Of course it was, and it had nothing to do with me. Anyone who has ever had contact, in-person or online, with Christy Birmingham, enjoys her immensely, and I think her interview last week, on this site, proved that point.
And we’re all in for a treat because this week we move our interview series away from poetry into the strange, at times confusing, world of freelance writing. Today we are joined by my friend and fellow freelancer, Greg Boudonck. Greg will give us some idea what it takes to make it as a freelance writer. He should know since his very successful blog, Lancer Life, has attracted thousands of readers, and he has fifty books to his credit, many covering the “secrets” of successful freelancing.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Without hard work and discipline it is difficult to be a top professional.” Jahangir Khan
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
The quote above perfectly describes Greg, who you will be hearing from soon. Success in freelance writing does not happen overnight. You do not sign up for some content site like HubPages, rack up forty or fifty bucks a month, and declare success as a freelance writer. It takes dedication and hard work to reach the point where customers are asking for your work and where freelance-wannabes are asking for your advice. Greg has done all that and more…and he’s done it with class.
So, without further delay, I give you Greg Boudonck.
- Greg, thanks so much for doing this. I admire your work as a freelance writer. Can you tell us ll how you got into this business at the start? What led you to the crazy world of content writing?
“Bill, the admiration is completely mutual. I mean, who are you to admire me when you have been the top Hubber now for what 3, 4 years?
“As for how I even entered the business, it somewhat fell upon me. I had a poem and a short story published years earlier, but had stayed with working hard labor even though I always loved writing. I was working the graveyard shift in a metal factory in Missouri and my brother had given me a desktop computer. I came across the website called Hubpages and started writing my thoughts there…and then tragedy struck. My 23 month old Grandson was murdered, in my opinion, even though no charges were ever filed. I found myself on a blacklist in Lebanon, Missouri because of the protesting I made, so my recourse to battle (and to make money), was to write. I wrote my first book, Grandpa’s Mission and proceeded to start taking content writing jobs from places such as Zerys and Textbrokers. The money was not great, but it helped put food on the table.”
- What kind of platform have you constructed for yourself? Social media? Ebooks? What other steps did you take to get your name out there among the masses?
“I slowly built my reputation and started a free website. I joined a website called Elance where I landed my first high paying gig. Over the course of a 3 month period, I helped put together a book on Latent Semantic Indexing and other highly technical procedures in the world of search engines. Using those proceeds, I started building my reputation further, but then 2 other tragedies occurred; my house burned and then my wife of 30 years died. I was ready to just give up… the daily bottles of whiskey showed it, but with the support of Hubbers and a lovely lady I met online in Puerto Rico who told me to take a vacation, I overcame and stayed on the vacation… a working vacation in Puertio Rico.
“I have written over 50 books, gained clients through Elance and then Upwork and invested in my own website—Lancerlife.com where I have gained more clients. I am on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and Google + too. All of which have helped me gain an online reputation. Lancerlife has been the biggest means of self-promotion because by helping other freelancers, I am helping my own business. And, I offer a free ebook for subscribers.”
- Fifty books, Greg? I’m feeling inadequate suddenly. LOL I know, at times, you have to turn down writing gigs because you are soooo busy. What’s your secret? How do you manage to find so many paying gigs, and how do you manage to get so much repeat business from established customers? I know a few freelance wannabes who have given up because they couldn’t find jobs, so what are you doing differently?
“You are right Bill… I AM BUSY! I often wonder why other freelancers aren’t. And then I figured out why… Because I will take the jobs others are frightened of, or will not try.
“I am not inexpensive, but I do not overcharge either. I would have to tell you that my secret is…now listen closely… I make myself indispensable. I provide over, and above what the client orders and I make it so easy to read and SEO friendly that 98% of other freelancers can not match me. I don’t mean to sound boastful, but that is the secret.
“I also follow the Golden Rule. I only promise what I can deliver in the time proposed; I am fair on pricing, but I also expect the client to be fair too, so I offer 2 free revisions and any more costs them extra. I am friendly but businesslike and it works.
“To all the newbies…You have to take what you can get; sometimes I just do simple 50 word comments, sometimes I will write about subjects I have no knowledge of (research is an important part of freelancing without plagiarizing) and sometimes I will manage a clients Facebook page. You also have to be willing, and know how to negotiate. This game is sometimes like a fine art auction.”
- Greg, can you describe a normal workday for us?
“A normal workday Bill??? My life is anything but normal, but I do try to get a basic plan for each day the night before. The semi-average workday goes like this here in Puerto Rico: 1: wake and feed the animals.2: make coffee and feed my Maggie. 3: computer and internet on and check emails and social media. 4: handle my best client’s chores…Part Time Commander posts and Facebook feeds. 5: take a break and maybe do a bit of yard stuff on the 1 acre Puerto Rico mountain environment (pick bananas, mangoes, papaya, etc.) 6: other client work…either binary options web content, lottery web content, an ebook ghost writing job, press releases, etc… I schedule these by due dates. 7: I try to fit in a post if possible for Lancerlife or the newest website I bought…Conaware.com.
“And, that all comes back to another little secret about the freelance life and business in general; I do not put all my eggs in 1 basket. I make money from my freelancing, book royalties, affiliate ads on my websites, items I sell on my websites as well as being involved in a MLM company. If one area is suffering, another area picks it up.”
- Last question, Greg, and I’ll leave you alone. Can you give one piece of advice to those just starting out in the freelance world?
“Bill, the best advice I can give to anyone considering entering the world of freelance writing is first and foremost: make sure it is what you want to do. If you are doing it just or money, you will get let down quickly.
“Yes, I am doing good now, but it was rough at first. Secondly, if it is what you want…Don’t quit! Read, learn and do. Do some more, read even more and learn as much as possible. Freelancing is a great career move, but you need to realize that it IS hard work and there are difficult times, but WOW, I sure love it!
“You have to remember that it is a business; your business. If your business is not open, you don’t make profits. You have to treat it as such. That is the only way you will find success in freelancing.
“Last but not least Bill, I need to give you a huge thanks for all the support and mentorship you have given me. I have learned a lot from you and I appreciate your friendship.”
My thanks to Greg Boudonck. You can also find him on his Facebook page. I guarantee you’ll get something of value from following him.
Are you looking to make a few bucks as a freelance content writer? I came across a site called Content Runner…actually a friend suggested it…so I went and signed up to see what it was all about. I’m not there necessarily to make money as much as I am to try it out so I can report back to all of you. So far I like the site but it’s the very early stages of my trial there.
Some of you got something out of the poetry corner last week, so here we are again.
Who has heard of a septalet? Well here is a definition of this traditional poetry form and an example of it:
The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
across the plain,
on his meal.
Copyright © 2003 Crystal Rose
Try it; you just might like it!
THANKS TO ALL
Have a great week of writing and I’ll see all of you next week, same place, same time! Next week I’ll have an interview with Audrey Howitt, one of the finest poets I have ever read…..yes, I said “ever read.” She’s that good!
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”