A Recap of 2015: On Working for Yourself, Writing, Productivity and Location Independence 137

writing, blogging recap of 2015

Another year passed by. And I don’t feel nostalgic, don’t wish for things to be different, don’t have regrets, and don’t think it could have been any better.

I’m simply at peace with all that was, and looking forward to what’s next. I know what I want, am working on it and seeing progress as a result of that. And because of that things are exactly how I want them to be.

That’s one of the many skills I’ve improved lately – the ability to smile for what has happened but let it stay in the past, and move onto what’s coming.

Great feeling!

So here are the changes I’ve made this year in different areas of life:


I finally became self-employed and am now making a living off my writing. It’s a dream come true, which also makes it a reached goal (check out my process on turning dreams into goals here, or listen to the podcast episode on the topic).

But it’s not just one dream, actually. It also means I achieved other things I aimed at:

• turned my passion into a career;
• I work whenever, wherever and as much as I want (but I want to work a lot!);
• won back my time – I won’t be spending the best part of my life stuck in an office doing something I don’t like;
• I can travel whenever I want to;
• I’m working from home ( and I love it);
• I choose the projects I work on and have the chance to start something on the side whenever I feel like;
• I choose the people I work with.

The good news is that things can only get better from this point on as I’m consistent and motivated, and ready to keep hustling.


That was the most productive year of my life.

And it’s not because I’ve found great resources or thought of new ways to hack productivity. But because I finally put into practice all I knew about getting things done and dealing with procrastination.

I write about that all the time, and even writing about it makes me think about it more and thus implement all the strategies, tips and tricks.

Here are the best things I now do daily in terms of productivity:

• I wake up early and immediately get to work;
• my most productive time is in the first hour of the day so I make the most of it;
• I work for 4 hours straight without any distractions (no communication, food, free time activities, side projects, or else);
• I don’t eat in the first hour of the day (that’s definitely not for everyone but I do feel much better and do my best work on an empty stomach. It never really feels empty honestly, and it helps me stay in shape. It just works for me. So the lesson here is to find what works best for you and make it a habit.);
• I use a to-do list;
• I keep in mind why I’m doing something and that helps me with getting it done;
• I let go of thinking about the past or worrying about the future and am more mindful of my current activity;
• I prioritize;
I track progress;
• I use systems and am being strategic.

And the best thing is that at some point productivity itself becomes a habit, and you start wondering why you’ve been procrastinating for so many years.


Some time ago I thought writer’s block existed, and that I had to wait for inspiration to hit in order to write something good, or something at all.

Now I know it can become a habit, like anything else.

I can write whenever I decide to now, and for hours daily without using up my creative energy.

The takeaway here is – even if you’re not a writer – that with enough desire and practice you get better, develop a skill, and can do it more easily and get better results.

Check out the exact habits that help me write a lot daily.


Let’s Reach Success got more popular, and now there are over 320 posts in the archives.
I started accepting guest posts this year, and am sometimes posting other people’s useful content (3-6 times in a month).
You can check out the top posts for each month in 2015.


I created a book store on the site.

The new editions this year are:

• The Beginner’s Guide to a Successful Morning Routine
• Morning Pages: All You Need to Know About Writing in The Morning
• The 10 Mental Habits That Will Become The Pillars of Your Success
• Productivity Hacks, Habits, Myths and Mistakes (Newest)
• The Characteristics of Highly Confident Individuals (mini eBook)


The Let’s Reach Success Podcast is the latest addition to the site and my newest project and hobby.

Honestly, I’m surprised at how fast I took the decision to do it as I know this exact side passion has taken weeks or months for many people before they actually started it. Pat Flynn was even thinking about it for a year and a half before actually taking action. And he’s the master now.

I quickly did my research, installed the free software to record and edit audio, ordered a mic, brainstormed the general idea of it and saw how others are doing it, and got the first episode out.

I’m having fun and it’s easy. But it’s true that podcasting is more time-consuming than blogging.

But from the moment I decided to become a podcaster I knew I had to stay consistent and was okay with the fact that no one may listen to it.
Here I talk about my initial idea, why I’m doing that and how side projects help us grow.

I started the show in the end of November with the goal of making one episode a week.
We’ll see how this goes, as the project is still in its initial phase and there could be many possibilities from here on. Which I’m looking forward to.

Location Independence

I’ve been reading about location independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads for years. But now that I combined this interest of mine with my decisiveness and desire to take action faster and see results, I actually planned out my first experiment. I’ll spend a month (or two if I decide to stay) in the Netherlands this summer.

