A Successful Recipe for MompreneursElance_Cathy | Jan 09, 2008
Part 2 of a 3 Part Series
This is the second article in a three-part series spotlighting professional women who are using the internet to begin or continue new careers on Elance while simultaneously starting and raising their families.
Kit Heathcock (Elance ID: OriginalOrange), an Elance provider in the Writing & Translation category, is a woman of many talents. She is fluent in Italian and English, an expert on Italian food and wine, an experienced web content writer, editor, translator and mom to three children under the age of 10.
Believe it or not, these were the perfect ingredients for Kit to start and grow her freelance writing business. This is how the ingredients created the perfect recipe to launch the business:
First, Kit drew upon a topic area of expertise - gourmet food and wine. She worked for a UK-based travel firm in Italy from 1989 to 1998, where she organized and ran walking tours with a focus on excellent food and wine.
"Eating the menus I'd planned every night with my clients, in a small family trattoria one night and a five star gourmet restaurant the next, I learned about the infinite variety of Italian food, the regional influences and emphasis on fresh seasonal and local produce that is second nature to the Italians, but that we have had to re-learn as Slow Food!"
Second, Kit honed in on an area of writing with great demand - writing for web sites and search engine optimization - and gained relevant experience when her family moved to South Africa in 2002 and she started writing copy and articles for her husband's new web-based businesses.
"I learned the necessary SEO techniques from my husband as he developed his web businesses, and while I find these tools incredibly useful, it is still quality writing that is the priority for me," Kit said. "Writing creatively about the things I know, refining the angle according to the needs of the client, integrating keywords naturally where needed, to make it interesting for actual readers not just the search engines, these are my ingredients for long-term, successful web content."
The final ingredient was Kit's drive to work from home. "My previous career didn't adapt to life with children," said Kit. "I needed to regroup my skills and find a way to contribute to the family income that still allowed me to be at home with the children. Freelance writing and editing give me the flexibility to participate in their school lives, be there when they are sick, bake with them sometimes in the afternoons, and it's great to have rediscovered my professional identity, which was subsumed by motherhood in the baby years."
So with an expertise in the gourmet food scene, writing web content, and the desire to work from home, Kit started her freelance writing business, and it's going well. "Since starting on Elance in August, I already have a few regular clients in the U.S., one in Canada and one in Italy."
When asked how she juggles home-based writing with raising her three children, Kit responded, "Some days I get a lot done and on others there are interruptions, but on the whole it's the perfect solution to working from home and being around for them."
Read more about how Kit manages her freelancing business