Update December 2016: I correspond with this freelancer probably four to six times per year. She hasn’t looked back since quitting her job in 2009 to work her SEO writing business full-time (she started while working a FT job in 2008). As of this update, that’s 7 years of FT freelancing, and as she recently said, “things are going well.”
She has a thriving, home-based business that allows her (and her family) to live life on their own terms. During one of our recent correspondences, she wrote: “My best to you always: YOU were the one who set me on this path and I always will be beholden to you for that.”
Now THAT’S success!
Read her story from the beginning in the links here. It’s a hilarious, insightful case study on SEO writing you’re sure to enjoy. Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; Part VI; Part VII; this is Part VIII; Part IX (written after this post). Now, on to the surprising news.
SEO Mary Part VIII: Making Changes
No one could have been more surprised than I was to get the following email. I’ll discuss in a bit why the news surprised me – although I really shouldn’t have been. Last week, I received the following email from SEO Mary.
Note: Some text has been bolded and italicized and subtitles have been added, but the text of the email is exactly what she sent in.
SEO Mary Sends a Surprising Email
Hello from “SEO Mary.” Good morning, Yuwanda. I’ve been meaning to e-mail you for about a month, but decided to wait until you returned from Jamaica. I want to give you (and perhaps your readers) an update.
I’m now working full-time as an SEO content writer. Have been so for about a month. I finally left my full-time job and I couldn’t be happier. Even in THIS economy.
It was just . . . time to leave my employer. I’ve been miserable ever since I started there. Miserable, as in crying as I saw the building rise up on the crest of the hill as I drove in to work. I spoke with my husband and he knew how unhappy he was. I’ve been working part-time with (source was named) and, while the volume wasn’t as much as I would like, took the leap of faith and quit the dreaded “day job” in early September.
Leaving a Job She Truly Hated – Even When She Was the Main Breadwinner of Her Family
And, here’s the kicker, I was the main breadwinner for my family of three! My husband is working in a seasonal job and it does not pay a living wage.
Regardless, I’m not worried. I know SEO writing is THE niche for me. I get up every day rarin’ to go. I love my life right now.
Ahhh, She Makes Me Blush!
And I owe it all to you. If I hadn’t found your blog many years ago and then watched as you discovered SEO writing, wrote your e-book, etc. two years ago, I wouldn’t be here today. I also had researched SEO article writing and saw the low pay. But with your book, and following what you did exactly (do what the successful people do, is my motto), I’m now growing my business and will undoubtedly be able to support my family within six months.
Any success I may earn all started with you. You have changed my life for the MUCH better!
I’m thinking of starting a blog on my journey from working for someone else to leaping from it in this poor economy and going on to support my family. When I do, I’ll send you the link so that your readers may watch my progress.
### [END OF EMAIL]
Why SEO Mary’s Email Took Me by Surprise
Quite frankly, most people don’t have the courage to make the leap. I’ve seen this sooooooo many times. For those of us who have previously worked for someone else and now make a full-time living as freelance writers (or any type of business) – we know how freeing this feeling is.
And, we try to explain to others that you just have to . . . well, take the bull by the horns and just do it. Make a plan, of course. I’m not advocating simply up and quitting your job. But most people stay stuck and use every excuse in the book to stay stuck – out of fear.
In a later correspondence with SEO Mary, she wrote:
“I’m So Happy Now”
. . . you’re so right — I am so happy now. I am so glad I did this. In fact, my parents are ailing . . . and I’m heading out . . . for two weeks next week [to see them].
Have the Time to Attend to What’s REALLY Important – Family
I had planned to do this at the day job, but — oh the hassle of asking for FMLA. Plus, FMLA is unpaid. Now, I can work some. Also, I had planned on taking just one week of FMLA. Now I have the freedom to go for two weeks, and I may go again next month.
Note: While SEO Mary is going to visit her ailing parents, I went to Jamaica for three weeks. The point is, this career allows you the freedom to do what’s important to you.
The Bottom Line on Freelancing as An SEO Writer (Or Any Type of FT Freelance Career)
“Experts” can preach until the cows come home. We can give you systems, processes and advice that have worked for us. BUT, nothing happens until you make it happen. And, there are no guarantees. There never is with any type of business.
But if you’re really sick and tired of living the way you’ve been living, the only way to get something different is to do something different.
Here’s wishing SEO Mary good luck and if/when she sends in another update and/or a link to a blog she told me she was working on about her SEO writing journey, of course I’ll share it with you.
Want to Start a High-Paying, Freelance SEO Copywriting Career?
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For small business owners and/or freelance writers who need a step-by-step guide to how to write SEO copy. There is no marketing portion to this guide. It differs from the one mentioned above in that it is teaches you how to train your staff (or yourself) to write SEO copy.
Inkwell Editorial SEO Writing Product #2: SEO Copywriting Ecourse.
This ecourse is for those who: (i) are new to freelance writing and/or who’ve never even heard of the acronym “SEO;” and (ii) new or existing freelance writers who want to learn – from the ground up – how to write SEO content and run a fast-paced freelance writing business.
You’ll learn how to handle clients, a full marketing plan you can hit the ground running with, how to price services and more. In short, it’s for those who feel they need some intense handholding initially, but are ready to fly with the right information, secure in the knowledge that that they can handle whatever comes their way.
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Just wanted to say thank you for your e-books! I bought your SEO e-book on May 10th and just received payment for my first order of SEO blog articles! It’s a recurring job for an SEO company that is working with an allergist. All I have to do is take some stock articles and rewrite 8 articles per month at $25 each. I got this job by [following the marketing plan] in your e-book. … Now I am confident that I can charge more for my work!
This is just in time because I was worrying about having to break down and find a full time job. I want to stay home and work because my fiance has kidney failure. He needs a transplant and we fully expect that he will receive one and live a long life. However, if he does not, then he has a good 15 years of life.
While 15 years can be a long time and any number of things can happen in that span of time, I don’t want to spend it stressed out about a job and commuting to a place I hate. Thanks for giving me the tools to create a flexible online career!