I have a new website

Hi everyone! This is just to let you know that this is the last post I will publish on this blog, because I have a new website and blog.

If you’re interested in my copywriting services, check out my new professional freelance copywriter website. It’s a bit sleeker than this one, and it’s under my new name, Rachel Ingram (I recently got married). It includes a blog where I’ll be writing about copywriting and keeping you up-to-date with professional goings-on, so do head on over to http://www.rachel-ingram.co.uk and take a look.

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My copywriting services aren’t changing – I just have a shiny new website that shows off my experience and credentials more effectively. I will keep this website online so that people searching for my maiden name will still find me, but if you’d like to contact me, please do so via the contact form on my new site.

If you want to find out what I’ve been up to outside work, check out my personal blog Cosy Life, which I update regularly with lots of photos and details of our adventures.

As always, you can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram for my latest postings. Hope to see you at my new website very soon!

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A year of being self-employed

The autumn is here – my favourite time of year. As you can tell from the length of time it’s been since I last updated, things have become VERY busy. Over the summer I’ve been writing about 16,000 words a week, and I’ve had so much work that I’ve had to turn down quite a lot of incoming requests for copy, which I don’t like doing, but I just haven’t had time. Luckily things have quietened down a bit now, so I’m taking on new work for the first time in a while. If you have anything you’d like me to write for you, do let me know!

I’m still loving being self-employed, and I’m daily grateful for not having to commute, or sit for hours in pointless meetings. I devote one morning a week to volunteering for Guide Dogs (for the Blind), where I look after lots of gorgeous puppies. I’ve neglected my PPL over the summer as I’ve been so busy, but I need to get it finished off over the winter else the ground exams I’ve done will become invalid.

Air Experiences is still going strong, though Lee’s been doing most of the running of it while I’ve been so busy with copywriting. We’ll be doing some Christmas gift fairs again this year, which will be a chance for me to get more involved with the business again. I’ll also be doing more blogging for the company in the coming months.

On a personal note, some happy news: Lee and I got engaged last month! So that’s very exciting and we are starting to plan our wedding now! We’ve just got back from ten amazing days in Florida, which you can read about (along with everything else I’ve been up to) on my other blog.

Once again, let me know if you’d like any copy – I’m taking on new clients and projects at the moment, so I’d be delighted to give you a quote or discuss your requirements.

A quick note about my new blog

As promised, this is just a quick note to let you know about my new blog. It’s called Cosy Life and it’s where I’ll be writing about personal stuff – e.g. recipes and outings – from now on. Diary of a Freelancer and any other copywriting-related posts will continue on this blog.

If you’d like to continue receiving all my updates, please head on over to Cosy Life and enter your email address to subscribe. Hope you like it – let me know what you think!

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Freelance copywriter for hire (me)!

I did something pretty scary a couple of weeks ago. I quit my job.

Giving up the financial security of a permanent job may sound slightly mad in these times of economic uncertainty, but I felt it was high time I did what I’ve always wanted to do and set myself up as a freelance copywriter. Copywriting is what I’ve always been most interested in career-wise, and having worked in a rapidly growing travel company and two digital agencies, I’ve had lots of opportunity to build up an enviable portfolio of copywriting work, including Skyscanner and Lancaster University.

Now I feel it’s time for me to take things to the next level by taking the bold step of branching out on my own, which will have the added benefit of giving me the flexibility I need to be able to fly on the rare occasion the weather is actually good enough (at the moment, it’s just my luck that every time the weather is nice I’m chained to my desk!).

I’m going to be officially freelance as of 15 October, offering the full range of copywriting services, both online and offline, but specialising in website content – primarily on-site copy, blogging and news sections. In preparation, I’ve already added a couple of new pages to my site, giving some information about why you should hire me and my rates.

As if this weren’t big enough career news, Lee and I are also setting up a business together doing something completely different, but that will also make use of my skills as a copywriter and my wider digital marketing experience. But more news on that in the next week or two once I finally finish building the website… Watch this space!

Meanwhile, if you’d like to have the honour of becoming my first official freelance client, just fill in the form below to send me an email!

Big Newsy Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog because I’ve had my head down concentrating on, well, improving my life. So I thought I would write a bit of a news-based post to update you all on what’s been going on in the last couple of months!

New job!
By far the biggest change in my life has been the fact that I now have a new job. For reasons which I fear it would be impolitic to disclose here, I made the difficult decision to leave SEOptimise after working there for over a year and a half. I learnt a lot and made some great (and I have no doubt long-lasting) friendships there and it was a tough decision, but for numerous reasons I think it was the right one.

I have now joined a lovely company called Torchbox, an ethical web design and development agency specialising primarily in the charity and not-for-profit sector. I have joined as Search Marketing Manager and am really looking forward to the challenges of this new role and working on some truly worthwhile causes. The company is full of very interesting, individual and intelligent people, who have all made me feel welcome. The office is lovely and even has a dog – an adorable elderly Labrador called Stanley!

