Celebrating My One Year Blogoversary With Business 2 Community

Celebrating my one year blogoversary with Business 2 CommunityToday I celebrate my one year blogoversary with Business 2 Community. I’m pretty pumped about it!

You see, a year ago, I was basically stuck. My last full-time teaching position had ended in 2009, and with education being in the state it’s in, I knew it was going to be difficult to find another one — especially because I’m certified in English (like a million other people). I wasn’t completely sure that I even wanted to teach anymore in current conditions, but I just wasn’t sure what I did want to do. I was growing tired of sitting idle in my parents’ house. Most of my time and energy had been going into working on my second NaNoWriMo novel, but by mid-January, even that was coming to a standstill.

One day I was browsing through job listings on Craigslist, looking for anything in the Philadelphia area that I might be able to do. My search was pretty un-targeted. Why Philadelphia? My neck of the Central Pennsylvanian woods isn’t really booming with jobs. I have friends and family in the Philly area and like it there. More on that later.

In the writing/editing posts, there was an internship listed for a blog — B2CMarketingInsider (now known as Business 2 Community). The ad said I could build a writing portfolio and they would provide guidance. I could take the writing as far as I wanted it to go.  A little voice in my head told me that this was exactly what I needed, especially as I was already an avid blogger (I celebrated my ten year blogoversary this past July — crazy!). I had writing skills, so why not see where they could take me?

I responded to the ad, had a phone call with co-founder Michael Brenner, and on January 26, 2011, I wrote my first post about the Egyptian riots. Looking through my first posts, I remember feeling so nervous about finding my voice and doing it in front of such a large audience. It’s also exciting to see how I’ve grown as a writer and a person through this experience.

3 Major Lessons Learned From My B2C ExperienceThe SXSW Interactive Awards gave me a regular writing topic for a while, and through that research and the social media topics I was also covering, I developed a deeper appreciation for technology and especially social media.

And then there’s my more-than-moderate obsession with music. I’ve explored that in a variety of ways, but for some reason, when I wrote about how awesome Sara Bareilles’ “Uncharted” video is, it finally connected for me: This is what I want to do with my life! I want to write and create content and work with social media. I took off with it from there and have learned so much along the way.

3 Major Job-Seeking Lessons Learned From My B2C Experience

1. Take a chance.

Writing for free was not something I’d previously considered, but boy am I glad that I did. This will be my 151st post for B2C, meaning I’ve built myself a decent writing portfolio. Not everything is a gem, but I’ve had a number of posts that seem to have done quite well. I’ve developed more pride in my work and targeted my job search beyond anything it ever was before. I’ve also come to discover that there’s a really cool tech scene going on in Philadelphia, which makes me even more eager to find work there. I want to participate in Social Media Club and attend “women in tech” and Skillshare classes like you can’t even believe! None of this would be so if I’d not taken a chance and answered that ad.

In short: challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone.

2. Treat it like a job.

Dedicate yourself. Maybe I didn’t need to take my blogging so seriously, but I did. Maybe I didn’t need to check in and say, “Hey, something came up and I don’t think I can post today,” but I did. I took it really seriously and worked hard at it. The site opened up so many opportunities and connections for me, and I developed a real sense of enthusiasm and pride in the site.

The result? Today, in what I consider to be the greatest freelance gig ever, I’m really proud to be Business 2 Community’s managing editor.

3. Network!

I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m an introvert. Networking events make me nervous, and yet networking online makes a nice bridge with an easier transition. B2C syndicates some of the greatest industry bloggers out there. By hanging out on the site and commenting, and especially through Twitter, I’ve gotten to know a number of them who have been instrumental in helping me along on my career-switching journey.

It will take another blog post for me to thank and acknowledge everyone who has helped me along this past year. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t give a shout-out to B2C co-founders Brian Rice, Dan Criel, and Michael Brenner. These guys are so awesome, knowledgeable, and helpful, and I’m so grateful to them.

What are some of your favorite online communities? How have they impacted your career path? 

Images: andrew.wallwork/flickr; soopahtoe/stock.xchng

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  • http://www.ContentEqualsMoney.com Amie Marse

    Love it! Kudos to you :)

    I’m not the introvert you are – but I spend way too much time in my house. So, I totally feel ya as far as the networking opportunities online. You want to hear something funny about CEM? I found our first lead writer (now co-owner) Laura Hancock on Craigslist. So there… you take a chance and just see where things develop. And in the year or so we’ve been working together we’ve never been in the same room. Hilarious and only in this modern age.

    So excited for you :)

    • http://www.reneedecoskey.com/blog Renee DeCoskey

      Thanks, Amie! I really appreciate it. :)

      That’s a great story about you and Laura! Social media is so great that way. Amazing how you can accomplish so many things working with others even if you’ve never actually met them. I was fortunate enough to get to meet Brian at a conference in September, but still have yet to meet Dan and Michael. One of these days!

  • http://brianvickery.com Brian Vickery

    Renee,

    Good to see you writing your own blog. I am a consumer of your good work with Business2Community, also. I think you are running with the right crowd with Brian, Dan and Michael.

    And I’m an introvert, also…so I get it. Keep creating compelling content (you can borrow that awesome alliteration ;)).

    • http://www.reneedecoskey.com/blog Renee DeCoskey

      Thanks, Brian :) I really appreciate you stopping by and am grateful to count you among my readers. I enjoy reading your posts, as well, and I’m glad we’ve gotten to know each other through B2C!

  • Brian

    Renee

    Wow – I can’t believe it has already been one year. Thank you so much for all of your hard work and fantastic ideas. In the past year, you have helped us publish over 10,000 articles from nearly 3,000 contributors. You are a big part of the Business 2 Community team and our success story!

    All the best
    Brian

    • http://www.reneedecoskey.com/blog Renee DeCoskey

      It’s been a fast year! Very glad to be a part of B2C. I really can’t thank you enough.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Hungrigyrl

    What a great journey! Thanks for sharing with us. Congrats on your year!

    • http://www.reneedecoskey.com/blog Renee DeCoskey

      Thanks you! It’s definitely been a fun one!

  • http://twitter.com/heidicohen HeidiCohen

    Congrats on your anniversary! Even more important is letting other people know about your journey. It’s valuable for people to see how other people made these job changes. It’s like one of the last scenes in Die Hard 2 where the planes don’t need to be told by the control tower how to come in, they just follow the first plane along the runway lit by the fire. Thank you for starting this fire! Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

    • http://www.reneedecoskey.com/blog Renee DeCoskey

      Thank you for the kind words, Heidi! I appreciate you stopping by. I know it has helped me to be able to read about others’ journeys, so I hope that writing about my own experiences will help at least one other person out there somewhere.