A few of the ways my writing has gotten betterer.
This is not to toot my own horn, though I am always looking for reasons to write out the word “toot.” This piece is just to highlight, if not only just for myself, some of the ways my writing has improved along my journey and some of the people who have helped along the way.
When I look back at some of the earliest pieces I have written online, I cringe a bit. To me, this is a great thing, as it shows that I have improved in just a few short years.
IN THE BEGINNING, I started this blog and decided I needed to read more. Those two things allowed me to set up the starting blocks needed to begin the road to writing. I have wound up reading mostly sci-fi, which I do not write at all, but it still allows me to see what good writing should look like.
As for this blog, it has allowed for practice and repetition, though it clearly does not see heavy use at this stage.
It is difficult to get paid for writing online at the start. All the freelance books and sites say so and I can confirm this. I submitted five pieces to a site called Grown Gaming that John Santina was kind enough to allow on his page. This was my first experience having correspondence with someone who was actually willing to host my work.
My interest in writing about NBA hoops led me to another for-free writing gig for the Fansided page, Thunderous Intentions. At TI, I worked closely with Site Editor, Tamberlyn Richardson. She and the Fansided brand taught me a ton about SEO and keywords. I wrote for the site for a year before finally being able to dedicate my writing time to paying gigs.
My basketball writing and connections paid off when Robert Yanders of The Basketball Movement approached me to write for him and control his site’s blog. The relationship quickly grew, as I took the reigns of Twitter and Facebook and began writing for and controlling the social media of his other business – Yanders Law Basketball as well.
Working with Rob has helped me hone my skills writing to suit a brand. He does not want cheesy (something I sometimes use as a crutch), but intense and concise. I also gained email marketing experience working with Rob on top of everything else.
Once that partnership grew, I was able to stop working full-time at the bank by cutting out daycare costs and becoming a stay-at-home dad and professional freelance writer and social media manager. Since then, I have been able to stop supplementing with things like Uber by writing for other companies as well.
Michelle Cramer reached out to me on LinkedIn with an offer to be a freelancer for PoolPro and SpaRetailer Magazines. Michelle is an editor for both publications. Through her guidance, I have learned a great deal about writing in AP style, which is a valuable skill for a freelance writer.
In 2019 I was contacted by Shanda Trautman of Old Missouri Bank to provide copy for a special project they had going for a few months. More recently, I ran all of the bank’s social media pages from September 2020 through February 2021 as they did some rearranging and strengthening of their marketing department.
Shanda has been another great teacher, as she emphasizes the importance of consistency, brand, and tone as it relates to each individual social platform. I am excited for more collaborations with OMB in the future.
Being a S.A.H.D. with two boys is certainly my main gig. About 16 hours each day actually (with more than a little help in the evenings). I do my best to write way too early in the morning or in the glorious moments of coinciding naps.
As a freelance writer, big projects come and go while my steady work currently stays at a manageable level. I am still so pleased with all the decisions that led me down this path and I am excited to continue to grow as a writer and as a parent through it all. Thanks for reading!