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Why NJFM Will Always be a Blog for Beginners

BeginnerThis blog gives beginners a glimpse into one person’s online writing journey. It is not a how to blog or a must follow blog. It’s just a blog chronicling my successes, failures and ideas.

Why for Beginners

I say it’s a blog for beginners because beginners usually lack confidence, have a lot of questions and don’t quite believe this online writing thing works. I’m living proof that you can earn a dollar or two as an online freelance writer. It didn’t happen overnight and I’ve suffered a few set backs, but I am consistently earning money (most of it residually).

Touching Base

As a beginner, once you get past the fears and you know in your heart this stuff really works, you begin to blaze your own path. Every once in a while the Does-it-Really-Work monster appears and you might need stop by NJFM for a shot of motivation, but you’re well on your way.

The reason I prefer to share information rather than tell you what to do is because everyone is different. When I share my information it may motivate one person one way and another person another way. I try to stay away from writing “How to” posts and providing step-by-step instructions on how to get things done. Beginner Writer

If you’ve read my Welcome to the Buffet post, you know that I could have royally screwed things up in my family if I chose to provide step-by-step diaper changing instructions. Online writing is no different. There are certain basics like writing grammatically correct and factually correct copy (sort of like placing the diaper on the baby’s bottom and not the head), but the rest is a matter of growth, learning and style.

Writer Growth

What I’ve found with online writers is that on the whole we like to give back (you don’t find that in many industries). I like it when folks come back and share their stories. I also take note of how some commenters have grown over the years. They may not comment often, but I detect a note of growing confidence in some of the comments from readers that were previously posted tentative questions laced with a hint of fear.

Always a Beginner

The other reason this blog will always be a blog for beginners is because I’m always beginning. Okay, some things might be old hat, but there’s always something new to learn and as I learn it, I’ll share it.

I’m working on something now that is different from anything I’ve ever worked on before. This is just a heads up that I’ll be soliciting help from a few writers, but I’ll tell you more about that when things are a bit more fleshed out (and yes, I’ll want help from beginner writers too).

Finally, I hope the day never comes when I think I know it all and am no longer a beginner. That would mean that I’ve stopped searching for new things to learn and have taken up residence on the island of self-aggrandizement. Not the place I want to be.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Ken May 23, 2011, 6:51 am

    The day we stop beginning is the day we will be pushing up roses rather than stopping to smell them. One of the cool things about writing or working online is that there will always be something new to learn or try.

  • Crystal May 23, 2011, 8:20 am

    I’m anxious to see what you’re up to next, Felicia. I learn so much here – I guess I’m a perpetual beginner:)

  • Leroy May 23, 2011, 8:24 am

    Hard work does seem to pay off right? i found your article very inspiring for beginners. Perhaps you could turn this one out into a best-selling book. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Loretta May 23, 2011, 9:03 am

    Felicia, as always, you have created another inspirational post. I particularly like that you said “there is always something new to learn and as I learn it, I share it.” Your generous spirit of sharing is a motivating force. Some people need that extra bit of encouragement, that gentle push to keep working toward their goal; and you give it. Like you, I am always seeking to learn something new, and I can’t stop thanking you enough for the education that I am getting from your blog.

  • Bill May 23, 2011, 9:20 pm

    You’re not a typical “How-To”, you’re more like a “How Does” as in “how does someone do this” by showing and doing. You might have started by only posting your own experience, but you built your following by showing how to do A,B,C and avoid doing D,E and F for reasons X,Y and Z. Think of it as a carpenter who has a hundred apprentices.

  • Joni May 25, 2011, 2:03 am

    I know I find you increasingly comforting. My mom has been ill so most of my life has been on hold recently taking care of her. She is better now. But I have been itching to get back in here and get your nuggets of gold. I have ADD and forget easily. I am working on a system to keep up with the very best sites for me (this is #1) and keep articles and advice that fits me in a folder in my documents. When illness strikes or other things it feels like one step forward then two steps back. But that is what is great about working for yourself. You can always get back on track and having this site is such a blessing. Keep up the good work.

    • Felicia May 25, 2011, 6:37 am

      Joni, I’m glad your mom is feeling better and I’m sure she appreciates the fact that you could be there for her.

      Shortly after I left my last job (or should I say the job left me when it moved several hundred miles away), my mom became ill. I was glad that I didn’t have to worry about my job and could spend all the time I needed with her. Unfortunately, her outcome wasn’t as positive as your mom’s outcome, but I was able to be there until the end.

