I made the leap.
With my reporter’s notebook and camera by my side, I traded covering school board meetings and photographing weekend parades for collaborating with content marketers and digital marketing strategists.
It’s been a wild journey and surprisingly, I haven’t fully told my story about transitioning from journalism to content marketing. So, here we go.
No Room For Professional Growth
On August 11, 2009, I resigned from my role as a features reporter and photographer at a local newspaper group so I could tackle content marketing and freelance journalism full time. I remember the date specifically, because it was my birthday.
With a journalism degree and ample print media experience in my back pocket, I didn’t see any career advancement opportunities in my current situation. There were no senior positions opening up in the near future, and talk of closing one of the newspapers in the chain was frequent.
I felt stuck.
I enjoyed my work tasks and the communities I covered, but I wasn’t fulfilled professionally. And the hours were scattered and unpredictable, making it tough to have any life outside the office.
Freelancing Fit My New Lifestyle
On a personal note, my future mother-in-law was given a breast cancer diagnosis in July 2009.
Everyone in the family was lost, trying to navigate a new lifestyle with weekly doctor’s appointments, surgeries, chemo infusions and all the learning that goes along with being a supportive family member.
I knew I wanted to be as helpful as possible, and freelancing gave me that opportunity. Many of my articles published online in 2009 and 2010 were written on a laptop in the infusion wing of the local cancer center while my future mother-in-law dozed off during the 4-hour process.
I look back at those days, eight years ago, and am thankful that my career could morph and adapt to accommodate such a difficult situation.
Things Just Work Out
As karma would have it, I noticed my side gigs as a freelance writer were pretty lucrative.
Hour-for-hour, I actually made more money, tackled more enjoyable topics and didn’t have to work crazy hours while writing for a handful of clients as an independent contractor.
I clearly remember asking one of the gals in the newspaper office if I should go for it, and make freelance writing my full-time job. After all, my then employer didn’t offer medical benefits or holiday pay, so I only had to weigh the satisfaction of my job, income and hours. She said I would be crazy for not trying.
After a long discussion with my publisher about my future with the company, and realizing there were no opportunities to move up, I moved on.
My Full-Time Writing Career
This month, I’m celebrating eight years as a full-time writer with a focus on content marketing and journalism. I still pen a photography column for a travel magazine and tackle feature stories for newspapers every once in awhile.
My daily joy comes from writing for brands. I collaborate on content marketing campaigns and help businesses populate their blogs, polish their website static page text and create social media messages. I also write copy for product descriptions, newsletters and well, anything that needs words!
I’m incredibly thankful that life has brought me to where I am today and that I can share my journey, tips and learning experiences on Web Writing Advice with such a dedicated group of readers, writers and colleagues.
I appreciate your feedback and interactions here on the blog, around the web on social media and on my lifestyle blog. Thank you for being supportive all these years!
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