Going back to the Past (and Schedule)

On 01/10/24, I discovered I didn’t have enough savings to live in Europe. It’s a shame since I wanted to meet attractive women in Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. However, this is NOT a failure. I will not be a Diane Selwyn. My dreams are not broken, they are on hiatus. My objective is to live in Europe at 33 (aka in two years).

Instead of focusing on a business, I need to save $24,000 to spend at least $1,000/month + make the difference via freelance writing. I need to live in Europe for two years. In the meantime, it’s back to hitting the streets in the USA for me: college campuses, malls, the good ‘ol days.

But… I need to go back to being a software engineer. So far, I’ve had a 1 1/2 year hiatus. I quit DentaQuest in July, 2022. Tech companies will question that. I’ll state I wanted to be a tech writer so I can create my hours. If I work at an American company, I’ll have to adjust to their schedule.

Anywho, I’m rusty. I need to regain my skills. I should be able to do this via re-watching Udemy courses, creating mock projects, etc. I’ll need to do Pomodoros. Since I’m starting off being disciplined again, I’ll start slow. After I get comfort, I’ll titrate up.

Here’s my Pomodoro schedule:

Work days (3 Pomodoros): Do this FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. This is because my brain will be sharp and fresh. After I do my Pomodoros, I can submit my daily meme on r/slaytheprincess.

Pomodoros so far: 1, 2,

Off days (6 Pomodoros): Do this FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. When on my 3rd Pomodoro, submit my daily meme. After that, I can check on the status of my posts during my 5-10 minute breaks.

Finance calculator:

My goal is to save $7,000 before I leave for my sister’s place so I can start doing interviews. However, I need to ensure I have enough saved up before I can do that. Let’s go over my finances:

Total per month: $1,300

Health insurance: $150

Vape: $120

Credit Card: $60

Upvotes: $70

Total potential savings per month: $900

Pomodoro goals (today):

  1. Go through LinkedIn profile and send relevant resume information to resume writer.

Full Sleeve Tattoo Idea

This is the last tattoo idea I’ll be doing in the Philippines. It will be a full sleeve tattoo encompassing my entire right arm and chest. I will do it at Needlepoint Tattoo. It will be done by Mards. It will also be a black and grey tattoo. This post states how well a similar tattoo will age.

  1. Upper arm:
    • It is inspired by this tattoo.
    • A few changes will be implemented: Next to the staircase, have a heart and brain floating above the pillars to symbolize a journey to mindfulness. A good example of floating heart/brain is here. Note: Work REALLY hard with Mards on ways to make the heart/brain tattoo to last longer. Because ironically enough, the two most smallest parts, are also the most important parts. Why? Because they mean the most.
    • Alternatively, I was inspired by this vid, but have a brain and heart balance beneath Marcus Aurelius at an equal balance.
    • Instead of Zeus, add Marcus Aurelius who practiced mindfulness. A good tattoo picture of him is here, here, here, and here.
    • On the stairs, add an arch with a water drop in middle which signifies balance. Example of arch here.
    • Or simply just add a water drop.
  2. Bicep: Atlas tattoo. He represents persistence. Have it as a connecting half sleeve. Example here. Have a band around the Earth that says “Steep is the way to mastery,” or alternatively, like in this tattoo, replicate the style on “In Actis Esto Volucris” beneath Atlas. Whatever the artist thinks will look better.
  3. Outer forearm: A sword balancing a heart and brain. An example of sword design is this. An example of sword with balance is this.
  4. Inner forearm: Janus, the Roman god of decisions, with the body of Hecate. It will have two heads, one man and one woman. They will be holding six items which represent something.
    • A seashell which represents love.
    • A US dollar sign which represents money.
    • An eagle which represents power.
    • A mirror which represents outer aesthetics
    • An olive branch which represents inner peace.
    • A cross which represents God.
    • ALTERNATIVELY: Have the traditional Michael slaying the devil tattoo, which signifies defeating evil in my life.

5. Chest: A quote on my left chest which quotes Marcus Aurelis: “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Stages of design: Upper arm -> bicep -> inner forearm -> outer forearm -> Shoulder/chest

Freelance Writing – Finding Writing Clients

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8o2wK8QcF8&t=1s

Freelance Writing Job Boards

Elna says it’s best for beginner freelance writers to look at job boards first and foremost. In my situation, I think it’s best if I get 5-10 projects done on a job board before switching to cold emails to companies for work.

Since I’ve already read the article, I believe it’s best if I exclusively look at free freelance writing job boards for work. And not premium ones. Especially since I already have experience in the tech niche.