It will be an adventure – I’ll be living abroad while still freelancing. I want to be more independent, see what else I need to live outside my country (as it’s a cheap one – Bulgaria).

I can’t say it’s a big thing. It’s not traveling the world for a year or moving to Thailand without letting others know, or else. But that’s also not what I want.

And honestly going to Holland is the least risky thing I can do in terms of location independence, but once I do it I’ll feel even more independent and will know I can move onto bigger things. So again, it’s more about personal growth.
I say it’s not risky as I love the country, am quite familiar with it, and have many friends there.

I chose the beautiful city of Utrecht on purpose. I don’t have anyone I know living there (although the country is small and getting from one place to another is really a no-brainer), it’s an amazing place, a big one, with great nature, center, history, nightlife, etc. I felt really good there and am looking forward to spending some time there working on my projects, and maybe even meeting like-minded people.
So that’s it for now.

In 2015 I also traveled a bit, met many people, partied a lot, changed some things in myself and my life, but these have less to do with personal development and my digital endeavors.

Oh, and I read a lot too, of course. But I’m constantly sharing the lessons I learn after that, so no need for further explanation here.

So stay tuned on how these will go.

And, please, share your opinion, advice or how your year went in the comment setion below. I’ll appreciate it and I wanna hear it.

All the best and have a fantastic 2016!

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How I Made $375 with One Article as a Freelance Writer on Clear Voice 6

clear voice review How I Made $375 with One Article as a Freelance Writer on Clear Voice

There are many sites for freelancers where anyone can build their portfolio, pitch clients and earn money. If you’ve been following my monthly income reports, you know that half of my income comes from sponsored posts on Let’s Reach Success while the other half is from freelance writing.

I’m mainly earning through Upwork which is a great website for newbies and a place where I managed to become a Top Rated freelancer.

However, they don’t pay much, there are a lot of freelancers from cheap countries there who’d charge just a few dollars per hour (or for a few thousand words). That means low-quality clients come there too and it’s hard for me to meet my hourly rate with businesses and individuals who don’t have a budget for content creation.

That made me look for better platforms and sites for freelance writers that pay more. I will be writing about all of them soon. While they aren’t for newbies, it never hurts to create your profile there when you’re starting out and slowly build your portfolio. Because one day you’ll get found on them and they will pay you hundreds of dollars for a single article.

My years of hard work paid off in a new way this month. I made $375 for a 2000-word article (that I enjoyed writing and which didn’t take more than 2 hours to complete). That happened on Clear Voice.

Let’s talk more about that site and how you too can get paid what you deserve.

Freelancing is the best way to get started online. That’s what I did and began without experience. Now, I’m earning over $4,000/month blogging and freelancing as you can see from my lastest income report. I wrote down all the steps I took to get there starting from $0 and created a blueprint: the free course How to Make Money Online Freelancing:

Check out How to Make Your First Money Online Freelancing. A free course I created using Teachable that will help you get your online business start and earn your first dollars from home by offering your services as a freelancer.

What is Clear Voice?

ClearVoice.com isn’t the traditional site for freelancers. It’s a great marketplace where you just create a profile, showcase your work (they have their own CV portfolio feature) and get found.

While you might not receive job opportunities when you haven’t been freelancing for long, it’s worth being there while improving your personal brand as a freelancer.

Of course, the best way for that to happen (which is how I did it too) is to have your own blog. Let’s Reach Success had hundreds of articles on it before I signed up for Clear Voice. So it served as my ultimate portfolio.

If you haven’t set up a site yet, I suggest doing it now.  Here’s how to start a blog that will make money forever (not just by helping you land freelance clients).

The best thing about Clear Voice is that it gives access to quality brands, companies and individuals. As you know, in the blogging world it’s all about networking. But with sites like Upwork, that’s hard.

Big brands are elsewhere and Clear Voice is one example.

How Clear Voice Works for Freelancers

Clear Voice is all about content marketing and can connect creators with agencies and brands. But for the purpose of this post and all of you who are freelance writers and want to get paid more for your services, we’ll talk about how it works for us.

Their goals are to help freelancers showcase their best work, find high-quality clients, get paid what they deserve, build their brand, receive payments quickly, and secure better jobs.

If you think about it, these are all the things we struggle with on other platforms, especially those that include bidding.

