Back in January of 2012, I began my journey as a freelance writer. Originally, I needed to offset my income as I was working for the school district at the time. Making $8.40 an hour helps, but it doesn’t pay all the bills.
About Michael Brockbank
Freelance writing gave me a chance to do something I love. Even at a very young age, I was always interested in writing. I even submitted a manuscript to Double Day when I was 12, typed on my Grandfather’s old, cloth-ribbon typewriter.
And although Double Day turned me down, obviously, I still enjoyed writing and being creative. In 7th grade, I typed up a “menu” of a comically-inspired roadkill cafe…which my typing teacher had still pinned to his wall a couple of years after I moved on to high school.
Since my mother and sister have books published, though, I found myself wanting to be more creative.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working with my clients. But there’s something to be said about looking at the bookshelf and seeing your name on the spine of something.
Working with Content Mills
I began my freelance writing career working with content mills like Textbroker.com. As I was new to online writing, I needed an easy way into the career path and a platform from which to learn.
And content mills provide both of these aspects.
Since January 1st, 2012, I’ve completed more than 7,000 articles for a wide range of clients spanning from animals to travel. I put a great deal of effort and research into every piece, mostly because I love to learn and I love the idea of giving a client something spectacular.
While I don’t get to write for content mills nearly as much today, I still occasionally visit those sites to see what articles are available and if I have direct order requests.
Writing for GreenGeeks.com
I began creating content for GreenGeeks Web Hosting back in 2017 as a freelance writer. I specialize in WordPress tutorials, small business, and marketing help. We’ve also created a few infographics and in-depth guides.
In May of 2019, I was promoted to Content Marketing Team Lead and manage a handful of writers. We cover a variety of topics centering around web hosting, online business, tutorials, and environmental news.
You can find me at various WordCamps on behalf of GreenGeeks sharing why environmentally-friendly web hosting is ideal. Well, that is as soon as the global pandemic is back under control.
Though, I have been known to pop up in the online versions of WordCamps.
Out of the many companies I’ve worked with, GreenGeeks is by far my favorite, both as a freelance writer and generally speaking. I work with some of the most friendly people, and I’m glad to be a part of their team.
And although I don’t write as much for GreenGeeks as I have in the past, because I now manage the writers, I love the idea of helping other freelance writers learn and grow.
As the team’s lead, I do my best to teach them the ropes regarding online content.
Writer Sanctuary was created to give me a platform to practice as I learned freelance writing. I am one of those people who learn better thought actual experience.
As editors delivered feedback from Textbroker, I would spend time fine-tuning my skill while blogging.
Yes, I Googled most of my knowledge regarding freelance writing.
And if you read my earlier stuff on the site, you can see how far I’ve come for writing online content.
Since those days, the website grew into more of a guide to help others like myself become freelance writers. I cover everything I’ve learned over the years, including ways to use WordPress.
And the YouTube channel has attracted more subscribers than I originally thought it would. So far, I’ve helped quite a few people. Even though the channel isn’t really monetized, it’s the “thank you” messages I get which drive me to continue.
You can read a bit more about WriterSanctuary.com if you’re interested.
I created Crossing Colorado originally to help inspire me to become more fit. At one point, I weighed more than 300 pounds. It was greatly affecting my life.
I mean, I couldn’t even walk up a slight incline while camping without gasping for air.
The goal was to cross the state of Colorado on a bicycle at some point. But to be honest, I haven’t really put much time into riding as I should have.
Instead, the site morphed a bit into a health and fitness blog from the perspective of a desk jockey. When you sit at the computer for 16 hours a day, you need to find some way of keeping active.
I focus more on gamification for fitness and how people can use things like the Xbox Kinect to burn calories and fat. So far, it’s helped me keep off about 80 pounds.
Crossing Colorado does have a YouTube channel, but it’s not nearly as active as Writer Sanctuary. It’s more centered around me having fun with videos and experimenting. I would like to do much more with it, though.
I’m leaning towards reviews and actual footage of playing games to burn fat.
As I love video games, and it drives quite a bit of traffic, I created Colorado Plays. It’s a small blog that I really haven’t put a lot of effort into recently. I’ve been so busy lately that I merely don’t have time to do what I want with the brand.
One of the primary goals of Colorado Plays is to help gaming charities. In fact, I donate 30% of any ad revenue the site makes per month directly to Extra Life.
The other 70% goes towards managing websites, improvements, and new gear for video and live streaming.
I’ve also committed to other charities such as 8-bit Salute and Geeks of Grandeur. In October of 2018, I attended a Halloween party hosted by Geeks of Grandeur which I contributed to a silent auction to help raise funds.
I won a free year’s worth of coffee and a cold brewer…and if you really know who I am, you’d also know that this was the perfect prize for me. And I wasn’t about to let someone beat me at winning coffee. 🙂
One of the things I want to do with Colorado Plays is to promote more video content. But again, I am pretty strapped for time nowadays.
I wanted to do an experiment on the WriterSanctuary YouTube channel to see if “expert” tips can really help you make a blog that generates more than $10,000 per month.
And I wanted to see if it can be done from a brand new site. Thus, PracticallyLivingGreen.com was born.
Since I love the niche for sustainability, it only made sense to start there. But, it’s more than just seeing if I can build a money-making website in a popular niche.
The site is about appreciating and benefiting from living a greener lifestyle regardless of who you are. Whether you believe in global warming or not is irrelevant. A lot of good can come out of sustainability.
For example, you could save an incredible amount of money each year with the simplest of changes in your life.
Gaming on Twitch
Colorado Plays does have a Twitch account. Though I don’t live stream as often as I have, it’s something I still love doing. In fact, I have plans to get back into live streaming as soon as possible.
Like the website, a portion of my revenue from live streaming is donated immediately to various charities. However, I’ll also do streams where I donate 100% of everything I collect to those platforms.
For example, I love helping the Extra Life 24-hour stream event every year. While I don’t have a large audience, I still feel good knowing I am helping the Children’s Miracle Network.
Creative Works on Wattpad
Having been bit by the creative bug, I tried to put more effort into my Wattpad profile. Unfortunately, I haven’t put a lot of work into maintaining my collection of creative pieces.
Though, now that I am getting a handle on a solid schedule, I hope to have more published in the near future.
I support myself fairly well as a freelance writer. However, as I mentioned earlier, one of my goals is to have a real-life, published book. For me, practicing on Wattpad is ideal to accomplish this.
I want to hammer out my own style and receive constructive feedback before putting down the money and time to self-publish. Not to mention how I find Wattpad an effective tool for marketing myself as an “author.”
That About Sums it Up
These are the roles I am currently active in online. I have a lot of big plans for other elements, such as hosting podcasts, but I need to work on time management. I just hope I am not overloading my plate.
If you’d like to contact me directly, using the contact form located at WriterSanctuary.com is perhaps the easiest at the moment. This site is still in development, and Writer Sanctuary is my current “go-to” platform.