A computer applications graduate, Abhijeet’s love for writing led him to become a freelance content writer. In the beginning of his career, Abhijeet started his blog The Lazy Writer to build content for his portfolio by writing tech and travel reviews. He is a computer enthusiast, who fiddles with softwares and uses offbeat tech hacks to do content research and various SEO experiments. While becoming a content marketer was an accident for him, Abhijeet’s current aim in life is to write and give words to people’s thoughts.
Read Abhijeet’s inspiring story here:
Tell us about yourself? Where are you from? About your family, parents? How was your childhood?
I am from Bettiah, a small town in West Champaran, Bihar. I live with my parents, my dad is a doctor, and mom is a homemaker.
As a kid, I had spent much of my time studying, reading storybooks and watching TV. I didn’t interact with humans a lot.
Tell us about your educational background? Why did you choose computer applications as your field of study?
I have been good at studies; not the topper type, but good enough to stay in the limelight. I didn’t choose computer applications though. Technically, it chose me. I was good with understanding and handling computers, and therefore going into programming looked like the best choice at that time.
While pursuing my post-graduation studies, I realised that I don’t enjoy programming much. I was more fascinated with web development and graphic designing. For a moment, I even pondered over becoming a hacker, the ethical one, but I lost interest in that too.
What was the trigger for you to shift to “content marketing”? Talk to us about your love for writing?
Being a content marketer was an accidental affair for me. I’ve even thought that if I ever have a biography, it should be titled “The Accidental Marketer”.
The journey began, when I started spending a considerable amount of my free time writing reviews about products or services that I used. I even started penning down about the places I visited, like travel destinations, hotels, restaurants, etc. Apart from that, I also wrote one-liners, two-liners and short poetries. Hence, my love for writing soon turned into an obsession.
Then, as I began as a freelance content writer, somewhere between content writing, storytelling and copywriting, I turned into a content marketer for myself.
P.s. Writing hasn’t been my first love, it was photography. I used to write as a hobby; similarly I used to click every time, everywhere. I still click photos; not so religiously now. But yes, I am good with photography too, whatever little I do.
We went through your blog The Lazy Writer and found it quite interesting. What triggered you to start your blog? What purpose does it satisfy for you?
The Lazy Writer was more of a necessity, as I didn’t have proper writing samples when I started freelancing. So, I began blogging. I did what I felt good at – writing product reviews. As gadgets kept me involved, I restricted my blog to write reviews of the devices I used, and the occasional trips I went on.
Today, the website serves as one of my writing platforms, my portfolio, and my playground to experiment with SEO and test my website-related skills.
We know that you also do offbeat tech hacks. Writing and tech hacks is an interesting mix. Talk to us about how this works for you?
I began with those tech hacks long ago, I will prefer referring to those as jugaad. I’ve been a curious kid. Remember Rancho? From the movie 3 Idiots? He used to explore devices physically. While I, being a computer enthusiast, fiddled with softwares.
Whenever I came across an interesting software, I used it, learned about it, and researched to know more about it. Exploring different PC hacks and browser hacks were one of my favourite pastimes. That habit helps me today, when I do content research. Sometimes, a quick dive into the code helps me find hidden information or download resources which are otherwise inaccessible. At times, my curiosity also leads me towards tools or tech tips, which makes work easier for me. I believe in learning from everywhere and everyone.
When did you start freelancing? Did you plan it or how it happened?
Well, honestly, I started freelancing without any aim for my life. It was just another experiment. I planned nothing about it.
After completing my post-graduation, I began as a freelance programmer. But, as I already mentioned, programming didn’t interest me much, I left it altogether within a week or two.
I pursued nothing later. But I kept writing tech/travel reviews on various websites and continued talking about mobile/PC software in forums/groups I was a part of. One day, while I was making notes about my recent trip, I thought about taking up writing as a medium for earning.
It was in July 2017, when I decided I will try freelance writing. I knew nothing substantial about freelancing or writing then. But I’m glad this experiment worked out.
When did you think “I can move into freelancing for full time”?
I can’t say actually when I thought of doing freelancing full-time. I started as a freelancer on Upwork. Later, it took me a few months, approximately 3 or 4, to find more ways to get freelance opportunities. That is when I recalled LinkedIn and joined it.
Six months into LinkedIn, I realised networking is essential for freelancers. But being an introvert, I couldn’t socialise much. Instead, I began connecting with writers on LinkedIn. Soon, I was into freelancing full time. Probably in a year, I started recognising myself as a freelance content writer, and began taking pride in that role.
What according to you is the best or worst thing about freelancing?
Best thing: You don’t have fixed hours.
Worst thing: You don’t have fixed hours.
As a freelancer, you need to be self-aware and have control over yourself. Just because you’ve 24 hours a day, it doesn’t mean that you spend all your time working. Also realize that, your free time is not an indication to say yes to 10 projects at once.
You got to have fixed working hours. It can be 3 hours in the morning, and 3 in the evening, but it should be fixed. Plan and divide the projects to be attempted during those fixed hours.
I usually work on client projects for only 5-6 hours a day. On some days, I had to spend 10-12 hours per day, even 15, but I prefer to stick to 5-6 hours only. The rest of the time, I spend reading or testing things, basically finding various jugaads.
What is the one thing you hate about clients? What can they do to make your life better?
Well, I don’t hate clients or their processes. Delays in assignments, reviews and feedback, and payments now feel normal.
But the one thing I don’t like is getting on lengthy calls. Instead of spending 2 hours on a call, I would like them to take a half an hour break, and email me the instructions, reference documents and everything they want me to know. That’s it.
What is your best work till date? Why do you think it is the best?
I don’t specifically have any best work. I like how a few assignments turned out, but I prefer to be a work-in-progress. In fact, when I check my previous works today, most even look as if I did them.
What is your mission and vision? How do you want history to look at you?
I have nothing planned. 10 years from now, I might not even be a writer. You might find me working as a graphic designer, a web developer, a photographer or something totally different. Yes, freelance!
But for now, I just want to write and give words to people’s thoughts. I do want people to remember me as a jolly writer who wrote a little lazily.
As you look back, do you feel satisfied with yourself or do you think you missed something?
One thing I learnt, I would say rather early, is not to regret anything. If you can do something, do it. If you can’t, leave it. Don’t think about it for long. You’ve got other things to focus on.
I might not be earning as much as others or might not have glamorous opportunities like many others, but I’m glad for whatever I have. I am thankful to Refrens too, for featuring me.
During my freelance journey, I came across many people who have turned into friends. People who are ready to help when you need it. I learnt and grew a lot during freelancing. The Abhijeet now isn’t the same as he was before freelancing. The social misfit has found a place for himself, and he’s a lot more confident.
If you are fascinated by Abhijeet’s story and want to start with your freelancing career, read our blog on How To Improve Client Experience From Lead Exploration to Delivery?.