Interview with Jennifer Marino Walters: Founder of Double Duty Twins

jennifer-headshotJennifer Marino Walters is a metro-area mama and the founder of Double Duty Twins (Plus One!) where she writes about parenting and various children’s topics. She also tweets up a storm here!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

My name is Jennifer Marino Walters, and I am a freelance writer from Brooklyn, NY. I am a mom to twin boys who will start kindergarten this fall and a toddler girl. I am also an Army wife — my husband, Keith, is a lieutenant colonel. My family has moved around a lot, but we currently live in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

I was an editorial assistant at TIME For Kids magazine in New York City when I met my husband. I moved with him to Northern California for 18 months while he attended grad school. While there, I worked as a communications manager for a children’s non-profit, but I really missed the publishing world. So when the Army transferred us back to New York for three years, I became an assistant managing editor at BizBash and then a senior editor at Scholastic.

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Interview with Kat Boogaard of Lemonade Linings

kate-boogaard-headshotKat Boogaard is the founder of Lemonade Linings the formula of which is BIZ OWNERSHIP TIPS + POSITIVITY + SELF-DEVELOPMENT + DOG PHOTOS = LEMONADE LININGS. She also tweets awesome things here

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

I live in a small town in Northeastern Wisconsin. Most people that find my work immediately assume that I reside in a larger city—such as New York or San Francisco. But, I really love the small town life!

Before switching to freelancing full-time, I worked as a Marketing Assistant for my local Convention and Visitors Bureau. We promoted travel to the local area in an effort to draw more visitors dollars into our economy. Marketing travel was definitely a fun gig, but I always found myself itching to venture off on my own!

2. How did you first get into freelancing?

I began freelancing when I was still employed full-time—I suppose “side hustle” is the trendy name for it now. I wrote for a few small, local publications and collaborated with a few area businesses in my free time. I really enjoyed it, and made an effort to continue building up my side business. Eventually, I decided to just take the leap and dive into that completely! It was terrifying, but also really thrilling.

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Interview with Elna Cain: Full-Time Income from Freelancing Part-Time

elna-cain-headshotElna Cain of and FreelancerFAQ’s is a freelance writer and mom, earning a healthy full-time income from freelancing part-time.

Both of Elna’s sites serve as an excellent starting point for freelancers. Contena is even mentioned in a few of her guides 🙂 So I’m really glad that she agreed to do this interview. What a great way to kick off 2016!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

Hi! My name is Elna Cain. I’m from Canada, a freelance writer and a mom to twin toddlers.

They just turned three and life as we know it is never quiet, but full of laughter, gripes, yells and hiccups (they’ve been getting a lot of those lately….).

I’ve been freelance writing for a little over a year now and have been able to earn a healthy full-time income doing this part-time.

Before I had my twins I taught children with autism in the school setting. My background is in education and psychology, but I primarily write about digital marketing for my clients. Go figure!

Besides writing about digital marketing, I also do copywriting and I’m a ghostwriter for some key influencers online.

I also run a freelancing blog called FreelancerFAQs alongside Alicia Rades. It’s a place to get your freelancing questions answered.

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Write With Warnimont: An Interview with Joe Warnimont

joeThis week we have a really great interview with Joe Warnimont of Write with Warnimont.  Joe is a full time freelance writer, author and blogger and his stories don’t disappoint!  In a previous life he was chased by Harrison Ford’s dog and asked to transport $20,000 in an “oversized suit”.  Enjoy.

Hey Joe.  Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from and what did you do in your previous life?

I’m located in Chicago, after a few years of bouncing around. It all started growing up in a small Chicago suburb called Roselle, after which I went to beautiful Bloomington, Indiana to study business at IU.

Throughout all of college I had a strange inclination to become a talent agent, so I worked for an agency in Chicago for two summers and ended up out in Los Angeles, running errands in the mail room at United Talent Agency.

This led to rather strange stories like running away from Harrison Ford’s dog after trying to deliver a script to his front door, and tucking $20,000 in my over-sized suit to deliver to one of the top agents. Overall, I wanted a more creative, and less hectic job, so after graduation I began writing on the side and took a job at a golf software company, where I worked on the marketing team.

