A Fresh Start

Today is a wonderful day! For the first time, I made the commute to work from one room of my house to another. I am excited to announce that this Halloween marks the first day that I am no longer a part of the 9 to 5 workforce, but am instead a new member of the proudly self-employed!

The Transition

The transition from 9 to 5 to self-employed has been a long journey filled with long days spent in front of a computer screen. One day I will have to write about it in length, but in a nutshell it involved about three years of spending eight hours at the office, followed up by another four to five at home. I tried many forms of making money online, including advertising on my blog, AdSense sites, affiliate marketing, and maintaining a directory.

While those things bring in some passive income, they aren’t the things I am most excited about doing. I love writing. Hence, it wasn’t too much of a surprise that I started getting into freelance writing. So far, I have done mainly blog posts and a pinch of ghostwriting. But ultimately, writing is my passion, therefore freelance writing is what I enjoy doing the most. And there is nothing better than making a living doing what you love.

My New Tagline

For those who have paid attention to my profiles across social media, you might have already noticed some changes. Since I like variety (and diversified sources of income), I plan on combining my love of writing plus my experience in online marketing in what I offer which can be summed up in the following tagline.

I am an online marketing consultant, freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast who enjoys photography, tennis, and the outdoors. Let me know how I can help you with your website, blog, or business.

I vary it a little from network to network based on the number of characters I have to work with and the audience. But it summarizes exactly what I want to do and who I can do it for, plus gives a little insight into the things I love outside of work which is what the perfect tagline should convey.

What I Have to Offer

As for the specifics, here is a sampling of the services I will be offering bloggers and businesses. Please contact me if you’d like to learn more!

For Bloggers

  • Blog Audits: If you feel there is more you could be doing with your blog in order to build your authority, grow your community, and make money online, I can help. I will analyze your blog by looking at several factors including your design, search & social media optimization, content, and calls-to-action. I will take that analysis and compare it to some other blogs in your niche to show you how your blog compares and what areas you need to focus on improving.
  • Blog Posts: If you need a regular contributor for your blog, I can write articles and (depending on the topic) promote them to my network. My main area of experience is in online marketing, but I can also write about a wide range of topics suitable for your niche.

For Businesses

  • Local Search Optimization: If you have a local business, then you want to have a strong presence in local search. Local search results take up prime real estate on the first page, so if you are not on it, then you are missing out on business. With some simple onsite optimization and creation of quality local directory listings, your business can get closer to the front page than ever!
  • Social Media Setup: I always believe that the businesses that will succeed on social media are the ones that are doing it for themselves. The toughest part is just getting started. I can help your business setup social media accounts & profiles on the top networks, then give you specific ideas on how to grow and engage with your target audience.
  • Online Reputation Management: There is nothing worse than searching for your name or business on Google and finding less than desirable results on the first page that include bad reviews or the word scam. I can help you develop website content and social profiles in additional to optimize existing online properties for your business in order to try to outrank the negative items that appear in search.
  • Freelance Writing: If you need content developed for your website or blog, I can write it and (depending on the topic) promote it to my network. As mentioned earlier, my main area of experience is in online marketing, but I can also write about a wide range of topics suitable for your industry. If it’s out of my area of expertise, I can also help you develop content ideas and a plan for your content strategy.

In addition to my freelance writing and other services, I have a laundry list of eBooks to write as well as a great new project just for bloggers in the works, all of which I hope to have ready by the beginning of 2012.

Who I Have to Thank

I can’t say I would be where I am now without the support of my family and my wonderful husband who happens to be a talented photographer and blogger. He even got me this lovely card to celebrate!

I also have to thank my former employer Vertical Measures for all of the education and experience I gained in online marketing with some very smart and talented colleagues.

Last, but definitely not least, are the people who inspired me. I can’t list them all. I could, but I’ll save that for another post as it would be a book on its own. One person who comes to mind is Farnoosh Brock. I met her last year at Blog World and sensed she had great plans up her sleeve. Sure enough, while I was weighing the pros and cons of making it on my own, Farnoosh went out, did it, and told the tale of leaving her 6-figure career and why she left without a plan. She pointed me in the direction of a great eBook, You Don’t Need a Job, You Need Guts about combining your passion, self, and business through online entrepreneurship. She also wrote one of her own on Motivation: Going from Goals to Greatness. And, speaking of motivation, she sent me motivational messages via email, Twitter, and Facebook that helped me stay confident that I was doing the right thing. So for all of those things, I have to thank her!

