To be honest I never started off as a blogger and freelance writer. I was a teacher. Then, after 26 years, I wasn’t. My academic training was in Accounting, but after 26 years in the classroom teaching that subject, I had lost any yearning for the accountancy profession. Instead, I ended up providing blogging services for small businesses.
Even that came about by accident. I had been playing around, fairly unsuccessfully, with affiliate marketing, when I came across some training that suggested that you could make money online with writing. It suggested that you sign up on Odesk (as Upwork was then known as).
This was back in 2014. I set up my profile on ODesk. As I was new to professional writing, I didn’t initially have any writing samples. This can be a bit of a problem for a freelancer. How can you prove what you can do without any proof? Yet, how can you get any samples if you haven’t yet had any contracts? All I could post online initially were a couple of manuscripts of workbooks that I wrote for my students in my teaching days.
I have heard of people who have had to wait for months before they could attract anybody to hire them. I was lucky, I suppose. A client offered a gig in my first week on the platform. A Canadian web developer wanted somebody to write web copy for an Australian client. I suppose I was lucky that they didn’t know how far from Australia New Zealand really is.
Murphy’s Law – typical Andrew Loader luck –I never got any repeat work from this company. This wasn’t because of any problems with my witting, but because the Managing Director who appointed me had a heart attack a couple of weeks later, and understandably scaled back his operations.
Despite this, I now had won writing credibility. I had samples of my work I could show people, and before long I was even able to link to the finished product.
This meant I was able to move forward with my writing. I was able to take on blogging for small businesses and really expand in this area. Before long, providing blogging services for small businesses was my main area of focus, with copywriting relegated to being a secondary writing ability.
What Do I Enjoy About Providing Blogging Services for Small Businesses?
Over time I developed a passion for writing blog posts. Although I write a wide range of posts, the majority I am contracted to produce tend to be long-form copy. Indeed the most common length blog post I write is around 2,000 words. Seth Godin, I am not.
I have actually ghost-written 2 posts for a client that have been over 5,000 words – one of them exceeded 8,000-words.
Obviously, there are some topics I prefer over others. Online marketing is one such area. I particularly enjoy writing about influencer marketing, with a regular gig writing posts for UK influencer agency, PMYB. I have also ghost-written over 50 articles on the subject for another major influencer marketing website that I am not permitted to name.
This got me thinking about why I enjoy providing blogging services for small businesses. These are what I consider to be the main reasons.
1. Love to Build up Relationships with Small Business Clients
I have had clients for over a year now – close to two years in one case. It feels satisfying to build up relationships with them over time.
In my early days, I was asked by one client to ghost-write for his technology blog. It turned out that he was Chief Marketing Officer for a facial recognition company, so it wasn’t long before I was asked to manage and write their blog posts. I did this for six months in 2015.
By this point, the client was a friend. When he left the facial recognition company he took me with him. He provided marketing services to a number of clients and for the next year, I was the writer he brought in.
He also helped to expand my knowledge. My client taught me a great deal about SEO and running small business social media accounts.
It is always rewarding to build up relationships with your clients.
Although I was taught the basics of SEO before I started writing professionally, my time providing blogging services for small businesses has greatly expanded my knowledge in this area.
One topic that my former client/friend taught me was how to use Google Analytics, as well as specialist software such as Moz and Amztracker.
I love passing on this knowledge to my clients, helping them to try and boost their posts and climb up the search rankings.
3. Love to Help Small Businesses Establish Thought Leadership
One of the key purposes of content marketing for a brand is to establish thought leadership in its field. While some companies are definitely better at this than others, I find it rewarding helping brands do this. I helped set up the blog for software development company Castle Digital Partners. They deliberately called their blog, Insights, because they intended it to be a showcase for their insights into the digital world.
When it comes down to it, the main reason that I am contracted by clients is to help them to build up their brand online. That is usually their number one reason for having a blog.
While it is hard to have a big influence if you are only contracted to write one post, it is rewarding to see the effects when you write a whole series of posts. I have now had the privilege of writing several series of 40 or more blog posts. This certainly helps me to understand more about a topic than previously. Before I started writing on the subject I had no idea about facial recognition. Similarly, until I was given my first contract on the topic, I didn’t even know influencer marketing existed. Now I feel that I am something of an expert on both topics.
I began blogging as part of my mid-life reinvention. Obviously, I blog here, at The Reinvention Men. However, I also love blogging for other small businesses as well. Blogging is an excellent way to communicate and I love helping businesses craft their online communication.
I consider it a privilege to offer my blogging services for small businesses. I am constantly learning and I get the opportunity to work with some great people.