My career as a freelance writer had three pivotal points:
On January 18, 2014, I started my journey as a freelance writer for Wooka Interactive (Essays.ph — now Yonipp).
It was a decision that changed my life forever.
You see, me and a good buddy of mine needed cash to fund our business idea — a Philippines-based SEO company.
As a college dropout with zero self-esteem, there’s only one option: find an online job where face-to-face interactions are inessential.
The plan was simple enough. Get into EPH, make some dough, and get out.
I hit that goal in a little over a month, but another thing happened.
Within 10 days, I actually got promoted.
Sure, the pay was still incredibly low. But that moment was an eye-opener for me.
Maybe, just maybe, I can make it big as a freelance writer.
I went on to work for EPH for nearly two years. The highlight of my time there was being “featured writer of the week.”
By the end of 2016, I took on side projects from another company. At that time, I was getting paid Php 400 (around $8) for every 1,000 words.
I know — that rate is still low. But it was still a big jump from what I was making before with EPH.
Eventually, I left EPH completely to work as a ghostwriter.
The arrangement was weird because I wasn’t a ghostwriter for a client.
Rather, I was a ghostwriter for another ghostwriter.
Long story short, I was getting paid less than half of the money I earned. The majority goes to the other ghostwriter whose only job is to forward emails back and forth.
That’s a horror story I’ll save for later.
But, yeah, after being verbally abused and overworked, I reached out to our clients directly and explained the situation.
One of those clients, Christopher Jan Benitez, had me work for his blog. More importantly, he took it upon himself to be my mentor.
Meeting Chris is perhaps the most important turning point of my career and probably my life.
Chris taught me the value of having my own brand. He also taught me how to negotiate and deal with the various challenges of client relationship management.
At one point, Chris recruited me as the “Content Overlord” for GoSmrk — a company that provides content writing services.
Looking back, one thing’s for sure.
I was happy with GoSmrk.
Just look at the smile on my face:
If you ask me, the story could end right there — you won’t hear me complaining.
But since you’re reading this, you already know that the story goes on.
On the side, Chris still received a lot of requests from his long list of clients.
As “Content Overlord,” he put me in charge of handling some of them. In the end, he flat-out decided to refer some of his clients to me.
For the first time in three years, I had my own clients.
2017 was the year when I experienced freelancing in all its glory.
I negotiated, had online meetings via Skype, managed my own time, and had a lot of fun.
Several clients later, I realized I was already making 10+ times more money than when I started.
By 2019, I’m pretty sure I already wrote well over a million words.
Let’s look at the facts:
If you do the math, you’ll know I already wrote over a million words by 2016.
I don’t consider myself the most successful freelance writer in the Philippines. Personally, I know a few people who make twice as much as me.
But you know what?
That won’t stop me from helping other freelancers who still have a lot of growing to do.
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