Horkey HandBook Blog

Can I Still Call Myself a Writer?

I’ve been asking myself this question for a while now.

I’m not sure why I feel the need to box myself in or give myself a certain title. It could be because I’m redoing my business cards, perhaps?

My current ones don’t have any title (which probably isn’t good, right?). I tend to identify better with “webpreneur,” than writer these days.

But what does webpreneur mean? I know what it means to me –someone that makes their living online. But to the general public? Good luck explaining that one! 😉

Writing Was Where I Got My Start

The reason that I most identify with “writer,” is that is where I got my start. Writer was also my dream job, as long as I can remember. Anyone nodding their head along with that one? (My inner bookworm child still agrees this is my true calling).

In a few weeks, it will be one year from when I initially looked into alternative career options. It was April 15, 2014 (tax day) to be exact. If you don’t know my story, I ran across Leaving Work Behind in my random internet black hole search and the idea of non-fiction writing for the web was born (in my mind at least). Before this, I had never even considered writing for the web to be a viable income source.

And boy has it been a wild ride since then! I launched (and built all by myself) my website last May. I took a freelance blogging course and started writing for free about the same time. June brought my first paid gig and it continued to snowball from there. I put in my notice last fall and had my last day at my day job on 12/23/14. I’ve been a “full-time writer” ever since!

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What Pays the Bills

As I continued to build my freelance writing business, new opportunities were introduced to me as far as ways to make money via the web. I boldly reached out and asked a successful webpreneur to hire me to be his VA – to run his inbox, respond on his behalf, process refunds and email changes, among other things. I also write for his blog featuring successful past students of his.

Last week this client referred me to a friend of his, whom I’m also now working for in a similar capacity. I don’t do any blog writing for this client, but I do everything else listed above. Much of the work that I’m doing for both is related to what I used to do physically in the financial planning practice I worked as a part of. Helping to run offense and build their businesses, if you will.

Between these two VA clients, I’ve got a great base income going forward. Both are set up on automatic payment and we’ve set expectations that work for both of us for the work that needs to get done each day/week.

The pay is great and the relationship’s positive. I don’t know if I’ll continue to do it forever, but it works for now. I’m getting an inside view of two very successful internet businesses and am exposed to some pretty brilliant minds in the process too!

A Diversified Business Is Best

I talk about building a diversified business in my course. I’ve always been open to new ways of working and earning money and think you should be too. Since launching my business, I’ve done everything from writing, editing, social media management, virtual assistance and coaching.

Lately, I’ve trimmed my writing client list down and am very selective of who I take on as new clients. I shoot for recurring work (i.e. at least biweekly articles needed) and a minimum fee (in most cases $100+ per piece). This helps me to say a simple yes or no and not waste my time (and energy) writing posts that I’m not really passionate about.

I’ve also been focused on writing (unpaid) guest posts and expanding my platform. I’ve been lucky enough to have my writing featured on Make a Living Writing, Be a Freelance Blogger, The Write Life and again on Leaving Work Behind. It’s a bit “point of arrival” for me!

I’ll Always Write

Just because the majority of my income doesn’t come from writing anymore, doesn’t mean I’m not still a writer. But I’m not just a writer anymore either (was I ever really only a writer though?).

I’ll always write – whether it’s paid writing for clients, writing here on my own blog or just writing for fun. It’s kind of in my blood. And much like I wrote recently:

“I’m a writer, if I write!”

What do you call yourself? And does it really matter?

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Freelance Writing Biz?
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Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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