If you aren’t a big blog-reader, let me summarize most of the 2014 blogging community’s posts for you: prioritize what really matters, then divide and conquer.
I’m applying this to my business this year by dividing what I do into three important categories: things I write about for love (AIP, Catholicism), things I write about for money (B2B Marketing and Websites), and things I write about for fun and passion (and, okay, money, too) (Career and Personal Finance).
This lead to a very recent decision to find an AIP blog to partner with so I can disband Eat Your Values and divide my business into Greesonbach Creative and a marketing-specific website.
When I first started Eat Your Values, I thought I had a future in just writing about AIP for a living and entering that world permanently. That’s why I started diverting my food posts from Life [Comma] Etc to Eat Your Values. But there are simply too many blogs that do an AMAZING job with the world of AIP that I a) can’t compete, and b) don’t want to compete! I just want to read what they write and get involved in whatever way I can.
There’s simply too much to do when you run a website. It’s fun to build out the site and the design concept, but maintaining it with well-researched posts and well-tested recipes is practically a full time job if you want to do it right. And I love this community so much that I want to do it right.
I have found an AIP site that I love and could fully commit myself to, and I am approaching it to see if I can staff write for free and point my AIP efforts toward its own mission. That way I can write for an AIP site without worrying about networking, building traffic, monetizing, and socializing. I can just be myself and enjoy the community.
PS Life [Comma Etc] will always be my home to talk about anything I want to talk about, so I don’t feel that pressure to specialize here. (Well, I do, but I choose to ignore it.) That probably explains why posts each week range from CS Lewis quotes to Paleo AIP recipes. Thanks for sticking with me!
Dividing My Business
Freelancing and small business ownership has been a whirlwind, and I feel like I am always recovering from learning so many amazing things around each corner. I’ve known I needed to specialize for a long time, but I didn’t see how I could do it. I’ve toyed around with segmenting the business into different websites, but nothing felt right before. Now it feels right.
To make business sense, I need to earn money. But to make sense of freelancing, I need to love what I do! Fortunately, those two things overlap. But for me they overlap with very different audiences: I am very good at B2B marketing content and it is very profitable for me. But I am semi-good (and always loving to learn more) about feature writing in the realm of career and personal finance.
These are two incredibly different customers. So trying to make a single website or presentation that would appeal to both was impossible. I’ve lost a lot of marketing jobs because I’m too much of a features writer, and I’ve lost a lot of features jobs because I’m too much of a generalist.
I am in the process of building out a marketing-specific website to explain my value proposition to website development companies, and Greesonbach Creative will stick to creative projects in the world of Career and Personal Finance (and maybe marketing materials, but see there I go again trying to add to things!). I’ll continue to be a student of life and research for my writing topics and I’ll take courses to be a true professional for the marketing projects.
Clarity Feels Great
I don’t have these problems licked at all (there’s still a site to build, social media accounts/networking to figure out, and clients to woo), but once I prayed and thought through all this I felt a new wave of motivation and confidence. Indecision is hard for me to deal with, so I am grateful to be out of that particular woods right now.
If you’re going through a tough time, I highly recommend taking time out to pray or meditate. Even if part of your frustration is feeling like you don’t have enough TIME to get through any of this, taking time out to concentrate and quiet your mind will actually give you MORE TIME in your day. Set a 15 minute timer and sit down and focus your prayers or intentions. You’ll emerge more focused, productive, and thoughtful, and therefore will make more use of the time you have and get things done faster. It sounds very unscientific and hard to believe, but just try it and I think you’ll be surprised.