Perhaps you can relate to this.
- Number one mistake that many writers keep making is not knowing where they can market their work. Its true. When I started writing for a living, I mainly stuck to social network sites to share my work. Yes, I did get a lot of traffic, but I felt as though I was splitting myself in two when I wanted to look for work. Today there are so many websites where you can look for work, share your work and talk to other writers who are looking for inspiration, help etc.. Social networks are great, but they are not the only place where you can share your work. Try forums, job sites, and even help forums to share your work. It pays to be creative!
- Once writers share their work online, they assume that everyone is going to read it. This does not necessarily happen. As we all know marketing your work takes time, effort and patience. You have to make sure your work reaches your targeted audience, or any audience really. If you want your work to be read, you have to go out there are tell people about it. Create a blog/ website and tell your readers when you have published a new post. Leave a link in other writers websites and tell them about your posts. You have to connect with others if you want to create loyal readers.
- Writers do not comment back. Even though it can be impossible to respond to every single comment that you receive on your blog, try! There is nothing worse than commenting on a post and not seeing anything back. You want your readers to know that there is a real person behind your blog. So commenting can be a great way of showing them that!
- Not keeping blogs updated. I recently talked to a writer who was shocked to his blog only got a handful of views last month. Like many other writers he was struggling to see the results of all of his hard work. Not knowing if I could be of any help, I took a look at his blog, and to my shock i saw exactly 5 post on it. He said that he did not have the time to update his blog when he needed to look for work. Freelancing is all about finding balance. I have talked about this a lot in the past, and I think its worth mentioning it again. Your blog is the window of opportunity to catch the attention of future clients, readers etc.. So, if you dont want to lose that traffic, keep your work updated!
- Writers assume their work is done after they share their work online. If a writers work was done after we finish one job, then we would all be making a lot of money. This is not the case! What happens after we finish writing on our blog, or applying for jobs? We keep going! Freelancing can be a hard business to get into. You constantly have to keep working on your business to see the results. However, it is not impossible. So, once you are done bidding on a job, or applying for a job on a website, unless you get the job, keep going!
Is being a freelance writer easy?
No, its hard, but there are a lot of positive aspects to this job that makes up for the difficult parts of it.
The hard part for many writers is not how to find work, but being able to balance their careers along with their responsibilities apart from their work.
One of the pros of working from home as a freelance writer is being able to make up your own schedule, work when you want, and be your own boss.
Dream come true right! Well, this would be the ideal job but its not for everyone. Especially those that cant find the balance between their businesses and family.
When I first started my freelance business it was not easy. I had a lot of problems setting a schedule and sticking to it. Not only did I work well outside of my business hours, but I was missing a lot of quality time away from my family.. while I was living under the same roof. It was bad!
One of the very first things that I tell any writer right away, is that they should be absolutely sure that they can handle the pressure of being writers, having to search for jobs, and having to set their own schedules.
Why, oh why do I do this? Its simple, I want my clients to find success in this business right away, or during their first year in their career.
Here are a few tips to finding balance as a writer.
- Set a schedule and please stick with it! Easier said than done. Especially when the money is too good to be turned away. However, when you are a new writer, you are going to be tempted to grab every job that comes your way, just remember that you do have OTHER things to worry about outside of your computer. You will be able to find more jobs.
- Set aside time to workout, clear your head. I say this because it happened to me. Freelancing can be an addictive job where you can be seated in front of a computer for hours at a time. It can also be very stressful. Do not lose time when you are working, and make sure you set away a couple of hours each day to take a walk around the corner or to exercise. I’ve found it amazing how much of a difference walking around makes when those deadlines start pouring in.
- Schedule everything in advance. Invest money in a calendar or planner, and put every deadline, project(s) and activity on it. This will help you see on paper what you have to do, and help you plan your days and even weeks in advance. Its also a time saver!
- One to three projects a week. At the very beginning of your career try to schedule no more than 3 projects at a time. This will give you a chance to see how your business will grow and it wont leave you completely overwhelmed.
