My name is Maddy Osman, the Founder of The Blogsmith.
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, IL, and went to college at the University of Iowa. After graduating, I worked at Groupon and a Chicago social media agency before quitting to freelance as a content marketer, full-time.
I moved to Denver, Colorado a few years back, and recently bought a house with my fiance in a Denver suburb!
Maddy Osman of The-Blogsmith
The Journey Began
It’s hard to imagine my life without technology.
As a child, I was obsessed with Neopets and other online games. Eventually, playing games online inspired me to build my own online presence.
I started teaching myself CSS and HTML at age 11. In high school, I participated in a local community college’s business competition and won awards for my web design skills.
In college, I started my freshman year with a job at my school’s Student Life Marketing and Design department. I worked with university-run businesses (like the bookstore) and student organizations/annual events to build websites that non-techy users could easily update.
We used the Silverstripe CMS but experimented with other tools, which is when I first played around with WordPress.
I first used WordPress to build a blog for our school’s Student Video Productions club and the rest is history — I fell in love! It was easy to adapt what I knew about PHP from working with Silverstripe to working with WordPress. I loved the experience involved with adding and updating content and haven’t looked back since.
Now, I always use WordPress in every project and am constantly pushing new clients who aren’t on the platform to move!
The Need for The-Blogsmith
The Blogsmith started as “Put Your Brand Online”.
At the time, I was convinced that it would be a brilliant idea to be everything to everyone: social media marketer, WordPress website creator, and blog content creator.
Over time, I realized that what I loved most about digital marketing related to the world of content marketing, more specifically blogging, and even more specifically — blogging while leveraging organic search traffic to reach a wider audience.
Luckily, I also realized that I would be more valuable to my clients if I decided to specialize in doing one thing really well: SEO content marketing.
Nowadays, the majority of my clients are in the B2B technology space and represent WordPress businesses.
All the steps I took to develop coding skills as a child and my work in the marketing department in college helped me to eventually land on this realization, as well as support a well-rounded knowledge of SEO.
After all, SEO isn’t just about content. A website’s technical structure also plays a major role when it comes to ranking in a relevant search. The skills I learned in sales at Groupon also help me with another important aspect of SEO: placing backlinks to strengthen my brand’s domain authority and audience.
Although I still play around with WordPress for my own websites and keep up with the latest news so that I can create useful content for clients, I’m really more interested in writing about topics that involve coding and building websites versus actually doing those things myself.
Being an SEO content writer that focuses on WordPress doesn’t seem to be a terribly crowded niche but I’m always looking for ways to provide additional value to clients so that they’re excited to receive the next article I’m working on for them.
Where I Get Work Done
Up until Spring 2019, I’ve operated my business out of apartments and my first desk involved my college futon and a coffee table.
Not exactly ideal!
More recently, I purchased a home with my fiance and finally have my own dedicated home office space with some professional furniture pieces from National Business Furniture.
It’s absolutely life-changing.
Maddy Osman Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
If you’re starting a new business, check out my list of 150+ resources for starting an online business. Many of these resources represent tools I’m still using to keep my business running.
Although I could talk for days in terms of advice for new entrepreneurs, I think the best advice I can give you is to be constantly soliciting feedback from your audience.
Don’t build something without validating your idea. And don’t rely on friends and family who love you to give you unbiased advice that will help you grow! It’s better to work with third-parties who won’t be afraid, to be honest.
WordPress & Beyond
I’ve been running The Blogsmith as a freelancer for several years now and am always thinking about long-term plans for growth.
Recently, I’ve decided that it’s time to reposition my business as having more of an agency model. I’m in the process of hiring additional writers and editors (and other team members) to support this growth and take The Blogsmith to the next level!
Stay tuned as I get all the pieces in place. 🙂
My Love for the WordPress Community
I’m always looking for ways to get involved in the WordPress community.
I’m a multi-year co-organizer for WordCamp Denver and recently joined the WordPress Denver Meetup organizer team. I love speaking at WordCamps and have also spoken at several local Colorado WordPress meetups on a variety of topics.
In 2019, I spoke at WordCamp Us about How to Perform a Quality UX Audit on a Budget.
If you haven’t gone to a WordCamp or local WordPress meetup — what are you waiting for? I’ve met so many awesome people and several amazing clients who I’d consider as close friends.
I count many as my friends in the WordPress world so I don’t want to show too much favoritism but subscribe to my WordPress is Best Twitter list to keep tabs on community members who are doing great things.
How I Keep Myself Updated
I also stay up-to-date with daily emails from WP Tavern.
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
When I’m not working, I’m still pretty good at keeping myself busy!
Living in Colorado has meant tapping into a more outdoorsy version of myself.
I love taking hikes with my fiance and our Golden/Border Collie mix, Lola:
Maddy Osman Pet
I’ve also learned to ski since moving here (though not particularly well).
Besides making time for Mother Nature, I love to read (I always either meet or surpass a goal of 52 books/year), cook (and eat) delicious food, and most important of all — I love to learn new things.
I studied abroad in Barcelona with a full Spanish immersion program and am dying to go back, so I stay sharp by practicing Spanish daily with Duolingo (I wish they had Catalan as a language option, which I studied back in the day).
But really, it doesn’t matter the exact destination — I love to travel everywhere and have been all over Europe, to Asia, and to South America.
I Reward Myself by
Most of the time, I reward myself after working hard by indulging in one of these aforementioned hobbies.
I’ve also been making more efforts recently to give back.
Every month, I invest in Kiva microloans to help people around the world start new businesses. I regularly surf Facebook for causes that my friends and family care about and make surprise donations.
One of my favorite causes to support is Family Reach, an organization started by my own family.
Last year, I started a Freelance Success Grant and have been mentoring the winner since then!
Connect With Me
Get two free months to skill up with my bite-sized (one hour or less) content marketing classes on Skillshare (in addition to all the other classes on the platform): https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/maddyosman