Building Online Career: Twitter Chat with @AngelaAlcorn #VCBuzz

vcbuzz-Angela-AlcornBuilding online career is a great way to find your calling, become independent and create the way of life you want. But is it easy?

Today we are talking to an inline careerist: Please meet @AngelaAlcorn

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About Angela

Angela is an editor and a staff writer at MakeUseOf, covering online innovations, social media news, geeky tips and tricks, etc

Angela has launched a blog on online careers and a blog on how to make money writing: Online Careerist and Write Revolution. Online Careerist covers everything you need to know about working online.

Questions we discussed

Q1 When did you decide to build an online career for yourself? Was it scary?

A couple of years before I moved to France, I realized I was going to need to work from home somehow. I knew I’d be in a country where my language skills were lacking, and that I was planning to have kids.

Being somewhat of a geek, I knew working online was the path for me. Freelance/Entrepreneur/Whatever. But online.

I already blogged for fun, but I decided to get a degree that might help: Internet Studies with a minor in Journalism.

I also made plans to be able to do my office job as a freelance position by just uploading docs to Dropbox: worked perfectly.

So, yeah, it was sort of scary. But so was the idea of moving to France with no job lined up. At least this way I had options! Then I got started with freelance blogging, editing and social media management. Never looked back. ?

Q2 So if someone is considering to switch from a “real” job to building an online career, where do they really start?

There are three main paths towards an online career: Make your current job remote, start freelancing or build a business. For a lot of people, starting a business is scary. So, I’d recommend freelancing on the side while you work 9-5.

You can always continue to try to make your current salaried position remote at the same time. And don’t forget that freelance gigs and side-hustles often turn into the best businesses!

Well, it gave me the courage to pitch larger blogs when pretty much no-one was doing that. These days though, I’d say just get straight into doing the work. ?

There are also lots of good tips for beginner remote workers here.

Q3 How have things changed since you started? Is it harder / easier today to build an online career than it was, say, 5 (10) years ago?

The landscape of online careers has evolved so much since I started in 2008. It’s so much easier now! Freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr were unheard of 10 years ago – and now thousands of people use them!

Paid blogging gigs were really rare when I started, but now they’re plentiful. Just look to the biggest blogs in a niche! Also, magazines and newspapers often hire freelancers online these days – so you can easily pitch publications anywhere!

There is also a lot more support for online workers these days, like my Slack group.

Absolutely. Being able to show your customers what you can do for them without having to harass them – Gold.

Q4 Is personal branding essential for online career building? How to build your brand online?

Personal branding is a tool that most online careerists will find invaluable. It’s not essential, but it really helps.

Obviously, there are some sorts of businesses (like SAAS) where it’s more important to have trust in the brand, not the person.

But freelance designers, developers, bloggers, etc. — You really need your customers to trust YOU. And personal branding does that: It gives customers a face to remember and they can recall your previous work and passions.

Building your personal brand comes down to making yourself memorable for a handful of things you’re truly passionate about.

It’s more than colour schemes: A personal brand lets people know what you’re good at and want to be remembered for.

Yeah – Wise advice. It can evolve over time, but you need to stick with the original pic a LONG time. Hilariously, I have been mucking around with my profile pic lately (and probably shouldn’t have). ?

Q5 The online world is cluttered and there are so many things that can be distracting? How do you remain focused and productive?

I stick to minimal open tabs and turn off all notifications when I’m trying to focus. Then I deal with email etc in batches. On the other hand, it’s actually good to let yourself get distracted every now and then. It keeps things interesting!

I figure if I find a really cool tool or idea that’s got me worked up, maybe I should be writing about it. So, I let my distractions make me more productive. It’s cheating, I know. ?

Also, I have a killer to-do list in Todoist that keeps me on task, and an excellent set of spreadsheets to track things in.  It’s more of a set of spreadsheets with a master sheet to keep track of all of them. And it’s sort of ugly — functionality came first. ? But I’ll pretty it up and share a template, maybe

That’s perfect for most people! But not for me, because it’s my JOB to write about Facebook and Twitter. If I’m not on them I can’t be working. ?

I keep a close eye on my goals and targets. It really helps me focus on what’s important.

I LIVE in my browser. Chromebook all the way.

Our previous online career marketing chats:


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