Today, Be a Freelance Blogger is five years old.
5 years! Bring on the “wow” emoji!
You know what was the hardest thing about starting this blog?
It wasn’t the technology, or the content strategy, or the audience-building.
The hardest part was coming up with the damn name.
Seriously. I needed a name that made it clear what my blog was about:
Not freelance writing of any other kind, not personal blogging to push your own message or pro blogging for ad revenue and sponsorship money.
Plus I didn’t want it to sound like a content mill, or like a place to hire freelancers. I wanted people to know from the name alone that this is the place to learn how to be a freelance blogger.
I made a huge list of potential names, and they all sucked at least a little bit.
I’m pretty sure when I told Jon Morrow (my coach while I launched this blog) that the best name I had after two weeks of brainstorming and thesaurus abuse was “Be a Freelance Blogger”…
… yep, I’m pretty sure he was stunned into silence for a moment by my lack of originality. Would people even be able to remember a name like that?
Well, the answer is YES – most people remember it just fine, but also NO – because we still occasionally get emails addressed to “Dear Become a Freelance Blogger.” (Hey, it’s close enough; come on in. In a little while, I’m gonna tell you how you can win a prize…)
So I’ve been looking back over what we’ve done with the last five years, and I came up with a whole bunch of fun facts and accomplishments.
The glorious first 5 years of Be a Freelance Blogger, in numbers
Let’s start with who wrote what:
258 posts published
That’s one post per week on average. Not bad for a couple of part-timers who have real freelance writing jobs to do!
We’ve had guest bloggers from all kinds of backgrounds, including lawyers, singer/songwriters, accountants, comedians, stay-at-home parents, and free range parents.
63 posts by Sophie
[That’s me! I wrote stuff!]
13 posts by Lauren
Lauren is our fearless Managing Editor. Thank you, Lauren. (Everybody, thank Lauren. Without her, this whole place would be a mess.)
11,918 approved comments
That’s an average of 46 comments per post – plus countless spam comments that we deleted! And yes, we read every single comment, even if we don’t always manage to reply to all of them.
Yep, thousands of members registered for an account in BAFB’s online community, which was once an online forum – now, we use a BAFB Facebook group to chat and share ideas and advice.
More than 150,000 Ultimate Lists
By now, we’ve had at least 150,000 people request a copy of The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs — plus we’ve shared it in a few other places too, where I didn’t keep a record of how many people got a copy.
More than 343 students
I can name more than a couple of hundred students who’ve taken (or are currently taking) our training course for beginners, Get Started for Freelance Blogging Success. It’s also been included in special bundle deals via other blogs once or twice, so it’s reached many more students than I know of.
Plus I can see from old emails that more than 100 students have joined my course for intermediate and experienced bloggers, The Freelance Blogger’s Client Hunting Masterclass. I’ve also given this training to some of my intensive mentoring students, so there’s probably a couple of dozen more Client Hunting students than I counted.
Am I happy that I’ve helped a few hundred people? Absolutely.
Do I want to help more this year than ever before? You fucking betcha.
At least 7 super-students
I can think of two people who did so well after taking my freelance blogger training courses that I felt kinda envious of their swift success… I wish I’d had this blog to learn from when I was getting started!
Plus I’m counting the 3 students who overcame unusually difficult personal circumstances to become freelance bloggers, and the 2 students who blew me away with their dedication to diving ultra-deep into every lesson.
You people are amazing, and I’m proud and honored to have played a part in your awesomeness.
(Is it normal to have 7 super-students in a population of a few hundred students total? I have no idea.)
At least 13 babies
2 born to members of the BAFB team, plus 11 born to BAFB students. (That I know of – there are probably many more!)
2 staff bloggers we loved and lost
Bree Brouwer and Alicia Rades both became so successful in their *other* writing gigs that they’re no longer available to work with us. (We’ll miss you, Bree and Alicia!)
1 book, How to Pitch a Blog Post
Yeah, that last one is new. Remember wayyy back when I asked people to complete a survey about what they want to learn from us? Well, one of the things everyone wanted the most was advice on how to pitch.
So *ta-da!* Lauren and I have written and published this book together, to give you all the advice you need to start pitching with confidence and style.
The exclusive PDF edition of the book just went live today, and you can get a copy here:
Anyway, I promised you a chance to win a prize, and I know you’ve stuck with me through all these “fun” facts…
(slightly less fun when you’re waiting… what are the f-ing prizes Sophie and how do I get one?)
…so I’ll shut up about my bloggy birthday and tell you all about that right now. 🙂
The Be a Freelance Blogger Birthday Prize!
This year, the #1 prize is a one-hour private mentoring session with me – we’ll talk about what you’re doing, what you *want* to be doing, and how to get there.
Plus 3 runners-up will win an exclusive PDF copy of How to Pitch a Blog Post. (Now that we have a book, might as well start making it one of our contest prizes, right? But if you win and you already own the ebook, we’ll send you an alternative prize instead.)
Here’s how to enter…
Go to the comments box below this post and tell me: What do *you* want to accomplish this year, and what would you like *us* to create or do for you, to help you make that happen?
This contest closes at 11:59PM Pacific time on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
Most intelligent, well-reasoned and detailed answer wins. Bonus points for honesty and self-insight.
OK, go! We’re looking forward to reading everyone’s answers. 🙂