When I started blogging back in 2007 I did it just for me. With countless journals filled to the middle with my ranting and raving since as far back as 1989, I found blogging to be a cathartic experience. There were no readers on my blog for a long time, not until I started connecting with other writers.
But I had no idea at that time that I could take my voice and make money by posting. So in 2008 when I made my first few dollars from my blogging efforts, an entire new world opened up. I loved it and couldn’t wait to keep writing for a living.
No purpose or direction?
The problem? I didn’t know what to do with that experience and instead of pursuing more blogging jobs I started another blog. Shortly after that I began guest posting for a team of Green shop owners. There was no pay but I figured the exposure would be good. And for the most part, I was right.
The issue was I still had no clue how to go about doing this freelance blogger thing as a career. Instead, I decided to use my blog and the exposure on the team blog as a part time effort while I wrote and self-published both of my fiction books.
Even during my fiction writing process I knew there was something about blogging that I had to pursue in a full time way. I could be myself and write like I was having a conversation with everyone on the other side of the computer.
I loved it and my husband heard “why can’t I just get paid to do this?” on a weekly basis.
Turns out, I can get paid to blog!
So when I discovered the world of freelance blogging (thanks in big part to writers like Sophie Lizard, Tom Ewer and Carol Tice) and realized this wasn’t just a fun way to spend a day but a real viable career, I dove into it like a crowd surfer at Lollapalooza.
For a solid 6 months I built up my site with content that related to the experiences I had in learning about the world of freelancing, what worked for me, what didn’t. And then I got hit with a big personal setback that derailed me for a while.
Just last week I read a graphic that said positive thinkers are people who see a step back after a step forward as a cha-cha, not a disaster. I identified with it right away because the sentiment was exactly why I picked myself back up and started again.
A break wasn’t going to stop me from pursuing a career path I knew I was meant to follow.
As soon as I got back in the game I went after clients and work like a mad woman. I worked and sent numerous pitches every week and set a minimum of 10. Soon after, I managed to land a few clients.
Building on the confidence I got from landing those jobs I went back to pitching as soon as my schedule settled into a groove. More client work came my way and I was feeling great about building my business.
Not everyone will respond but sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised
Of course I didn’t land all of the gigs I pitched every month but that was okay. I was determined only to work with people who understood that my skills could provide great benefit to their needs for content.
So I allowed every rejection or email of shock at my rates to roll off.
I work hard. I never fail to go above and beyond because that’s just the A+ personality I have. My desire to only provide content that is researched, edited, re-worked and polished isn’t the norm in the industry today. That is, if you focus on crowd source sites.
Once you start to focus on moving away from the types of jobs that pay pennies for the hard work you do, something amazing could happen. A potential client might contact you directly.
It still feels strange to say it out loud but that very thing happened to me last week.
The potential client owned a shop in an industry I’m very familiar with. They were looking for a blogger. It seemed to be a great fit and I was on a cloud thinking that I might soon secure a new client. One who approached me!
In the end our financial positions didn’t gel and I had to turn down the job. However, I didn’t see that as a disaster either. It’s just as important to hold true to your business needs and what you know you’re worth as it is getting work and a short term paycheck.
I decided to focus on the fact that I got invited to try out in the first place. That’s pretty great.
It still feels nice to have readers leave a comment or shoot me a message on social media and I hope that kind of feeling never goes away. Even if I see the volume of engagement increase on every post, connections made every day, I still hope to get that burst of excitement to learn that someone has read what I wrote and responded to it somehow.
Because, in the end, whether I have to cold pitch or get invited to tell a potential client about my background, I’m doing what I love to do every day. And that is the greatest feeling of all.
How did you get to the point you’re at in your career? What methods did you use to find clients? Share in the comments!
Image courtesy Stuart Miles
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