Now I begin my first day of my new career in the comfort of my home office. Lots of preparation to do with only three days left to Blog World LA! :)

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Comments

    • says

      Thanks Lisa – that’s great to hear! I know there are probably going to be challenges, but I plan to go at it with a no-regrets attitude as well! :)

    • says

      Thanks Debra! I appreciate you buying the ticket through me too – we’ll have to catch up in LA! :) Good luck with your starting over as well – it’s an exciting time!

  1. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Congratulations and wishing you all the very best in your new venture, and am sure it is going to turn out much better than what it was earlier!

    Sure seems like a grind and I marvel how you still managed to put up such awesome posts on the blog! Your husbands support sure is commendable, and that sure is a sweet card :) I guess without such supports, we can’t move ahead.

    And yes, Farnoosh sure is inspirational and so are her posts! I guess we do come across many people in our lives who unknowingly motivate and inspire us to move ahead in life.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best for your new start, a new leaf, a new beginning this Halloween :)
    Harleena Singh just posted Throwing a Teen Party for Halloween

    • says

      Thanks Harleena! :) He has been pretty awesome – it’s really a leap of faith for both people when a partner wants to do something like this. He’s been nothing but supportive, as have others who knew what I was plotting. Having the support network definitely makes it easier to put away the voices of self-doubt when they present themselves.

  2. says

    Congrats girl! I still work my day job and run my blogs at night. It’s not an easy thing to do, but you make it look so easy. You are a great inspiration to allot of bloggers out there that have lost their jobs and trying to make it out in blogging. Consistency and hard work can be time consuming, but it’s worth it when you’re able to attain your dreams of working for yourself.
    Sonia just posted Social Online Conference Pass Giveaway: I’m Speaking

    • says

      Thanks Sonia! Working double is definitely a grind, and I think the only reason it looked easy was because no one but my hubby saw the nights where I just freaked out about having so much to do. I hope to write more about how I started to how I ended up where I am now – it’s not necessarily as easy as some sites / products want you to believe it is. But when you get there, it’s pretty awesome. :)

  3. says

    Kristi, a big CONGRATULATIONS to making the leap from employee to self-employed! I’m sure it’s gratifying when you work from home, and it’s satisfying when you wake up each morning knowing that you don’t have to go anywhere.

    I’ve recently started a new full-time job, and I’m seriously looking forward to the prospects available. However, as much as I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, I know it’s not how I want to end my days with. I want to end my days knowing that I was true to myself and my loves, and that I was able to live life with a song in my heart and a drive to live life true to myself.

    Being employed won’t likely achieve this for me. Therefore, I know that one day, maybe years from now, I will step out into a new way of living, knowing that it’s truly meant for me.

    Best of luck :-)
    Stuart just posted Why I’m Choosing The Road Less Travelled

    • says

      Thanks Stuart! It was pretty satisfying knowing the commute was just a few rooms away! I hope you get to do the same sooner than you expect as well! :)

    • says

      Thanks Brankica – happy one year work-at-home anniversary! I can’t wait until I hit mine! I’m going to love working in my odd ways when feeling most productive (like thinking about how to write my blog post while doing some home repairs). Playing with my kitties during work breaks is also a great bonus! :)

  4. says

    Congratulations on becoming your own full time business. This is a major milestone that so many look forward to.

    I encourage entrepreneurs everywhere as I believe that everyone should own something themselves. There are of course the risks, and one of the biggest is for those who rely on an employer subsidized healthcare to be provided, this is probably one of the biggest ones that prevents many I know from becoming self employed full time.

    As a work from home employee for a company, I part time blog. But I never leave my home even for my day job. I can honestly say I don’t think I could work a job where I didn’t telecommute at least 90% of my time anymore, I am too used to it and have been doing it for 5+ years now.
    Justin Germino just posted Use Picfull for Fun Online Photo Editing

    • says

      Thanks Justin! Finding health insurance was tough, and it’s not as good as group coverage. I have been working with a naturopathic doctor to get everything working as healthily as possible with only the use of supplements (which aren’t insured anyway), so I’m hoping that will be my “apple a day” formula to keeping those costs down. :)

  5. says

    Hi kristi, I knew it was coming but the last time we spoke I didn’t know it was going to be so fast. I’m completely jealous right now and just wish I had what it took to be self-employed. In all honesty I hope this allows you more time to come and engage with us at blog engage and naturally other favorite social networks you’re a part of.
    bbrian017 just posted Happy 4th Anniversary Blog Engage

