There seems to be two kinds of freelancers when it comes to the beginning to a career: those who are afraid to take on more than a single project at a time and those who jump in so deep that they are drowning in orders before they know what they are doing. Most commonly, it is the first type that we see. While freelancers have the ability to do more than one order at once, they are terrified of the risk or missing a deadline to take the chance. But here is a secret that most freelancers who have been [Read more…]
Managing your time effectively is very individual and so it’s impossible to tell a person which days and times they will be able to work most effectively. However, there are patterns that you can look at and see if you’re the same as most other people when it comes to working. If you’re trying to work out a timetable in order to help yourself work as efficiently as possible, there are several things you should take into consideration and think about first of all.
One of the most time consuming parts of a freelance writing job is the emailing. I do freelance writing on the weekends, and I find that the constant emailing back and forth sometimes takes me almost as long as writing the actual article. The emailing back and forth isn’t even the most strenuous part—it is the emails that get ignored that really kill me. When an email gets ignored I have to email the editor again for a follow-up, then check to see if the message ever sent, then again for another follow up, and then I take a month [Read more…]
We all have trouble focusing from time to time. With the massive time waster that is the Internet tempting us with endless pages of Lolcats, YouTube videos, social-networking sites and Netflix, it is practically turning us all into creatures with the attention span of a goldfish. When was the last time you actually got through a task without checking Facebook? Or sending a text? I bet you can’t even remember. It is no surprise that an avalanche of free applications has been released by developers for the Mac that helps to combat the lack of productivity that sometimes occurs in our everyday [Read more…]
I don’t think it’s enough. Getting work is wonderful, making it is even better. Writers need to put their creative thinking, experience and skills to work to create new projects.
You want to make a living writing.
Here’s how I do it. It may not be a good way for you to do it. Then again, it might be advice that transforms you from a feast/famine disaster into a consistent earner.
There are times when a great opening grabs me and pulls me along at sprint, opening doors for me until the last period hits the page. In those situations, I’m a true believer in the power of a first line’s inspiration. It makes bull riding easier when that happens, too.
With the risk of sounding like I’m ranting, I’d like to talk about wasting your time as a freelance writer. There has been a lot of discussion here at FWJ about where to focus your priorities. We’ve talked about building skills, about establishing a well-balanced portfolio, and about making an awesome first impression. A lot of you are taking that advice to heart, and I can only assume you’re seeing the success because of it. If not, keep pushing – good things take time to build. But a lot of writers, in my opinion, are wasting their time – and [Read more…]
This is a Guest Post by Kevin Whipps (you can learn more about Kevin at the end of this post) When I first started out as a freelancer, I had dreams of waking up at noon, getting my work done by 2:00, and spending the rest of my days playing in fields of daisies. When that didn’t quite pan out, I started to realize that many of the things that people consider to be an advantage as a freelancer are really hindrances, and can really stop productivity in its tracks. Because of that, I developed a system that works well [Read more…]
The number of tools freelance writers can use to manage every aspect of our work keep growing. Some can be incredibly useful for creating a more productive writing process, while some may actually slow you down. The problem is that these tools are not universal. That means that you’ve got to invest time into finding those tools that actually work for you. Even as simple as what you use to actually write can have an impact on your writing. Most writers can identify differences between the types of writing we do with pen and paper and what we do on [Read more…]
When I started out freelancing, I had a Word document that held all the details for my projects, like due dates. I’ve seen plenty of other freelancers working with system they’ve created to keep track of client details that range from paper files to complex spreadsheets. But there are project management tools out there that make creative projects much easier and, since I’ve been using them, my productivity has gone up. There’s an instinctive reaction from some freelance writers that project management tools simply aren’t necessary — it’s just one person working on a few writing projects, after all. Why [Read more…]
When a client signs a contract with you, as a freelance writer, he’s paying for your writing ability. Without prior permission from your clients, you should never hand off any of the writing involved in a project to someone else. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing in your work flow that you can outsource. You can speed up projects and free up time for new clients with some careful outsourcing. What Do You Wish You Didn’t Have to Do? One of my pet peeves is conducting interviews over the phone or in person, simply because I can’t write fast [Read more…]
Andrew Rosen published a post on Splashpress Media’s BloggingPro.com site today called “Bringing Old Content Back to Life: 5 Ways to Revive a Blog Post” that applies to freelance writers, too, so I wanted to share it with the readers here on Freelance Writing Jobs. A big part of writing is knowing when it’s time to remember that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to make an impact on an audience. If you write evergreen content for a blog or other media that can get lost in the clutter over time, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with [Read more…]