What boards will I peruse first?

IMPORTANT: Pro Blogger, Freelance Writing, and Blogging Pro. If I can find enough work, stick with those three.

Using Social Media

Social media is a hot topic for a lot of freelance writers. Some say it’s a waste of time and highly distracting. Others say it’s a goldmine for freelance writing work.

Elna agrees with the latter. In her first two years as a freelance writer, she landed gigs on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. And they’ve been some of her best clients to date. Because of her strong presence on social media, clients were able to find Elna and work with her.

In this lesson, she’s going to go over finding clients on Twitter and Facebook. These are her two favorite social media sites to find work. For me, I’m definitely going to add LinkedIn, probably as a replacement for Facebook.

A Simple Tactic to Using Social Media to Find Leads

To get noticed by my ideal client, I should try to work in-front of them. With repeated exposure to my name, face and content, over time, the fact that I’m awesome at what you do is going to eventually stick with prospective clients. When the time comes that they need to hire a freelance writer, they’re more likely going to think of me over someone else that pitched to them one time.

And this is why social media is a great way to find clients – by connecting, sharing and engaging with my ideal client I’m making them warm up to me and my services.

This is called warm pitching and it’s highly effective (more so than any other pitching method in this course).

The goal is to find these editors or business owners or marketers – i.e. my target audience – follow them and engage with them. Look at what they are sharing. Let’s say content manager A shares a lot of posts from Fast Company.

IMPORTANT: I can also engage with them on social media. For example, if there is a small business that I’m interested in writing for them, I can follow them on Twitter and start sharing their blog posts. Sometimes this is enough to get on their radar.

I can start a dialogue and go from there. Find out more about the business, keep sharing their blog posts, tag them if I find relevant content and then approach them.

IMPORTANT: To recap, warm pitching entails on Twitter:

  • Following my ideal client on social media
  • Sharing their content
  • Responding to their tweets or saying how great their post is
  • Engaging with them if they ask a question on social media
  • Tag them if you find a post that’s relevant for them
  • Reach out to them by direct messaging them on Twitter if they need a writer (if you can’t direct message them, contact them via email or their contact form)

Using LinkedIn (Optimization + Leads)

IMPORTANT: Out of all the social media sites out there, I personally believe I’d have the best chance landing a gig on LinkedIn. So let’s focus extra close on this module to learn as much as humanly possible.

I already have a LinkedIn account fully optimized for my software developer career. All I have to do now is re-write a few bits so I re-engage my audience as a freelance writer. Now, will I get LinkedIn Premium? There’s no need in my opinion.

When I start my career as a freelance writer on LinkedIn, it’s best if I connect with tech brands or people who work with those brands.

IMPORTANT: Another thing I can do to help my brand is change my background photo on LinkedIn. An amazing tool to do this is canva.com. It’s a free editing tool that allows me to make my own background image.

IMPORTANT: A change Elna made recently which had a HUGE impact was cramming her title with as many keywords as possible. For example, “✨ B2B SaaS and Digital Marketing Writer 💫 Web3 + NFT writer • Email Copywriter with Hands-On Experience, Youtuber, Trainer 📕 Award Winning Blog 6 Years in a Row • American living in Canada”

The two biggest keywords in Elna’s opinion was SaaS and copywriting.

As a new freelance writer, Elna recommends hyping up my niche and my services. In my case, I think it’s best if I hype up the fact I’m a former software engineer with hands-on industry experience.

Now, I may not have much experience as a new freelance writer, but if I land a guest post, it’s best if I post it on LinkedIn.

IMPORTANT: There is a BIG downside to LinkedIn. When it comes to finding jobs, they’re all locational. What does that mean? It means depending on where you are, that’s what jobs you’ll get recommended to you. For example, I live in the USA… I’ll get jobs in the USA. Not in Europe or other countries I may want to net clients. If I want to bypass this, try using a VPN.

IMPORTANT: I found a great video which details how to get clients on LinkedIn. Use this as a reference since Jessica Foster specializes in it.

Elna recommends going on LinkedIn once a day or every other day to interact with posts written by companies I want to work for.

What’s the most important thing to focus on, though? According to Elna, an optimized header. This includes title, background image, etc.

IMPORTANT: Elna recommends a Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook page. Twitter and LinkedIn are most important.

Connection Template

When I want to connect with another freelancer or business owner, here’s a template to use instead of clicking connect with no message.

Hey,

Thanks for viewing my profile. I see you work at (x). Trying to expand my network and would love it if we could connect.

