Freelancing for Profit, Tips and Tricks of the Trade
From Guest Blogger Johnathan Drapper | Every freelance writer, many of whom are indie authors too, dreams of earning more money. Whether it is to make ends meet, enjoy a relatively comfortable lifestyle or build some sort of media empire, the aspirations are there for every one of us who sit at a keyboard bashing out content, stories, and articles.
There is no one answer in particular on how to maximise earnings, but there are one or two key pieces of advice you could heed to help you earn more money and become much more financially efficient.
Have a rigged plan for your day
It may seem a little odd when you are a freelancer, but sticking to a plan or schedule each day will really help maximise your earnings. It doesn’t have to mean sitting at your desk in your office, spare room or attic from 9-5 every day. But having a plan of work and a schedule for doing it will help you get the most out of each day. Start the day by making a to-do list and you’ll relish scratching each item off. Work a solid morning, for example, and take a trip to the gym in the afternoon before finishing things up in the evening. If you have family or dependants then work your time around them, or base your day around when your clients are online if you work with others in a different time zone. By having some sort of plan, it will help you get out of bed in the morning with the vigor and energy to make some money.
Take a short walk before work
A great piece of advice I once received was to do this very thing, take a walk before work. It might seem a little odd if you’re a freelance writer working from home: why would you go out of your door to come in again and start work? Haven’t you just wasted time? Well, the act of going out of your house for a short stroll, whether it is a pet or on the school run, is essentially a commute to work. You’ve “gone to work” by taking the brief stroll. Now you’re ready for the day and ready to earn some serious money.
Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one category or specialty
Don’t become too much of a specialist in one area. Now, there is nothing wrong with being an expert in your field, whether that is writing about science, sport, and shopping trends. But ensure the topics you write about are broad enough to maximise your earnings. If write primarily about technology or film and television and a client was to ask if you could come up with a 500-word review of a married men dating site, don’t say no because you have never written about the dating game. If you do something well, work will lead to repeat commissions and you have suddenly opened up a whole new avenue of income and revenue to explore.
Price yourself competitively
It is a competitive market out there with more freelance writers than ever before. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll earn a decent living. If you’re excellent at what you do, then you will have the lifestyle you have longed for and why you decided to go freelance in the first place. But if you’re starting out or looking to get more work, price yourself competitively. Don’t throw huge figures at clients as there is always someone willing to do it for less. But equally, don’t agree to work for a pittance where you’re not making ends meet. If you pitch your pricing correctly, you will get orders and commissions on a regular basis because clients will see you as excellent value for money. The long and short of it, don’t price yourself out of work at either end of the scale.
Build up a following on social media…
It doesn’t directly make money, but having a large following on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest – can help increase your earnings. The more people that see you work or read it, the better impact it will have on your finances. Companies will want you to write for them if you’re generating significant hits or views to articles you post. Some will even be interested in having you promote their brand via articles. There’s a natural organic reach to articles, but posting links to them from your social media handles and accounts is where the serious numbers can be achieved. So spend time building a good following and you will soon be reaping the rewards financially.
…But don’t spend too much time on social media
It goes without saying that time is money. In the modern day society, with smartphones and tablets sat alongside our laptops, PCs or Macs, there are distractions aplenty to the normal working day. Social is media is the biggest culprit of all. One quick look to see what is happening on your timeline and you’ve liked several posts, read links to news stories and lost 30 minutes of your life. More importantly for the freelance writer, that is 30 minutes of your day and significantly half-an-hour when you didn’t earn a penny. Most writers will use social media for work purposes, it is great for generating views and readership as the previous point was made, but the key thing is not to get immersed in it until the working day is over.
There’s no easy and quick way to increase your earnings as a freelance writer. Everything takes time. But carrying out some of those simple tips around your everyday practices can help you be more productive and time efficient, and more gigs, reach bigger audiences and increase your financial prospects as a consequence.
About the Author
Jonathan Draper is an online dating consultant who runs a blog. My main goal is to enable strangers to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the internet. You can find me on Facebook, and Twitter too!