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Transition for a full-time freelancer – I didn’t know I was ready – Are you?

When my wife accepted a job transfer to Colorado, it was our opportunity to realize a lifelong dream. We have wanted to move to this area of the country for many years.

However, she had a job in order to make the transition but I did not. I was able to convert part of my day job as a financial controller into a telecommuting opportunity – so with less than half of my salary guaranteed – we made the transition.

My part-time writing gigs were hit and miss, at best. So, a bit of anxiety was par for the course.

Little did I know that some of my freelancing work for ACFW members would turn into a more profitable avenue. What I suggest to any fellow members out there who are looking for ways to increase your income is to assess your strengths, analyze your talents and don’t be afraid to stretch beyond what you consider the norm of writing.

I learned to write HTML code years ago, before all of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) programs. Back when if you wanted a blank line in your text, you had to code [br] (break) or [p] (paragraph). I learned to look at source code when I saw something on the web I liked in order to put it into a website I was designing. Now, don’t misunderstand, I’m no HTML guru – but I do have enough knowledge to leverage in such a way as to make some money for me and help out fellow writers.

Over the past year I have: designed websites, designed blogs, migrated blogs from blogspot to wordpress, helped people on, built rotating banners, identified the code errors that made banners stop working and pushed a number of blogs into the top three spots of google results. These were all things that I did for my own blogs and websites, never thinking that it would translate into cash payments.

So, even though I write a lot of flash fiction and have a regular newspaper column in a small town paper, by taking a look at my skillset I was able to identify ways to help other writers. I have learned a lot from all of you at the 2010 and 2011 Conferences – so if I can trade some of my skills to help you – I am glad to do it. This helps make us all stronger in the marketplace.

So, don’t think that the only thing you can do is the only thing you can do. I still write web content, SEO articles and blog posts – and I welcome all of the writing jobs that come my way – but I know that there are other ways that I can contribute to our community at-large.

You might be pleasantly surprised at the kinds of weapons God has added to your arsenal without you even realizing that He was equipping you for battle. I know I was.

As my wife said when I was paid for fixing a banner and designing a blog header: “Who knew?”

We all know the answer to that one, don’t we?

Michael Lee Joshua is a happy grandpa and a freelance writer. He is also skilled in SEO techniques and can help you find and dominate your niche on the internet. Visit his blog or contact him through his website at or his SEO site at

Comments 0

  1. What a surprise – on several levels – when I opened this blog. I’m working on my January column that runs in a national non-profit magazine, and it’s all about transition. Most of what you wrote is a parallel with our lives: relocation to Colorado, less money, new freelance writing gigs, even a column in a local paper. But I’m the female half of our wedded bliss, and I avoid HTML like dust under the refrigerator.

    Blessings to you, and thanks for sharing.

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