To be truly successful in what you do, you need to love what you are doing.
If there is no passion in what you do, then you need to find whatever drives you to live everyday and turn it into a livelihood.
Life is too short to focus on things that do not matter to you, so you should grab life by the throat and live it to te fullest.
Eden Fried was able to pursue her passion by finally being true to herself and making a life-changing decision.
As a blogger who helps out people with building their sites and blogs on WordPress, Eden seems to have made the right choice.
Also, in case you didn’t notice, she wrote “5 Things Your Freelance Portfolio Website Should Include” that was published here last week. Clearly, the fact that she wrote this insanely helpful article for freelancer makes her awesome in my book 🙂
But don’t take my word for it! Read Eden’s compelling story on how she decided to become a blogger and the things she learned along the way towards success.
1. What was the moment that made you decide to become a professional blogger?
This is actually an interesting story.
I applied to law school in the beginning of the year (12 of them to be exact). I was accepted into every school and, eventually, chose the perfect school, paid my deposit, and secured an apartment in Brooklyn, NY for the upcoming school year. My brother wasn’t too happy about the idea. He always believed I applied to law school for all the wrong reasons. So, when I was at his wedding reception earlier this year, he made it his goal to convince me out of the idea. He sent a slew of his entrepreneurial friends in my direction, all of whom talked up their entrepreneurial pursuits and tried to educate me on a whole new realm of opportunities I never considered for myself.
I called my boyfriend in the middle of the wedding and told him I’m not going to law school, I’m going to start a blog instead.
I don’t credit my brother for changing my mind. The truth is, I’d been worried law school wasn’t right for me for quite some time. The issue was that I had no idea what was right for me. Law school just seemed like a good way to go.
I do credit my brother for pushing me in the right direction. Starting this blog has been nothing but amazing. I’ve me truly incredible people and doors to new opportunities are now wide open for me to walk through. It’s been amazing.
2. Before you started blogging, what were you doing as a professional?
I was working for my father’s technology consulting company in Buffalo, NY where I held the position of Operations Manager. Essentially my role was to oversee all internal operations at the company while streamlining and improving them. I enjoyed the job, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. But, after a while, it was obvious that this wasn’t a long-term plan for me.
3. What was the biggest obstacle that you had to overcome as a beginner blogger?
Interestingly enough…[clickToTweet tweet=”The biggest challenge was dealing with other people’s judgment of my pursuits. @edenfrieden” quote=”The biggest challenge I had was dealing with other people’s judgment of me and my pursuits.”]
When I told everyone I was going to law school I received such high praise. People were so proud of me. They rejoiced with me. They thought I was amazing for pursuing such a challenging career path.
When I told everyone I wasn’t going to law school and that I was starting a blog and freelancing instead, no one knew what to say. Some of my closest friends called me to ask, “what’s wrong” and when I said “nothing” they couldn’t understand. I knew that blogging would be an exciting new venture for me. Other people couldn’t quite understand that.
So, I guess my answer is that dealing with the judgment of other people who I always thought were my greatest supporters in life was definitely a huge hurdle to leap.
4. Any horror client stories you’d like to share with us and how you dealt with the situation?
Where to begin!?
Only kidding. I’ve been really fortunate to work with incredible clients.
That said, I’ve had some quirky experiences. I closed a deal on a project with a client who had very specific parameters for a website he wanted me to design. Only, when we put ink to paper and started working, suddenly those parameters vastly changed and dozens of other items were added.
Here’s the thing – the project was scoped well. It was clear the client was taking advantage of me. Eventually, I had to cut the cord. We parted in a friendly manner when all was said and done, but sometimes you need to free yourself from the clients who clearly don’t play fair.
5. Which blog post you have written that you feel the proudest?
I’m definitely most proud of the first one, which talks about why I’m not going to law school.
Writing the first blog is always the hardest step. I’ve helped a lot of people start their blogs since starting my own. We run through the basic implementation and setup, but when all that stuff is done and out of the way, the rest is actually writing. People struggle to write about themselves, or to put their voice onto paper for anyone to read. Blogging is like sharing a piece of ourselves with the world. Sometimes it’s hard to be so open.
