For years, I never thought of myself as a “business person.” I enjoyed writing on my blog, and sharing my experiences. But, in the long run it was blogging that led to me starting a profitable online business.
Learning Blogging Skills
I started a few different blogs over the years. My first blog was a literary blog that I started back in 2008. I shared book reviews and I made money by editing manuscripts for authors.
My second blog was a beauty blog, that I developed around 2012, which was when beauty blogging was becoming more popular. I made money from selling a beauty-based eBook about hair care, and I worked with brands on beauty sponsorships.
It was a lot of work developing a beauty blog and a corresponding YouTube channel. I spent hours taking pictures and recording videos for hair care tutorials and product reviews all by myself.
Each day, I went to work and I worked long hours. Each night, I came home and taught myself how to use a DSLR camera, upload videos on YouTube, and improve my blogging skills. I learned about SEO (search-engine optimization), and social media marketing.
That experience and the skills that I developed were invaluable. If you write, make music, or have any special talent, you may take it for granted. But, you have to remember that the skills that come to you easily, aren’t as easy for everyone else.
Blogging is a skill that takes time to develop. It requires technical skills, marketing skills, writing skills, and a certain level of discipline to churn out content and engage with readers regularly.
The skills that you learn from blogging and creating unique content are skills that can be used to develop an online business.
From Blogging to Freelancing
I transferred the skills that I learned from blogging to running my own freelancing business. I used popular posts from my blog and I created a writing portfolio.
I knew that I wanted to freelance, but I wasn’t sure how to connect with clients. In 2016, joined an online platform called Upwork, which connects freelancers with businesses and brands hoping to hire them.
Joining Upwork was one of the best decisions that I ever made. It takes the work out of actually finding clients. I set up a profile on Upwork for free, uploaded my writing samples, and started pitching for jobs.
When I first joined the platform, I pitched for all types of writing jobs. I was easily hired, but I didn’t enjoy my first couple of jobs. I quickly realized that I needed to create a niche in order to get hired consistently on the platform.
I started focusing specifically on beauty blogging, since I had experience in beauty blogging, and I could link to my beauty YouTube channel and blog as a part of my portfolio.
I started getting hired consistently for a jobs with the same clients. That meant I didn’t have to pitch constantly. Instead, they sent me a steady stream of work. I was making a pretty good side income from freelancing considering the fact that I didn’t make it a big focus.
When I started freelancing, I was trying to start a brick and mortar business at the same time. The brick and mortar business had a very high overhead, whereas my digital online business had none.
Upwork does charge a percentage of your earnings, but they are providing a service by taking care of the payment processing and providing a communication platform to talk to clients.
I upgraded to the pro plan on Upwork, which allows me to customize the url of my profile, and be featured more for jobs. After working consistently on the platform for two years, I got my big break.
Focusing on Freelancing
In late 2016, I decided to make some major life changes after discovering minimalism. I shut down my brick and mortar business, and started simplifying my entire lifestyle.
After I made all of those changes, I was able to invest more time into my freelance writing business. I focused on consistently writing high-quality content for my established clients.
All of the hard work paid off. In June of 2018, I was approached with an excellent offer for a job on Upwork. I submitted my proposal and I was hired for the job!
It’s important to note that in order to be eligible for that job, I had to prove that I was a legitimate business person, and one way that I showed that was my blog and social media presence outside of Upwork.
That one gig on Upwork paid five figures for one week of work. I will be writing a separate post with details about that job. I tried to share the good news of how great my freelance writing business was going, but it was hard to explain to people.
Most people don’t understand how powerful online business is, and how profitable it can be. An online business has incredibly low overhead compared to other types of business, and there is a very low risk in offering most types of freelancing services.
Transitioning from a Job to Freelancing
Freelancing provides a way to bring in an extra income while you work full time. I love freelancing on Upwork because you can do most of the projects on your own time.
You can choose to eventually transition from your full or part time job to freelancing exclusively. It’s best to first find your niche, build up a clientele, and actually start bringing in a consistent income.
You can use the skills that you have acquired from your years of working full time to work as a freelancer. Freelance writing has been my most consistent work. I’ve written articles and ads for big brands. But, there are other types of freelance work that you can do.
You can do freelance design work. You can work as a virtual assistant. You can do freelance legal work, freelance accounting work, or other types of professional work.
I like to use Upwork because it manages the client communications and payment processing, but you can pitch to clients on your own, and you can use other online marketplaces to find freelancing work.
Give It a Try
It can be scary to put yourself out there and pitch to clients if you’re used to working in a traditional job. But, your ultimate path to freedom is through learning how to sell your own products and services, and freelancing is a great way to start.
The skills that you have acquired from your office job are transferrable, and the skills that you learn from blogging can be ultimately lead to career and financial freedom.