How to Use the Best Writing Blogs as Your Free Business Mentor: Part One

When I created Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services three years ago, I didn’t know what my days would look like.

Ideally, clients would find me online without any effort on my part. I’d edit the work that was regularly sent to me, and to pass the downtime I’d alternate between eating bonbons and filing my nails.

Not so much.

I quickly learned that when you’re in business for yourself, your work is never done. When you’re an employee, your boss manages your workload, schedule, special projects, etc. As a business owner, you’re responsible for generating the work.

I pressed on and decided that I needed to spread the word about my new business. Amidst traditional marketing methods and working with clients I had before I transitioned full time to Revision Fairy, I remembered that a former co-worker once mentioned that a Web site called Copyblogger contained a lot of useful information.

At the time, Copyblogger didn’t sound overwhelming. It was just one blog; I might as well check it out.

Here’s where the overwhelming part kicked in. Wow. Copyblogger didn’t just have a lot of useful information; it had a ton of useful information. I had to take advantage of this site!

I read the archives and loved Brian’s sense of humor. I adored Sonia. My admiration for Jon Morrow is endless. I only partially intend to kiss ass here. My words are more an expression of gratitude.

So, I read and read and read—all the free reports, all the free ebooks, all the free content. Through their guest posts I discovered some of my other favorites, like Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz and James Chartrand of Men With Pens. My view on marketing shifted, and I began writing articles for a few Web sites. Then, I began guest posting on a number of blogs.

Clients would contact me because they found my content helpful, liked my writing style, or trusted me because my articles appeared on a site that they already trusted. I liked this so much more than paying for ads!

After my guest post about writing mistakes appeared on ProBlogger in February of this year, I got the idea for the very post that you’re reading now. I wanted to show how I utilized free content to learn about effective ways to run an online business.

Since I previously guest posted about proofreading on Carol Tice’s Make A Living Writing, I decided to pitch the post to her. She didn’t think my topic was a good fit for her audience. Carol is passionate about helping freelance writers earn more money, and an article that is heavy on my personal story wouldn’t have been appropriate on MALW.

But I still liked my idea, so I immediately thought about other outlets where I could publish the article.

Concurrently, I’d subscribed to Copyblogger’s Internet Marketing for Smart People newsletter. It’s a 20-lesson series via email about all facets of online business. Each time I reviewed a lesson, the subtext “start your own blog!” screamed at me.

It was time to consistently produce content in my own space.

I was really excited about the possibilities—I’d have a place for all the ideas that I never got around to pitching to other sites. In addition to writing about the best ways to learn from free content (as I will explain in Part Two of this post), I could also give business writing advice and share what I still hope to learn as my business continues to grow and evolve.

After three years of enjoying free content from Copyblogger, they finally made a customer out of me when I purchased the Genesis Framework + Freelance Child Theme for this blog. Isn’t that what content marketing is all about?

Anyone close to me knows that my job consists of “paid work” and “unpaid work.” Obviously, my clients are my first priority and “paid work” is the main goal, but the “unpaid work” is just as important—it makes my business possible.

Next week, I’ll teach you 8 practical tips from my own experience that will help you expand your business with the best free content available.

Creative Commons License photo credit: HikingArtist.com

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Small Business Writing ConsultantStefanie Flaxman created Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services with your editing needs in mind.

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