A Day in The Life of an SEO Copywriter + Content Strategist
SEO Copywriter + Content Strategist, The STEM writer, We Love To Solve
Amanda is a B2B/B2C technical writer, content creator and brand strategist for individual clients and publications, as part of a total marketing package aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses.
The first thing she did on this day was feed & let her dogs out. Then she stretched and practiced yoga for about 15-20 minutes. Then, she spent about an hour engaging and posting on LinkedIn. This is the social media platform she’s focusing heavily on at the moment, as there’s a lot of untapped potentials here for making professional connections, finding work (whether that’s reaching out to someone directly, or being approached—both happen with a lot of success!), and building an audience/personal brand.
On the “building an audience and personal brand” note, she thinks this is something of utmost importance for any freelancer/entrepreneur/business owner, as a solid personal brand will allow you to pivot into almost any industry or niche in the future if you so decide.
“If you’re trying to develop a personal brand, the most important thing is to think about is what you can take with you, no matter what your job title is—what will make recognizable and what people will remember you by?”
She works from home—no commuting for her! ☺ This is one of her favorite perks of working for herself. Some days, she chooses to work from a café, but it’s always up to HER and what SHE feels like.
She began to check emails and prioritized her work for the day. Her work environment at home varies; she does have a dedicated office in the spare bedroom, but lately, she’s been preferring to sit out in the living room on the futon with the dogs. It’s cozy. Once it gets a little warmer, she likes to work outside on the back patio as well.
The bottom line is her office is wherever she is!
Around this time, Amanda began existing client work or freelance projects for publications/online magazines. Those projects could include any of the below:
- Blog posts: online posts on topics particular to the industry at hand.
- White papers: informative pieces (6-10 pages) that go in-depth on a topic that the target audience usually already has a background on.
- Case studies: empirical inquiries that investigate a topic or phenomenon within its real-life context.
To figure out what piece of content will work the best per client, Amanda told us it always depends on what their goals are, which are pretty universal across the board: to capture more leads by creating value at the outset.
On this day, what took up most of her time was writing blog posts for the publication, Cannabis Tech.
She scores a lot of her clients through LinkedIn, which is another reason why she would encourage anyone to engage on LinkedIn. The cannabis industry is an industry of focus for her right now as far as clients go since that’s her background. She’s been a lot of connections with people in that space and it’s a subject she enjoys.
She wrote a Medium post. She blogs actively on Medium and tries to average writing one post a day. These posts are on whatever topic she feels like writing about, from how to improve your life or change your mindset, musings on relationships, writing tips, or entrepreneurship. A post of hers she’s proud of covers common resume mistakes, how to fix them, then provides a free resume template for anyone to use at the end.
She spends time to write for herself during the day because she told us writing for hire can sometimes be draining, even though it’s what she enjoys doing most. Blogging is a way for her to get back to writing for the pure enjoyment of it. It also helps her grow an audience.
Amanda ate lunch and checked back in on LinkedIn to respond to comments/messages. Most days, she only eats one (very large) meal—she finds that intermittent fasting dramatically improves her ability to focus. Plus, this just saves a ton of time and dishes.
Amanda went to the rock climbing gym. She told us an additional benefit of working for yourself is being able to make your own schedule, and do things like the gym or errands at “off times” to avoid crowds and traffic.
At this time, Amanda had a conference call for side-project #1. In addition to freelance writing, she’s actively working with another company on forming a recruiting agency for the cannabis industry, specifically focused on matching STEM talent with ancillary companies serving the industry. Having multiple income streams is, she feels, a necessity when working for yourself in a freelance capacity.
“You never know when an income stream will dry up, or when a new opportunity will appear.”
Also, she said freelance work often ebbs and flows—it’s always good to have other stuff to fill in those gaps when needed.
Amanda worked on side project #2—a creative digital agency she’s forming with her best friend. Her friend into the marketing side, while Amanda’s into the content side.
On this particular day in this time frame, she was designing the website through WordPress and creating content to use for an opt-in incentive to grow their email list. She worked on compiling a list of leads/reached out to prospective clients, and worked on building their social media presence.
Part of Amanda’s goal with the formation of this agency is to be able to take on larger clients and higher-ticket projects with the ability to offer comprehensive services to businesses.
A goal of hers is to also branch out from technical writing since she enjoys so many different styles of writing and thrives when working on a diverse range of projects (rather than just the same type of thing over and over).
