For this month’s Writer Success Story, we’re pleased to feature one of our newer writers, Katie Holloway. As a busy mother and lifelong learner, she finds writing for Constant Content to be flexible for her lifestyle as well as an expansion of her core love for creative writing—and her quick wins with clients gave her the confidence to pursue a full-time freelance writing career.
How did you hear about Constant Content, when did you join the platform, and how did you start earning with us?
I heard about Constant Content just a few months ago through a search engine. I had written as a freelancer alongside my day job before I had my children but hadn’t done any freelance work for some time. I had been looking for a way to dip my toe in the water again. I joined up as soon as I discovered Constant Content and began by responding to public requests.
After I sold a few of these, I started writing my own pieces and building up a bank of my work. Before long, I had one or two clients who were coming back to me asking for repeated private requests, which gave me a boost and allowed me to engage with bigger projects, and which I have really enjoyed.
What type of content have you created for Constant Content, and what are your favorite types of assignments?
Already I have created all sorts of content, from product descriptions, to blog posts, to “listicles” and more. My interests are very wide (my husband calls me “faddy.” I say I’m just fascinated by everything!), so I love Constant Content because I get the opportunity to explore loads of different subjects in my writing, whether it’s nutrition, parenting, British culture, marketing and business, mental health, reading and writing, or gardening.
I love the challenge of writing up a product description, thinking how I can flex my creative muscles to make that kind of text engaging. I also love it when I can explore one of my interests more deeply through researching and creating blog posts for clients. This month I have particularly enjoyed writing 32 different blog posts for one client all about one particular nutritional supplement. I loved that I got to explore the subject deeply and learn so much more about different facets of the subject.
How did you get connected with your repeat clients? Did you respond to casting calls or public requests on Constant Content, or did you get assigned work—or was it a combination of the above?
It’s definitely been a combination of the above. Initially, because I was brand new, I simply responded to public requests, but when clients came back and told me how pleased they were with what I had produced, I responded and said I was always happy to do more work for them. This led to some private writer pool requests, which have been fun to work on, as well as providing me with some steady income from my writing. I have just this week finished working my day job, so I am excited to respond to some more casting calls to connect with new clients and work on a still wider variety of projects.
Do you have a passion or creative outlet outside of writing life that enhances your work?
Yes! From the age of two my mum said I was born to be a writer because I was always making up stories. (She wrote this in my baby memory book!) I went on to get a bachelor’s degree in English literature and creative writing from the University of East Anglia here in the UK. But when I began working full time in magazine publishing, after I graduated, I found that I didn’t have much creative energy left for writing fiction outside of work. Then when I had my children, I didn’t have much of any kind of energy left at all!
But during the pandemic I discovered flash fiction, which suited me perfectly. Writing short stories (from 75 words up to 1,000 words) has given me the opportunity to explore my creativity again, and now that my children are a little older, I’m able to spend more time and energy on developing this creative pursuit. I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of success too, having had a number of my stories published, online and in print, and I’ve been longlisted and shortlisted for a number of flash fiction competitions, too.
Writing flash fiction has improved my nonfiction writing skills as well. In flash you have to make every word count–particularly if a competition has a maximum of 100 words for a story. Honing this skill has meant that I’ve learned to evaluate carefully each word I put into a piece, and I’ve become faster at editing in my head before I put words down onto a document. This has become a valuable skill when it comes to writing pieces for Constant Content clients.
Please tell us a bit more about how writing for Constant Content enhances your creative writing practice and accommodates your lifestyle.
This works both ways. My fiction writing enhances my nonfiction writing skills, but I also find that researching different subjects for Constant Content articles is provides inspiration for my fiction pieces. It’s funny how a certain word or phrase I might come across can percolate in my mind and come up as a plot point weeks later.
I’d been considering for some time giving up my part-time paid employment so that I could concentrate on my creative writing, but due to the current cost of living situation here in the UK, I wasn’t sure it would be possible. However, writing for Constant Content has given me the confidence to give up my day job to focus on my writing, knowing that I can supplement our family’s income with my writing skills along the way.
Can you give us a glimpse of your daily writing process so other writers can learn how it leads to writer success ?
For me, it’s the flexibility of Constant Content that works so well. When I have more time, I’m able to write more, and when other demands of life take over, I can take on less writing work if I need to. Currently, I try to make sure I set aside a morning for writing two or three times a week. The night before, I write down which articles I want to write the next morning. After I have taken my children to school and pre-school, I make a cup of tea, assemble my laptop, notebooks and pens at the kitchen table and get to work.
I start by researching the topic and then jot down the different sections I want to break my article down into. I write these headings in my notebook and then reorder them and put the headings into an online document. Then I simply “fill in the gaps” with my writing. I write until I have finished one cup of tea, then I have a five-minute break while I make my next cup. I repeat the process until I have completed my content for the day.
What types of learning resources have you previously used or currently use to hone your craft?
I’m drawing on a lot of experience from my career in publishing that I had before my children were born. I worked as an editorial assistant initially, and then I worked my way up to becoming the editor of a niche craft magazine. In that time I had to think constantly about the specific language of each article I was writing or commissioning, consistently checking to make sure it was relevant to our readers. A lot of this became instinctive over the years, and now I find that those skills are coming into their own once more. When I came back to writing fiction again in 2020, I came across a writers’ community called Writers’ HQ which is based in the UK but welcomes members from across the world. They have both free and paid membership options, and in particular a free weekly flash fiction challenge. Reading and providing feedback on other writers’ stories has proved enormously beneficial in improving my own writing and editing skills for both my fiction and my nonfiction. I’ve also taken part in a number of their online courses on writing flash fiction, editing, and time management, which have all been hugely helpful.
Do you have any final words of wisdom to help the Constant Content writers find their own writer success?
Just keep writing! Being a writer can feel disheartening at times, as work, and in particular successes, can be sporadic. But keep writing. The best two ways to do this are to write what you enjoy and to engage with other writers. Whatever niche you’re interested in, write about this for the Constant Content Marketplace. And whenever requests pop up that play to your strengths and interests, respond to these with enthusiasm.
Setting writing goals and specific times to complete them is the best way to get writing done. When it comes to engaging with other writers, simply find some on social media or join an online writers’ community. Learning of other people’s successes can really help to spur you on.
For all our readers, you can check out Katie’s public profile on the Constant Content platform here.
Images by Pexels