Have you ever wished you could ask another mom blogger some questions about how they manage the juggle and still kick butt in their business? Well, I have. So I did!
One of my favorite bloggers is Elna Cain. Elna is a professional writer, mompreneur and blogger over at Twins Mommy. She also has several other blogs as well!
As one of the most productive people I know, I thought I’d ask Elna a few questions about freelance writing, her blog, and her advice for us all.
Hi! I’m Elna and I’m a writer and a mom to twins.
I’ve been freelance writing for over two years. I started freelancing after my maternity leave was over and I needed to find a way to contribute to the finances. Since finding a job outside of the house meant daycare for my twins, I knew that any paycheck I would have would go towards the daycare costs.
And, well, I couldn’t imagine not being with my babies for more than an hour, let alone a whole day! Heavens no!
So, I needed to find a way to stay home and still earn an income.
My husband has always worked from home and mentioned that I could do some VA work or writing work.
I began finding mom bloggers that did some freelance writing and I was hooked. I am a creative person and enjoy writing, so I thought this was a great fit for me. And it has been!
My first official writing gig was for a content mill. These places undervalue your writing and only pay you pennies for bulk projects.
I wrote one toy description and was paid $1.62. I almost gave up freelance writing. I couldn’t believe the time it took me to write that and the amount I was paid for it. It did not add up.
But, I still kept persevering. I decided to go to oDesk (which is Upwork), but didn’t find any work there. It wasn’t until I set up my own website and pitched to jobs that I finally landed an awesome writing gig.
The smartest move I’ve made as a freelance writer is to create my own writer website. I started on market platforms and that was the wrong idea. Freelancers tell you to jump on Upwork and find work quickly, but most of this work is ghostwritten – so you can’t even market your posts to get clients – and low paying.
As soon as I put up my own service-based website, within that month I landed my first gig.
I started Twins Mommy 9 months ago as a passion project. I wanted to connect with other work-at-home moms with little ones. But, this somehow changed early one when I decided that I wanted to grow my blog.
I started attracting other moms that wanted to grow their traffic and build their email list. From there I focused my content to help these moms have a strong foundation before turning their blog into a business.
I found the switch easy since my freelance writing niche is digital marketing. For my clients, I write about ways to market your business via content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing or inbound marketing.
I was able to use my knowledge and help mom bloggers with their blog.
I don’t have much time at all! There are two things that help me though: automating my promotion strategy and typing fast.
I use several automation tools – Tailwind, BoardBooster, Buffer, Grum and IFTTT – to promote all my blog posts. This shaves off hours a week from my schedule.
As well, I’ve practiced typing faster over time. I can type a 1,000 word post in about 40 minutes, so it’s no problem for me to create 2,000 word posts or even 5,000 word posts for my blogs.
But, of course, I really don’t have much time in a day for my client work and personal projects. That’s why I have help. I delegate work like my editing and some writing and research to other freelancers. This helps too!
If you want to get started with freelance writing quickly, I suggest you draft up three samples. I like creating a blog post as a sample, but you can create any type of sample based on what you want to write about – greeting cards, email newsletter, white paper, product description, etc…
I would set up a portfolio either on Pinterest or with Contently. From there, I would start pitching on job boards like ProBlogger and network on Facebook and see if anyone needs writing done for them.
If you already have a blog, then you can set up a service or Hire Me page on your site and use your posts as samples.
For me, I have to turn off my email and social media. I use MS Word instead of Google Docs, which makes it easier to not be tempted to be online and “accidentally” go on Facebook. I do take a lot of breaks to check email and social media and this fits nicely with the Pomodoro technique.
I also have a schedule that I work by every day and I use Trello to keep up with my content schedule and a planner for to-do lists.
There you have it! Elna has given some great advice for anyone wanting to get started with freelance writing. She also has a course – Write To 1K – that gets into all the details of starting out as a freelance writer. It was only after I took Elna’s course that I really started to grow my writing income.
Are you a freelancer? Tell us what you do!
Hi, I'm Cath
Blogger. Freelance Writer & Pinterest Manager. Mom of one. Keeps me busy! I’m also a corporate escapee, determined to help moms create options so they can stay home with the little ones and contribute to the family finances.