About Kjell Vandevyvere

(Read about my background)

Last update: 31 January 2024

Recent activities

At the end of last year, I was expecting a busy January month. Unfortunately, most project discussions have taken more time than expected and they’re more likely to start in the next few weeks or even in March. The bright side is that I got to spend ample time with family this month. I also started working out again. And I got some time to work on my business website: www.kjellvandevyvere.be, which looks much better now.

In February, I’ll continue focusing on work, sports and family. I would like to pick up some sort of side project or hobby but I’m not sure what to explore. I also have a tonne of unopened books and bookmarks. I’ve made good progress with newsletters and bookmarks this month. I hope to catch up completely this month and then stay on top of it.

In terms of numbers, this is what 2024 looks like so far:

202420232022
Clients51924
Projects53891
Website projects2810*
Blog posts25051*
Other projects/income sources11015*
* unsure about the numbers. Lots of projects were split into multiple invoices.

This year, I also want to track my income goals much better.

In January, I made 104% of what I wanted to earn after expenses and social contributions. But that was only 5,4% of my revenue goal for this year. So this month was acceptable but it needs to get better.

What’s Kjell’s background?

Born and raised in Belgium, matured all over the globe. I’ve lived in Spain, the UK, Bolivia and Peru. I also spent a brief period in Uganda.

I’ve always wanted to have my own business and become a freelancer, probably since reading the 4-Hour Workweek or so. But I was scared of taking the leap and finding excuses not to. But at the height of Covid-19, I lost my job and there was no way I’d find another good-paying job in Bolivia at that time. So I had to take the leap. And still, I didn’t…

In 2020 and most of 2021, I did some odd writing gigs. But I mainly focused on building a small audience on Twitter, making a podcast and creating writing guides.

Somehow it was a loss of time and somehow it wasn’t. I learned lots. And I made many friends and connections I still benefit from.

Then in October 2021, I moved back to Belgium and finally made the call. I became a full-time freelancer. You can read more about my story here.

Archive

19 December 2023

Things have been strange in the past few months. There seems to be a lot of work in the pipeline, but it’s all taking a long time to get started. Especially the past two weeks have been a bit underwhelming, but I’m expecting a very busy start in 2023. The lower amount of work has given me time to reflect and work on other things, like Poppy Websites. We’ve created a few offers that we want to launch soon and we’ve decided to write a book about “creating your first startup website”. Eager to see where that will take me.

As it’s the end of the year, it’s a good time for reflection too. The first quarter was by far the best financially. I hit the best two months of my career as a freelance copywriter. The second and third quarter were hell. My son was born in April, and I was on a high because I just had a very well-paid quarter. So, I let things slip…

Usually, business picks up again in a few weeks. But this time, it came with a bunch of circumstances that made it much more difficult: agencies didn’t have work for me, companies were testing AI, and social media algorithms didn’t help me anymore. Sure, I picked up a few projects, but far too little to maintain a family. On top of that, Poppy Websites didn’t get the traction we expected. I did market research and saw we could do much better for local businesses. However, I overlooked the importance of networking. And because networking isn’t my forte, we switched the model to websites for global businesses. We’re more excited about this audience, there was a lot of unpaid work involved.

Just at the point of reaching complete desperation, things started improving again. A few referrals came my way in the final quarter, and a company I’d love to work with gave me a trial. Everything seemed set for a grandiose end of the year. But as I said, it all moved a bit slowly, so much of the work got pushed back until next year.

This leaves me a bit disappointed with my final quarter, but also very excited about what the first quarter of next year might bring. With nine blog posts already confirmed and a few website projects still in discussion, I’m ready for better fortunes next year.

A quick summary of this year:

  • 19 clients (24 last year)
  • 38 projects (91 last year)
  • Website projects: 8
  • Blog posts: about 50
  • Other projects (mainly translations): 10

Compared to last year, there were more website projects and fewer blog posts — a move in the right direction for the balance I want. I also did fewer other projects and the ones I did were more relevant to my core business.

24 August 2023

Since the birth of our second child, times have been difficult. I think for many freelance writers it’s been harder than usual to get clients. Combine this with two small kids at home and you’ll understand life is quite stressful here.

For the past few months I’ve been trying to grow The Copy Galaxy but despite my best efforts it’s not going the way I want.

So behind the scenes I’ve been working on something new. I’m going to start creating websites for local businesses. We’ve already created one project for our portfolio but our own website is still a work in progress.

I’m both excited and scared about this.

8 May 2023

On 11 April 2023, my second child was born. His name is Mateo Esteban.

For just shy of four weeks, I took a break from work. As expected, it was difficult for me to switch off entirely. The stress of an entire family depending on one freelance income never fully goes away.

