How It Started
Our business was starting to dip at the newspaper my wife and I owned and operated. At the time, Brenda was spending a fair deal of time at her work computer doing not much of anything. She was working half days or not coming into the office at all as she didn’t have much work to do. I remember us talking to an acquaintance a few months before who had indicated that they were making a decent living with online work. I seem to recall this person was providing medical transcription services so one night I started searching for possible solutions for Brenda. I learned that there was a course she could take to become a medical transcriptionist, but it didn’t appeal to her. So I looked for other possibilities. At one point, my search terms changed and I started using the word “freelance.” This is where I started to get some very interesting results. Only now, I was coming across search results that had my interest.
I Took It From There
By this time I was intrigued. I came across several online platforms which offered options for freelance writing from home. I was quite certain that I could do that and I picked one platform that I had never heard of before and posted a very basic profile. My goal at the time was to do some research on the platform but I couldn’t see job listings unless I became a member and had a profile posted. So I did that. I liked what I saw and bid on a few jobs. Within days I got my first freelance writing job. You could say that I got bit by the bug. Within the first few years, I was working on both online platforms and with clients that were referred to me aside from these online sources. It didn’t take me too long to see that I could make a decent part-time income just by being a freelance writer.
September 2016 Changed All Of That
After the first quarter of 2016 was tough on our existing business, Bren and I decided to close the newspaper. At the time, she was spending more time with her home-based business we named JamBusters! and we were on the road most weekends during the warmer months selling her products. We had found an interesting niche and took her “spicy, fruity and (later) boozy” jams and jellies, salsas, and other preserves to nearby communities at local farmer’s/community markets. Both of us enjoyed doing this and saw potential in it becoming a serious venture. Once we closed the newspaper in July 2016, we had to come up with a plan. One morning at the kitchen table we both decided to try to flip our respective hobbies into careers. That was September 2016 when I decided to freelance full-time and Bren decided to can and vend full-time. Neither of us has looked back since.
So, How Did It Work?
Well, that’s a good question. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to find enough freelance writing work to stay busy. As it turns out, I was wrong. There are companies out there that have writers on staff who create content for websites daily. There are also web developers who turn to freelancers to provide web content for their new customers. It turns out that there are very few days that go by where I don’t have at least one job of 1,000-words to complete. As for Bren’s venture, we vend weekly at a location 125-kilometres away from our home and it has been very successful for us. I am at a point in my “new” career that I don’t take every job that comes my way. It’s nice to be at a place where I can pick and choose if I want to. I am also very fortunate to have some very good customers who keep me busy. Most of my work these days goes to a content company in the United States. The balance of my business comes from web developers in the UK and Australia. I have customers in 40+ countries but my regular business is from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and from one online freelance platform.
How Long Will I Do This?
I don’t have a grand plan. All I know is that as long as I have the interest, I will keep freelancing. I can see it eventually getting cut down to a part-time career, but not anytime soon. I think that’s partly because I’m having so much fun doing what I’m doing and I can see Bren truly enjoys what she is doing. You know what they say. If you have fun doing something, it doesn’t seem like work. And that is probably why I sometimes find it difficult to believe I’m now seven years into my fun hobby-turned-career.