No matter what business you decide to enter, it always takes a certain amount of passion to make it great. Writing is just one example. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, your readers will most likely pick up on it.
Anyone who knows Denise Willms will already know that she is the perfect example of what is required to succeed in the world of writing.
I got an opportunity to speak with Denise about her business, as well as learn a little more about her secret for managing a business and home.
The ghostwriting came first. I started my first writing business in 2004. I write articles and web content for home business owners. As a ghostwriter, my clients tell me what they need, I write it for them, and they take all the credit! I especially enjoy writing for moms who want to work from home, which led me to purchase WAHM Articles in 2006.
WAHM Articles is a directory of reprint articles that help women work from home, and make their homes work. I believed WAHM Articles would give me more opportunities to connect and build relationships with my target market, which it has done. Our authors get exposure for their business by sharing their expertise in their articles. At the end of each article is an author’s resource box that invites the reader to visit the author’s website. Publishers can reprint the article, so long as they keep the author’s bio and those links in tact. It’s a great tool to get targeted traffic to your website.
WAHM Announce is the newest addition. Home business owners can submit their press releases there for free. We also offer press release submission services, to help you get your news out there.
How long have you been a writer? What led you to this profession?
I have always wanted to be a writer, even way back in elementary school. I was the nerdy kid who always had the best marks in English class. When I went to university, the only courses that interested me were English literature and composition. When I discovered the Internet, I realized it was the perfect outlet for my writing talents and training. Writing is what I’m good at, and I’m very grateful I’ve been able to make a career out of it.
Have you ever thought about taking your expertise into an area outside of the WAHM community? Why did you choose to use this niche to promote yourself rather than any of the other options available to you?
When I began writing and article marketing, I was focused on home business owners in general. But “home business owners” is such a broad group, I found it difficult to market to them. My favorite clients were moms like me, trying to make a living from home while spending time with their children, so I tightened up my marketing and focused on that niche instead.
What do you love about ghostwriting for websites and businesses? What do you dislike about it?
People often ask me, “Doesn’t it drive you crazy not to get credit for your work?”
It doesn’t bother me at all. I can write for myself whenever I what, but I love the challenge of creating content for someone else. I enjoy experimenting with different writing styles and voices, and it’s very gratifying for me to know that my talent for writing can help others.
Actually, there’s nothing I dislike about my work. It’s exactly what I love to do, and I think I’m very blessed to be able to do it!
Approximately how many writers do you have on WAHM Articles? How does someone join as a contributor and what are the requirements?
We have almost 450 writers. To become a contributor, you just need to fill in the sign up form to request an account. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you’ll receive a friendly email from us asking you to tell us why you want an account and what kind of content you’ll be contributing. There are no right answers to those questions, but we are looking for authors who care about the content they write, and who write articles that would be of interest to women who work from home.
When did you launch WAHM Announce and why did you decide to create that service? What has the feedback been like from those that use it to post their press releases?
WAHM Announce was launched this past summer. Press releases are another important part of promoting your business online, so I wanted to give home business owners a place to publish theirs. I also write and submit press releases for clients, so this site was a good fit.
I haven’t done a lot to promote it yet (that’s coming up soon!) but users have appreciated the service and the opportunity to get their press releases published in one more place.
How have you been able to manage your time between everything you do and time with your family? Any special tricks you don’t mind sharing?
Sure, there are two things that have helped me.
1. Organize everything. I homeschool my two teenagers as well, so it’s like I have three full time jobs – my online business, homeschooling, and running a household, plus I do a lot of volunteer work. In our family, nothing happens unless it’s planned for. We have a big calendar in the kitchen and we all use it regularly.
2. Ask for help when you need it. I’ve learned to outsource as many business tasks as I can. When my kids were small, I would send them to Grandma’s for the day when I had a deadline to meet. For homeschooling, this year we’ve decided to put the kids into some classes in a virtual school instead of homeschooling them 100%, to make my schedule a little more manageable. Nothing says you have to do everything on your own.
What has being a parent taught you that you’ve been able to use in business?
How to be organized, and how to stand up for what’s right for my business. You can’t please everyone all the time. Nothing teaches you that faster than having a two-year-old scream at you in public because you didn’t let them have their own way,. Being a parent has taught me to have a very thick skin.
Do you have any plans for future start-ups or growth on your current websites?
WAHM Articles is launching an affiliate program in the near future, which I’m very excited about. Also, next month WAHM Articles is publishing a Christmas ebook that contributors can sell as an affiliate and get some exposure from. I’m working with a publicity expert, Diana Ennen to get a lot of exposure for this ebook and for WAHM Articles in general in the next few months.
10) What advice do you have for mom’s interested in becoming freelance writers?
Yesterday my son asked me how people get to be songwriters for music bands. I told him, “They write songs.” The same goes for becoming a freelance writer. If you want to be a writer, start writing. Learn everything you can about your craft, and write as often as you can.
There are a lot of opportunities for people who want to write for pay. Make sure you have writing samples and testimonials ready for anyone who asks. When I look for a writer or an editor for one of my projects, I’ve been shocked when I ask for a sample or a reference, and the writer isn’t able to provide any. You can get a lot of experience by offering to write for someone for free, in exchange for a testimonial.