    • says

      I’m sure you do Brian – you’ve got a lot of great ideas and profitable projects already. For me, it was just getting past that mental barrier of not having the “stable job” that I’ve been accustomed to. Getting everything in order and lining up work to do for the first several months as well as making a list of where to go if things were to dry up made it a lot easier though. Definitely looking forward to having more time to socialize online after Blog World! :)

  6. says

    Congratulations Kristi! Wow – I met you online in spring of 2009 and since then I’ve watched as you built this amazing blog and worked so hard all over the internet. You’ve combined your great talent and skills with a lot of good old fashioned hard work – and I wish you much luck for the future! :)
    Christie just posted Feline Hyperthyroidism

  7. says

    Congrats, Kristi!

    I can sooooo relate to working a 9 to 5 and then coming home to work another shift on the computer. That was the story of my life for 6 years but it was sooooo worth it to become self employed. Enjoy your new journey and congratulations. You’re a great writer so I know everything will go well for you.
    Lisa Irby just posted My Love/Hate Relationship With WordPress Websites

  8. says

    Kristi,

    Happy Birthday on your new and exciting venture! The community you have built is a true testament to your hard work and the kind of results you can deliver. I wish you the best and look forward to following your success!

    Leif Martinez

    • says

      Thanks Mitch! I’m already enjoying the freedom with some appointments in the morning and then a full work day after. Nothing like a controllable, flexible schedule! :)

  9. says

    Kristi, I have been thinking about you all weekend and I knew today would be a super happy day. The biggest treat of all in your Halloween history: Being self-employed. A million congratulations and I am oh SO so happy for you!!! This is one exciting journey and you are so well-prepared for it. I have no doubt you will rise to every occasion and great things await you. I am here if I can ever do anything for you – and while I didn’t do much, it’s so so sweet of you to mention my name. Congratulations, my dear! Celebrate at Blogworld and hope to see you again in 2012. If I have to drag me out to Arizona in the middle of February to escape the cold and see you, well, that won’t be too bad at all :)!
    Farnoosh just posted What If?

    • says

      Farnoosh, you do a lot in the way of inspiring others. Just yesterday I was having lunch with a friend, and she talked about how much your podcast helps her get through the day at work. :) Thanks so much for the words of encouragement over the last few weeks, and I hope you do come out in February. It’s definitely worth it, even if just for the break in weather (although we’ll be dressed like it’s freezing when it’s probably 20 – 30 degrees warmer).

    • says

      That is so true Jeff! What you make when working on your own is really based on how productive you can be in a certain amount of time. If you can get 8 hours of work done in 4, then it’s even better. :)

  10. says

    Hey Kristi huge congrats and what took you so long?! :)

    I made that leap last year and have never looked back. And although it will be a fun rollercoaster ride with people like the amazing Farnoosh (whose podcast interview just went live on my site yesterday) you will be supported every step of the way.

    Hit me up when ever you need an ear to chew, or some one to just pour your ideas and thoughts out to. Trust me you will have many.

    Can’t wait to see your progress and success in following your passion.

    You go girl

    Natalie
    Natalie Sisson just posted Crushing Your Travel Fears And Living A Prolific Life With Farnoosh Brock

    • says

      Thanks Natalie! I’ve grown up with that “you have to have a traditional job” mentality, and that was hard to break away from. :)

  11. says

    Kristi – Congratulations on your transition from the corporate world to self-employment. Having done the same thing at one point, it’s a bit scary but empowering at the same time. My biggest hurdle when I first made the transistion involved time management and focus. I found out very quickly that, if I didn’t shut down email and remove all the other neat internet based distractions, I got very little done in a day. I also learned that you have to say no to some clients as they simply were not worth the effort compared to the $ return. However, it sounds as though you are off to a great start and will make it a success.

    Good luck, and I’m going to spend some time reading through all your posts.

    • says

      Thanks Brad! I have been working to cut down distractions for awhile now, from keeping instant messenger from popping up automatically to filtering non-essential email so I don’t see it unless I want to. It makes a huge difference! :)

    • says

      I’m only three days in, but thus far, I like having the control of when I have to interact with others (scheduling meetings, lunches, calls, etc.) vs. being in an office where people just walk up to your desk all the time. I’m an introvert though, so if I really needed to get some people-time in, I’d probably just schedule a Google Hangout or something. :)

  12. says

    Awesome! I think the requisite long hours required to truly break free of the 9-to-5 world intimidates a lot of people, and they end up doing what’s convenient, safe and familiar instead of what they’re passionate about.

