Nikola Roza is a freelance SEO content writer, blogger & affiliate marketer. He also helps teach people how to make money online by exploiting Google’s algorithm.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Serbia, a small country in the south of Europe.
Novak Djokovic is my countryman, but don’t ask for an introduction. Serbia is not that small 🙂
Anyway, I consider myself the citizen of the entire world, and there’s nothing more I want than to work online, while traveling the world, meeting new people and learning new languages.
And that is soon to be reality:)
Question: So before I ask the next question. Just for those who don’t know Novak Djokovic, he is a Serbian professional tennis player and ranked World No. 2. So here is the question; How long have you been freelancing?
Answer: My freelance career is divided into 2 parts.
I started at the beginning of 2015 with a website called: buildyourselfabrighterfuture.com.
The idea was that I, Nikola, coming from a poor background, will help myself to a better life, And I’d do it through honest work, through freelance SEO writing, and affiliate marketing.
And I did really ok (for a beginner).
I had about 40 article on the site. I also built a few good links and finally, I was starting to get trickles of organic traffic from Googe and Bing (fun fact- I always ranked much higher on Bing. Is it easier to rank on Bing or is it just me?).
No doubt those trickles would have turned to a steady stream by now…
However- bad stuff happened.
My poor mother got sick and I had to scrape everything so as to have time to take care of her.
That was three years ago.
The second part of my career started on 4. 12. 2017. That’s the official date I started my blog and so far- so good.
I’m not making a full-time income, but I make progress every day and already I can see success looming on the horizon and honestly- I can’t wait.
I know I work hard enough.
P.S. Success is relative. I define it as earning enough to be independent and having no boss but yourself. To work for oneself- the dream!
Question: Sorry about what happened to your mom there. I like you’re definition of success. So, which is your favorite place to get freelance jobs?
Answer: I don’t have one.
I never opened profiles in places like Upwork and Elance.
Not that I think they’re useless. On the contrary. But early in my career, I decided to focus on just one channel for getting jobs- cold outreach.
I did it because of three reasons:
1. I wanted to master the art of cold outreach- it’s an extremely valuable skill to have.
2. I wanted to focus my time and effort on one channel, so as not to be splintered across three or more platforms. Attention divided is a recipe for failure, or in best case scenario- stunted growth.
3. Cold outreach gets me acquainted with fellow bloggers, some of whom I’ll go on to develop mutually beneficial business relationships.
This is the approach I took and it was a good decision. But this approach is not my own and if your readers want to learn how to get freelance work sending cold emails- they should read this post from Location Rebel.
Question: Thanks for sharing that resource. I believe I’ll get a point or two from that. I’m a big fan of freelance platforms especially for beginners because I’ve got more clients through them than any other method. Especially Freelancer.com. But I totally agree with you, cold outreach is great. I’m now doing more and more of it and the results are steadily growing. Do you sometimes feel down, and unproductive? If you do, what do you think are the main causes in your case?
Answer: Yes. Of course I do.
I think bouts of depression are unavoidable for beginner bloggers.
I mean, we step into this new world with big hope, elaborate plans and HUGE expectations (See how HUGE that was? 🙂 )
We’re eager to make a splash… and then we are confronted with cold reality.
– Google doesn’t like new websites,
– It takes time to earn trust and rankings.
– Building a brand is serious work.
– You need to have patience,
– You MUST have self-belief…
Of course, I don’t want to discourage anyone. But anyone reading this should be prepared for this cold shower of a reality and still push past it!
Think of it as GROWTH.
Another specific reason for me.
I’m a vegan. And I’ve been one for a few years now.
“So what”? You ask.
Well, as a beginner- I made some diet mistakes. They caused me to suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
For example, I was chronically low on Selenium, which is an important trace mineral that contribute to better energy level and better mood in general.
So people should be aware there are also physiological reasons for depression, and that it can happen to anyone. (even those eating normal diets- there is no normal in today’s polluted/depleted land)
Question: Wow, I’m a vegan myself but unlike you, for most of my life. So what do you do get motivated again?
Answer: I think that, to feel better, you need to work on body-mind connection.
In other words, take good care of both your mind and body.
I go for a long run. And I run until I get really tired. Afterwards, I feel better because my body is better oxygenated, and full with “happy” hormones (mainly adrenalin and oxytocin).
While running I listen to motivational speakers. Their words are key for sustaining me through the day.
That is because I’m sort of a quitter by nature.
It used to be that when things got tough, I’d take off and not to deal with it. Luckily, I recognized it as a character flaw, so whenever I fell doubt creeps in, I put on my headphones and listen to…
Question: Which motivational speakers do you listen to?
I listen to Michael Hyatt because he teaches you how to have a life while running a successful business.
I’m an SEO writer and SEO is my passion. That (and link building) is all I want to do. I mean -I used to think like that.
I realize that SEO is just a component of my business and that I have to improve in other areas too.
– Business/life separation
– And much more
I have so much to learn and grow and Michael’s podcast is invaluable to me.
Steve Pavlina is something else. His writing changed my life and removed Nikola “the coward” from me. And installed someone else in his place.
I can’t claim I’m as brave as I want to be, but I’m definitely taking my chances and so far it’s paying off handsomely, in business, AND in life.
Here are two posts that changed my life:
And of course his podcasts:
Question: What advice would you give to the new freelancer just starting?
First- memorize this quote:
When you get tired- rest. DON’T quit.
Second- Understand this quote.
Blogging as a career is extremely hard at the beginning.
You put in countless hours writing and perfecting your blog post, and then you publish and get buried on page 15 of Google.
That is unfair, but normal. And it’s highly discouraging.
And you need to recognize when it happens to you. So as not to give up when that bug bits you ( the bug being thoughts about running away)
And it will bite you. Over and over again. Trust me.
Here’s how I deal with it:
When I get tired of it all. When I want to throw in the towel- I say to myself:
“Ok, Nikola you want to give up. But that’s not really you talking.
You’re tired, maybe depressed too.
Stop working! You must stop and you can’t work anymore today. And you’re forbidden to work tomorrow.
You must rest.
And I do. I really don’t touch anything for the rest of the day
As for tomorrow?
Remember how I promised to myself not to work that next day?
That promise vanishes as soon as I wake up.
Because when I’m rested, my perspective is cleared and I can think straight again (in Serbian language we have a proverb: jutro je pametnije od veceri. Translation- morning is smarter than evening)
And the fact that I’m eager to get back to work is proof that I really care about my work.
I won’t ever quit.!
Something about me
SEO and Link Building are my favorite subjects to talk about, but I also don’t shy away from writing about affiliate marketing. That’s because I’m having success with it. I love it.
Thank you so much Nikola Roza for your time and sharing with us.
TAKEAWAY #1: The hard times are gonna come along the way but NEVER quit, never give up.
TAKEAWAY #2: When your body gets tired, make sure to get rest. Do what you’re passionate about don’t let it kill you.
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