I’m writing this blog post on a Monday morning because it’s important to shake up that routine, right?!
Something that was out of routine for me last week was jumping on a Google Meet (another video conferencing piece of software, you ask?!) to third year students of my undergrad university course. I studied Business Information Systems in University College Cork and graduated in 2018, and as part of the course I went on work placement in third year.
Unfortunately due to COVID-19, most current students can’t attend their placement so the course coordinators are organising a summer series of talks given by past pupils. I was honoured to be the first person to chat to the students on Friday morning about my placement and experience in BIS, and how it brought me into content writing for tech companies.
A goal of mine for 2020 was to give a talk in Prague about content marketing, or host some kind of marketing meet up at one of the coworking spaces there. That obviously can’t come to fruition, so I was thrilled when I was asked by Stephanie to chat about my work with the third year students over video call!
I hope I helped them understand that working online is achievable, and that you don’t need experience working in-house before you dive into the freelancing world.
Chatting with them also gave me the chance to reflect on my work, and has given me the boost to still go ahead and organise some kind of online marketing meet up sometime this year! Please comment below if you would be interested in joining me!
I’ve been making the most of this amaaaazing weather (by amazing, I mean dry) and getting out on the bike a lot more.
Yesterday I met up with a friend and we went for a beautiful cycle and stroll in a nearby park. The fresh air, chats and good ol’ human contact was much needed!
Did you even meet up with a friend if you didn’t say “we socially distanced by the way” to everyone you told about your meet up?!
Something we were chatting about that got me thinking was the need to be constantly on and productive. There’s a lot of pressure these days to always be doing something that will benefit all areas of your life and have everything mapped out and connected.
Do some yoga; you’ll have better posture and run better. Do some extra side hustle work on the weekends; you’ll be set up for life.
It reminded me of this Buzzfeednews article about millennial burnout and how no matter what, we’re always connected, powered on. Tied to our phones, seeing what others are doing in a constant stream of instantly updated information (like that gambling machine slots method), emails at our finger tips with work to add to the list and the need for things and stuff to be delivered right here, right now.
I must admit when I was on the cycle I WAS thinking about the things I needed to do later that day to “set me up for the week”, but I’m glad we had that conversation because instead I went home, ate and went for a cosy nap. It was great, I felt rested and guess what, I was still able to wake up this morning and not feel like I had a million things to do because there’s time, and it’s not like anyone is holding a gun to my head. C’mon…
I’ve spoken before about taking time off and away from our screens to rest the mind. Gardening, long walks, weekends away from the laptop to let our brain think about whatever it wants without the impending doom of deadlines.
It’s often when we give ourselves this time to rest and reset that our best work then comes afterwards because we’ve recovered and let other thoughts come to the fore. It’s this rest that can often be the most beneficial for us, rather than the constant work-state and always-on mode.
It’s just as important during a pandemic to rest and not care about that endless to-do list. Life is already unpredictable and weird as it is.
The weather is meant to unreal this week, and I for one will be making the most of it by getting back out on my bike and throwing that to-do list away for the evening!
What did you do this weekend to unwind and break free from the work-from-home cycle?!
In saying all of that, there is some bit of work that needs to get done! I’ve become a lot better at getting work finished quickly and efficiently. I’m figuring out which tools are working for me and help speed up my researching process.
One of those tools is the trusty Google Trends app, which allows you to plug in keywords and see their search engine performance. Last week I had to carry out keyword research and SEO for a client and this was one of my go-to apps (along with Ubersuggest). I found this useful article on how to use Google Trends to find other keywords, so I could combine my keyword research with generating blog post ideas. Would definitely recommend reading this if you’re struggling to think of blog post ideas.
Or you know, you could just take a few days off to let your thoughts simmer…. 😉
Speaking of that never-ending to do list, something that has been sitting on my list for far too long is fixing up this website (please don’t judge me for my font styles..). Everyday I say I’ll spend a half an hour on it. Eeek!
I must be doing something right if I still have a steady flow of clients though (I put that down to optimising my LinkedIn page, which definitely doesn’t take half as long as fixing up a website).
If you’re putting off updating your portfolio, website or other social media pages, why not try these amazing marketing tips instead…. There’s 76 of them to be exact! So you don’t have to feel bad about tackling a big massive marketing task, instead you can work your way up to it with these smaller tips instead.
I’m trying really hard to do at least 2 of these per week while I’m still busy with clients, because that’s the thing with freelancing. Starting out it can be a little feast or famine at times, so maintaining those marketing tips while you’re feasting will mean there’s always something to fall back on during a possible famine.
Speaking of the feast or famine cycle, Melanie Padgett Powers is an amazing editor and freelance writer who has her own podcast called The Deliberate Freelancer. It’s amazing! Stuffed full of freelancing tips and advice, I wish I’d listened to it sooner when I began freelancing. She actually doesn’t believe in the freelance feast or famine cycle and would rather you treat it like a proper business and with a set monthly income to set you up for success. You can find the podcast here and on Spotify too.
Even though I speak about taking the time to rest and be sit in silence, I am an equal advocate for starting something that you wholly own. Be it an Instagram page devoted to your love of vintage bicycles, or a Reddit thread discussing your least favourite skincare products, it’s pretty sweet to have something of your own that perhaps down the line you can turn into something more.
The beauty with starting something that’s completely your own is is it can be whatever you want it to be. You want to teach English as a foreign language online? Cool, maybe down the line you could move to a different country as you work online and also organise fellow English-speaking tour guides in that location. They might even be people you’ve taught yourself and now you’re providing them with an opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practise.
There’s so many different ways you can pivot your own business, especially if it’s online. Because you own it and you’re in complete charge of how it operates. There’s also so many resources online (for free) that it’s pretty easy to get started. Yes there’s a lot of learning to do, but again there are people online willing and ready to help if you merely reach out and ask.
So I guess that’s this week’s quote of the week: Start Your Own Shit!
If you could get started on one thing today, without any qualms or stresses, what would it be? I’d love to hear about your passions and interests, let me know below!