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What NOT to do as a Professional Blogger

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Blogging, Entrepreneur Tips

When I decided to become a professional blogger, I did it with my ass on fire and really had no idea what it meant to be a professional blogger or social media manager.

All I knew was that I had been laid off from corporate America and wanted to pursue my dream of being a writer. A dream, 14 weeks of severance, crash courses in blogging, social media, and networking, and I was ready (ish) to go.

Over the years I’ve offered a variety of writing services to my clients. The projects didn’t always turn out the way I wanted but I learned along the way.

Here’s what NOT to do as a professional blogger:

  1. Listen to the naysayers. I would have started a side gig before leaving corporate America if I had ignored a certain person at my corporate job. She told me I couldn’t make money blogging and I believed her. I never thought to do my own research or give it a try. I could’ve at least had a running start on a full-time business.
  2. Start without a plan. I know what you’re thinking — that I didn’t have a plan and I am okay. Yes, it’s okay but there are days when I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to get a j-o-b and start a side gig before jumping in full-time.
  3. Fail to have a strategy. I’ve spent A LOT of time spinning my wheels, doing what other people said I should be doing, and never had my own strategy. Whether it’s short or long term, you’ve got to plan where you’re taking your business. Once I did that, I was able to focus my efforts on social media and marketing, making the most of the time I spend on my business and on client work.
  4. Let clients dictate your pricing and packages. I thought it would be more sale-able to let clients tell me what they needed and then I could put a price on it. Boy was I wrong! Here’s the secret: clients don’t always know what they want. I ended up down a rabbit hole of projects and clients I didn’t want. Once I defined my pricing and packages, I was able to say, “Here is how I can help you and the cost.” It’s easier to tell someone that they didn’t fit what I offer and refer them to someone else rather than taking on work I didn’t really want to do.
  5. Assume people will do what they say. Last year I made the mistake of assuming a company was going to refer a certain amount of business to me so I didn’t fill my pipeline with leads. When they didn’t come through, I was left without the income and without any leads to fill the gap. Ouch. Lesson learned.
  6. Be afraid of change. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a professional blogger, it’s that change happens and you just have to ride the wave. When I started my business, I was a social media manager for most of my clients and blogged for a few. I discovered that blogging is a higher margin and, more importantly, I enjoy it more so that’s where my business is focused now. It was an interesting shift but well worth it in the end.

Even without a plan to start my life as a blogger, I’ve been able to learn, grow, and change along the way. Are you interested in becoming a blogger? Do you want to start a blog on your business website? Schedule a Getting Started Session today by calling 480-206-6452 or email anne@annemcauley.com.

5 Signs it’s Time to Redesign Your Website

Written by Anne McAuley on . Posted in Entrepreneur Tips

Time to Redesign Your Website

The Old Website

If you’re like a lot of business owners, you created a website when you started your business and haven’t changed it much since that time. I can relate. The McAuley Freelance Writing (MFW) website was originally a blog-only site that was (slightly) updated over four years. Those first versions were created without real focus on who my target client is and the story I wanted to tell.

I started asking colleagues what they thought of my now-old website and they gave honest feedback.

  • What do you DO?
  • How can you help my business?
  • Who is your target client?

It became clear the design was outdated, the content needed to be updated, and a clear message needed to be articulated. It was time for a website redesign.

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Here are five signs it’s time to redesign your website:

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