Confessions of a Freelance Writer asks the personal questions that every writer wants to know. For today’s Confessions, I interviewed Ariel Rule.
Ariel is someone I learned about recently. I’m part of a group of fabulous webpreneurs in which we root each other on, give practical advice and help each others businesses grow. Ariel is apart of this group of ladies.
Her website, Hustle Pineapple, is a great resource for freelance writers, so make sure to check it out after you finish reading her interview!
BTW, Ariel is offering some of her services for free, so keep reading to find out all about it.
Be sure to check out the other ladies I interviewed:
So, let’s get to know Ariel.
Who Is Ariel?
My name is Ariel and I’m a twenty-four year old stay at home mom who also works as a Freelance Writer. I started out as a web designer, but found it too difficult to create recurring revenue from, and to land client’s who were willing to pay what I was worth.
Stumbling Into Freelance Writing
I’ve always loved writing. I started writing songs when I was a teenager and then ventured into writing stories just as something creative and fun. I never considered pursuing writing as a career because I thought the only way I could was if I wrote a bestselling novel or if I went to school to become a journalist — both of which seemed too far fetched since my family didn’t have the money to send me to college and I didn’t have the money to invest in publishing a book. However, I stumbled across freelance writing and a new world was opened up to me. Once I realized that there were other ways to make money from writing, I knew I had to do it.
Who Is on Board With Your Freelance Writing?
My husband is one of the very few who knows about what I do. Once we both saw the potential income from this type of work, and the fact that I could be home with our little guy, he jumped right on board. He’s been my biggest supporter, cheerleader and mentor so I’ve been very fortunate.
Making a Living as a Freelance Writer
I’ve been writing for years, but I only started pursuing freelance writing professionally since May of 2014. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be in this field and that you really have to work hard to keep everything up to snuff.
Taking Your Work Anywhere, But Being Your Own Worst Enemy
I think one of the biggest freedoms that come from this type of work is that your can take your work anywhere. Not having a business tied down to a single city or area offers up a lot of freedom in that respect. As far as limitations go, I think the limit is where you set it — we tend to be our own worst enemy in that regard.
Freelance writing can take you in so many different directions so there is really no limit to what you can write about, the amount of money you can make or what you can learn. As a writer, I’m constantly ready to learn about different avenues to increase my experience and revenue streams which takes a lot of hard work, but if you can be determined and hustle, then the sky’s the limit.
Pong on Steriods
My biggest challenges are trying to find the time and energy to do my work. I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and another one on the way, plus I help run my hubby’s business. My schedule can get hectic and tiring so it’s not always easy for me to run my own business. This usually means I have to work super early every day and on weekends, which can be struggle.
Another challenge I have is staying focused. My head is always like a game of Pong on steroids… Since I have a background in web design, keyword research and SEO, my head is always spinning with ideas to create something new and fun that I can dive into. I think a lot of creative people struggle with a similar issue, but I’m still learning to tame my brain so that I can stay on task while I’m working.
My biggest win has been finding a career that I love and that can take me anywhere. I’m not tied down to one repetitive task or doing the same thing over and over again. I can learn something new and grow in any direction I set my mind to — it’s very liberating.
Curiosity Led Ariel To Her First Client
I landed my client by accident. I somehow stumbled across a site called BloggingPro.com and saw an ad about someone looking for a blogger who could write on a topic that I knew about. Out of sheer curiosity, I clicked the ad and read the description. After I realized that I knew about the topic, I sent an application over and had my guest post accepted the next day.
I had no idea what freelance blogging was at that point, but it was that small step that changed everything.
Ariel’s Top 3 Freelance Writer Websites
Personally, I love everything that Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli pump out. I read all the posts that Carol posts on Make A Living Writing and same with Linda’s blog, Hero’s Journey. I’ve bought a few of their e-books as well.
The other online resource that really helped me out was Leaving Work Behind. Tow Ewer is a freelance blogger who writes in a similar niche as me, so seeing that he could make a successful career out of writing was inspiring.
No More Job Boards to Secure Clients for Ariel Anymore
When I first started it out, I did it all: I checked all the popular jobs boards and sent applications that way. I did Google searches for writing work and sent cold emails. I created a personal Twitter profile and landed a few clients that way too.
However, a few months into freelancing, I found that all of my work came from referrals from either others I had worked for or from leads generated from guest posts I wrote. All of those leads came directly to my blog’s Hire Me page.
I’m now at the point where I don’t need to go looking for work. 98% of all my work now comes to me and I take on only what I can handle. Since I’m so busy as it is, I don’t have as much time to dedicate to my work like many others do so I’m focusing on handling the work that I have and building great relationships with the people I do work for.
Ariel’s Plan for 2015
Since I have another baby on the way this year, I’m not looking to pile on the work. However, I do plan to build my knowledge banks — knowledge is power, as they say. I’ve joined The Freelance Writers Den to further my knowledge on areas of writing outside of just blogging and hope to expand into business writing and writing for magazines. Whether all of that will pan out for this year or not, I’ll just have to wait and see, but I thinking have a clear cut goal will help with the direction I want my business to go.
What Does Ariel Tell New Freelance Writers?
Learn to love criticism — both constructive and otherwise.
When I first started out, I was pretty confident in my writing skills, but other bloggers who I did some work for pointed out that I was seriously lacking in a few very necessary areas. I’ll be the first to admit that their words stung a bit…
I mean, I knew I could put words to paper, but they pointed out the need for editing and better punctuation. I knew that if I wanted to make a living from this work I would need to take what they said and step up my game, and so I did.
I bought grammar books and took some online classes to brush up on my writing skills and it’s made all the difference. I know it’s not easy to have someone point at your what you feel is your Mona Lisa of blog posts and then point out the flaws, but if you can toughen up and take it when it comes, then you can become a much better writer and earn more money.
Ariel is Offering Free WordPress Help to My Readers
Having an online profile is very important and it has been crucial in my business so far. I know there are a lot of new writers and bloggers out there who want to get a site or online portfolio setup, but don’t know where to start. Since my freelancing also includes WordPress web design, I decided to offer WordPress help free of charge to writers and bloggers who want the help of getting a nice and clean WordPress site setup so that they can create a unique online portfolio.
There are few requirements in order to get the free setup and help, but I’ve listed them all on my site. I know how hard it can be to find someone who knows about WordPress, online marketing and freelancing who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for every minute of their time, so I really just wanted to offer the service in order to connect with more writers who were looking for answers and for just general cheering-on in the journey of freelancing along the way.
Hi! I’m Ariel — a Freelance Writer and WordPress Web Designer for hire. I stumbled into freelance blogging back in May of 2014 and never looking back. When I’m not writing or working on clients’ sites, I’m sipping on coffee and spending time with my awesome Hubby and kiddo.