      One of the benefits of being an online freelance writer is that when family illness strikes, you can be there without having to think about how much vacation time or how many personal days you have left.

  • Angela May 25, 2011, 8:19 am

    Hi there Felicia, When I first started I was like “I think I can – I think I can – I hope I can – Man, I really hope I can. Then I found your blog, now I know I can, all thanks to you!

    • Felicia May 25, 2011, 8:32 am

      Wow, that’s awesome Angela. I’m so glad you came to the realization that you can do it.

  • Debra May 30, 2011, 11:48 am

    Hi Felicia –

    First off I wanted to thank you for a providing a great informative site. I am thinking about beginning my online writing journey and am wondering if you would recommend starting with one content site over another – I plan on beginning my own blog but think diversifying my articles/posts may be a good idea from what I have read on your site. Anyway, I appreciate your feedback!!

    • Felicia May 31, 2011, 6:44 am

      Debra, at this point in time it’s hard for me to recommend one site over another. Google’s Panda algorithm change reshuffled the playing deck and the power of individual content sites have shifted. Since I’m concentrating on my own work more than content sites, I’m hesitant to make a recommendation.

  • Edward G Gordon May 31, 2011, 8:30 am

    Well said Felicia. I know that when I need a bit of pep, I always take a peek at your latest posts. Great boost for a low spirit.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Tashana June 20, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Great post Felicia. When people ask me about online writing, I refer them to your site. You have the best links to other ‘great’ sites, and I promise as soon as I stop spinning my wheels, I’ll be doing a lot more writing.

    Why-oh-why, does life keep getting in my way. :-).

    Thanks again Felicia.

  • Tashana June 20, 2011, 1:31 pm

    Hi again Felicia,

    I was wondering, I remember you posted an article about using WordPress and the themes (I think I remember), could you point me in that direction, please?

    I purchased the subscription to Elegant Themes, and I have several urls that I’ve purchased from GoDaddy, now I’m kind of at a loss for how to get everything up and running.

    I know I need a webhost, and I’m thinking of going with HostGator; but if I could have some layman’s instructions, I’d definitely be on my way.

    Thanks Felicia.

    p.s. You know, we’re all waiting for the day when you start your own online writing school. I’ve learned so much from you over the past 3 years, that I feel like I’ve been certified – in something – lol…You’re a great teacher, you should give it some thought.

    • Felicia June 21, 2011, 6:51 am


      You need to get a hosting company first and then have WordPress installed. If you use Hostgator (that’s an affiliate link) they have something called Fantastico De Luxe which makes it real easy to setup WordPress.

      Once WordPress is set up, sign onto your account and click on the “Appearance” tab and then go to “Themes.” There you’ll be able to upload/install your theme.

      These instructions will make more sense after you purchase web hosting.

      As far as an online school…won’t happen. I’m not the teacher type. I’d rather be outside playing. 🙂

  • Grandma July 8, 2011, 3:33 pm

    NJFM is packed full of valueable information for anyone that wants to find something new for freelance writing pursuits. Many have said this is the best place to start on the Internet. I always recommend it to others and have links to it on my websites.

    When I get tired of, fed up with, or frustrated by other websites, I always come back here for new ideas.

    • Felicia July 9, 2011, 7:31 am

      Thanks, Grandma. That means a lot to me.

  • Tashana July 10, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Okay, I am sooooo syked (is this even a word – lol)…Anywho, I wake up this morning getting ready to start on my TB article that’s due in 10 hours, and I see that I am now classified as a 4 – uuuu-whoooooo…

    It only took them over a month to rate all my articles, but that’s okay, I have the patience of Job – lol.

    Well, just wanted to share, and let those newbies (which is still me – lol) know that this thing really is what it says it is.

    And I’m really liking Textbroker, because they honestly pay on time. My PayPal account is filling up and I’m not touching anything until I meet my goal; I’m trying to save up for a Mac laptop so I can get down to some serious business.

    I’m still trying to garner up the nerve to submit to Suite101 – don’t know why they’re so intimidating; but hey, baby steps.

    Thanks again Felicia, and as always, just wanted to share!

    • Felicia July 10, 2011, 3:28 pm

      Tashana, I’m sooo happy for you. 🙂

      My daughter walked by when I was reading your comment and asked why I was giggling. If you keep this up, I’ll have to move over and let you take the reigns at NJFM. Your victories (and Suite vulnerability) inspire us all.

      Keep taking those steps in the right direction!

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