Can I just say it?
When my freelance business finally started taking off in 2014, I was certain to I was going to make 2015 my year.
It was going to be the year that I hit all my business goals and do everything I set my sites on.
I failed in that endeavor.
However, as the year winds to a close and I look back at all that 2015 had to offer, I can also confidently say that it has been one of the best years of my life.
It sounds a little confusing, I know, but I plan to elaborate on this right now.
How I Failed My Business in 2015, and Why I’m Okay with It
Failure #1: I Let My Income Plateau
Even though I am a one woman business, growth is still important to me.
More importantly — growth of income.
But month-to-month through 2015, my income has remained rather steady, and I didn’t do too much to increase it.
This wasn’t due to laziness, though.
I spent the better half of 2015 being VERY pregnant, and towards the end of my second trimester I ended up getting what is called “Pregnancy Induced Carpal Tunnel” (along with all the other fun stuff that comes with being preggers).
As you can imagine, the pain and overall lack of sleep put a damper on how much work I could do.
Even still, I hit my mark of $5k in the month before my youngest was born, but I only pushed myself to do that so I had some income cushion come the next month while I recouped.
Why I’m Okay With This “Failure”
I’m one of those people that even though I like to be honest and realistic with myself, I also like to push myself to do better and to grow.
With that being said, I realize now that my goals of actually increasing my income this year was too much of stretch for everything that I had going on in my life since that meant working more than my body could physically handle.
My family comes first before all else in life.
Even though I wanted to take my business income to the next level, in reality I couldn’t without wearing myself out more than I already had.
I’m a stay-at-home mom — my kids rely on me every day for just about everything.
And somehow, 2 kids equals 3 times the work! (If you’re a work-at-home parent with more than one kid, then I know you understand.)
I’m confident enough that if I had to go at this full-time that I could start making $10k per month in order to take care of my family, but that’s not where I’m needed right now.
Right now, I have a baby and a toddler who needs their mom to, you know… feed them, bathe them, play with them and read them Superhero books from dawn till dusk.
I’m more than okay with that.
Failure #2: Not Creating More Content on My Blog
My goal in 2015 was to pump out more content for freelancers and online soloprenuers (that’s what we freelancer writers really are these days), but I failed miserably at all of that.
This had a lot to do with the same reason above:
I was focusing on my family, not on profit or building my blog.
Even still, I feel like I have let my readers down, and I’m sorry for that.
I have so much up my sleeves that I know can be helpful to you, and I haven’t shared much of it.
The second reason I didn’t do this is because I didn’t have a clear vision of the type of content I wanted to create on the blog.
But I hunkered down and figured out the path I really wanted to take Freelance Freedom Fighter.
How I Plan To Change This Failure in 2016
As I mentioned above, this blog hasn’t had much direction when it came to clear topics to cover and portraying my voice.
I mean, I’m a freelance blogger. I want to help others break into this area of work.
That much I do know, and those are the type of articles that I’ve covered thus far.
But I’m much more than just a mom who writes words for a living.
I might call myself a “blogger”, but that’s too simple of a title.
In essence, I’m a self-taught content and online marketer.
I’m in the business of business. And I’m an entrepreneur which means that I’m always looking for viable opportunities worth my time.
Writing and the opportunities out there for increasing income as a writer or blogger are honestly quite staggering.
- Did you know that breaking into Social Media management is super easy if you’re a competent blogger?
- Are you aware that photography skills go hand-in-hand with travel writing and that you can make money selling your photos as part of your articles?
- Did you know that you can make 6-figures a year through a writing niche know as Copywriting, and if you’re really good, you can make 7-figures?
These are just a few things that I spent 2015 exploring.
So starting 2016 I’ve decided to add a few more categories to the blog:
- Diversify Your Income | This will include areas where writers can expand their skills into other markets like Social Media Management, Travel Writing, Copywriting, becoming a VA (virtual assistant), etc.
- Start an Income Blog | If you’re going to be a freelance blogger, then you need to have a blog to market your skills or as a place to start building passive income. I’ll cover articles on the whole array of blogging and the mistakes I made along the way before getting Freelance Freedom Fighter to the point I like it.
- Mama-preneurship | I’m a mom who works from home while taking care of 2 kids under 4. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. I wanted to create a space on the blog to show stay-at-home parents (moms and dads alike!) that you can build an online business even when you life is like, stupid busy.
- Self-Development | Mindset is a huge part of what it takes to be successful in any entrepreneurial endeavor. This section will cover topics about how to boost your confidence, shift your overall mindset and help you succeed in this sojourn of self-employment.
By adding these to the blog, I felt like it gave a better scope of what it actually takes to not only be a freelancer, but also as a business owner.
I’m not a one-trick pony.
Neither are you, and I didn’t want to hinder the blog by only talking about writing.
