This week we’re interviewing a woman whose business is to help other businesses. Miranda Marquit is living the dream, working from home and writing for blogs and businesses all over the world. She was kind enough to share her story and advice with us today to help other freelance writers get on the track to success.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Miranda Marquit, and I am a freelance writer. I own a freelance business, and work from home. I mainly provide content for various blogs, but I also ghostwrite books and have written for newspapers and magazines.
As a freelance writer, you cover a lot of topics from personal finances to entrepreneurship. What advice do you have for someone trying to find their freelancing niche in terms of subject matter?
There are two ways you can go about it. You can choose something that you are interested in and know a lot about, or you can choose something that is in demand and learn how to write about it. (What’s great is if what you already know is in demand.)
When I first started, I was hoping to do more on politics and religion. However, there was more interest in finance-related topics at the time, and I just sort of drifted there. I learned more about finances, entrepreneurship, and investing, and I learned how to write about those subjects. Choosing what’s in demand might not allow you to follow your writing passion, but if you are trying to make money quickly, it’s what you need to do. You can develop your other writing interests on the side.
You’ve just written the book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, which you’re crowdfunding at Indiegogo to pay for the publishing, as an aid for other writers. Can you share one little secret to your success that readers will find in the book?
Networking. It’s not much of a secret, but it was huge. Reaching out online and connecting with others was a big help to my writing career. From being active on niche bookmarking sites to leaving useful comments on blogs and Facebook posts, networking has helped a lot. And it also helps to network offline. I like to go to blogging conferences to strengthen ties with people I already know online, and to get to know people I don’t know. Learn to network, and you’ll do much better as a freelancer.
What has been the most successful marketing tool or trick for you so far?
Sadly, I don’t market myself as much as I should. For the most part, my most successful marketing strategy isn’t much of a “trick.” I just go out there, and do my best. I earned a reputation for doing a quality job on time, and I gained notice for my reliability. That word of mouth really helped.
So many people want to make a living writing from home as a freelancer but few make it as far as you. Did you ever have a time where you doubted whether you should continue or not? How did you get over that hurdle?
I graduated with my M.A. in Journalism and never even attempted to get a “real” job. I knew I wanted to make it work as a freelancer. My husband’s student loans (he was working on his Ph.D. at the time) helped get us through the first couple of years. There were times when I thought that maybe I would have to get a job waitressing or do something similarly flexible, but, mostly, I realized that failure wasn’t an option. I made it my job, and just powered through. When I didn’t have stuff to write, I forced myself to work on my portfolio, apply for writing gigs, and do work for content farms. It was do or die, and I reminded myself that I had to do this if I wanted my preferred lifestyle, which includes being home for my son and flexible enough to be compatible with my husband’s teaching schedule.
Don’t forget to check out Miranda’s book to find more tips on how to make a living as a freelance writer.