How I began my freelance writing quest
I left formal employment in 2005 to lead a life of freedom from the oppressive walls of corporate and non-government establishments.
I consider myself a closet techie and have loved the Internet every since I got my first taste of the French version, Minitel (Médium interactif par numérisation d’information téléphonique/Interactive medium by scanning telephone information) in 1994.
It brought the world and information to my fingertips and being a sucker for information, I was hooked. I even found my primary school best friend, who hailed from France and had attended the same international school in Ghana with me some 40 odd years ago using Minitel.
I knew that whatever this phenomenon was, I wanted to be a part of it. A seed had been planted.
My online journey trying to build a successful, work-from-home business
Fast forward to 2007 when I seriously decided that I wanted to live and work online from the comfort of my home. I knew implicitly that there was money to be made and was looking for creative ways to do so.
Of course on my journey, I came across the many ways of making money but there always seemed to be a price to pay in the form of a fee and no guarantee that I would make a dime, and I certainly wasn’t going to pay anyone to make money off my skills.
As I continued on my quest, I kept coming across the same freelance writing guru (Yuwanda Black) who spoke my language.
Her mantra was that you could make money online without spending money or very little if at all. This was my belief too. If I already had the skill, why would I need to spend money or pay some stranger to use it? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
What am I doing wrong?
As a result of following Yuwanda Black, I created a WordPress website (I would appreciate candid critiques of my website); I bought a couple of her eBooks; and I ran several email campaigns from generic to sophisticated ads embedded in the body of the email — all to no avail.
I also joined Ezine Articles and Hubpages; even becoming an Expert Author on Ezine Articles, in addition to writing guest posts (which I still do). None of it has paid off.
Editor Note: Take the Freelance Writer’s Assessment Test to Determine If This is a Viable Career Option for You.
My ultimate dream was to write an eBook and I did, thanks again to Yuwanda’s e-Book writing tournament of which I believe I was part of her very first group of candidates. I uploaded my eBook first on eJunkie but now on Amazon simply because Amazon is free and I used Twitter (Esayo Tetteh (winagainstodds)) to market it, although I just have a small Twitter following,
I am constantly looking for work online and have posted ads on craigslist advertising my services. I apply to jobs on freelance writing boards and do my own generic searches and solicitation.
That being said, I can’t say anyone has shown the remotest interest in hiring me and I have yet to harvest any fruits from my online labour.
Should I give up my dream of becoming a freelance writer?
I follow other freelancers within and outside the writing industry and read comments regularly from freelancers just starting out and achieving success within weeks of doing so. I have followed freelancers from their inception stage to now having to outsource because they are inundated with work.
I must admit that I have received the odd email usually from people who want to pay me way below the poverty line and potential phone calls that lead to nothing, all of which I can count on one hand. I don’t give up easily, but my drive is waning.
Is this a sign from the universe that I must change course?
About the Author: Esayo Tetteh is Freelance writer and Communications and Public Health Consultant. You may contact her at winagainstodds[at]yahoo.com. Visit her online at http://winagainstodds.com/ and follow her on Twitter at @winagainstodds.
P.S.: Learn everything you need to know to start a successful freelance writing business from the comfort of your home — and take up to 6 months to pay.