Kaleigh Moore is a freelance writer, consultant, and strategist. She also happens to be a popular coach for aspiring freelance writers, so she knows a thing or two about the business of freelance writing and content generation, including aspiring writers just starting out in the business. Her writing has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., and Copyhackers--and she recently took some time to answer a few questions about writing in the online world:
Q: What’s been the most valuable thing you did outside of work in the past year?
KALEIGH: Getting myself involved in new activities. New exercise classes, teaching a resume workshop at the library—things that give me new challenges and push me out of my normal daily routine.
Q: As a freelancing coach, what do you find people struggle with the most?
KALEIGH: Finding a niche—and sticking to it. They worry that being specific about the work they take on/target will eliminate opportunities for them and they won’t make money. In reality, when they pick a niche and build subject matter expertise on one thing, it actually leads to more referrals (at least in my experience).
Q: What can they do to fix it?
KALEIGH: Pass on non-relevant opportunities. Learn as much as they can about their niche. Make connections with people hiring writers in that world as well as other writers who are already seeing success.
Q: If you were starting up in freelance writing all over again, which novice mistakes would you go back and correct?
KALEIGH: I’d pick a niche right off the bat. In the beginning, I too tried to be everything to everyone—and it wasn’t until I found a niche that I started finding my place and getting steady referrals.
Q: When you first started, how did you go about finding valuable clients?
KALEIGH: I asked around with my existing connections and did some guest posting to build up my authority.
Q: How do you brainstorm for a long blog post? What insights are you looking for?
KALEIGH: I make a super rough outline and then start throwing ideas/links/resources together in one big messy Google doc. I’m always looking for fresh research and new quotes that add some fresh perspective to a topic.
Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? What’s your technique for dealing with it?
KALEIGH: Yes! Of course. I either give myself a break and try to come back to what I’m working on later, or I just let it drop for the day. I’ve found that really trying to push it just never works.
Q: If a business came to you and said, “we can only do one thing to market ourselves,” what would you recommend?
KALEIGH: Email. For sure. Building an email list and getting in people’s inbox is one of the best ways to drive sales.