Finding balance when starting a freelance business or while you are expanding your business is not difficult, it just takes time!
To your success!
The whole point of being a freelance writer, is being able to connect with other writers and create relationships that will help you advance your business in the future. Creating relationships, to me, is an essential part of being a freelance writer. If I hadn’t made all of the connections that I have today, I would have probably quit being a writer about two years ago.
What if you do not connect with other writers?
Can you survive without making any connections? Yes, but I cant say that being a writer will be easy.
How to create the right marketing plan for your blog.
You see, as a freelance writer, we can work from home, make our own hours, and look for work when we have time to work. However, if we are used to working from home, and we start thinking “Oh, I can start looking for work tomorrow”, we might as well quit working from home, and get a real job because we are not going to succeed in this business!
Truth be told, if I had not made as many connections as I have, I would not have found half of the job opportunities that I have these past three months. In fact, 3 out of 4 high paying clients I had in the past year or so have come from referrals that my friends have given me.
I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with a few writers last year that were starting their businesses, and I love knowing that we can keep each other on our toes, and make sure we have success in our business.
So, how do you connect with other writers?
Honestly, it is not hard.
Just start with the basics.
- Do you have a favorite blog you like to follow? Many of the connections and friendships I have, have come from this blog. I simply e-mailed the writer, and went from there.
- Connect with writers through social networks. I loooove Facebook. It can be intimidating trying to connect to a person when their Facebook page has over 1000 people on it, but believe it or not, the majority of writers take the time to welcome new followers. So, stop by their page and say HI!
- Do you write on any content mills? If you do, you might get lucky and start befriending other writers. Who knows, you might get a job opportunity from there!
- Do you respond to comments on your blog? If you are beginning your freelance career, or not have as many followers on your blog, don’t lose hope! Whenever you get a comment on your blog, take the time to say Hi and go from there.
Connecting with writers and creating friendships does not have to be difficult. Its all about knowing how to balance your work, and making sure that your followers know that you are thankful for their support.
To your success!
Do you know a topic about freelance writing by heart?
I mean, really know it by heart. As in, if I were to ask you a question about the topic, would you be able to tell me everything about it left to right?
If you do,. then you might just find a way to make money on the side.
I’m talking about coaching services.
During the past two months, I have been adding up my expenses with my earnings, and I have noticed an increase of cash flow. Now, taking in mind that I had to let go of a couple of high paying writing clients because I desperately wanted to pick up the projects that I had left behind.. to be forgotten, I thought that it would be hard if not impossible to make up that amount of cash without having to pick up my clients again.
YET, my cash flow seemed to be doing fine, if not pretty darn good! The only thing that I have been focusing on, is showing others how to make money doing something they already were. So many clients of mine were itching to find out how to create loyal readers, take their business to the next level, attract more clients, I gave in and started coaching left and right.
Believe it or not all of the coaching lessons added up to a nice large number. So, how did it all happen?
HEHE, well I have no idea
Coaching lessons or coaching services was something I never thought I would be doing. I’m serious. I never thought I would ever reach a time in my freelance career where other writers wanted to learn from me. Heck, I’m still learning myself! Freelancing is a business where anyone can make money, but it takes time, a lot of dedication, and most importantly you have to take your job seriously. If you are not planning on doing this, then you might as well not work at all, because you wont be making any money to begin with.
I began to write about writing in several content mills, although the money was great, I did want more. I started to think about ways to expand my business, and suddenly as I started looking for more writing clients, and before I knew it people were liking what I had to say! I read more blogs than I can count, and I started to take notes. So, basically the more I read the more I learned, and now earn.
Like I mentioned before, coaching lessons is a great way to make some extra cash. So, here are a few ways to help you get started:
- Find you niche and stick with it! Know a lot about a topic? Write about it, promote it and tell others about it. Give your readers a reason to come back to you, and make sure you thank your readers when they comment on your work.
