How I Became a Freelance Content Writer

Here's a secret: I never really meant to be a content writer. 

I actually sort of fell into it by accident. In fact, just over three years ago, I didn't even know what content marketing was, much less how I would go on to make it my career. I knew more and more businesses were beginning to write blogs and publish informative content, but I never really stopped to think just who was writing it all. 

Enter: my fairy godmother. I met Stephanie Kapera Hawkins while we were both grad students at N.C. State. We took a memoir class together (with the lovely Dr. Elaine Neil Orr) and, while we both enjoyed the other's work, we didn't really get to know each other very well. It wasn't until after graduation that Stephanie sent me a message asking if I would be interested in doing some writing for a content marketing agency she was starting. I believe my response was something along the lines of, "...sure, why not?" 

I couldn't have possibly known at the time that what Stephanie was actually giving me was the opportunity to make a living doing something I loved. From there, my journey into content marketing just kind of snowballed. As Stephanie moved on to a larger marketing firm, she brought me on as a writer. I acquired a few more clients through her contacts and even snagged a few accounts all on my own. I said "yes" to everything that came my way and built relationships with marketing agencies in four different states. By May 2014 - two years after Stephanie sent that fateful message - I was ready to make freelancing my full-time job. 

Now it's over a year later and I couldn't be happier to do what I do. It hasn't always been easy (Exhibit A: health insurance. Exhibit B: taxes), but it is, without a doubt, worth it. So, this one goes out to my fairy godmother, who, quite literally, pointed me in the direction of my dream job. Steph, thank you for your guidance, support and, most of all, your friendship. Thanks to you, whenever someone asks what I do, I get to answer in the best possible way: "I'm a writer." 

Want to chat more with Cortney about her life as a content writer? Email her at