March 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm #27305
Yup, I’m a toddler in term of Freelance writing and blogging years! And this is my first “crawl” in the right direction.
My name’s Rakiah and this is my first tentative step towards establishing a freelance writing career.
I’ve had plenty of experience writing for peanuts (a content mills’ victim!) but now I thought enough was enough and decided to wade into the deeper and scary waters of Pro-Blogging.
As my first step I’ve been trying to soak up as much writing advice there is out there, and as my second I’ve been trying to get noticed as a professional writer (so far the second hasn’t worked out yet, but I’m adamant!)
So, that’s me. See you around everyone,
Rakiah O.March 31, 2014 at 8:54 pm #27308
Ahh! Well, at least you made your escape from the mills, right? 😉
Welcome to the community!
If you have questions or anything you’d like feedback on, you’re always welcome to post them here.
Best of luck in your new adventure as a professional blogger!April 1, 2014 at 4:01 am #27310
I haven’t completely escaped them yet.
Every morning I check my inbox in the hopes of finally getting a reply from this editor or that but, every morning so far has been disappointing. Then, every morning, the devil whispers in my ear “may be you should focus on the content mills, at least you had work!”
The day this thought stops creeping into my head, is the day I will consider myself completely free of the content mills.
Anyways, thanks for the warm welcome “Keymaster” 😉
P.S.: Where do I start creating my own kick-ass portfolio (keeping in mind that I simply have nothing to show for myself)?April 1, 2014 at 6:36 am #27311
LOL Yeah, the forum plugin doesn’t make it easy to change that keymaster title (so silly, isn’t it?). I’m sure I’ll find a way as soon as I’m not putting out one kind of fire or another. 😉
The next time he comes whispering in your ear, flick him in the nose and tell him to get lost.
Do you have a specialty area or niche you’re focusing on with blogging? If so, we might be able to share some ideas on markets you haven’t considered yet.
This site is more of a community for writers. We don’t directly host portfolios. You do have a profile and you can add a forum signature where you can link to samples if you want to, but most people you’ll meet here are other writers rather than prospects. You can access your profile from the Profile link near the top-right of the forum pages, and there’s a link to edit it on the left side once you get there.April 1, 2014 at 7:26 am #27312
No, no you misunderstood me. I don’t want to host a portfolio here. The thing is I don’t have a portfolio, no samples to shows for my writing.
And the articles I wrote for the content mills are about such random stuff that they’re not exactly what I would want to show anyone as a sample. So, my question was how do I go about convincing people that I’m a good writer without showing them a portfolio (because I don’t have one!)?
Most freelancing blogs suggest to write guest posts for other popular blogs. I’ve been pitching editors but so far none have gotten back to me. What should my next step be now?
As to my niche, I’m a mom plus a freelance writer. So, I’m aiming at writing blogs which give actionable advice based on my own experiences (and a lot of research, of course) to moms like me on raising a freelance writing business…and kids!
Also, if you really want that “Keymaster” title off, I could ask my husband to look into it. He’s a wordpress guru, if i say so myself!April 1, 2014 at 9:33 am #27313
Okay, gotcha. Sorry about that!
Start here. This article has some ideas for building a portfolio, even if you don’t have any experience (or experience you want to showcase).
More importantly, you want to get into professional blogging. So you should definitely have a blog of your own. I recommend going with a self-hosted WordPress installation. It looks more professional than a free hosted blog (at WordPress.com or Blogspot.com). But you could use those if you have no other choice. Just know that you risk losing links and traffic if you later decide to move to your own hosting and domain. Since your husband is a WordPress expert, I’m sure you can get him to help you set one up.
And thanks for the offer by the way. But I should be able to handle it. I know it’s a simple string replace issue. But I run a lot of highly customized plugins here, and even small changes sometimes break big things. So I have to be extra careful and I don’t worry about all of the little cosmetic things as much as I should (I’m usually more focused on making sure nothing new breaks LOL). I’ll get there. It’s on a (very very long) to-do list for this site. And those tech-type hubbies do come in handy, don’t they? I’m married to a developer myself.
Your niche sounds like it might be a tough one. For example, with freelancing people usually want to see a good bit of experience before they’ll hire you to advise others. You’ll need to have much more than content mill samples to crack some of those markets. Combining it with parenting makes sense, but it limits you more with sites targeting freelance professionals because not all of those sites publish content specifically for freelancing parents.
Another (maybe better) option would be to focus instead on parenting-related blogs. There are countless blogs in that niche, and they’ll probably reach a broader group of people interested in getting started working from home. They might have a more direct interest in watching someone else do it from the beginning. Because there are so many, you might also have an easier time starting with smaller sites and working your way up.April 1, 2014 at 6:14 pm #27315
Wow, that is exactly what I was looking for. I’ve been scouring the web for something like this, to tell me what to do because I was so clueless.
Thanks a ton. I’m definitely going to get started on the advice you have given there.
And, you’re welcome. You’re right I should put that hubby of mine to good use (for me!) 😛
Parenting blogs are what I have been focusing on, I’ve been sending out pitches but no one’s gotten back as yet.April 2, 2014 at 9:37 am #27316
I’m a big fan of mock samples in lieu of actual published clips. As Jenn says too, blogs are a great place to showcase your abilities. A friend of mine is trying to sell his book, and the question he keeps hearing is “What’s your platform?” The publishers are looking for built-in audiences, and blogs do provide that. So why not apply that to magazine work, I say?
Jenn’s also right about the free articles, though I think you could probably find one or two low-key markets that may actually pay you. Just don’t get stuck with them forever — a few clips and move on, I say.April 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm #27317
What size blogs are you targeting? I know bigger sites in that niche are heavily in demand, so they might just be extremely selective. You might have luck with smaller blogs first, so you’ll have some samples to show. And of course you’ll want your own. There no better way to show you understand blogging for that audience than to do it yourself.
You could also target some small business blogs. Just make sure the posts you’re pitching aren’t all about your own stories. They should have some kind of practical angle that readers can put to use right away. So putting more emphasis on that side of things might help.April 3, 2014 at 10:52 am #27319
Thank you, LoriWidmer
So far I’ve pitched The Bump, Babble, Brazen life (this pitch was about recruiting, not parenting) and Francesca Nicasio’s blog (to name a few).And my approach is to pick my problems I’m facing as a mother as a base and then conduct research and even relevant interviews as well, if need be. I’m not relying on my stories, per say.
I’ve been using Sophie Lizard’s Ultimate list of Better Paying Gigs to find prospective clients.If you could point me to some of those smaller blogs as you guys suggested, I’d be eternally grateful 😀
BTW, Keymaster suits you Jennifer, so don’t change it 😛
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