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February 11, 2010
There are so many different reasons people get into freelancing. For me it was largely about the freedom.
Before writing full-time, I ran a small PR firm offering a combination of PR writing and consulting services. I thought about working for myself for a while, but the ultimate decision to jump in was pretty sudden. At the time I was working with a major nonprofit organization, and I was fed up with all of the politics.
So I left and started my business (which as since morphed into 3 Beat Media -- my company with service, publishing, and Web property divisions). It turned out better than I ever could have expected early on.
And my reasons for getting into this kind of work are the same reasons I stay. I'm comfortable when I work. I work when I'm most productive instead of during some artificially "standard" working hours. And I get to pursue projects I'm passionate about much of the time.
How did you get into freelancing? Or why did you end up in this kind of work? Did you pursue it because you wanted to, for example? Or were you thrust into the freelance life for other reasons? Let us know your story.
I got started with freelance work as a result of my first attempt at creating a blog.
Like countless other people, I wanted to put up my own blog where I can share my personal and professional experiences and skills. It required more time and effort than I expected and was really able to devote. However, I have always thought of writing as the one thing that I'm passionate about and there was always that "itch" to write--anything.
I got to thinking, "maybe I can write for a fee, instead." That would get me some monetary compensation for the time and effort I spent, and at the same time satisfy my urge to write.
I signed up with the first online workplace I came across (oDesk) and plugged in the URL of my one-month-old blog to offset the fact that I had zero freelance writing experience and nothing in my portfolio that prospective clients could scrutinize. I wasn't expecting it to turn into anything worthwhile, but when I checked my profile three days later, I was delighted to find that 13 of the 20 prospective clients I applied to have responded positively.
Thus began my freelance writing career. I haven't given up my regular job yet, but I'm spending more and more time freelancing online now. I have since expanded my skills to include search engine optimization and multimedia production, and I've joined a few more freelance sites (Elance, Mediapiston, CloudCrowd).
Now I find that I can devote some time to focus on my original plan--put up and maintain at least one blog/site and contribute to the wealth of quality online resources--without having to resent the fact that I don't get compensated for my time and effort…because of course I am now getting rewarded for that through freelance work. So now I have started with this blog about working as a freelance contractor online, more confident now that I can develop, maintain, and fill it up with useful resources for other freelance workers (writers, designers, developers, etc.).
February 11, 2010
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