Nevertheless, it was a welcome break. Creatively, I feel rested. I’ve finally got the energy to embark upon a new creative journey. It won’t be big, and I still need to figure out the details, but I feel it’ll finally be sustainable.

So apart from the usual parenthood stuff, nothing’s new right now.

I am taking on new clients, however. So do get in touch if you know someone who needs help with their conversions or website copy.

26 March 2023

In the first months of this year, I’ve been able to focus on website copy projects almost entirely. The most significant projects were Xenn and Winwinner.

We moved in February, causing that month to be a little slower. But I feel like I have a steady freelance business now. It’s hard to be sure, though, and the next month won’t prove it.

We’re expecting our second child in less than three weeks. So I’ll be finishing up my projects, maybe do one more smaller one if the opportunity arises, and then I’ll take a few weeks off.

I’m looking forward to it, but I’m stressed about it too. What if it takes a while to pick things back up afterwards?

Fortunately, I’m working on a side-project already with a fellow copywriter. That’ll give me something to look forward to and keep me busy.

20 January 2023

It’s been a crazy start to the year with two big and exciting projects.

After two and a half full-on weeks, I’ll be slowing down a bit and focusing on finally renewing www.thecopygalaxy.com next week. In February, new projects are waiting.

My goal for The Copy Galaxy is to create the best web copy guide for all sorts of pages. It’s ambitious, but I know I can do it.

Why?

The competition is huge but the competition pays freelancers for clickable content. I’m going to create it for myself first. I’ll put more work into it, and I’ll know the audience perfectly – I’m my audience…

On a personal level, I’m getting really scared for my second child to arrive soon. In the next two months, we still want to move to a different place, buy lots of stuff and get everything ready.

I also want to do a few more big projects before I slow down in April.

Exciting times!

23 December 2022

It’s almost Christmas and I’m winding down after a few busy months. In fact, I’ve been so busy I haven’t updated this page since May. It also means I barely made any other website changes since then. That’s a record.

As the end of the year is getting near, it’s time to reflect. Next year, we’ll become a family of four and there’ll be less time for distractions. I’ll go all-in on my freelance business and avoid any ecom or creator economy side hustles. But it will be hard 🙂

I do want to create something. That’s why I’ll be building www.thecopygalaxy.com into my own primary resource for website copy. My motto: if it’s useful to me, it’s useful for others. But it doesn’t stop there. I want the content to be top 0,1% in its area.

We’ll see.

Let’s gain a few extra X-mas kilos first.

Archive

23 December 2022

It’s almost Christmas and I’m winding down after a few busy months. In fact, I’ve been so busy I haven’t updated this page since May. It also means I barely made any other website changes since then. That’s a record.

As the end of the year is getting near, it’s time to reflect. Next year, we’ll become a family of four and there’ll be less time for distractions. I’ll go all-in on my freelance business and avoid any ecom or creator economy side hustles. But it will be hard 🙂

I do want to create something. That’s why I’ll be building www.thecopygalaxy.com into my own primary resource for website copy. My motto: if it’s useful to me, it’s useful for others. But it doesn’t stop there. I want the content to be top 0,1% in its area.

Well see.

Let’s gain a few extra X-mas kilos first.

20 January 2023

It’s been a crazy start to the year with two big and exciting projects.

After two and a half full-on weeks, I’ll be slowing down a bit and focusing on finally renewing www.thecopygalaxy.com next week. In February, new projects are waiting.

My goal for The Copy Galaxy is to create the best web copy guide for all sorts of pages. It’s ambitious, but I know I can do it.

Why?

The competition is huge but the competition pays freelancers for clickable content. I’m going to create it for myself first. I’ll put more work into it, and I’ll know the audience perfectly – I’m my audience…

On a personal level, I’m getting really scared for my second child to arrive soon. In the next two months, we still want to move to a different place, buy lots of stuff and get everything ready.

I also want to do a few more big projects before I slow down in April.

Exciting times!

26 March 2023

In the first months of this year, I’ve been able to focus on website copy projects almost entirely. The most significant projects were Xenn and Winwinner.

We moved in February, causing that month to be a little slower. But I feel like I have a steady freelance business now. It’s hard to be sure, though, and the next month won’t prove it.

We’re expecting our second child in less than three weeks. So I’ll be finishing up my projects, maybe do one more smaller one if the opportunity arises, and then I’ll take a few weeks off.

I’m looking forward to it, but I’m stressed about it too. What if it takes a while to pick things back up afterwards?

Fortunately, I’m working on a side-project already with a fellow copywriter. That’ll give me something to look forward to and keep me busy.