There are a lot of free and cheap tools available online that freelance writers can use to make both their lives and work easier. Some make a simple task easier while others streamline processes so you can spend more time writing and finding new business and less time on busy work. Following are a few of the free tools that consistently get great reviews from small business owners. I use (or have used) most of these tools and each offers its own benefits that may or may not be right for you. Since most are free to try, you can [Read more…]
We’ve all had those days where all we want to do is work on our own projects. Maybe there are deadlines piling up, but there’s nothing in our stack of paying work that appeals — and there is something very interesting happening with a project that we don’t actually stand to make money on anytime soon. Those days leave us with a dilemma. Do we force ourselves to buckle down and get to work on something that we really don’t care for or do we spend time on something much more fun, but that won’t pay the bills? No Right [Read more…]
As a freelancer, the speed at which you can write directly affects the speed at which you can earn money. That means, technically, if you can write faster, you can probably earn more money. It’s not the only way a freelancer can earn money, of course, and the fact that it relies on you writing more isn’t always a plus. But it’s not out of the question that you can improve the speed at which you write. Prep Work Makes All the Difference When you watch a busy chef put together dinners at a restaurant, you may notice that he [Read more…]
For a long time, I’ve resisted the suggestions that I try using tools that offer typing shortcuts, like TextExpander. I’ve mastered the keyboard shortcuts that are built into programs, like ‘copy’ or ‘paste’ — and even some of the more obscure commands, like ‘insert hyperlink.’ They’ve certainly increased my speed at getting a document ready for one of my freelancing clients, but I’ve assumed that it would be harder to create and remember shortcuts of my own. Another question I had a hard time answering was what shortcuts would even be helpful. Giving TextExpander a Shot I recently noticed that [Read more…]
As freelancers, we don’t have bosses to check up on us and to make sure that we’re on track to get all of our work done. There are plenty of freelancers for whom that’s never a problem, but, sometimes, some of us need a little help staying focused on our work. Over the years, I’ve found a few different strategies that work for me. Build in procrastination: Some days, writing is harder than others. On those days where I want to be anywhere but my desk, I break down my assignments into small increments. I’ll tell myself that as soon [Read more…]
Without further ado, here’s an overall look at what folks around here had to say about getting things done more efficiently.
Thanks again to everyone who commented. My apologies if I somehow forgot to reference your particular remarks in this post. Every shred of advice provided had real value.
When we’re getting ready to travel, we often pack our laptops. After all, freelance writers can work from anywhere and very few writers are interested in turning down money just because we won’t actually be home for a week. But, depending on the trip, the best of intentions for work can often translate to a situation where the laptop never leaves the case. That can leave a writer scrambling to catch up. If you can clear your schedule ahead of time, traveling can get a lot easier. Can you reschedule due dates? Asking your clients if there’s any flexibility in [Read more…]
Anyway, I wanted to do two things before walking away from that post and implementing those good ideas. First, I wanted to write a “wrap” post about the recommendations, noting the prevailing themes, providing my reactions to them, etc. Second, I wanted to give away the free nacho prize.
You’ll note that this post is labeled “Part One”. You’ll see “Part Two” next week. I’m going to use “Part Two” to break down all of the advice, to provide kind words of thanks to the geniuses who provided it and to come up with what I hope to be a few Marvelous Insights of my own.
I’ve never met a freelance writer who wasn’t at least a little bit of an injo-junkie. Whether it’s jotting down names and numbers in the line at the supermarket when you find someone who could be a great source or spending hours online reading web pages and copying great lines for your swipe file, a good freelance writer is always collecting notes and new ideas. Of course, if you don’t have some sort of system for managing all of that information, all of those notes could turn into a problem, rather than the resource they should be. If you’re still [Read more…]
As freelancers, the number of words we can write in a given hour can directly determine our income. On the surface, it makes sense to say that, if we can write faster, we’ll earn more money. At the same time, though, even if you can type 120 words per minute, that doesn’t necessarily translate into the pay rates we’d all like to see. Most writers hit an upper limit of good words they can write in a given day and while we can all bang away at the keyboard for hours after we’ve reached that limit, it’s usually pretty obvious [Read more…]
The thing about a well-researched article is that you’re probably only going to sell it once. If you’re really on top of the ball, you may sell the reprint rights or put it into a larger piece of work, but the bottom line is that you can do hours of research and still only sell an article once. But the fact of the matter is that you can often make your research do double duty — you can use it to write more than one article, letting you improve the return on the time you’re investing. Keeping Your Editors Happy [Read more…]