  13. says

    Congratulations on the work change! Finding something that will pay your bills AND make you truly happy is a huge challenge (especially in this current economy). It’s so easy just to stick with a known thing that does the former at the expense of the later. Great that you took a risk to follow a more passion-filled route.
    Spot just posted Best Tablet Computers for Travel

    • says

      Thanks Karl! Actually, I’ve been so busy lately that the “party” was just taking an unplugged weekend after my last day in Sedona. Nothing like relaxing to celebrate sometimes. :)

  14. says

    Wow! This is great sharing Kristi, I found your blog long time a go when I started my blogging journey and until today you are always shocking me with your information. Your article today really inspiring me since I have a plan to create a new business from my blogging skill, helping small business owner at my country to get found in the internet.
    Thanks Kristi to always providing good and awesome information.
    Latief just posted 5 Ways to Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

    • says

      That’s a great start Latief – many bloggers would probably be surprised to realize all they could do for small businesses in their community with the experience they have in writing and marketing!

  15. says

    Hi Kristi,
    I guess it all starts with a dream and goal, to one day escape from the 9-5. It really takes a lot of hard work, commitment and sacrifices to actually make it happen.

    So… Congrats on breaking free from the cubical nation. Hope you gave yourself a treat for the achievement you’ve made..

    wishing you all the best in your new journey..
    Shamelle
    Shamelle just posted The Goldilocks Blogging Approach To Keep Reader Eyeballs Glued To Your Entire Blog Post

  16. says

    A lot of folks dream of being self-employed and working from home or online. It can be a little scary at first wondering if the work or money will continue for years to come. It sounds like you have a plan and work already lined, which is a plus. Some folks seem to jump into an online business with guns a blazing, but don’t seem to have a plan or at least a reasonable plan that will be sustainable. Maybe one day I can work from home full-time too.
    Ray just posted What happened to Google Dictionary

    • says

      It’s tough to manage lining up the work before leaving the job, but it’s worth it when it comes to feeling that extra bit of security. I hope you get to that point too Ray! :)

  17. says

    Kristi I’m so happy for you for the great move. I’m sure you deserve the comfort of your home, coz if you could contribute so much to the blogosphere along with a 9-5, you can pretty much do a lot more exciting and useful things when you work full time from home.

    And with your “organizational capabilities” there’s no doubt that you will shine brighter.

    I’m looking forward to that moment.
    Jane just posted Social Sharing Buttons: Are You Driving Your Readers Away?

    • says

      Thanks Hesham! My husband and I had already gotten the office together before I made the transition – we share one with two matching desks now. It may not be fancy, but it’s well-matched and definitely gets the job done. :)

  18. says

    Congratulations Kristi! This is great news. Welcome to the awesome world of the self-employed. There is frankly nothing better for those willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen. You have shown you have both in spades.

    Having a support system in place that includes your husband is fantastic. I don’t know how I’d manage to eat if it wasn’t for my wife, or take a step back from business if it wasn’t for my daughter.

    Don’t forget to continue networking with other self-employed people. We’re here to support you.
    Robert Dempsey just posted This Is Why I Disabled My Klout Account

    • says

      Thanks Robert! I definitely plan on engaging more with the self-employed and catering more content to this lifestyle once I get a little further into it. It’s definitely great to have the support from like-minded people! :)

  19. says

    congratulations Kristi for joining the ’1 minute walk to work’ crowd !

    There’s nothing like working until 2pm in your dressing gown.. beware of people thinking you’re ‘playing’ on your computer just because you work at home.

    btw.. does this mean you’ll have time to install CommentLuv premium? :)

    (and you’re available for some writing jobs to do with it? let’s talk!)
    Andrew Bailey just posted CommentLuv WordPress

    • says

      Thanks Andy! Yes, this means after Blog World I’ll actually be able to install the plugin on my main site and start doing some promo for it. Just had a couple of WordPress kinks to iron out, and didn’t want to do the long overdue updates that might break my site. And would love to talk about writing jobs too! :)

  20. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Let me give you a huge congratulations on ending the 9-5 grind!

    I quit my day job back in 2006 and have been fortunate enough to stay out of it ever since!

    Speaking from my experience, you won’t look back and will now find even more opportunities come your way!

    Onwards and upwards!

