It’s hard to believe that I’ve written almost 62,000 words for clients since my last post in May, but I haven’t found the time to blog. Instead, I’ve been trying to woo clients with words, formulas, and testimonials. This hasn’t been your typical May-December romance.
Hello my dear readers! Some of you have contacted me during my blogging hiatus and encouraged me to get back to blogging. I really appreciate that. It’s nice to be missed.
The Freelance Life
As I’ve hinted above, I’ve been busy trying to build my freelancing career. Things have improved since my Chump post, as I’ve found a moderate level of success working through Elance. So far, I’ve completed 32 projects for 21 clients and have slowly built up a reputation for quality work. The 5-star ratings that I’ve received have made it a little easier to land new assignments, but the task of finding new work is a part of freelancing that I sorely underestimated.
The process of searching for jobs and submitting bids is very time consuming. Simply pasting in a boilerplate response to ads won’t do. I’ve found that making a connection with the potential client and being specific about what you can do to solve their problem is the best way to ensure that your bid is taken seriously – but doling out that kind of individual attention for each bid takes a lot of time.
I’ve split my time between financial, administrative, and content writing assignments. That diverse mix of duties ensures that boredom is never a problem. Time management is my greatest obstacle. Since some clients take several weeks before they award a job, it’s important to keep my bid queue filled. Unfortunately, the risk is that I will be awarded too many opportunities too close together. That’s happened a few times. I’m glad to have the work, but managing too many projects can be stressful.
Writing for Pay
Does the world really need another article on Green Coffee Bean Extract? Learning to write for money has been an eye-opening experience. Some topics are interesting, but others make me want to pull my hair out! I started writing for a content mill, which means that it’s low pay, but the assignments are plentiful. I did this for two reasons. I wanted to learn how to write on assignment and on deadline. And learn I did. Writing what other people want me to write; when they want me to write it is very different from blogging. It has been frustrating at times, but I’m glad that I put myself through the experience. It’s helped me to write more efficiently.
So far, I’ve written 54 articles for this client and earned my stripes as a writer who could deliver. That experience helped me to gain the confidence to bid on better writing assignments, now that I knew that I could see them through. Altogether, I’ve written 75 articles, and the content for a 9,000 word website, since June. Whew!
How do I know how much I’ve written? I keep a nerdy spreadsheet, of course. I have fun Goggling the content to see where my words have ended up. Most post the articles as “Admin” but a few folks pass the writing off as their own. They paid for it, so I guess that it’s okay, but I could never do that. Reading the comments praising their ideas and their responses to those comments is a hoot.
I’d like to find the time to return to blogging. There is a lot that I have to say. Vulnerability has been a recurring theme for me as I’ve worked on my next career, as has been uncertainty, doubt, and dread. The world continues to move forward, unconcerned with my lack of contribution to this creative space. I miss the conversations with my readers as much as I miss the conversations that I carried on for years on other people’s blogs. When you don’t punch a clock, it’s difficult to unplug from the pursuit of making a living. You’re always on. It’s not a good way to live.
I feel the pressure to work – always. And if I’m not working, I’m looking for work. I have to work smarter, I know, but it’s hard to get to that point when you’re on the hamster wheel. Creditors aren’t known for their patience.
Reading his post was a not so gentle reminder to focus on what’s important. Focus on it today!
Tomorrow may not be your day.