Even better, Torchbox is situated on the picturesque Cornbury Park estate, the second largest estate in Oxfordshire (after Blenheim Palace). I’m not at all sad to have traded in the Oxford Science Park for the beautiful surroundings of the Cornbury Park lakes and deer park, and since I am very much a country girl at heart, the rural environment suits me down to the ground. And all this is just five minutes’ drive from my house, or a beautiful 20 minute walk if the weather’s nice. So I save a fortune in petrol, don’t have to leave the house until 8.50am and can have lunch at home if I want to! I can’t believe my luck (long may it last!)!

New house!
A couple of months ago I received the sad news that the elderly owner of the beautiful cottage I rented had passed away. I was told that it would be up to the beneficiaries of her will as to what would happen to the cottage – whether I could continue to rent it, or whether it would be sold. I’ve always hated uncertainty, and in the face of it, I decided to start looking for another house in Charlbury. It’s a popular village and houses don’t come up that often, and I knew I wanted to stay here. On the spur of the moment I responded to an advert on the Charlbury website and within hours I’d been to view it – just a couple of roads down from my cottage. I fell in love with it and ended up getting it! I’m really happy here – it doesn’t have the historic character of the cottage, because it’s a lot more modern – but it’s a heck of a lot warmer and less damp! And quieter, not being situated on a crossroads, as the cottage was. I do miss the cottage sometimes, especially the view, but overall this has been a step up in overall comfort.

New car!
My aged Fiat – known affectionately as Giuseppe – all but gave up the ghost on the Easter weekend last month, and so with a lot of help from my dad I have acquired a rather marvellous new car, a nearly new Ford KA Zetec (one of the new models, not those silly-looking bubble car things). I have called it Kingsley – KA, get it? I could not be more pleased with it, and nor could I have been more pleased that I didn’t have to drive to Lancashire and Newcastle in the ailing Giuseppe the following week.

So as you can see, there’s been a fair amount of upheaval and stress, but it’s definitely all been worth it. It always annoys me when people complain about their lives but make no effort to improve things; it’s a cliche, but life’s too short to be miserable all the time! My new life isn’t perfect – nobody’s is! But it’s a great deal better than it was, and worth the hard work and determination. So look forward to more regular blog posts from me henceforth!

What my driving licence means to me!

If you follow me on Twitter and/or are friends with me on Facebook and/or are connected with me on LinkedIn, today’s excellent news can hardly have escaped your notice: I have finally passed my driving test! Well, I say finally – I’ve only been learning since September and hadn’t been doing much practice at all until last month. It was the second time I’d taken the test, the first one having gone pretty badly (16 minors and 3 majors – ouch). So for this one, I did everything differently:  I’d practiced loads, I wore smart clothes to make me feel more confident, I took the test in my own car, brought my mum along with me rather than my instructor, and took a much more relaxed approach to the whole thing. And it paid off – the test went really, really well, and I passed with just five minors! Yay! And the examiner was absolutely lovely, so I let him keep the interior mirror that I’d bought for the purposes of the test (he wanted it, you understand, it wasn’t just a rubbish gift!).

Massive thanks must go to the lovely Matt, who devoted loads of time to helping me with driving practice and was an amazing, patient and encouraging teacher; and also to my mum, who drove all the way over from Wiltshire and back several times just so that I could get extra driving practice in. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them!

As anyone who knows me knows, passing my test was a massive deal for me. It wasn’t just about escaping the nightmare commute (more on that below) – it was about growing up. I’m an extremely independent person and don’t like relying on anybody for anything, and now that I have my licence – just a month before my 26th birthday – I’m now fully independent and I feel like a proper adult at last.

I also couldn’t be happier that I’m now able to escape the nightmare of commuting by public transport. Just to give you an idea, this is how my commute was before today, assuming everything was on time (by no means a given):

6.50am – get up and get ready to go to work.
7.30am – leave the house and walk 15 mins down to the station (sometimes in pouring rain and strong winds!).
7.49am – get on the train, if it’s on time.
8.12am – get off the train, if it’s on time. Hang round waiting for the bus.
8.25am – get on the bus, if it’s on time. If the train wasn’t on time, run frantically to the bus or hang round until 8.47am for the next one.
9am – arrive at work, if the bus is on time. Have short or no lunchbreak to allow me to leave work early for the bus back to the station.
5.10pm – switch off computer, hang round waiting for the bus.
5.17pm – get on the bus, if it’s on time.
5.50pm – arrive at the station. Hang round for half an hour waiting for the train.
6.17pm – get on the train, if it’s on time.
6.40pm – arrive in village. Walk home, which is steep uphill most of the way.
6.55pm – get home.

Nightmare, huh? And that’s without even mentioning the numerous things that would go wrong several times a week with the train and/or bus. Now my commute is reduced to a 40 minute car journey each way and it’s door to door, with no annoying people having stupid conversations, no surly bus drivers making me wait in the cold while they have a fag, and no stupid excuses for delays from First Great Western.

Pleased as Punch! I’ve just completed my first solo drive, to Waitrose, and now I have a nice meal to celebrate today’s events. *opens bottle of red*