How did I start my freelance writing business? I jumped right into it with absolutely nothing. No personal website to show my clients. No social media accounts to promote myself and my work online. In short, I have no online presence at all. I discovered that even you have years of professional experience as a writer, it isn’t enough to land you a gig or a job because no one knows you online. It is quite apparent that I lacked of what they call “digital footprint.”
I thought (or assumed) a cover letter and resume could land me a freelance writing job. Oh boy, I was in for a startling revelation. When did I realize this painful fact? This is after I resigned from my day job as a content writer in an advertising company. Since I now have all the time in the world to focus on my new endeavour, I searched online where and how I can begin my freelance writing business.
I did a bit of research when I was still working inside a cubicle but it was only about what niche I am interested working with. I have no idea that there is more about setting up a freelance writing business other than being a skilled writer. These misfortunes of mine did not stop me because I really want to be an established author or writer online, with byline and all.
The first hurdle I must solve is having my own website. I know how difficult this task is because of two things. First, I was a programmer, and second or last, I worked with developers in my previous job. So, I have a pretty darn picture of what kind of challenge I must overcome.
Today, it is easy to have a personal website. You can create it online with only a few clicks and configurations. Gone were the days you are staring at a black window in your computer and hope to heavens lines of codes will appear out of nowhere. Ah, the era of Turbo C and C++. Afterwards, the drag-and-drop programming model was born like Visual Basic and Dreamweaver.
It may be simple for some. However, we are talking about yours truly. My perfectionist side kicks in, and yeah, that made things rather complicated. How complicated? Instead of telling you, I will show you:
This was my thought process during my first months. This rather long process happens when time, money, and other vital resources are at stake. In the middle of development, I almost abandoned creating my website because of a foreboding feeling: I was returning to my old ways as a programmer. How did I realize this? I felt again the same ecstatic feeling whenever I got my code running.
Uh, something like that but with little finesse. I do know a bit of programming because my first job was a developer in a bank. Don’t ask me how I could do it. It still boggles my mind how can I “read and write” programs. Anyway, so it unsettled me a bit to the point I took a break from WordPress and resort to reading for a while to help me get my bearings.
After a brief soul-searching, I was back on track towards my goal: to start a successful freelance writing business. After seven months, Freelance Writing is Work was born. On the bright side, I learned how to use WordPress; can optimize an entire website for search engines; and can grasp the basics of HTML, CSS and PHP. Achievement unlocked.
Furthermore, I could add these technical skills in my credentials other than being HubSpot certified. It would be also convenient if I have full control of my website because I understand it inside out. It was cost-effective, too, because I do not need to hire a website developer, SEO specialist and graphic designer. I am performing all of these roles besides from, of course, writing my website’s content.
Making my website was a learning experience for me despite the rough tumble I went through. My journey is still a work-in-progress and—oh—I already made social media accounts for my website. The truth is I stay away from social media (except for Twitter) but I will do anything to improve my freelance writing business.
How about you? What is the most difficult moment in your writing career and how did you solve it? Share it in the comments!