Today's I Want to Be features Alexa Mason, a freelance writer and blogger who is also a single mother to two young girls, ages 3 and 4. A former full-time insurance agent, she is now able to meet all of her family's financial needs by working from home.
How long have you had your business?
I started Single Moms Income in October of 2012 and shortly after decided to give freelance writing a try.
What led you to pursue it?
In July of 2012 my husband and I got divorced. and I moved out on my own. Those first few months were very hard, and I decided to start a blog as a positive outlet for myself.
I had blogged in the past and knew that it was something that I enjoyed doing and that I could occupy my newly found free time with. I then began looking for ways to start my own side business online and decided to give freelance writing a shot.
It took me awhile to land my first writing job but after doing so more and more began to come. Eventually I started earning more by blogging and writing than I was working full time as an insurance agent.
Are you full time or part time? If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?
I actually just quit my day job two weeks ago to blog and write full time.
How do you market your business?
Over the past year I have grown numerous relationships with other bloggers. I started out by guest posting and commenting on other blogs and before I knew it I developed many relationships with others in my niche.
I continue to guest post to market my blog.
As far as finding writing jobs I often send out emails to bloggers who I would like to write for offering my services. I have found this to be the most effective method for getting freelance blogging jobs.
What is your favorite part of the business?
My absolute favorite part of the business is developing relationships with my readers and with other bloggers. Some of my best friends are the people who I’ve met through my blog and it’s amazing to have such a strong connection with people who I’ve never met in person.
My second favorite part of the business is that I love what I do. I love writing, and it’s an amazing feeling to actually make money from something I once considered only as a hobby.
What one question do you get most from people about your business?
The question I get most from people who want to pursue writing full time is how to find jobs. The only real answer to that is you have to get over your fear of rejection. When you ask for writing jobs more people will tell you no than yes. I have been turned down over and over in my quest to find new writing jobs. You can’t take it personally.
What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about the work you do?
That blogging and writing is easy work – it’s not. Blogging and writing is fun work (for me anyway), but it is not easy. There are several days when I struggle with what I am going to write about or just feel like taking the day off. I can’t do that. I have clients and deadlines.
Freelancing is still work.
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
Never doubt yourself or let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I am a single mother with no college degree. If I can make a living writing and blogging so can everyone else.
Make small goals and keep going until you reach them. It’ll take time to build up a solid client base but it can be done.
What is the first step?
The first step in freelance writing is getting some writing samples and applying to jobs on job boards or emailing websites you’re interested in writing for. I actually have the email templates I use to do this posted on my blog http://singlemomsincome.com/how-to-find-freelance-jobs-my-best-tips/ It may take a while to get that first job but once you get the first one the others will come much easier.
The first step in blogging is to get your blog up and start connecting with others in your niche. Guest post for them, comment on their blogs, or send them an email introducing yourself.
What websites or books do you recommend for tips?
I regularly read Make a Living Writing, Leaving Work Behind, Be a Freelance Blogger, and Copy Blogger.