This post is part of our community themed Divi Summer Sale week. Each day for the next week we will be publishing new stories submitted by community members about how Divi has helped them build their careers and businesses.
I’m Randy Brown and this is my Divi story.
In 2014 I quit my job as an Industrial Engineer in automotive manufacturing to start a freelance writing business. I loved my job and it was an awesome company, but my goal has always been to run my own business. I didn’t want a side-hustle. I wanted a full-time business.
I’ve studied business for many years. I’ve studied computers for about as long (I started with the Commodore 64). One of my degrees is a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with an IT focus. One of my favorite classes was eCommerce and Web Design. Another was Technical Writing.
I went through many business ideas and studied their cost of entry, overhead, return on investment, and my own interest level.
One day I was listening to a business podcast during my 2-hour-a-day drive. It taught how to build a business that would succeed by using these points:
- Make a list of things you’re good at.
- Of those, what is in demand?
- Of those, what can you afford to provide?
Well, that simplified it for me. I made my list and here’s what I discovered:
Writing was at the top of my list. I’ve always been a writer. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a writer. My reports and stories were read aloud to the other students. Even in College Composition, my essays were used as examples for other students to follow.
I like writing and I had spent a lot of effort in college to become a better writer. I didn’t want to lose what I had gained, so I had kept my writing skills honed with a ministry website starting in 2009 (using ET themes of course) and then built Bible Buying Guide, a Bible review site, in 2011.
I developed my review style (for both books and software) by focusing on the facts and providing a walkthrough of the product- trying to be as accurate and detailed as possible. The site now uses Extra and it’s the most popular Bible review site on the net.
Writing was in demand. Technical writing was one of the fastest growing trades according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other forms of writing, such as copywriting, were also in demand. I had a lot of opportunities to pursue.
I can write from home using tools I already owned, so I could build a business with low overhead. I’ve always wanted to work from home. This also meant I could work from anywhere, and this was my dream anyway.
My business was chosen. I was going to be a freelance writer. After months of research and planning, I quit my job. My coworkers and family were supportive (which is crucial to help build a positive attitude). I immediately created a Divi website to promote my writing business (which now uses a combination of Divi layouts).
Writing About WordPress
I intended to be a generalist. I didn’t plan to focus on WordPress, but my first client wanted articles about WordPress. I had been a WordPress user since 2009 and I love the platform. I was able to focus on WordPress and build a large list of articles and clients.
I’m glad I was able to specialize in something I already enjoyed rather than become a generalist. It’s easier to find work and you can write faster and with more authority if you specialize.
Writing About Divi
After several hundred articles about WordPress, I came to Elegant Themes. I wrote many articles about WordPress in general, design trends, and migrating sites from other formats to WordPress.
I’ve always been intrigued by Divi and I knew that Divi was one of the advantages of the ET blog, so I started incorporating Divi into those articles. I liked what Divi could do and including Divi into those tutorials felt natural.
Nathan took notice and started asking for Divi articles. I started reviewing plugins, listing websites made with Divi, listing child themes for specific genres, layouts for specific genres, highlight Divi courses, Facebook groups, and more.
This meant I was writing about the Divi community. When you write about someone’s work they take notice. The Divi community started friending and following me. They pitched ideas for articles, which I then relayed to Nathan. These articles would help promote Divi products, increase third-party sales, make their products better, and help build up the Divi community.
At the same time, there were marketplaces in place and many others starting up. These marketplaces knew that one of the most important elements to a marketplace is its blog. They knew the impact product reviews and tutorials had on their sales. They had already seen it happen. They also knew that they had their plate full with work, and writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee… specifically Gevalia) and the best way to get articles about WordPress and Divi was to hire a writer.
It was a snowball effect. I was then contacted by even more WordPress blogs and Divi marketplaces. I’ve now worked with most of them – writing blog posts, creating user’s guide for their products, and even writing web copy for websites that designers built for clients. I’ve been able to work with professionals who know the value of quality content.
Freelance writing has replaced a full-time Industrial Engineering job and Divi has been a major part of that. I’ve not once needed to go back to my old job. I’ve been able to turn down jobs in Engineering, Management, and Technical Writing because of Divi. I’ve been able to work from home and be a part of my children’s lives, because of Divi.
I love writing and I will always be a writer. I will add fiction writing to my list. I’ve written the first drafts of five novels and started on the second drafts. My goal is to have the first one on the market in 2020 and have each book published every year after that.
I will always write about WordPress and Divi. I learned WordPress in order to keep my writing skills. It’s just fitting that WordPress is now what I write about. I can’t imagine better WordPress themes to write about than Divi and Extra.
When you consider that Divi is the most popular premium theme for WordPress, it has the largest community, and it’s still growing and improving, it’s easy to see how it’s possible to build a full-time business around Divi – and that includes writing about Divi.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your wonderful support on this blog and others. Also, thanks to Nathan for allowing me to share my Divi story.
Featured Image via RRA79 / shutterstock.com