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Interview with Nicole Dieker: Musician to Full Time Writer in 6 Months

Today I’m excited to share my recent interview with Nicole Dieker. Nicole has written for high profile sites like The Billfold, Yearbook Office, The Penny Hoarder, and Boing Boing. She also chronicles her earnings from writing each month on The Write Life – a blog that helps freelance writers create, connect and earn. Nicole is also in the process of writing a novel The Biographies of Ordinary People.

nicole-dieker-headshotHi Nicole, great to have you. Let’s jump right into this… How did you first get into freelancing?

I got into freelancing because I needed a way to make money while working as a performing musician. I knew that if I took a job that tied me to an office (or coffee shop or retail store), I wouldn’t be able to keep up my performance schedule. So I signed on to a content site called Crowdsource, and began writing short articles for around 3 cents a word.

From there—well, I’ve always been good at writing, and what I quickly realized was that I was really good at freelancing. I could turn around a post in an hour, and I could write four or five short posts a day. I was reliable, I hit my deadlines, and I could turn in clean copy. Plus, I started to love the work. It was very different from being a musician and begging bars to let me play to an uninterested audience!

So I very quickly began to ramp down the music work and ramp up the writing. I got better clients, I got contributor roles at publications like The Billfold (which is the closest a freelancer gets to a guaranteed monthly income) and I built a career.

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Interview with Ariel Rule: From WordPress Designer to Freelance Writer

This week we have another great interview! Ariel Rule is a WordPress designer turned freelance writer! She started Freelance Freedom Fighter. Today’s interview actually has a bonus for all of you WordPress users out there. In addition to sharing her freelancing story, Ariel also shares some of her favorite tricks for making your WordPress site look even better.

ariel-rule-headshotTell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

I’m a 25-year-old work at home mom with a house full of boys: my hubby, two boys and a boy dog called Rambo (Yes, like the movie…). Needless to say, my life is pretty crazy, but totally awesome — if I do say so myself.

I was born and raised in the NW of America which is a fancy way of saying I love coffee, I wear dark rimmed glasses, and I think it’s cool to not own an umbrella even though it rains 9 months out of the year where I live.

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Interview with Karen Marston: Full Time Writer and World Traveler

karen-martson-headshotToday I’m pumped to share my interview with Karen Marston. Karen is a full time freelance writer and also runs a popular site Untamed Writing, where she shares honest and “bullshit free” advice on getting paid to write. After randomly landing on her site one day, I immediately wanted to interview Karen because of her honest writing style and advice – which for me was very refreshing to see.

So let’s get started…

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

I’m Karen, 30, living in Edinburgh, Scotland (though I’m English, lest you be shocked at my lack of Scottish accent should we ever talk). I run Untamed Writing, a blog where I dish out bullshit-free advice on getting paid to write, and teach courses on how to get started with freelance writing.

Oh, I guess I should also mention the fact that I’m a copywriter. Duh. I write copy for businesses that want to give their websites a personality. Before that, I worked in bars. Yup — no corporate history to speak of here (which may explain a few things).

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Interview with Full Time Writer & Freelancer Gina Horkey

gina-horkey-headshotI recently interviewed Gina Horkey. Gina has a pretty amazing story that I wanted to share with our Contena members. She recently transitioned from a 9-5 job to freelancing full time, making her a perfect fit for our first Contena interview! Gina blogs at Horkey HandBook, where she helps other writers to quit their day jobs and transition to full time freelancing.

Hey Gina! Great to have you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, what did you do in your previous life?

I’m a married, millennial mama to two toddlers from just north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. My previous career was in finance as a personal financial advisor and support person to a large financial planning practice.

How did you first get into freelancing?

I had been an advisor for close to a decade and had a small book of business of my own, but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I’d have liked (i.e. I didn’t want to do it for the next 30 years). So I started Googling around and came across freelance writing for the web and it piqued my interest.

I have always loved to write, I just never explored the non-fiction side before. Content marketing is such a huge field nowadays and there seems to be unlimited opportunity to get paid to write. So I thought I’d give it a shot!

I came across freelance writing on April 15, 2014, set up my website and took a course in May and landed my first paying gig in June. I continued to build my business on the side of my full-time job for the rest of 2014 and had my last day of work around Christmastime, 2014.

You were working a full time job while freelancing and raising your two children. That is pretty incredible – I’m sure it was tough to balance all of that. Can you give us some more insight into that? Read More