It’s surprising how many freelance writers complicate the way they run their writing businesses. While many writers struggle with handling several tasks at once, other writers have come up with their own life hacks for maximizing their profit and productivity. These are the freelancers who smile while writing their own paychecks.
If you have been battling to climb out of that pit hole of redundant business routines, here is the chance to liberate yourself! I have 10 hacks that will help run your writing business more efficiently.
1. Define your passion for freelance writing
I believe so much in passion. With passion, writing becomes something you love doing. I am passionate about writing on this topic because I love helping people simplify their lives.
A reason why many writers find freelancing demanding and taxing is because their mind, soul and spirit dwell on the money. You can never perform at your peak if you lack passion.
Ask yourself: “Did I start freelance writing because of the money or because of the passion that I have for writing?”
What stirs your passion? You need to define it to know how strong and original this emotion is.
2. Learn to say no to job offers
Working on multiple jobs will probably put extra pressure on you. Even though in today’s fast-paced economy you should be able to work on multiple tasks with ease, you also need to learn to say “No” to job offers (in some cases).
Do you tend to accept every job offer that comes your way? If so, have you ever had problems completing the job or missing a deadline?
Sometimes the money involved motivates this quest. If you are currently working on a job and another client approaches you with a project, don’t accept it immediately; instead, check if the project is in line with what you offer as writing services and then ask yourself if adding it to your workload will cause problems with meeting the deadline. So I say again, learn to say “No” to some job offers!
3. Identify your distractions and deal with them
As a freelance writer, your place dwells on the Internet. You must do your research thoroughly and accordingly before writing. People read and consult your work just as you do to other people’s work. The Internet is one hell of place where the most disciplined writers face challenges.
I once had the habit of leaving so many tabs open on my browser while writing. I also checked my emails periodically, especially when I was expecting an email from a client.
With all these tabs open—some of which were Facebook, Twitter, and Google+—I found it hard to concentrate. The buzzes alone were hard to ignore. Identifying these factors as agents of distraction helped me simplify my business.
Today, I have two computers: one is connected to the Internet, and the other is not—that’s the one I use to do all of my writing.
4. If you believe you have value, use it
If you place great value on your skills, then rate yourself high by increasing your pay. What tends to scare away “uneducated” prospective clients are high rates. They feel uneasy contacting writers whose rates are much higher than what average writers demand. But the educated clients know the value of a good writer and are always ready to pay.
Raising your pay with tangible reasons will help simplify your writing business, since those complicated and complex tasks from prospective clients have been cut off. However, there is a clause to this, and that’s knowing your worth and value. Only raise your pay if you truly know what your time and skills are worth.
5. Create a flow chart to reduce routine tasks
Good writing does not just emerge; it passes through various processes before it becomes a consumable product. Funny enough, some of these processes are routine tasks that take much of your time doing. Since writing is what you do over and over, creating a flow chart will let you see the routines where repeated tasks build up, so you can pinpoint the redundancies and take action to reduce them where necessary.
6. Create templates of routine paperwork
Smart writers have a way of not repeating what they do every day. If you use routine paperwork—such as submitting proposals, invoicing clients, or pitching query letters to editors—use them as templates. For example, a query letter that I send to an editor of a tech website can also be used as a template to pitch articles to other editors of similar websites. You will most likely reuse verbiage, text formats, and signature lines on the same paperwork or in e-mails for other clients. Creating templates of common writing tasks will help you communicate faster because you don’t have to start from scratch.
7. Outsourcing makes things pretty simple
One of my best hacks is outsourcing. Knowing my own budget as a writer, I am able to outsource work to experts in other fields. I pay these people good money to simplify my work. I know not every writer agrees with outsourcing work because they want to do everything themselves. But ask yourself if blog design, website coding, audio/video transcription, or accounting falls under your expertise as a writer? Probably not. Outsourcing gives you ample time to write more, focus more, and achieve more.
8. Set your writing in motion
Let’s get scientific a little! Newton’s laws of motion describe the relationship between the human body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to such forces.
The human body adapts to whatever training it gets. The forces that act upon us have a way of making us unique and outstanding. Writing as a way of life can impact heavily on your writing skills.
Over the last few years of my writing career, I have discovered that I get more positive results, skills, and knowledge when I set writing in motion. I train my mind and body to think writing, keep writing, and do writing. This single act makes me see writing as a simple task because my mind and body now have a good relationship with what I do every day. This is where having passion for writing plays a significant role.
9. Monitor the market and industry
Every business has an industry where one can research and compile facts, figures and findings. Freelance writing is no different. Sometimes you need to monitor what is happening in your industry. There are new things or changes which you may not have known that can help you run your business easier. Sometimes it looks embarrassing when the client hiring you reminds you of the latest changes in the market where you are supposed to be the expert.
10. Pick your marketing strategies wisely
Every day we are bombarded by hundreds, if not thousands, of articles published online for us to consume. A good portion of these articles are the result of “hyper-marketing” because everybody wants to market their services or products via content and social media and generate income online. Even to a freelance writer, online marketing is an important part of the job.
I am marketing myself as a freelance writer by using this guest article as a marketing tool. Same goes for every other writer, blogger, or marketer. The Internet is a viral whirlpool of content, and everybody is marketing themselves with different techniques—that may or may not work—to grab people’s attention. My advice is to pick two marketing strategies and stick to them. This will let you perfect them and achieve better results. When you try to do too many things at the same time, you lose it.
Evaluate and review the way you do business. Check for complexity, mundane routines, and unnecessary expenses—and reduce or eliminate them. You need to run your business efficiently so you can squeeze out more profit and productivity and stay ahead of your competition.
About the author:
Jackson Nwachukwu is an entrepreneur, a freelance writer and the founder of Content Practical Media. Are you looking for a creative web content writer or copywriter to help grow your business website/blog’s traffic and increase sales? Hire Jackson to write for you.