Monthly Archives: September 2014

On the Side – Running a Successful Side Business When You Are Not Ready to Leave Your Job

When my current employer was interviewing me for the first time, he asked me if I had an entrepreneurial bent as it would be beneficial toward my success in the position. I told him that I did. And that’s the truth. Over the past ten years, I’ve had a brief stint with an MLM, a business in which I made and sold vericomposters and my present business of freelance writing and social media management.

I’ve always thought that someday, I might venture out into exclusive entrepreneurship – and someday I still might.

But today, I find myself with a full time job and a full time successful business. And the truth is that I still love my job and I’m not ready to leave.

So the question is, how do I manage both?
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned so far:

Manage Your Time

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not “a list person” but lately I’ve found that lists have been a real lifesaver and timesaver. I make a list of things that I want to accomplish each day and then stroke them off the list as I progress.

I’m careful not to put an unrealistic amount of “to dos” on my list as I want to make sure I have the sense of accomplishment that comes from stroking off all the items.

I also set clear parameters around my job time and my business time – respecting both! I will not rob my employer of his time but equally important, I refuse to rob myself of time set aside to work on my business.

Get help when you need it

There is only so much time in the day so it makes sense to hire help! There have been times in my business when I have gotten so busy that I have needed to hire administrative help on a contract basis. I no longer view this as cutting into my profits but rather an essential investment to better serve my clients and preserve my sanity!

Let unimportant things slide

Again, there is only so much time in the day. Up until recently, I have been an avid contester. Actually I still like to contest – and yes, I have won several fairly decent prizes including 3 tablets, 2 barbeques, a cell phone and a $2000 shopping spree.

But with the growth of my business, contesting has taken a back seat. And that’s ok.

Make time for the important

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that between my job and my business that I could work 24 hours a day. But if I did that, life would probably not be very fun – not to mention it could mean sacrificing health as well as relationships.

So I deliberately make sure that I have time for other important things in my life such as church, going out with friends, having date nights with my husband and attending my martial arts class on a regular basis.

And yes, to me these are ALL important.

So there it is – I love my job – I love my business – and for now at least, I’m doing what it takes to manage both.

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On the Side – Why Hire a Freelance Writer for Your Online Content?

No one knows your business better than you right? So it only makes sense that you should be the one to do the content writing for your business right? Well… not necessarily! You might be a great writer who understands SEO and perhaps you have the time to do all of your own writing. If that’s the case, you can stop reading and get back to work on your blog.

But if that’s not you, it might make a lot of sense to hire a freelance writer. The following are a few reasons that you might want to consider hiring a freelance writer for your business content.

Search Engine Optimization

It is becoming increasingly common that the first impression that you make on your future customers is an online impression. But in order to make that happen, it must first be possible for your customers to find you.

A good freelance writer for online content understands how to write for search engine optimization (SEO). In other words, they know how to incorporate keywords and phrases into your content in such a way that it will help your website to be listed higher in the search results – ultimately meaning more traffic to your website.

More than this however, your writer still needs to write for your end audience. The keywords must be there but they must not interfere the flow or become obnoxious.

Versatility

It’s common for a business owner to think that – if they are going to hire a freelance writer – they need to hire someone who knows a great deal about their business.

Let me assure you that this is not the case. Business content writers do however have to be great researchers! Over the past month, I’ve written content for business about a number of subjects (forklifts, basement waterproofing, and custom cabinetry) that I was not overly familiar with when I started.

Having a writer who is not an expert in the subject matter also has a distinct advantage and that is that it is often easier for a non-expert to write in a way that another non-expert can understand. When I am writing about a subject that is new to me, I instinctively write in the way that I would want someone to explain it to me.

When a potential customer finds your content on the internet, you have no way of knowing what their level of knowledge is concerning your products or services. It is therefore best that your content explains your business in a way that most people will understand.

Time

One of the biggest reasons that business owners hire freelancers to write their content is that they simply don’t have time to do it themselves.

It has been estimated that business websites that contain blogs receive 55% more traffic than sites that do not. Those visits can eventually translate into more customers and more sales.

But if you are running your business, do you really have time to blog every week?

Money

If time is the biggest reason that a business owner hires a freelance writer, then money may be the biggest reason that they do not. After all, why hire someone to do something I can do myself?

As a business owner, you hire experts to design your website and to do your accounting. You are likely have the capability to learn how to do these things and do them for yourself – but you do not because in the end your time is more valuable spent on the core functions of your business. And outsourcing this type of work ultimately costs you less in resources than doing it yourself.

So if your business is at a level where you need to delegate the important job of content writing to an expert, then the freelance model may be just the right fit for your business.

 

 

On the Side – To Write or Not to Write

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t write a single thing for my clients. Between my full time job and my freelance writing, I honestly believe that I could work 24/7 if I wanted to. But yesterday, I ran out of steam.

So instead of trying to force the issue and sit down and work on one of my projects. I went to the mall and browsed and then came home and had a nice glass (ok, bottle) of wine with my husband.

It was glorious.

And today? Well, let’s just say that I am once more a writing machine! All it took, was a little time to recharge!