Kiri Nowak, freelance content writer, online copywriter and founder of The Content Wolves shares her tips for becoming a successful freelancer, starting a business and advice for getting into online copywriting.
Hi Kiri, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I had an interest in the media from a young age. I did media studies for A-level and went on to study Sociology, completing plenty of media and journalism modules. Upon graduating, I jumped straight into the world of marketing working for a video production company. I then moved into digital marketing where I found I really excelled, and worked in SEO and content marketing both agency and client side, eventually becoming Head of Content. My strengths lie in digital & online content marketing more than professional journalism, and that’s why many of my clients want to work with me.
What attracted you to content writing and online copywriting?
I have always loved writing, but it took me a long time to realise I could turn this passion into a career option. When I became frustrated with the ups and downs of SEO, I moved more into the content side of things. I loved the satisfaction of writing a brilliant piece of content and seeing the results. I’ve also written a book, which I hope to some day finish and publish. I think blogging has also helped develop my passion for writing.
What does your work mainly consist of?
My work consists of researching and writing articles, looking for new clients and managing my writers. On a typical day I aim to write around four articles myself, edit one or two, and spend a bit of time marketing my business or chasing potential leads.
What advice would you give to anyone wishing to pursue a career in this sector?
Specialise in something. If you want to write, don’t just get qualifications and experience in journalism or digital marketing. Become an expert in a particular subject and this will really help. For example, I specialise in travel writing, and also pets, because I have qualifications in canine behaviour. This really does give you a USP, and it helps attract clients you actually want to write for on topics you love.
What made you decide to go freelance?
A combination of a lot of things, and a bit of fate. I was getting tired of working for other people on projects I didn’t feel passionate about. I hated the monotonous feel of working nine to five and feeling trapped. Stress became a big factor and I realised I needed to make a change. After years of climbing the the career ladder I suddenly didn’t want to climb any more, and discovered my priorities were changing. I wanted to do something I really love, even if it meant taking some risks and a pay cut to begin with.
What would you say are the main challenges associated with freelancing and what tips would you give to anyone thinking about going freelance?
Well the first would probably be earning enough to make a living and cash flow. Clients don’t always pay on time and you don’t get paid a lump sum at the end of the month. You have to learn how to manage your money, chase clients regularly and ensure you always have enough work coming in. In the beginning, you have to be prepared to work really hard and make some sacrifices. I would suggest trying to get a few clients on board before you leave your job so that you have a bit of income to start with.
The other thing is simply getting enough work done. You need to be extremely driven, self-motivated and disciplined if you want to succeed. There’s those days when you are really unproductive, but you have to find a way to get stuff done, or you won’t earn any money. The key here is to set yourself targets, and if you don’t reach them on the odd day, that’s OK, just schedule another time when you can make up the work.
You are the founder of The Content Wolves. Can you tell us more about The Content Wolves and why you decided to start your own business?
I have been freelance for four years now, and I wanted to take my business to the next level. I can only do so much work each day, and that’s where the writers come in. They enable me to deliver a higher volume of work for reasonable prices, and they also add extra value to the work that I’m able to deliver. I saw a gap in the market for a content creation company with expert writers in different subject areas, who remain anonymous. I now have a ‘pack’ of writers that clients can choose from, who are all very talented. My experience in the digital marketing world means I know how to spot people who can write excellent copy for the web. Everything is done through me, so I keep control and can provide a very specialised, personal service to my clients. We are not an agency, we are a content creation company. I see The Content Wolves as somewhere in between a freelancer and an agency, and I don’t think there’s anything out there like us. Thanks Kiri! We hope Kiri's advice has helped motivate you to take the leap and go freelance! If you would like more advice from Kiri, you can visit her blog or find out more about The Content Wolves here.