Author Alyssa Ast -- Kingman, Arizona

Author Alyssa Ast Kingman AZ

Writing is the core of my very existence. Call it God-given talent if you'd like, but words have been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. I was the weird kid that had notebooks full of stories, looked forward to essay assignments, and even put out a hand-copied family newspaper. Everyone knew I would grow up to become a writer, except me. Alas, I ended up denying my talent as I entered my teen years because it wasn't "cool."

Several years and screw ups later, my passion for writing reignited as I sat on the floor with my 2 toddlers looking through old boxes. I unearthed my neglected writing notebooks, and took a trip down memory lane. It was then that I caught a glimpse of what others had seen in me so many years ago.

On a whim, I pulled out the ancient laptop my grandpa had given me and huddled next to the wall to connect to the neighbor's wifi. I submitted a short poem to an online website and didn't expect much of an outcome. After forgetting about it for a few days, I was shocked to find it had been published.

I was over the moon, but my excitement was quickly doused. Who would take a teen mom and high school drop out seriously? You see, I had just turned 19 and moved to a new state with 2 toddlers and my husband. 

I knew what I wanted to do, but lacked the confidence to take the next step. Several days later, I received a notification from a complete stranger telling me how much she had enjoyed my poem and couldn't wait to read more. So, I posted more, and every time she left a comment that gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap.

The random woman became my mentor and introduced me to the world of online writing, which opened doors to possibilities I didn't know were possible. I realized I could do what I loved, support my family, and make a difference through the power of words. My goal was to make enough money to buy a box of diapers at the end of the month. Little did I know what was yet to come. 

Over the next 2 years, I landed multiple blogging and writing jobs for the dreaded content mills. However, my true passion was journalism. I wrote for several local and state newspapers, as well as CBS Local, and briefly as a CNN iReporter. I also reached my dream of becoming a published author. I wrote and contributed to multiple marketing books and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

By the time I turned 21, I had a lucrative writing career and also co-owned a series of lifestyle websites with over 30 bloggers contributing content. 

As my career progressed, and my family grew by 2 more, I took a particular interest in small businesses, which led me to specialize in SEO, marketing, brand development, and everything in between. During my time as an SEO professional, I've had the honor of working for multiple top 5 marketing firms in the U.S. and countless well-known businesses and organizations throughout the world.

I've had the honor of being interviewed by several print and online publications throughout my 15-year career in the SEO and online marketing sector. While I've enjoyed my time helping SMBs succeed, it is time to get back to my roots. 

Today, I'm leaving the world of SEO and online marketing behind (mostly) to embrace my true passion, journalism and writing books. Stay tuned, there are big things to come!