Okay, let’s see how Clear Voice works.

For a start, it’s absolutely free to sign up and create your portfolio as a freelancer so go do it now.

From then on, you’ll receive an email with a notification whenever you have a writing opportunity. If it sounds like something you’d do, click the link in your email and hit ‘Apply’ next to the job description.

clear voice email notifications

The rate you see is what you’ll earn after Clear Voice fees (which are around 25% and high but still you get paid much better than expected).

My Experience with Clear Voice Over The Years

Now, let me tell you how I received $375 from Clear Voice, because I myself didn’t believe it until the money arrived to my PayPal account.

clear voice payment

I’ve been registered with Clear Voice for a long time now. Because I’m making changes to my online business (focusing on more quality work and clients, charging more, eliminating old activities, etc.), I was also updating my profile on sites that had potential to get me freelance work.

It’s hard to put the effort when you haven’t landed a job with a certain platform, but I did it anyway.

I’ve been receiving email notifications from Clear Voice for job opportunities but never took them seriously (although I did apply to some).

After updating my profile and adding a ton of my best articles in my portfolio, I applied for one assignment on the topic of relationships. I could see who the client was, trusted Clear Voice for handling payments, and also thought it’s worth giving it a try to see if I can make my first money there.

There are instructions (not too long) with each assignment and you see when you’ve been hired for it. You can always contact support or message the client there, which is great.

Once he reviews it, or after the end date for the completion of the article is over, you receive your money.

Actually, while I was waiting for that client to react (he didn’t get back to me, by the way, but I still got paid as the Clear Voice system clears payments even if the client disappears), I applied for another assignment that seemed like a good fit for me. I wrote an article on how to start a business blog for one brand. It was for around $120 and was 800 words. They paid me immediately.

But the point of this post is to share the case about the other article. It’s not about the $375. It’s about believing freelance writers can make nearly $400 for one task thanks to their reputation in a niche for years.

It’s a common fact that freelancers underprice themselves. It took me years to find the courage to stop doing that and say ‘no’ to clients.

That resulted in doubling my blogging income, which I’ll write about more soon.

Once I got paid $375 for one article for a freelance client, I finally felt appreciated. For years I’ve been struggling with clients reluctant to pay more than $30 for a short article or an hour of my time. And to this day I accept lower rates just because the income of a freelancer is unstable.

This gig, however, helps me rethink it all. Just like when I made $250 from one sponsored post, I stopped accepting anything less than $50 and often ask for up to $100. That means rejecting many opportunities that could make me a few hundred dollars more each month. But thanks to these higher prices I get more serious clients and also increase my income.

PS, Clear Voice did a survey on what people pay or charge per project. You can check it out here.

What It Takes to Get High-Quality Freelance Clients on Clear Voice

Sign up now.

Fill in your profile and portfolio. Here’s how mine looks like.

clear voice portfolio lidiya k

Check out emails from Clear Voice. (It’s okay if the first one arrives weeks after signing up.)

Create your blog and start writing content like crazy in the niches you cover.

Next Level Tips for Succeeding on Clear Voice

Keep updating your portfolio.

Don’t apply for an assignment simply because of the money. It’s not fair.

Feel free to contact support and see how you can get found by clients sooner.

Here are some resources to help you with making it as a freelance writer on Clear Voice:

Make Your First Money Online Freelancing [Free Course] – I created a free course sharing my journey to making more than $4,000/month blogging. It all began with freelancing and you can use this course to follow the steps I took to become a freelancer with no experience and earn my first income online.

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer Want to use freelancing as a way to ditch the 9 to 5 and be location independent? Great. That’s what I did. Check out this article to see the steps I took to build a new mindset, start making money online, leave my country and design the life I want.

How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to building your personal brand as a freelancer.

Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a freelance writer.

My Monthly Income Reports – If you’re curious how I make a living online, check out my income reports. I publish these monthly and share all the numbers together with the lessons I learned and the new things I’m working on.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – The income from freelancing is unstable so it’s worth diversifying it. One of the best ways to earn more is through affiliate marketing (it can happen by placing links on your blog, through Pinterest, your newsletter, or else). This step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month (and also the first online course I’ve ever taken).

Pin this post to inspire others to create profiles on more sites for freelancers like Clear Voice.

Just got paid nearly $400 for writing one article for a freelance client. Learn how this happened and see my Clear Voice review to take your freelance writing to the next level and get paid more: #freelancer #freelancewriting #clearvoice