Good content should draw people in and tell a compelling narrative--about the brand, about the company culture, about what truly sets the company apar...
Who Are You, and What are You Doing Here?
July 6, 2015
As I have been learning more about the art of content marketing and the ways if differs from traditional sales-based marketing, I discovered that expe...
Effective Content Marketing
July 7, 2015
July 16, 2016
As Rebecca Weber’s Freelance Writer Bootcamp is wrapping up, I am excited about where I’m going next as a writer. The challenge with this career is that it is so open-ended, and people choose to freelance for so many different reasons. For me, freelancing was initially attractive because I was at a point where I needed to have total control of my schedule. When a marketing director asked me to describe what was in my wheelhouse, I wasn’t sure what to say. (Apparently we’re playing Moneyball. I’m a little dense about these things.) Writing? Yes, I’m great at writing. Call it beginner's luck.
Since I know a little more about how this works, now, I realize I have quite a few more goals. I love the many different ways people approach freelancing—some operate multiple businesses and consultancies while writing on the side (think beekeeping or travel tours… how awesome is that!), some write nothing but fluffy lifestyle blog articles and social media posts, and some focus on serious nonfiction books full time—whatever works for them. They can be amazing at advertising, sales strategy, and PR. They may also prefer more issues-based journalism and content marketing. Since I enjoy ferreting out stories that could more or less stand alone and actually enjoy researching longer pieces, I suspect I may fall into the latter group. There isn’t just one way to be self-employed, though there are some clear ways to become a better writer.
I have so many excellent ideas about how to be a better writer, a better reader, and a better listener. I found a potential source for a story who was right under my nose. Whether or not the story sells, I have made an important connection with her.
Here are my takeaways:
Making decisions is more than half the battle. Once you’ve decided what you will—and will not—allow to dominate your time, everything else falls into place.
Processes are so important. When you manage yourself, you have to think about tracking time so you can work more efficiently, as well as avoiding mental traps and decision fatigue. I have to make countless decisions each day, and I understand why working parents have to be sticklers for making decisions once and keeping routines.
Writing is an ongoing process. There is no point at which writers feel as if they have arrived. If you have successfully completed one piece, you always want to do another, but better.
As I have heard several times before this year, find other writers. If you haven’t found your people yet, keep looking. Writers often think and communicate differently than others. We can be quite weird. We process our experiences deeply, and we do best when we can get it out on paper. We read The New Yorker, adore our Moleskine journals, and refer to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. I’m also impressed by how many writers are also master gardeners or chefs.
No single assignment needs to solve every problem. This is huge for me.
If you're a freelancer and you want to write for publications, I highly recommend Rebecca's course. She is a skilled editor, a gifted writer, and an encouraging teacher.