Amanda took a break and spent time with my fiancé. She said she can be kind of sh*tty about this sometimes, as there’s just so much work to do that it can seem almost endless, but the whole point behind doing what she’s doing is to eventually be able to do exactly what she wants, when she wants, meaning spending time with the people she loves and have no financial or time restrictions on that.
“This is also the first time in my life that I’m doing things that are meaningful to me.”
Finished up any client work or freelancing projects for publications; got ahead on her Medium post for the next day; continued making progress for side-project #2.
Amanda said working for yourself usually means putting in a lot of hours in the beginning and her expectation is that she has at least a couple more years to go before I can start to really scale back the hours per week that she works.
“One thing to note is that if you really enjoy what you’re doing, like I do, it doesn’t feel so much like work because you’d be doing it in your spare time anyway!”
How did you get your current job?
Amanda created it! That’s something she’s the proudest of. Writing has always been her secret dream, and she grew up thinking it wasn’t possible because “no one can make money as a writer.” That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I decided to commit 100% to my dreams, and focus on taking deliberate action to get there.”
That promise to herself is how she found herself in her current role.
What were your first career goals and how have those goals evolved?
Throughout high school and college, all Amanda could remember was that all she wanted was a job that paid six figures. She had this idea in her head that once anyone reached the $100k mark, you were finally successful. She equated this metric with being happy, without giving any real consideration to the activities and people that brought her happiness. So money was the focus for a long time, and that’s why she went into engineering and stuck with it for so long even without passion for the field.
“There’s been a pronounced shift from a focus on making money, to a focus on being happy.”
She told us she wants to add value and learn and find enthusiasm and curiosity in what she does. Retirement isn’t enough of a goal—there is no solid destination, only an ongoing process that is super fun and fulfilling.
What was the most impactful experience of your career?
A couple of things solidified her decision to commit to trying her own thing—i.e. really making a go at being her own boss.
- Right after grad school, Amanda worked a job in the field of Mechanical Engineering for a couple of years. Everything about this job was pretty “meh”—there was nothing horrible about it, but nothing great either. It was just a way to save some money and kind of float along in life, she told us. Amanda stayed because it was the path of least resistance, a steady paycheck, and she did like most of my coworkers. But she also told us everyone complained, not a single person didn’t have some gripe about the company. With yet another leadership change and the departure of her favorite coworkers, she ended up reporting to a person who she didn’t sync well with—the final straw. She just thought: “Enough is enough.”
- A good friend of Amanda’s from college was on a path pretty parallel to hers. They got to catch up a couple of months before her friend quit her job. She had recently graduated and found work at a prestigious company, but she hated it. She wasn’t doing challenging technical work, she was inputting data into a spreadsheet. She also had to commute 45-90 minutes each way, in traffic, and work 8 hours plus lunch. Between the gym and her dog, there was time for nothing else. Amanda could tell how stressed she was, and it just really turned her off to the whole corporate thing. She refuses to ever live her life like that—and no amount of money would make that kind of work-life situation ok for her. Amanda understands that people can be stuck there for a while, but she just thought, if she has an opportunity to exit, she’s doing so and giving it her all.
What is your advice those who aspire to be like you?
She said to only pursue this line of work if it’s fun for you. Otherwise, it’s a waste of your time. Seriously. She said we’re always told that life is full of compromises and things you “have to do”, even if you don’t like them. She thinks that’s bullshit and a huge disservice to the progress of our society.
When people do things they LOVE, they excel at those things—and THAT’S how she believes we grow and improve as a whole, by utilizing the collective potential of humankind to create a culture of curious experts. And the rules have changed, especially with the internet. She believes now more than ever you can create the exact lifestyle you want, and this applies even to those who have taken a traditional education + career path.
The global networking potential that the internet has created is huge. So she said to pick whatever it is that you love the most, and know with certainty you can make it happen. Because you can. And if that happens to be writing, then write every single day.
“Learn something new about the craft every single day. Be relentless in your efforts.”
How do you define your best work?
Amanda said it all comes down to problem-solving. Her customers, clients or audience have problems and through her work, she provides them with a solution that they’re happy with. It’s ultimately meeting the needs of your customers and focusing on their needs. She also added another component to that too is not just providing a solution and leaving, but giving your clients the tools and knowledge to empower themselves to maintain that, whatever that is, that they want to achieve.
What would you tell your 18-year-old self today?
- She would advise spending time to get to know herself and to think about what it is that brings her joy and happiness.
- She would trust herself.
“You spend your formative years listening to what somebody else is telling you to do with your life, but you don’t have to. Just listen to yourself.”
Which job do you want to experience next?
Jobs like Amanda‘s
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