Last updated - April 20, 2018
Today, at ‘Expert Speaks’, we have with us Madeline Osman, popularly known as Maddy Osman. Maddy is the proud owner of The Blogsmith and Tanks that Get Around and has been helping business to grow traffic and convert visitors with Content Marketing.
In this interview, Maddy talks about her inspiration behind getting into freelancing, pros and cons of having a home office, things bloggers should know and a lot of other things.
We are indeed thankful to Madeline, that she could find time to answer our questions with utmost patience, making each of her answers highly useful and effective to our readers.
You started experimenting with web designing since 11! How have you been able to choose a career you love and excel at it?
I think luck had a lot to do with it.
By exploring my passions at a young age, it was easy to find a career path to follow. I was in business club in high school and completed a Marketing major in college. My early experiments in web design led to a web design job that I kept during all four years of college, which is where I first played around with WordPress.
Today, I use what I learned about WordPress as a web developer to make money writing about it.
It’s this same understanding of WordPress that has allowed me to offer WordPress web development as a service to clients—and that makes it easy to continuously update and improve own website projects: my portfolio website, The Blogsmith, and my ecommerce project, Tanks that Get Around.
How did you find your calling and quit your job to go full-swing freelancing?
When I quit to freelance full-time, I already had several years of freelancing under my belt. These were always side products—maybe one or two at a time, in addition to my full-time corporate job.
I was hired for a new freelance project by a man who would become my mentor. He had a very similar (sales) background and seeing him successfully make the jump to full-time freelancing made me start to think about it more seriously.
Once he saw how excited the concept of freelancing full-time made me, he promised me enough work to fit my “bare minimums” to justify freelancing full-time (thanks to his own timely needs for a client content manager). The rest is history!
You have a lovely home office. How wonderful that is! Can you tell us what are the pros and cons of having your home as your workplace?
Well thanks! It’s a work in progress but I’m happy with it for now.
I think most of the pros of having a home office have to do with comfort and regaining time. A few examples:
- I don’t have to spend time getting dressed up for work. In fact, I usually shower halfway through the day, after going to the gym in my building (another pro is being able to knock out the gym during the day!).
- I don’t have to spend time and energy in traffic getting to work.
- I can sleep in and nobody will yell at me if I show up “late”.
The cons mostly have to do with isolation. Some examples:
- Although my boyfriend also works from home, I don’t have any in-person industry coworkers to commiserate with about the daily trials and tribulations of freelance life.
- Sometimes being at home makes me relax too much, to the detriment of getting things done.
- Not being required to shower everyday sometimes makes me lax in taking care of myself.
It’s definitely a balance—one that has to be addressed daily.
What was your idea behind starting The Blogsmith?
As far as the name itself, I struggled with it for months. I wanted something that clearly communicated my core competency—creating written content (which I had been doing for awhile at that point as part of my full-time freelancing).
I eventually got the idea for this name after first thinking about the word, “wordsmith”.
Course creation, blogging, web developing! How do you manage all these versatile roles?
A lot of systems and processes! Also, hired help for certain aspects of each type of project.
But truly, I crave variety and offering many different (though interconnected) types of services means that I never get bored!
What is your typical workday like?
There really is no typical workday!
But I try to break it up in terms of a chunk of calls/responding to emails and then time to dig into work. I find that tools like Slack really mess with my flow, so I only use them with my most important clients who require timely responses. Because content creation requires so much creativity and focus, I work best when there are no distractions.
I try to take frequent but productive breaks: reading, going to the gym, preparing meals, and even cleaning. The trick for me is to space each break activity out by completing chunks of projects in between.
How do you stay motivated?
I try to focus on the future—what can I do today that will benefit me tomorrow? You’ve got to put the work in now to find continued success and to grow to new heights.
What according to you an aspiring blogger should know?
You need to spend as much time (or ideally, more) promoting content than writing it.
Outside work, what do you enjoy doing the most?
I’ve been living in Denver for a little over a year now (after living in Chicagoland for most of my life) and am getting into the outdoorsy lifestyle here. Although I’ve yet to master skiing (not sure if I ever will), I enjoy the peaceful solitude of a long hike in nearby Boulder, Colorado Springs, or anywhere close by with some natural beauty!
I also love to read—such is the nature of a writer.
What are the projects you are currently working in?
A lot of different things! Lately, I’ve mostly been working with businesses who use WordPress in some way, especially major WordPress media outlets.
You have worked very closely with WordPress and WooCommerce. What do you think the future holds for these two?
I think both will continue to grow their percentage of market share as options for CMS and ecommerce platforms, respectively. For both, there’s no going down—only up!
Any word of advice to people who wants to follow your career?
Be purposeful with your time. Plan well ahead of your departure from traditional employment. Make friends in high places and nurture those connections on a regular basis.
That’s it! Hope Maddy’s journey inspires you to do what you love and excel in it! 🙂