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Freelance Success Story

Life of a Domestic Engineer...

who can write, photograph, and design too!
by Kris Williams

Webmaster Note: See our complete schedule for this series here.

First and foremost, I am a very dedicated and loving Domestic Engineer of four unique children, not just a mere housewife! As you can tell, I frown at the mere mention of plain and ordinary.

I tend to wear many hats and frequently have to multi-task in order to get anything accomplished in a timely manner. Quite frankly there are so many things that I do, that it is next to impossible to describe it all in one article, but I will begin with my favorite jobs, which tend to be the most creative.

I am a web designer, graphic designer, freelance writer, freelance photographer, editor, publisher, webmaster, eBook author, eBook cover designer, eCourse developer, eCourse Instructor, contributing editor with Suite 101, advertising specialist, PR expert, keyword article specialist, magazine writer & columnist, and even a newsletter guru. There really isnít much that I cannot do.

I have been working via the Internet since 1999 and have basically taught myself the skills with creative ambition and strong determination following in suit. While this is not a bragging response to how I got started in writing, let me tell you why I first began my writing career.

Back in 1999, I was happily married to what I thought was a terrific man. Lo and behold, he ended up cheating on me 3 times, and he is still with the last woman since they had a baby about two years ago. Basically I have had to pick up the pieces in my life and re-arrange them back together after the divorce, but before you say, oh what a sad sob story and leave it at that, let me explain moreÖ

I began my writing back then by creating two online magazines out of the necessity of struggle to create an income after my husband cheated on me the first time, as I had planned for the possibility that it might happen again.

The first magazine was called Child Care Magazine.us and the second one AIMagazine.us, for alternative ideas. Child Care Magazine.us is still online with its archives and was the only FREE regular weekly child care magazine in the world! Both online magazines were really picking up with stats for the Child Care Magazine hitting over 75,000-100,000 hits every month, but with the divorce, editing input carrying on for well over 120 hours a week, the demands of 4 very small children, and then household moving, it became too much for me to continue. Perhaps one day both will be revived, but until then, my concentrations are focused more on some of my other adventures online, such as publishing and design.

A couple of years later and not receiving one dime in child support, I am still forging my way along in this business. I have successfully created several websites that help individuals succeed with DIY products and enjoy the freedom of creating and designing on my time schedule from my home office. And, I didnít let others rule me, instead I created tangible items that could be used and learned how-to-do what the experts did.

I began small, designing three websites. After a while of switching things around, I began to decide I needed my own graphics as well, since the web art available for free, seems to be lacking in character all around.

Four Top Items Every Writer, Photographer, or Designer Needs

  1. Website Portfolio in their name Ė showing design, articles, experience, history, examples, and more!
     
  2. A great in-plain-sight presence on the web defined with email signatures, ads, message board responses, product exposure, contest giveaways, article listings, and more.
     
  3. A client list and resources for getting those clients.
     
  4. Experience, experience, experience!! (I believe in writing for the non-paying experience throughout your career!!)

So I did it; I taught myself. I took digital photographs, used any software program I could get my hands on, designed graphics from scratch, wrote as a regular weekly columnist, authored eBooks, developed and instructed eCourses, and anything I could apply my talent filled with passion for what I wanted to achieve.

Before I began anything online, relatives told me repeatedly, that I couldnít do this or that, and one day I just set out to prove them all wrong! Writing came naturally as I didnít want to depend on others creativity, and when you run a magazine, it becomes a must to create alongside your freelance writers articles! When you write for the sheer joy of writing, the pay doesnít seem a requirement.

I began writing with Webseed Publishing, which eventually went out of business, totaling with about 12 websites before their demise. Some of the websites I wrote were Working As A Family, Gifted in Life, Tiny Homes, Urban Woodsman, and others that were suited towards my interests in life. I also began writing for Suite 101 back when they paid their contributing editors with the topic of  Childrenís Allergies (which is now archived). I even tried just about anything there was online to create a countable revenue. One day I knew I would need something that paid more.

Now, I am not about to tell you that being online is a very wise choice and very profitable. It can be, but it can also be very frustrating, you can be cheated out of pay, articles can become lost or killed, certain rights become clouded, and so much more that it might make you hesitate when thinking about joining the ranks of online adventures. However, I believe the keys are to constantly re-create yourself and your work. 

Other inspiration is to generate long-term future goals and to have a rough idea of where you are heading with your passion. If something doesnít work out, donít be afraid to try something else. If you get one rejection letter or email, donít stop until you get it published! To get this far in my online career, it has literally taken me much determination to stick with it all and create products that people want to purchase.

I have helped others with their writing careers, three of my Child Care Magazine freelance writers have gone on to write books in print, and yet, my success was not determined with money still. If I did not enjoy what I do, I most likely would have ended my writing and design career years ago, but I have lasted past that 2-3 year mark for most online businesses to survive and each day keeps getting better and better.

I still choose to donate my services from time to time to help others or write an article for a non-paying publisher, mostly because of the love or writing, but also due to the fact that I donít base my work primarily on a monetary value. There is so much more to life than just writing for money, and I choose to give more than I receive.

Finally I leave you with my projects of late. Through my main company called DataWorkZ.com, I provide many services for many different people.

Over the past year or two I have branched outwards to include many websites within my network with specific needs in mind. eLogo.us, eBook Covers.us, ePhotographs.us, and other websites tailored specifically towards providing DIY entrepreneurs, authors, individuals, and/or webmasters quality creations for a lot less than most sites offer. Providing hosting for as low as $3.95/month and domain names under $10 a year is another of my DataWorkZ.com adventures that I enjoy wholeheartedly. Life on the net can be affordable and fun!

I appreciate the efforts and determination of those individuals who seek beyond what is commonly offered on the net and applaud them with tools and eBooks that they can use.

Most of my sites list the FREE eBooks that I have produced for the individuals and each of them carry instructions/rules that must be adhered to at all times for use. It is my way of giving back to the community and sharing some of my creative talent with others without a purchase price! Of course with my personal online portfolio (http://www.kriswilliams.us), you can also view much of my work as well.

Four Rules of Thumb I go by daily:

1.       Donít Give Up on yourself, EVER!

2.       Laugh in the face of adversity and fight to keep in a positive forward direction!

3.     Donít put off till tomorrow, what can always be done today! Find the time and do it NOW!

4.       Most importantly, always smile, because it always keeps them guessing!

I know there are others who have gone on to make a fortune or claim to make the most for a particular article, but for myself, I believe there is so much more to writing. It is not the simple words of an article or such a lines of a design, that demands a price tag, but it is the talent and creativity of an author and designer that defines a true work of art worth paying for.

Some speak for the truth of it all, and some speak for the financial gain of it all. For myself, I choose to be an author and designer speaking the truth of it all and this includes sharing my passion for writing whether it is being paid or not, perhaps this is just what sets me apart from the normal writers and designers on the web.

About the Author: You can find Kris Williams and learn more about her at KrisWilliams.us. Or, email her at KW@KrisWilliams.us!

©2006 Kris Williams. This article may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in any form, for any reason, without the express, written consent of the author. Violators will be prosecuted.

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