The dilemma of the starving artist is nothing new. For as long as anybody can remember, it’s gone something like this: You’re an artist rolling in the dough because you were lucky enough to make it big or have connections that got you behind the right closed doors with the right people. Or, you’re practically on the streets, desperate to sell your art, and there is nothing else you can do because you were made to create and not doing so would kill you inside. [Read more…]
Everyone wants to make more money, but wishing isn’t going to make it happen. If you want more money, you have to earn it. Unfortunately, as a freelancer, it’s easy to feel like the cards are stacked against you. Since you get paid per assignment, your income is limited to how many assignments you can take on and what type of assignments people give you. Right?
Not exactly. It’s possible to earn more money with your writing, regardless of your current situation, and without necessarily taking on a greater quantity of work. There are three main types of strategies you can use to do this:
- Broaden your skill set to make yourself more valuable.
- Optimize your client base to maximize the number of assignments that pay the best.
- Manage your time so you can do more work without a greater time investment.
Now let’s take a look at each of these categories individually. [Read more…]
Are you unsatisfied with how much you are earning right now? Do you want to increase your freelance writing income?
While there is no exact formula for this, there are certain things you can do to earn more.
1. Optimize your calendar or to-do list.
I live by the calendar. I used to rely on Google Calendar for everything, but recently, I tried out something new. It’s a to-do app called Timely, which basically tracks how long it takes you to finish a task. You can assign an estimated time for each task, and start/end the timer manually.
At the end of the day, you’ll see whether you spent less or more time than you expected. This is helpful because you can see just how much time you actually spend on tasks. You also get to realize how many hours you don’t spend working and make the necessary adjustments.
With Timely, you can also assign a rate per hour, so you can track how much you earn. This can make your billing easier.
Timely doesn’t “tell you” that you have to work on this task from, say, 8:00 to 9:00. Instead, it helps you keep track of the actual time you spend on a task. It is like a calendar because you have your tasks set out, but it gives you flexibility when it comes to when you actually start and complete a task.
While I had my reservations about switching to Timely after years of solely relying on Google Calendar, I have to say that it has increased my productivity – and ability to generate more income – significantly.
Now, I’m not saying you have to use Timely. It may or may not work for you. My point is that, if you want to get more work done and increase your freelance writing income, you might want to change your calendar/to-do list approach.
Another suggestion: Trello. You can use this to identify “main projects” and then assign “tasks” under each main project. This can make huge projects less daunting, and you can reach milestones faster.
2. Create actionable steps in relation to goals.
We all have freelance writing goals. Since we’re talking about how to increase your freelance writing income, let’s look at an example financial goal: $3000 a month.
That’s easy enough to set, isn’t it?
More than setting that goal, you’ll want to link specific actions to reach that goal. Here are some things you can do:
- List down all your existing clients and how much you expect to earn from them this month.
- Calculate how much more you need to reach your goal.
- Think about things you can do to reach $3000. Make them specific. Example: write 5 articles a week and pitch them to paying sites.
By doing this, you take concrete steps to reach your financial goal without being fixated on the amount of money, which can stress you out if you keep thinking about it.
3. Know your priorities.
What do you do for a living? You are a freelance writer. Focus on that. Prioritize writing.
It may be tempting to browse Facebook, look at Twitter, and check emails first thing in the morning, but try this for a change: write first.
It doesn’t matter what you write, what client you write for first. Just write before you do anything else for the day.
You might be surprised at how much more you get done.
4. Separate work from personal life. For real.
I know I sound like a broken record. Freelance writers work at home, but we need to separate work from our personal lives. It’s easier said than done, but it has to be done.
There’s no other way to say it. When it’s work time (whenever that may be for you), then shut out every thing else.
When it’s family time (like dinner or going to the movies), then forget work. Don’t check email on your phone. Don’t think about deadlines.
Having strict boundaries leads to better work quality and better family experiences. This will help your overall well-being, which can only lead to good things.
5. Learn to say no.
It is very tempting to take on every interesting client that comes your way. After all, more work means higher earnings. However, if you already have existing clients that give you recurring work at a good rate, you may want to say no to new clients.
I know it can be hard to turn down a new revenue stream, but think of it this way: Your existing clients give you reliable work and money. The chances are you can get more work from them as long as you continue delivering excellent work on time. If you take on new clients, your work for existing clients may suffer. This can result in losing their trust and, eventually, custom.
Think about that the next time you find it difficult to say no to new clients.
How do these things increase your freelance writing income?
Not all of the ideas above may directly result in more money, but they will definitely give you more focus, which gives both quantitative and qualitative results.
Try them, and see how your income goes up.
Do you have your own tips on how to increase your freelance writing income? Share your thoughts!