Make Time for YOUR Blog

BloggingLet me begin this post by first admitting that the above photo is one of my all-time-favorites. I still giggle every time I look at it!

Being a freelance blogger for a living, I find it difficult to keep up with my own blog (as you can see by how few posts are up.) I spend all day writing for other people to help get traffic to their site and to help market their business. I am able to see firsthand how much of a difference my social media and blogging work has for my clients and how they get more business and build a following and a narrative for their business. So why am I not doing the same to get myself more business?

I am a list-making, goal-setting, colour-coordinating kinda gal. I realized that I need to use my strengths and my passions to market myself. If you have read any of my other posts, you will know that I have be majorly delayed due to the fact that I am overwhelmed where to start and that I wasn’t sure which direction to go in with my branding.

It is interesting that I have had more epiphanies and organizational break throughs since I started blogging for myself. As a writer it makes sense that I have (and always will) find the most clarity in my mind as I express myself and communicate through writing. I have always found it the best way to collect and organize my thoughts.

This leads me to my point. No matter how sick you are of blogging, or starting at a computer screen by the end of the day – prioritize updating your own blog. I always put it on the back burner because I thought I would have to spend time doing research for my blog. As of now, it is just a way for me to document my experiences, challenges and advice as a freelance and hope to grow it as I get into more of a routine.

Each month, week and day I have goals that I want to reach for my clients that I try to attain through my work for them. I have made it a priority to do an equally good job for myself and my business as well. I have a goal to post 2-4x a week and I am going to stick to it. I need to make, and keep, this commitment to myself.

I would love for people to come to my blog and to like my style of writing, my personality and hopefully want to reach out and chat – or even work together! That is what I am hoping to accomplish with this blog. If you would like to take this journey with me, feel free to subscribe to my blog. You will find that option on the right –>

If not, feel free to check back once and a while. I appreciate your visit. See you soon!

{[Melissa]}

Branding Yourself as a Freelancer

branding-matters-foxhound-large

I have set a big goal for this week. This week I want to nail down my freelance branding. I have been struggling with this for a while and have remain “undefined.” This “undefined” status has created “undefined” work, and I am getting further away from where I started.

It is imperative for my own confidence, for my portfolio, for my social media and for pitching my clients to have my brand and my identity solid.

So how do I decide which direction to go? I am teetering on a few things. Do I go with my name? It’s a safe bet that I can’t get sick of. Should I use something creative – or will people find it cliche?

This is something that I have found difficult, but I am working hard to get it done this week.

Wish me luck and stay tuned!

Also, if you have any suggestions, please leave them below. I would love as much input as I can get.

{[Melissa]}

The Monday Blues

monday-blues

So it is Monday again, a day that I am especially thankful to be a freelancer. While most people are begrudgingly sitting at their desks dreaming about Friday already, I am at mine quite happy. The fact that I am in sweatpants and slippers is a non-issue. The only rain cloud hovering over my almost-perfect day is the consistent worry that I can be doing more, or that I am not making enough. In my last post I discussed one of the challenges for freelancers (especially me with my personality type). And I know another big one is worrying about money.

It doesn’t help that over the weekend my husband and I had to get new tires. Why do people leave nails on the road?! Our car is a 2001 model, so our spare (a tire from 2000) is not drivable and needed to be replaced anyway. On top of that, our car is all wheel drive, so we had to replace all four tires or we would blow our transmission. Goodbye $500 of hard-earned money. Granted, my husband and I are lucky. We are what is called DINKs (Dual Income No Kids), but barely. With my husband in grad school with a stipend  it falls on me to make enough to cover the miscellaneous and unplanned expenses such as tires, dentist or the doctor.

So as I am sitting at my desk on a Monday working away knowing I will probably only make $100 today, I start to get frustrated and have a should I give it all up and go back to a cubicle debate. When I am having one of these dilemmas I immediately go to all of those great freelancing resources that I love.

Freelance Switch

Be a Freelance Blogger (I am a newbie, I just recently stumbled upon Sophie Lizard, but I like it so far)

–  Make a Living Writing (Carol Tice is great)

Alexis Grant

and more.

I re-read articles I have already read, or find new ones for inspiration. I love how supportive the freelance community is and reading about other people’s successes makes me hopeful that my day will come and down the road I will be able to help people like me.

{[Melissa]}

Just do Something: A Freelance Challenge

nike-just-do-it2

Nike had it right when they used the slogan “Just Do It.” My personality type (ENTP for anyone familiar with the Myers-Briggs test. As with all personality types, this is a mix of very positive things, and also things to be aware of in my personal and professional life that I need to work on.

With my personality type it is very common not to choose one direct, specific path or option because I don’t like closing doors. I can’t choose one specialty because I want to do it all. You know that phrase “Jack of all trades, Master of none” – I definitely don’t want that to be me.

In regards to my freelance career, I am having a really difficult time narrowing down my niche. This has prevented me from getting this website and blog up, from creating a business Facebook page, Google+ account – anything! I am just sitting around thinking and that is not getting anything done!

I currently market myself as a freelance writer and social media strategist for small businesses. I have a number of awesome clients that I love. As I try to expand my repertoire, projects and clients I realized that I just have to “do it.” There is nothing wrong with doing what I am good at now, and stumbling upon something that I like more later.

For now, I just want to continue working, growing and building my experiences and my portfolio. I try not to think about closing doors, because I am not, but instead just do what I love and grow into my career.

I consider myself extremely lucky to already have gained the experience and clients in my freelance career and I am excited for what is to come!

{[Melissa]}