Do what you do best

My last blog post was all about how I wasn’t too inspired to learn some new skills and knowledge to take my career search in a certain direction. As chance would have it, fate stepped in soon after that to get me moving in another – and familiar – direction.

Someone in one of the Denver-area Meetup groups I was following sent a link to a three-part video series from a freelance web developer, Ryan Waggoner. While some tips, advice and recommendations he gave came from his profession, most of it can likely be applied to a lot of other professions. Including writing.

Since moving to the Front Range, I’ve called myself a freelance writer, even while working full-time as a reporter. And I did do a few freelance assignments during that time and after, but they came from an earlier employer and they’re fun stories to do. But I haven’t gone out and really marketed myself as a freelance writer.

That’s what Ryan Waggoner’s videos have inspired me to do. I started finding freelance writing sites that help connect clients and writers and have done some more research into what goes into being a successful freelance writer.

One of the main things that’s held me back are the scams where someone (me) writes something for someone (a client) in expectation of money but never gets paid. What I learned was that if you’re careful and use the right sites, you can usually avoid the scam artists. Those sites screen the people seeking a writer, so there’s some assurance they are legitimate.

So I’m going to look into about a dozen of those sites and, again thanks to Ryan Waggoner, post my description and respond to ads. I’ll probably have to take some low-paying jobs at first to help get established, and to build up trust with clients. The plan is to get a good reputation (I already think I have a pretty good one, so hopefully that will help get my foot in the door a little quicker) and get me going in the right direction.

This will take time, I know. Luckily, I’m not in a cash-strapped position, so I can really focus on making freelancing work. And I’m not giving up finding a full-time job either. I’ve experienced the frustrations and hurdles that process entails, so I think I’m ready for whatever freelancing might throw in my way.

(Courtesy Creative Commons)
(Courtesy Creative Commons)

I’m excited about the possibilities and advantages of working for myself, again fully realizing the pitfalls and road blocks that may occur. As you know, nothing in life comes easy. I’ve always worked hard, so I’m ready. I believe I have the talents and skills to produce quality content of many types, obviously know how to meet deadlines, gather information and write coherent sentences.

I may have to focus my efforts, as time goes along, toward certain niches. That’s fine. A saying I ran across some time ago was something like “the winner of the race goes to the specialist, not the generalist.” So, once I start specializing in an area, I’m hoping things will move ahead at a faster pace.

And since I need to start marketing my writing services, this blog will likely become an important vehicle. I plan to document my progress as my career moves forward, so look for that in the months ahead. I won’t limit the topics to just my career; I’ll still try to scribble a few words down on other things that catch my attention to keep it fresh and hopefully a continued good read for everyone.

At any rate, onward and upward, into the exciting and challenging days ahead…wish me luck, I can always use that, too.

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