I struck a gem in Walter. Article writing looked attractive, but I was broke. A colleague agreed to instruct me, but in academic work. He instructed me well, but I enjoyed no fruits. Academic writing is not my style, although I am an A graduate. Another friend taught me, but I never got a break. At that point, I started seeking guidance. I ran to the authority.
I was almost buying a house using savings from my NGO job
Let’s back up so that I can share my job history. In the past, I worked in a bank and an international NGO. My last pay at the NGO was $1200. So, it was a decent income, and I kept my expenses well below KSh. 30,000. I paid my tithe. In several months, I saved a decent sum of money.
Plans were underway to buy land and build a house. Many home expos at the KICC registered my name, and I got good contacts. I browsed the net on investment opportunities in the money market. At least I felt God answered my prayers, and I needed to use wisdom. No wasting of the resources God had entitled me. I landed the NGO job after a long period of continuous prayer and fasting.
The project and my contract ended
Ok. You can say at least I had good savings. Life happened. My family met a challenge, and I stood in and cleared a hefty hospital bill. This drained my savings. I looked for another contract. My search was not successful. When I visited the office, they kept on telling me to wait for the project to start. It turned out to be an endless game of come and wait.
So now I was broke and but I needed to keep on living. At least I could stay at home. I decided to stay with my mum. Depression knocked on my door. The little jobs I found kept me busy, but I couldn’t hold the position for a long time because of the new challenges. Among my business plans, I never got an idea off the ground. It was tough. This saddened me and I became lost. It was even harder to pray during that period in my life. I asked for help to buy even small necessities yet I used to stand on my own. I become frustrated with life.
I started writing articles
After a year of staying at home with my mum, God found me and picked me up again. I started writing articles. My laptop has many copies of articles I use to write. They are on random topics that crossed my mind. I joined Facebook groups to read the posts from different writers. Transcription sounded interesting. The Awesome Transcribers in Kenya Facebook group took some hours from me every day as I read the posts.
I tried my hand at academic writing, but the most I made over two months was KSh. 500. A friend loaned me KSh. 500 and assisted me to get a laptop I could use at home. I didn’t have the money needed, so he helped me get the laptop. I needed to pay back the balance. After I received my pay for the article, I paid back the Kshs. 500. When you do the math, it sums up to zero. I guess this just wasn’t for me.
I contacted Walter to know whether he could train me. He said I could join. But, I didn’t have the cash. I could not get the training fee yet I used to pocket a cool 120k at the end of the month! What can I do?
Landing a job was hard
When I contacted Walter for the second time, I already had an Upwork account. I also read through the notes on article writing given to me by a friend. But, I never landed any job. Not even one paying $5! I tried to work for local clients. When it came to the time to pay up, new stories cropped up and I ended up having wasted my data bundles and time.
I did not want to lose my Upwork account. The issue disturbed me so much. The day I got Walter’s training fee in full, I became overjoyed. I ran so fast to the M-Pesa and deposited the money to my account. It was as if I had gotten a job after such a long period of drought. It felt so good.
I sent the course fee to Walter. I asked Walter, “Please check my Upwork account.” I really didn’t want to lose that account. Walter can trace the Facebook message. He told me to go through the lessons first and when I start on account opening, he will help me.
I rushed the first topics because I was familiar with it. After two days, I sent my link to Walter, and he changed my profile. Walter’s training has been so valuable for me. After submitting my homework articles, he thoroughly assessed them. I edited my samples at least thrice before I could show them to potential clients or use them as part of my portfolio.
As Walter’s student, I write emails asking for guidance when I need help and he shows me how to handle the work. I worked on how to write a great proposal. He checked every word. I changed my Upwork title, and he gave me the go-ahead to continue sending proposals.
Finally, I got a client. Actually two!
Two weeks into the training, I scored two jobs. It was a day or two apart. Three clients replied to my proposals. I rejected one offer because the pay was under $5. He wanted an extra article for the budget he offered.
Among the job offers, there was a trial job. I took three days to write and edit that trial article. I ensured I did a thorough job on it. It was only a 1000-word article. I made sure I delivered pure gold, as Walter would say.
The long-term client said he would select the best from the interviewees. I submitted my copy. Five minutes later, the client’s response was “I like it.”
I was happy! I waited for a day before getting the feedback. O Lord, I did my best. Help me, please. I prayed and kept still while waiting for the response.
I was working on a different job while I was waiting for the feedback on that long-term job. On Friday evening at around 10 pm, I get a message from the client. I got the JOB! Guess what? $2000. It would give me back my 6 figure pay once done. Thank you, Jesus. My prayer and fasting were not in vain. At least now I can get pocket money. I am still doing the long-term job.
My first withdrawal was $230
I withdrew the $230 from Upwork to PayPal. After three days, I went to the bank. My account had KSh. 140. I reached out to Walter. He sent me a link with a detailed article on how to withdraw from PayPal to my Equity bank account in 3 days. I had not completed transferring my funds to my Kenyan account. You can also withdraw from PayPal to M-Pesa.
Why shy away from saying, “Thank you, Walter?”
I’m now busy with work
Fast forward. The client has kept me busy. I have been sending proposals for other jobs, and I have received several offers. I need to get a writer to help me with the jobs. From nothing to an employer.
Guess what, I have written an eBook to help other freelancers! The title of the eBook is Winning Proposals.
What advice can I give new freelance writers? Do your best and seek help when you get stuck. Anybody thinking of going into article writing, consider Walter Akolo’s freelance writing course. The fee I put into the course, the many rewrites to my samples and the close guidance has paid me back many times over.