In 2007, I quit my executive position with McGraw-Hill in New York City. I moved to a small hobby farm in Virginia and began freelancing for a living. I started providing marketing consulting services, but when the work slowed down, I answered an ad looking for a writer for what is now known as a ‘content mill’ – a website that published a ton of search engine optimized content on a variety of topics, hoping to dominate the SERPS and earn money through Google Advertising.
That was back in 2008, and since those early days of writing for the content mills, I’ve gone on to make my living by freelancing – either freelance writing or marketing services, sometimes both.
In 2022, my content marketing agency, Seven Oaks Consulting, celebrated its 15th anniversary. This is a milestone. The Small Business Administration estimates that less than 25% of all startups make it to their 15th anniversary. We not only made it, but we’re still going strong.
In honor of our anniversary, I decided to write a series of articles and publish them on Medium.com. These “15 Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Freelancing” encompass a varied list of topics, including:
Lesson 3: Can You Make It as a Freelancer?
Lesson 4: Choose a Micro Niche for Maximum Impact
Lesson 5: The Importance of Personal Branding
Lesson 6: Protect Your Online Reputation
Lesson 8: Build a Shopping Mall to Avoid the Roller Coaster
Lesson 9: Never Work for Free (or On Spec)
Lesson 10: Freelancers Need a Plan for Time Off
With just five more lessons to go, I thought I’d share the list with our NAIWE membership. The lessons can be read in order or you can choose any that pique your interest.
When all 15 articles have been published, I’ll be rolling these into a book I hope to publish this fall – on our 16th anniversary. It’s the book I wish I had when I was starting out 15 years ago and sorting through all of the contradictory information online.
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