    David
    David Walker just posted Zombie Marketers Shuffling Nowhere

    • says

      Thanks David – congrats for being successful at this for 5 years! That’s definitely something I look forward to saying in 2016! :)

    • says

      Thanks Emmanuel! I know, just from working on the side, that if you want to earn in the self employed world, you have to work hard for it, but the reward is much greater! :)

    • says

      That article is just another reason why I do diversify. I could probably make it on one or two big clients, but I’d almost rather having lots of smaller ones that way if one disappears, it’s not my only source of income. And if one industry just went under, I’d have lots to fall back on as well.

  21. Leo says

    Congratulations for being able to shift to work from home. I believe life becomes very flexible and you will be able to do more tasks now. My wife has been working from home from the last five years and taken good care of our children while excelling in her writing profession. I hope you will also be successful in your endeavor.
    Leo just posted Mis métodos y consejos para dejar de fumar

  22. says

    Kristi, all the best to you and I can feel your enthusiasm throughout this post. Farnoosh is very inspirational and it’s a blessing that you guys connected. Vertical Measures will have a hard time finding someone to replace you – they might need 3 or 4 folks to fill your shoes. :)
    Congrats!
    Ileane just posted Promoting Your Content on YouTube

  23. says

    Kristi,

    Welcome to the Ranks of the self-employed. You have managed to do one heck of a lot, with working part-time, I’m almost scared see which you’ll be able to accomplish going at this full-time.

    Once again congratulations and good luck ( although I’m sure you’d need no luck, since you make your own)

    -Steve
    Steve just posted 7 Links of Highly Effective Posts

  24. Kay Wilson says

    Congratulations, Kristi, in this big step! I love working at home for myself, no boss, no office gossip etc. I am following your blogs and learning so much, I do write a blog but more to educate people about their health and I market products. Consumers today want more info and testimonials, so I am attempting to blog, teaching them to take better care of themselves.

  25. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Congratulations and good luck, this type of move can be scary! I went the other way myself, going from full time self employed (since 2003) to employed (2009). I found that working alone really didn’t suit me and missed working in a team, but I can see why you would want to become self employed. It can be challenging and exciting at the same time, so I wish you well in your endeavours!

    • says

      Thanks Dave! It’s really about finding that happy work zone – my productivity is greatly increased in a quiet, uninterrupted environment which I look forward to enjoying! :)

  26. says

    Congratulations Kristi. I am truly happy for you. In the short time I have been reading your blog, I have learned so much from you and I am sure your expertise and knowledge will help lots of people.

    I hope you self employment journey will be successful and one with joy and happiness.
    Satrap just posted Get Paid to Drive

  27. says

    Hey Kristi, HUGE congratulations on striking it out on your own! From following your work for the last 6-12 months, I kind of had a feeling that would happen at some point. :) But really happy to see that you’ve made the move. I made the transition a couple years ago and the beginning is rocky, but hang in there because it will get better. (I actually have a guest post on Pamela Slim’s blog coming out soon about that transition!) I’ve been wanting to work with you forever now, so once we get some kind of decent budget together, don’t be surprised to hear from me. :)
    Carmen Sognonvi just posted The Mindset Mistake That Could Destroy Your Business

  28. says

    Kristi,
    Wow! Your story sounds familiar. Basically working two jobs until you can make a go of the one you want to do. I’ve been down that path and I’m betting you won’t believe how much you enjoy this. Congratulations!
    p.s. Better get out of the 15 hour workday mode soon or the supportive spouse starts to get a little cranky :)

  29. says

    Hiii Kristi !!
    Congratulations… I am very happy after reading this . I regular read your blog and find all posts interesting, all of your posts are full of knowledge and i keep using it in my Internet marketing efforts, this time your post related to self employment journey is really nice and hope your all efforts will ends with achievements.
    Thanks for sharing this..
    Brainpulse just posted Finding Missing Explorer Folders and Applets in Windows 7

  30. says

    Kristi

    Sorry I’m late in saying…THAT IS AWESOME.

    I’ve been so busy with client work, it has taken up a lot of my time and I enjoy every minute!

    And I know you will.

    Great news – made my day.

    Andrew

  31. says

    Kristi,
    Congratulations! I’m a new subscriber of yours and what a great post to open today for inspiration. I work 9 – 5 in the legal field, which is complex and demanding in and of itself. Although I’m exhausted and drained in the evenings, I am in front of my computer close to midnight most nights. Most times I feel that I’m spinning my wheels because there is sooo much to learn. Today, you have become one of my sheros!
    Janet Thomson just posted Top 10 Blogs for Authors