, a Recruitment professional, proud owner of a blog relevant to my interests, and getting more and more educated pursuing a Masters degree and a lot of life experience on the way.

Robert Dolmans

By Robert Dolmans

My name is Robert Dolmans, I am born and raised in the Netherlands, but currently living just across the border in Aachen, Germany. I have also lived in Cape Town for a few months while doing an internship abroad, something that got me even more addicted to travel. I have seen 30+ countries in the world across 4 continents. My goal is to learn as much as I can from travel and enjoy while doing it. Now, accompanied by my awesome wife who is just as travel addicted as I am, we see parts of the world (20+ together so far) whenever we can while both studying (me MSc, she PhD) and working full time as a Recruitment Consultant in Engineering. Oh, and we also bridge the gap between cultures, me being Dutch and she from Bangladesh. Feel free to follow my footsteps on