Thanks & take care,

[first name and last name]

If you wan to be a little more forthright you can send this message instead:

Hi,

My name is [first name and last name] and I am a freelance writer specializing in producing digital marketing content for blogs, newsletters and landing pages. I’ve really been enjoying the blog posts on [your website] and was wondering if you’d like to connect.

Once they connect they may seek out my writing services!

Optimization Tactics

On LinkedIn, I want to connect with:

  • Marketing directors | Content directors | those in charge of marketing content | Editors
  • Business owners
  • Other freelance writers who you can send work to and receive work from

On LinkedIn, I want to start following the businesses or people I want to collaborate with.

I can find these businesses from job ads I’ve pitched to, on Twitter or social media, or doing a Google search of businesses.

I can then go to LinkedIn and search for those companies and view who is working for that company.

This can let you know quickly if that business has a marketing team.

Or, do other tactics if I want:

  • Engaging with the company’s LinkedIn posts when possible. Have a meaningful conversation. This can help me get on the radar of the marketing director (or owner) who is probably managing the content on LinkedIn.
  • Share relevant content – ideally guest posts, blog posts or client pieces – and call out my potential client. Use the suggested hashtags LinkedIn gives me.

Leads May Start Approaching You

By being consistent using these strategies, Elna started to receive leads. I’m sure that if she continued this process she would receive more leads.

But realize it’s my title that will get the right clients in front of me.

IMPORTANT: Cold pitching is the next section. Since it’s SO IMPORTANT for me to learn this, I’m going to devote an entire blog post to it.

Digital Nomad Finance Plan

  1. If I have $8,000 USD saved up, begin making plans to travel to Cebu City.
  2. If I have less than $8,000 USD saved up, stay at my sister’s place for 1-3 months working on my business. Whatever it takes to have $8,000 USD.

I just checked my bank account. I believe the best thing for me to do is to withdraw $100/week, starting Saturday, 05/28/22 and live off it for an entire week. That means spending $15/day. Given that I’m at my sister’s place, this is very plausible. Hell, I could spend far less than $15/day.

Another plan to jumpstart my business? Pitch 15 cold emails per day. After reading this post by Elna Cain, she states it’s a good rule of thumb to send 15 cold emails per day.

What Type Of Game Works on Filipinas?

Right now, I’m on Filipino Cupid to gauge how to pickup Filipina chicks online. This tells me how the interaction will be like in real life.

So far, what I’ve discovered what works is Filipinas – like Colombianas – get confused when you try value based game. Remember, I already have enough value be simply being American. There’s no need to increase it even more.

Use simplicity and directness to seduce Filipinas. For example, in text game do:

  1. Direct Opener: “You have the cutest look and I have to say hi.”
  2. Next, they say “thank you.” I respond with, “no problem hows it going [name]”

Notes:

  1. Follow this guide like the bible: https://www.playingfire.com/how-to-message-on-tinder/
  2. Be low investment as fuck. Don’t care what you write. Submit small posts
  3. Be super direct. This line works and it’s weird lol: “you should party with me when i arrive in cebu” or “you should come over when i arrive in cebu”.
  4. IMPORTANT: I have saved a dropbox filled with my good interactions with Filipinas on Filipino Cupid. Review them before I venture out to Cebu City.

What to do next as a freelance writer?

I’ve already written the four blog posts required to meet my quota. What’s next? Here’s what I’ll do in order:

  1. Get rid of my Medium article on TRT and programming.
  2. Go to the Good Man Project and read their editorial requirements. Make changes to my TRT/programming blog post to satisfy said requirements.
  3. Before I submit the article, I need to draft an author bio. I will write it on my blog before submitting it on Good Man Project.
  4. Submit the article.
  5. Once I submit the article, it may take a while to get approved. Since this may be the case, my next objective is to format my freelance writing website.
  6. IMPORTANT: Before I find ANYONE, write up a big draft of what I require.
  7. Find a web site designer and send them my requirements.
  8. Each day send 10-15 cold emails. After I hit 100, see how successful I was; if I get enough responses, resume my pitch; if not, change it. The optimal response rate is 5%. In a matter of fact, instead of doing Pomodoro. Send out 10-15 cold emails. Once I’ve done that, I’m finished for the day.

New Digital Nomad Plan

I want to leave the United States ASAP.

It’s best if I leave with 15 – 17K in the bank.

Big expendatures:

  1. Plane ticket to Cebu:
    • June 9th: $1,075
  2. 3 months rent in Cebu paid off: $900

Total initial cost: $2000