Why did a former writer and producer of the award-winning public television program, Nightly Business Report” become a freelance copywriter, specializing in search engine optimization?
As the song says, “Money, money, money, money…”
Just kidding. Well… sort of.
I worked at Nightly Business Report for ten years before striking off on my own to help launch a half-hour business news program for Florida’s News Channel, a cable news outlet. I wanted the challenge to see if I could handle something on my own, and boy did I get a challenge! At NBR, we had a producer, writer, two associate producers, and a stocks producer. At FNC, we had me! I was the producer/writer/stocks producer all in one – plus, instead of producing one show a day, I did two!
The adventure didn’t last however. My husband had stayed back in Miami, while my 5-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son and I had moved to Tallahassee for this job. My husband wasn’t able to find a job that matched the salary he made in Miami, so I reluctantly quit and moved back to become a stay-at-home mom.
I kept busy helping out at my children’s schools – writing press releases and newsletters, even substitute teaching. I also became the leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Taught the girls how to build a fire, pitch a tent, sell a few Girl Scout cookies!
At the same time, I went back to Nightly Business Report on a part-time basis. I produced the show when the senior producer went on vacation or got sick. I’d work for a day or two weeks at a time – just enough to stay connected to the working world. It was a great arrangement as long as I lived in Miami.
But, when I moved to Central Florida… let’s just say the 4-1/2 hour commute didn’t appeal to me!
However, I kept my hand in at NBR, working from home to write a monthly promo of their upcoming specials and series. But that only took a few hours a month, and it didn’t pay a whole lot. With my son and daughter heading to college in a few short years, I needed to find a new outlet for my writing.
I kept getting this brochure in the mail with the headline, “Can you write a letter like this?” It was from AWAI – American Writers & Artists Inc. – advertising a home-study course in copywriting. I pondered it a while, but then tossed it. Then a year or so later, they sent me another one. I studied this one a little more closely and decided, “Hey, I can do this!”
In addition to the copywriting course, I took their course on search engine optimization. I’d been hearing what a great niche it was, and I realized there were a lot of companies in my area that needed work on their websites.
And that’s what I’m doing today. I write keyword-rich content for company websites to help them move higher up the search engine ranks, and convert that increased traffic into sales. I’m having a blast doing it too. I learn about different industries, and I earn money helping business owners improve their sites so they can make more money. It’s a win-win situation all around.
So, stick around. I plan to share with you some of the tricks of the trade, and my experiences dealing with clients. Stay tuned….