Even though I had a couple bumps along the way, I still managed to do quite a bit in 2015 that makes up for the things where I missed the mark.
My Wins for 2015, and How They Make Up For Just About Everything
I Started a Copywriting Agency
To be honest, I can’t take credit for this one.
Our goal was to get our first client in November, but we haven’t snagged one just yet.
Even still, I love being on a team with them and being what I like to call the “third leg” of the operation.
We have some goals in place and plan to take our project as a team to the stars and beyond!
I Became a Contributor on the Huffington Post
Even though the HuffPost doesn’t pay for the posts I’ll be writing, getting myself on this platform was a goal I put in place for this year. However, with so much going on in life, I put it off to the last minute.
I talked to a few of my blogging pals about this, and it was my friend Adam Davis who came in saved the day (Thanks, Adam!!!!).
He gave me some awesome advice for landing a contributor role, and as of December, I am now an official contributor to the Huffington Post.
I’m very excited about this opportunity and I plan to use it to establish myself in the entrepreneurial/business niche and to get in front of prospective clients. (It’s all about strategy *wink*.)
I Raised My Rates
At the start of 2015, I had my rates set at .10 per word — which I would consider the bare minimum for a writer to accept work.
But after having my youngest, I needed to cut back on work without losing a lot of income. So I did something very scary:
I raised my rates — again!
I now have my minimum rate for blog articles at .20 per word and ghostwriting work starts at .30 per word.
And in case you’re wondering, I haven’t had an issue negotiating that price.
If someone won’t take that price, then we go our separate ways. I’m fine with (politely) saying no, which is also something I learned to do this year (Thank, God!).
I Reinvested In Myself
Most people starting out in their entrepreneurial journey are afraid to spend big bucks on themselves and their own education — be that a coach or a course to level up their skills.
I, though, think that the best investment that any solopreneur can make is in themselves.
The education that you receive from others, and actually spending the money to get it and working to make that knowledge your own is invaluable.
Any tried and true entrepreneur will tell you that investing in yourself is what helped them succeed in the longrun, and so that is exactly what I did.
I enrolled in 4 courses this year I have been working through them little by little. I also bought quite a few books to add to my home library.
That sounds like a lot, but I’ve learned so much from them all of them, and have already implemented much of what I’ve been learning so it’s paid off in more ways than one.
It’s easy to get caught up in the all of the shiny courses and things out there, so I had to make sure to be reasonable with what I enrolled in.
I don’t regret any of the money spent, and I’m excited to use what I’m learning so that I can take myself and my business to the next level.
I Became a Social Media Manager (by accident!!)
I find it funny how I seem to stumble into most of my freelance opportunities by accident.
I never set out to be a paid writer, but the opportunity sort of fell in my lap and I ran with it.
Same is true in this case.
I didn’t set out to do this type of work, but turns out that it’s a very easy transition from blogger to social media manager.
This is a new chapter in my journey, and I plan to expound on how others can do this in the blog too.
I Spoke at My First Conference
Like, holy frak! (Any Battlestar Galactica fans here?)
This was a nerve-wracking experience to be sure, but I did it anyway. I was very nervous (to say the least).
Thankfully, I managed to get through the entire presentation without forgetting anything or dying, so that’s good.
Whether or not I’ll do this again, I can’t say.
But I checked it off my bucket list, and I’m proud of the fact that I managed to summon enough courage to do it.
What I Plan to Do in 2016
I like putting my goals on the blog since they help me feel more accountable for them. Here is what I plan to do in 2016:
- Settle into a copywriting niche. This has been much harder than I thought it’d be, and I haven’t settle into one just yet.
- Submit my first magazine query. I’d like to explore food and travel writing, but it all starts with the query letter so that’s where I’ll put my goal.
- Launch my first free mini-course. I feel like I have a lot to offer that can help people do what I do and I want to offer some of that for free so I’ll be working on those and getting them to you shortly.
- Revamp my About Me and Hire Me pages. They need to reflect what I do, what I offer and who I am better than they do.
- Explore video marketing. Some of my favorite blogs and bloggers put themselves on YouTube where they offer insights and help you get to know them better. I’d like to do something similar so that we can get to know each other better.
- Attend more conferences. Conferences and face-to-face marketing isn’t my strong suit and I want to get out of my shell more. Plus, there is so much to learn! Hopefully, Gina and I can find on to go to together so that we can finally meet in person!
I have a few more I’m considering, but I want to be realistic. Having these goals is just one part of actually getting them done. Now I need to get them done!
2015 has been a big year in my life for so many reasons. I have plans to make 2016 one as well.
I’m only 25, and I (hopefully) have quite a few more years ahead of me where I can explore life and career opportunities.
Thank you to all of you for helping to make this year truly epic, and let’s make 2016 the year we rock it!
What are you goals? What do you want to see on the blog? How can I help you in your freelance journey? Comment below 😉
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