Success Story: Chatting with a Friend

I mentioned my friend Nicole Dieker the other day, a freelance journalist who developed her niche writing about finances for The Billfold and other publications. She asked me Thursday if I’d like to have a chat with her for her column. I of course happily agreed, though I wasn’t exactly what she was looking for at first.

She initially asked me if I wanted to chat about NaNoWriMo, but I clarified that I’m not actually writing a novel, but instead doing a blog post a day. She thought I was doing both of those things, blogging daily and writing a novel. I’m sure there are people who do that, but I sure ain’t one. That’s very impressive. Fortunately, she still wanted to chat.

Nicole and I have a lot in common, and we seem to be on similar paths (except she’s moving a lot quicker along hers). We met on the Jonathan Coulton cruise its second year, and she lived in the D.C. area, as did we. We’d seen her at a concert or two, and shortly after, she had decided to move to Los Angeles, where she was going to try to make a living doing music with her one-woman band Hello, The Future. She moved to L.A. only about two or three months before we did.

While writing and performing her original songs, she started doing freelance writing for content mills and blogging to pay some bills. Her blog was simple but so smart: every week she wrote honestly about her earnings, being completely transparent about what work she did and how much money she made that week. She gained more followers and started getting more writing jobs, gaining more bylines and slowing building her niche in freelancing and finances. Eventually, The Billfold asked her to write those same types of blog posts, but for them.

Nicole now lives in Seattle where she spends more time writing than playing music, but she still performs regularly. Nicole is one of those smart, lucky people who use the Internet wisely by creating stuff and putting it out there, and little by little her audience and clients came to her. I don’t mean to imply it was easy for her because I know she works her behind off, but she’s really made a name for herself as an expert in freelance writing. It’s really admirable, and I’m quite envious. I’m so pleased that she wanted to chat with me yesterday. Thanks Nicole, I’m grateful!

Read our conversation at The Billfold.

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