17 Apr Business And Personal Benefits Of Being A Yahoo! Contributor
When I first joined Yahoo! Contributor Network (then Associated Content or AC), I had no clue how valuable that choice would be. The unique combination of writing opportunities, resources, and social networking features is vital to all freelance writers. Even if you aren’t new to the web writing game, something can still be learned here. No one person knows everything there is to know about writing. I make it a point to learn something new every day and Yahoo! Contributor Network (YCN) makes that goal very simple.
Growth in Writing Knowledge
YCN contains a wealth of information about writing for the web and just writing in general. This information can be found in the forums, tutorials, articles written by successful Contributors, and also by networking with prolific writers. When I first joined YCN, I had been writing mostly for fun and only a little for business purposes. Most of what I learned about web writing came from knowledge gained by being a YCN Contributor and making use of all the available resources.
Help Creating a Personal Brand
Even though I had an online presence for years before joining YCN, I was still very unknown before joining. Once I signed up and started writing for YCN, it was easy to create a brand for myself. Knowledge gained here taught me many ways to enhance this. However, without any of that, it was already happening pretty much from the get-go just by writing for YCN and its partners. Once I launched my own website, because of my work at Associated Content, clients pretty much just started coming to me. Because of YCN, I’ve even had my writing appear on sites like CNN and all over various Yahoo! verticals. I now work as a full time freelance writer. Most of my work is done with YCN and partners, but I write for my own venues as well. I used to write for other venues, but now get all my needs met with YCN.
Social Networking With Friends & Professional Contacts
The social networking aspects of YCN have been invaluable, both in the professional and personal sense. I have come across many interesting people here – some who have become friends, some who are great business contacts, and some who are both. Because most of these people do not live anywhere near me, it is likely that without YCN, we never would have met. All of these people have taught me something, be it personal or business-related. Without all of them, things likely would not be as they are now. Plus, as I stated in a previous writeup, shyness used to be an issue for me. Socializing around YCN has helped with that both online and off. Instead of being a shrinking violet, I’m now in full bloom. Thanks Yahoo! Contributor Network!
More Time for Family
If you’ve read my work before, then you may know that I have a large family. Not only am I a mommy, but I also have been working as their homeschool teacher. This of course requires a very flexible schedule. I tried to work part time at a ‘regular’ job, but the money was not enough and work schedules and homeschool schedules had to be switched around too much. At the time, I was also writing at YCN and making more money than the part time job in less time. To leave that job and begin writing more made better business sense at the time. My kids would have me full time and I could still make money – probably every mom’s dream. Without YCN to depend on, that would not have been possible at the time. Even though my kids will now be going back to traditional school, YCN will still be an essential business focal point for me.
Tools and Resources for Helping Others
I have always enjoyed helping other people. Once I started writing for a living, helping other writers became a large part of that. Once I learned first-hand how great the experience can be, I had to share it with others. But doesn’t that mean I’d be giving myself competition? Perhaps, but not really. There are always plenty of writing gigs and each writer has unique talents and qualities. I am not afraid to show fellow writers anything I’ve learned. In fact, I am happy to teach others anything I learn. There was a time not so long ago when I was the one looking for help.
Had it not been for YCN’s amazing platform full of tools and resources and the willingness of others to assist me, my success may not have come so quickly. Associated Content and now Yahoo! Contributor Network has improved and added features over the years. I love that I get the chance to do for people what others did for me – only it’s easier now than in past years. YCN has even given me the privilege and responsibility of being a Community Guide, which helped me earn the 2009 Community Spirit People’s Media Award. None of that would have been possible if YCN were not set up the way it is.