What Gymnastics Taught Me About Freelance Writing

Recently I had the pleasure of watching my 11 year-old daughter compete at her state gymnastics meet. There were over 50 girls in her session and we watched them perform on bars, beam, floor, and vault. While I watched these amazing gymnasts perform, I came to a realization about my writing career.

As most of us know from watching the Olympics, gymnastics is by no means easy. These girls spend 12-16 hours a week in the gym working out and trying to improve their skills. I think this is why it is always difficult to watch them fall and make mistakes, knowing that they have successfully completed the skill so many times in practice. The truly amazing part is watching these girls immediately get up, shake it off, and finish their routine.

So what does this have to do with freelance writing?

During my internet marketing career, I made a number of mistakes. I fell into some bad habits when it came to backlinking and was punished by Google as a result. I got to watch websites that made over $1,000 per month drop to nothing in one day.

I’ll admit I was mad at myself after it happened and there was a part of me that wanted to quit. I got into the mindset of it being too hard now that I could no longer predict how to make my sites rank. This kind of defeatist attitude does not help anyone and it certainly wasn’t replacing my missing income.

I can only imagine how far the gymnasts at my daughter’s gymnastics center would have gotten if they said, “Someday I might fall, so I’ll never climb up on a beam again.”. It sounds silly for me to say, but that is exactly what I did for several weeks. I stopped working on my sites because, quite frankly, I didn’t know if my rankings would fall again.

I gave up. I’m not proud to admit it, but it’s the truth. Sometimes though, tough times can be excellent teachers. Instead of producing large quantities of what Google deems as low quality content (article spinning, blog networks, etc.), I decided to give Google exactly what they wanted.

I decided it was time for me to do the best research and writing I can do. Does it take a lot more time than merely producing content whose only redeeming factor is that it’s unique? Absolutely! On the other hand I now have people who actually enjoy reading my content and are genuinely interested in what I have to say. From a personal perspective, this type of writing is much more rewarding.

I’ve decided it is time for me to climb back up on the beam (metaphorically speaking) and show the world what I can do. I’m going to provide the best quality content with the best research available. I want people to read what I’ve written and think, “Wow, I never knew that.” Then I will know I’ve made a positive difference in someone’s life.

How about you?