Good evening, readers.
If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have seen my post: Thera Writes is one year old today!
Yes, huzzah, hooray, hippity skippity! *clap clap, drools on self, poops in pants and falls asleep*
But we have a long way to go. I mean, we’re a team and clearly you’re not pulling all your weight so by “we” I mean “me” and don’t think I haven’t mentioned it to HR and the gal that hangs out by the water cooler, man.
A long way to go for what, Thera? You’ve been blogging for 10+ years, you’ve had steady clientele for over two and you’ve made leaps and bounds in the not-just-leaving-clothes-in-the-dryer-and-pulling-them-out-when-you-need-them realm.
Well, my goal is to be able to totally work from home as soon as I possibly can. Why? Because the thought of taking a >2 month old to a daycare rocks me with a fear and paralyzing anxiety to the core like I’ve never felt. I completely understand that plenty of moms do it and it’s fine. But I’m a pain in the ass to everyone around me including myself, though and I’m so not comfortable with this…not even a little. Also…something about it’s what I’ve dreamed about since the angsty fodder I wrote when I was in my teens.
So, I’ve been trying to have a finger on the pulse of everything freelance writing while growing a human, rubbing shoulders with social media (Twittering and Instagramming and LinkedInning and whatnot) and working a “big girl” job. I’m not sitting here on a hill protesting woe is me but I f*cking should be!
Also, you’ll notice small changes here. The biggest of which is that the featured images are going to start being shots taken by yours truly starting with my last post. Right now, I’m caged into my back yard, fearing the moment I accidentally forget to uncap my lens or focus on someone’s double chin…but I’m learning and GIMP is coming along with me for the ride.
All that being said, everything I’ve been reading (aside from the hellscape that is SEO/backlinks/the bane of my existence) indicates that in order to market myself properly, I need to identify a niche and promote from within it.
If you know anything about me, you know that I enjoy dabbling in basically everything. It doesn’t take much to get me interested which can be shown by examining the trail I left through Western Michigan University. It’s girl-shaped and likely smells of IPA with origins in aeronautical engineering, quickly and sharply diverting to aviation science, slightly curving toward aviation administration before nearly dashing for its life into creative writing and bee-lining finally to practical writing (seriously, microeconomics was the worst thing I’ve ever done and one time I accidentally swallowed gasoline siphoning it out of a stand-up jet ski). I attribute this wavering and wandering journey to a few things:
- I was 18 damned years old and had zero idea what I wanted my life to become. I knew the idea of continuing education wooed my large, throbbing brain so I went to college with no clear direction…just a crush on engineering and an interest in not being in my hometown anymore.
- I have an overwhelming desire to know everything and a terrible fear of committing to any discipline/subject matter/etc. (more on that later).
JSTOR is a whore.The thought of making mistakes pulverizes my institution. That is, the part of me that holds me upright and keeps my food in my guts.
(ok, Thera…you’ve derailed. Where were you going with this? Focus…this is why you burned the grilled cheese tonight…)
Choosing a niche for my writing is not only anxiety-causing, it’s scary. Yes, I know I can change it whenever I want. Yes, I know that it’s nothing irreversible or irreparable. Yes, I know that sometimes cheese that’s a little burned tastes better than when it’s premature in its optimal gooeyness.
My niche could be superhero lore. Comparative religion. Cheese, beer, gymnastics, resumes, music…why is life so unfair that I have to choose one? Why must the lords of the written word place their limitations on my future?! Damn you, rationale!
Most of my experience and portfolio is built on posts I’ve written for wedding photographers (inserts shameless plug for East Carolina Bride and Departing Line Studios here…). It makes *so* much sense to stick with that. I find it interesting, there’s clearly a market for it and I have plenty of examples to show potential clients. So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m jumping in. I’ve already begun stalking and interacting. Making contact is next and I’m still working up the nads.
I’m wondering how inappropriate it would be to design new business cards around the title “Photography Blogging Badass”…I mean, in the greater scope of things, ass can’t be that bad, right? It’s more professional than, “I Write Shit Like a Muh Fuggin Boss.”
Now that I’ve basically done (slightly) better than blindly throwing a dart at a wall to pick my niche, I don’t want anyone to fret. I’ll still be here for any of your writing woes but I’m not going to blatantly advertise it that way. It’s the equivalent of inserting a small addendum at the bottom of a contract in 2 point font that says, “Please don’t leave me, I love you. I’m still here to quote and write your resumes, edit your web content, provide blog launch consultation and guidance and write haikus about your gecko.”
His name is Eddie. We whistle, “Oh Susanna” as he licks the air.
^^^Gold, people. F*cking gold and based on a true story (ask me sometime).
Of course, I’ll maintain my personal blog here. You may see some content drifting from my usual colloquial bullploppery and making a veer toward some semblance of professionalism but I’m still here, still writing, still rocking and rolling thanks to those of you who have been with me since the beginning. Major props if you remember the Tee_is_Me LJ days. (muse, forgive me for my sins…)
Also, if anyone can point me in the direction of ANY great freelance writing job/advice/coaching resources or SEO tutorials, please be a pal and make a mention my way.