6. Who among your blogging peers do you consider the best and why?
My brother! I’m so lucky to have Jordan as a mentor and as one of my greatest supporters. He’s taught me a lot about what it means to be a successful blogger and I attribute a lot of my success to him.
To share his story a bit – Jordan actually moved to Budapest, Hungary when he graduated college. He started working in a comfortable 9-5 job where he was paid more than he could have ever hoped as an entry-level employee. Soon after he started working, he realized 9-5 life was suffocating him. So he jumped ship and started doing his own thing with his blog and as an SEO consultant. One thing led to another and now he’s running a multi-million dollar VPN company, Buffered VPN, in Europe. Pretty cool. But he got his start blogging, and he’s still at it. How’s that for a mentor?
7. What do you think separates yourself from other good bloggers out there?
Tough question. Honestly, I’m not sure I have an answer for that right now. I think every blogger has a unique approach to their site, their blog, their writing, their graphics… everything. I suppose that’s what makes me different. I couldn’t expect anyone to come in and “write like me” because my blogs are my voice. I throw myself into my writing as if I’m really speaking to you, whoever you are reading on the other end. I’m not sure that’s what makes me different; a lot of people write with their spoken voice… but no two bloggers have the same voice. I think that’s pretty cool.
Yes, not quite the answer to this question… but still an important aspect of blogging – you have to be comfortable being “you” and using your voice.
8. List down the blogging tools that you use and explain why people should use them for their own blogs.
I use Ahrefs, which helps me track the success of my site and growth over time, backlink profile, keyword planner, and all that other SEO good stuff. It also helps to monitor how other similar blogs are doing. It is definitely expensive, but I think the value is well worth it.
Canva is my go-to tool for all things graphic design and imagery. I was using the free subscription for quite some time but recently signed up for the free trial for the paid plan. For those less-artsy folks like me, Canva makes blog imagery easy and painless.
Trello (another free tool) helps me organize all of my blog ideas and concepts. I also use it as a collaborative accountability tool in conjunction with a few of my close friends.
I’m also a big fan of the chrome extension “Pocket”, which lets me save cool links for access later on (rather than simply bookmarking everything). If there’s ever an article that provides valuable information, or awesome blogs I want to follow, I just save them to my virtual pocket.
In addition to these tools, I also actively use Yoast SEO and Google Analytics.
9. How “successful” would you consider your blog?
I suppose this depends on how you measure success. I regard my blog as highly successful because, as mentioned earlier, the blog has been the source of new friendships, new opportunities, new skills, and new knowledge. Plus, it’s constantly evolving. Everyday is exciting and no two days are ever the same.
I’ve been through a lot of change recently. I’m only 23, and I nearly became a teacher, a lawyer, and a social worker. Now I’m a blogger and I finally feel like it’s something that suits me.
10. What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?
It’s all in the graphics. We saw a lot of graphics in 2016 and we’ll continue to see more. If you’re not already creating videos (vlogs) and infographics, it’s definitely time to get a move on.
11. If there’s any one advice that you would say to a starting blogger, what would it be?
I’m going to break the rules and give two words of advice:[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t make excuses for not starting a blog. @edenfrieden” quote=”Don’t make excuses for not starting a blog.”]
If you don’t want to start a blog, that’s totally fine. It’s not for everyone. But if you DO want to start a blog, then don’t make excuses as to why it’s not possible because IT IS! I used moan and complain that I can’t blog because I have no ideas, I don’t know how, etc. If you don’t have ideas, write about anything as mundane as your morning routine. The more you write, the more ideas start rolling. If you don’t know how to start a blog, read a blog that teaches you how (mine does ). Excuses are just barriers between you and success. Start blogging, and don’t look back.[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. @edenfrieden” quote=”Don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.”]
Initially, you’ll want your site to be stunning and gorgeous. Aesthetics aren’t important at the beginning. Just get the foundation set-up, and focus on writing.