Elna Cain – the work-at-home-mum who manages to do it all.
Successful freelance writer, coach, blogger and mum to twins!
So who is Elna Cain? And how does she do it all?
Could you tell us about yourself?
Hi everyone! My name is Elna Cain and I’m a freelance writer and a mom to twins.
I started freelancing in the fall of 2014 and I write digital marketing tips for bloggers and small businesses. I also coach freelance writers and have a course to help you get started freelance writing.
What made you decide to start freelance writing?
For me, I knew I didn’t want to put my twins in day care when the time came. I wanted to stay home with them, but I also knew I had to contribute to the household finances. Since my husband has his own online business, it just made sense for me to try something online.
How did you first start out?
I first started on iWriter, which is a content mill. I wrote my first blog post and only got paid $2. I almost gave up since there was no way I could make a living writing for only $2 a post. So I moved on to freelance marketplaces like Guru and Upwork (which was oDesk when I signed up at that time).
But, I was unsuccessful there too. Finally, I decided to try to do this on my own. So, I created a writer website and started pitching to freelance writing job ads. From there I was able to land my first gig.
What is your favourite thing about freelance writing?
For me, my favorite thing about freelance writing is the freedom I have to work. I can take my twins to gymnastics in the morning, write a client piece in the afternoon and make a home-cooked meal in the evening.
You must be very busy with your children, how do you fit it all in?
Yes, I’m extremely busy with twin toddlers running about!
For me, I have a lot of help. My husband stays home to work on his business and family comes by almost every day to play with the kids.
I also make sure to maximize the time I do have when I’m writing client pieces by focusing on writing and not on social media or answering emails.
Do you have any tips out there for those people who wish to be a freelance writer, but are unsure of where to start?
My best tip is to just start. Stop reading blog post after blog post, or eBook after eBook.
Start taking action by creating samples of your writing and publishing it on LinkedIn or Medium.
Start pitching five times a day and networking with other freelance writers letting them know you are looking for work.
The point is to just start!
Can you tell us about your free 6 day email course? How and why you developed it?
I actually have two free email courses available for new freelance writers.
My first is Get Paid to Write Online, which walks a person through how to get started freelance writing. From picking your niche to finding job boards to pitch to, my course can get you up and running in 6 days.
My other course, Become a Rockstar Freelance Writer, is a free 5-day email course and actually gives you the steps you need to connect the dots and get started freelance writing. It goes more into the thought process of going from an employee mindset to a freelancer mindset. Personally, my Rockstar course should be taken first and then my Get Paid to Write course after, but there is really no set order.
I created these courses to build my email list and then later to act as my funnel to my complete freelancing course.
Both my courses offer a wealth of actionable tips to help you get started and my complete course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k helps you get up and running, pitching and wowing your clients.
You also offer coaching services. What does this entail and how/why did you get into coaching?
I coach new freelance writers on problems they may have in their business.
If you have a problem like how to break into a certain niche or just how to get started, I can offer you guidance. I offer 30-minute coaching calls and together we hash out a plan. After the phone call I write up a report and email it to them. It’s up to the writer if they want continual coaching or not.
How do you keep coming up with such great blog ideas? I know it is something I struggle with.
Thanks so much.
There really isn’t a method to my blog content. I usually come up with ideas while I’m playing with my twins and just jot them down in a notebook.
I also meet another freelance writer and blogger about once a month and we talk about our business and blog. These pow-wows always help me come up with a dozen or so topics!
What is the most important thing to keep in mind when starting a freelance business?
The most important thing to keep in mind that it’s better to land a low-paying gig than no gig at all – when you’re starting out. Even though you may set a rate when you start out, don’t expect to get paid that amount right off the bat. As an online freelance writer, you have to prove your worth both through stellar content or a portfolio and with testimonials. Once you can prove you are worth what you say you are, then you’ll have no problem landing higher-paying gigs.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions, Elna. You have provided great actionable advice and insight into freelance writing!
Elna Cain runs great websites and blogs. I have been reading her advice, tips and tools throughout my freelance writing journey and cannot rate them high enough. I have also completed her courses, and they are fantastic. If you are looking for a simple explanation and course to help you start out then sign up for one of Elna’s courses.
If you are looking for a great place to learn and read advice jump over to Elna’s site. Once you have finished on mine of course! For more great stories, advice and freebies subscribe below!