Monday, October 1, 2012

Long Overdue Update

I'm always kind of astonished that I get paid for this.
Photo by Michal Marcol

I have a terrible confession:  I've been letting this blog languish while I've been off playing with the other kids.  Poor blog. I know how that feels.  I'll try to do better.

I wanted to post an update on my writing world.  I can't help but laugh when I look at my initial goals from "back in the day."  I also can't believe that "back in the day" was really only about a year and a half ago!  Lots of changes since then...

I'm very pleased to report that all my scraping and clawing and writing anywhere I could has really started to pay off.  I just got picked up as a contract copywriter by a company that designs websites for medical professionals. They have a stable full of clients who need content for their websites, and I can work as many hours as I want in a week.  Granted, like all freelance work, the hours aren't guaranteed to always be this steady.  Slowdowns are kind of inevitable in this business.  But so far, things are looking great.  I just turned in my first time sheet, and I made more this week than I typically make in a month!

I've had a lot of questions since posting about my good fortune on Facebook, mostly wanting to know how I found the job and how I started from nothing and pulled myself up. Here are my typical answers:

  • I signed up for every freelance job board I could find.  I learned quickly which ones were worth my time and focused my efforts on those.  
  • I applied for every writing and editing job I could find that I thought I might be even remotely qualified.  
  • I realized that I had an incredibly useful niche -- I am a healthcare content writer.  There's a huge market for this, and it's an area where I have plenty of knowledge.  
  • While I started out writing for any site that would publish my work, I figured out which sites were more "reputable" in the freelance world and stuck with those.
  • I viewed every piece I wrote as a stepping stone to my next job/prospect.  I didn't try to scale the ladder my first time out; instead, I took it one rung at a time with the goal being to get to the next rung on my next project.
  • I asked for feedback on my work so that I can improve.
  • I followed the blogs of other freelance writers and read what was working and what wasn't working for them
  • I read book written by freelancers, especially those who specialized in copywriting, which was quickly becoming my niche.
  • I was willing to try everything to see what I liked and what worked and where I was most successful.
  • I write.  Constantly.  Every single thing that I write, whether it's an email, a Facebook post, a blog post, or an article for a client, allows my to subtly improve. When I compare my writing from last year to my writing this year, the difference is remarkable.  I want to say the same thing next year, too.

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