Do you have any memories from when you were 2 years old?
I only remember a couple of things: moving house, and getting bitten by a dog.
We forget so much of our early years. Maybe because if we remembered every screaming tantrum and bedwetting incident, we’d be too horrified and embarrassed to survive adulthood . 🙂
Your freelance blogging career will have its awkward toddler phase, too. It might start 2 years after you launch your business, or it could happen after as little as 6 months.
Here’s how to recognise it:
- You know more than you’re able to do
- You often feel frustrated by how slowly you’re progressing
- You wonder why you can’t stay focused on your work
- You envy bloggers who seem confident and effortlessly successful
- You can’t picture what your career will be like 5 years or 10 years from now
- You’re sure there must be a secret nobody’s told you about how freelance blogging works
Sound familiar? Congrats — you’re a toddler!
And you’re not the only one. This blog is 2 years old today.
Are we still in the awkward toddler phase here at Be a Freelance Blogger? Yep.
There’s a ton of cool stuff I’ve learned but haven’t actually done yet. I’ve got Lauren to help keep me focused and organised, but I still get frustrated when I have to wait until I’ve completed my client work before I get started on BAFB projects. I can picture my freelance career 5 or 10 years from now, but I have no idea what this blog will be like in a year’s time.
And I think I’ve got the big freelance blogging secrets pretty much cracked today, but the online universe changes so fast, there’ll always be new things to learn.
Surviving the toddler phase
I get it. You’re watching yourself toddle when you feel like you should be able to run.
“Frustration” isn’t a strong enough word. This is torment. No wonder toddlers have tantrums, if this is how they feel every day.
But the solution is simple: just keep going. Start applying more of that stuff you’ve learned. Keep learning new stuff, too. Develop your understanding of your freelance business and of your own abilities.
All toddlers grow up, sooner or later. This phase will pass, and you’ll move into the much less frustrating (but still occasionally awkward) childhood and young adulthood of your career.
Slowly, you’ll forget what it was like to agonise over negotiation etiquette or worry about late payments. You’ll find your sweet spot in the market and learn how to work it.
Instead of fretting because you don’t have enough clients, you’ll start passing projects on to other writers because you’re booked up to the eyeballs. And then you’ll realise you’ve become one of those confident, successful bloggers you used to envy.
I’m looking forward to watching that happen.
The 2015 BAFB scholarship prize
To celebrate Be a Freelance Blogger’s 2nd birthday, I’m giving one BAFB reader a scholarship: free entry into both my freelance blogger training courses, even though they’re closed to new students at the moment.
Last weekend I invited everyone to apply for the scholarship prize by sending us a short post or personal essay about their reasons for becoming a freelance blogger, how it’s going so far, and what advice they can share to help other bloggers succeed.
There were a lot of compelling entries, but we eventually decided to award the 2015 scholarship to Liz LaBrocca.
Liz will spend 28 days in the Get Started for Freelance Blogging Success program, followed by 8 weeks in The Freelance Blogger’s Client Hunting Masterclass. And I hope when she’s completed her training she’ll come back to tell us how it all went!
Read her winning essay here:
Why and How to Be a Freelance Blogger
By Liz LaBrocca
I have always wanted to be a writer. I spent my youth writing stories, essays, and poetry. But when it came time to go to college and figure things out, writing as a career was put on the back burner. I was told I needed to be realistic and get a “real job”. To devote my energy to writing wasn’t a practical pursuit.
I did the “right” thing for a while and I took “real” jobs. I spent a lot time trying to make myself fit in a space that wasn’t meant for me.
When I realized I could have the life I wanted if I was willing to work for it, I began to make the switch. I have become a freelance blogger because it means getting the opportunity to have the life I have always dreamed about: a life that revolves around creativity, growth, and exploration.
I am at the very beginning of my career with one recurring client under my belt. I still have a day job and I’m working hard to increase my client list and save enough money to make the transition to full-time freelancing.
It has been a challenge, but with every small win I gain more confidence and inspiration. It’s a feeling I have not felt in any other job I’ve held.
The most important advice I can share with other freelance bloggers is to never give up. Rejection is just part of this job and it’s not personal. Rejections will happen more frequently than accepted pitches and learning to roll with the punches has made me a better writer and a stronger person.
Keep sending those pitches, keep following up, and no matter what, keep writing.
Liz LaBrocca is a freelance writer and blogger armed with a passion for food, a background in sustainable agriculture and political science, and a digital camera. Her culinary style walks the line between hedonism and nutrition. In addition to recipes, she pens narrative essays, blog posts, and edits the food and DIY lifestyle section of Literally, Darling. When she’s not cooking she can be found squeezing more plants into her community garden, knitting like crazy, or traveling. You can find her writing about food, gardening, knitting, and life on Girl & Pepper.