- Update your posts weekly. I mention this one because I’ve made this mistake, and I hope others do not. Keep your content fresh! I cannot stress this enough. Keep your content fresh, and make sure you share it with your followers. If you don’t then you probably wont get as much traffic as you want and even less clients.
- Set up a time for your appointments and invite your readers to tune in to what you have to say! The worst thing that people can say is NO. So, don’t be afraid to show people what you have to offer.
- Mention your newest job description on your writing website, and give people a glimpse of your knowledge. I have a few articles on my website on how to advance your freelance business, and marketing. From there alone I landed two clients!. If you do not already have a writing website, set one up! Do it!
- Last but not least: Outline your material. Do your research. And have at least one plan ready. Before you get your first client you should already have at least one plan to teach your client. Coaching can be very effective if done the right away. I have met many writers who have coaching services but do not offer me things that I need, or know all about the topics that they offer. So, it leaves me even more confused than when I started! So, if you know the ins and outs of marketing and you think you can teach others about it, get started!
Giving coaching lessons is not for everyone. It takes time, and it takes a lot of patience. However, there is a lot of potential for those writers out there -you know who you are!- who know what they are doing, want to make a few extra bucks on the side, AND have extra time in their super busy schedules to make appointments with new writers who want to learn the tricks of the business with you.
So, if this is for you, give it a try!
Is your freelance business growing?
Can you tell if your freelance business is growing?
You know if your freelance business is growing when you have a steady source of income, you have a growing client list, and blog or website is finally giving you a monthly income. However, this does not always happen.
Many freelance writers consider themselves successful when they have one or two long-term clients, when they can cover their bills each month, and when they are able to work 12 hour days.
In reality, many freelancers cant tell if their businesses are growing, if they have reached a plateau or if they need to work a little bit harder in order to reach higher paying clients. I should know, I am one of them. I am not proud since I have been helping many writers, but I honestly did not have the time to take a closer look at my business until the beginning of this year.
Up until earlier this year, I thought my business was going great.
I did have a steady source of income, I have several clients that I can count on until the end of this year, and most importantly I am making money from my blog. However, as great as that all was I noticed that my traffic was about the same every month, my income did not increase, it stayed the same, and all of the projects that I had put on “pause” because of lack of time, had pretty much been forgotten.
So, in reality, my business wasn’t thriving per say, it was just there. Let me tell you, that killed me! I’m serious!
I felt horrible knowing that the business that I had started a little over two years ago, and helped me create an income when I decided to become a stay-at-home mother had pretty much been left in the dust. In the months following my discover I decided to make a few changes to my blog, and really take a look at what was missing. I didn’t want a good blog, I wanted an AMAZING blog.
Here’s what I did:
- I looked over my blog posts and made a few changes- Took out the posts that had little to no traffic, linked posts that had helpful information, changed tags, added tags, and added new blog posts.
- I changed the look of my blog- I added an E-STORE with some of my favorite products, and many high-quality products, some high in demand products, and lastly products that I love and wanted to recommend.
- I Am adding a newsletter option APART from my blog post updates. I want people to be able to connect with me, and be able to get answers faster. That becomes harder when I have one too many blogs.
- I changed my social media statuses and shared some of the changes I made to my blogs, and posts. So far, many of my readers have liked the newest changes to the blog, and my traffic has increased!
- Finally! the last piece of the puzzle: the clients! Although I do have several private clients, I did need to make a decision about how many clients I needed/ wanted in order to have more time and make more money with my other projects. I realized that although I am making money, I wanted to finish my book, and start on other long-term projects, and that would simply not happen if I had no time to finish either. So, I assigned several clients to other writers, and started working on projects that had been left in the back burner, and finished what I started. The result? Yup! you guessed it! I finally got over the rough start, and began to work on my business again.
Your freelance business will grow if you keep on working towards your goals. Keep a note of what you want to accomplish through your business, and keep working on them. Pay close attention to changes, and always look for the best option for your business.
Nothing can go wrong with that!