Are you interested in becoming a freelance writer?
Have you been writing for money but want to make your business legit?
Grabbing up writing jobs here and there is a great way to make a side income but, without a solid business plan, it’s difficult to grow that pocket money into a full-time income.
Which is totally possible, by the way. I’m living proof!
I kind of stumbled into freelance writing when I decided that I didn’t want to go “back to work” after my twins were born.
I dabbled in paid writing and realized that this is really what I want to do for a living.
I knew I needed a game plan to grow my side hustle into a full-blown business.
It was through trial and error that I learned how to write a business plan step-by-step.
And now I want to share it with you!
With my business plan PDF, I’ve done most of the work for you!
All you need to do to fill it out is flex your brain muscle and come up with some amazing business ideas.
Not sure how to start? Here’s a rundown of how to write a business plan.
(Go ahead and sign up to grab the form before going through this process!)
How to Write a Business Plan: Step-By-Step
Business Overview and Your Business Goal
The first step in business plan writing is to take an overall look at your business idea.
Think about things such as the scope of your business (are you going to focus on a local market or a digital one?) as well as your main business goal.
Your main business goal should focus on what you want the clients to get out of your product/service and what you want to achieve.
Of course, you probably want to make money, so it’s a good idea to set a goal for what you would like to earn each month and for the year.
However, it’s important to focus on non-money goals as well. Do you want to write sponsored content? Have your work featured in a major publication? These are all worthy goals too!
A mission statement is a description of why your freelance writing business exists, why you are offering your service, and how it helps to solve your clients’ problems.
Writing one doesn’t have to be super complicated!
A mission statement typically contains 2 elements: Value and Inspiration.
To figure these things out, write down what your business does, how it does it, and why it does it. This will help you verbalize your purpose and outline the value you offer through your business.
Mission statements are helpful in letting your potential clients know what you are all about but they also work as a sort of compass should you ever need a reminder of where you want your freelance writing business to go!
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of business plan writing is figuring out your business name!
Many freelance writers go with their actual name while others come up with something clever or descriptive of what they do.
For example, my actual freelance writing service is called Innovative Ink which implies that I write plus bring new ideas to the table.
When brainstorming business names, try to be as unique as possible! Not only do you want a name that is memorable to clients but you’ll also want to make sure that the domain name (URL) is available as well.
Having your own domain will make your business look more professional than a subdomain with a free host (such as yourname.wordpress.com). You can check domain availability here.
The Services You Are Offering
Many budding freelance writers believe that their services are limited to writing blog posts.
This isn’t true at all! Freelance writers can offer a variety of services that will benefit businesses and their online presence.
Here are some examples of the services you can offer as a freelance writer:
- Facebook Ads
- Social Media Posts
- Email Campaigns
- Landing Pages
- Editing and Proofreading
- Product Descriptions
- Resumes and Cover Letters
- Online Course Content
That’s a lot! But it’s important not to offer too many services in the beginning.
You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket when starting your freelance writing business.
Instead, take your niche into consideration.
For instance, if you are going to be a medical writer, you likely won’t need to offer resume writing services.
But if you are focusing on employment and education, resume writing and online course content writing are both valuable to that niche.
When figuring out what services to offer, it’s also important to think about who your ideal client is. What are they offering? How do they market their business? What are they looking for?
For example, if they hang out on social media platforms to market their business, they can benefit from a social media content writer.
Once you have figured out the services you want to offer, list them out and determine the cost of each.
Check out my post here about how to price your freelance writing services.
Freelance writing can be a lucrative career but there is a lot of competition out there! There are professional writers creating high-quality content but there are also novice writers churning out subpar content.
This is why it’s important to recognize your value and translate that into an advantage when it comes to hiring you over other writers.
Think about what you can bring to the table when it comes to why businesses will hire you:
- Do you have a solid knowledge of SEO?
- Can you write content that doesn’t have to be edited?
- Can you complete projects quickly?
- Can you help clients with content strategy?
Pinning down your value has everything to do with what will give you a competitive edge.
You also need to determine your client’s pain points and how you intend to solve them. Are you going to help clients save time? Make money? Market their business?
All of this information is going to help you not only structure your website to market your services but also round out an effective pitch when reaching out to potential clients.
Plus, it will help you determine how much to charge for your services – and feel confident doing so!
When you are working on your freelance writing business plan, it’s important to take a look at the competition. This will give you some insight into what other freelance writers are doing and how they are succeeding.
But first, you need to find out who your competitors are!
Start by Googling “Freelance writer + (your niche)” and see who shows up in the top results. You can also do the same search through LinkedIn.
Be sure you focus on writers in your niche, not just freelance writers in general.
Next, take a look at their websites where they target their clients (not just a blog). Check out the services they offer, the prices they charge, and who they have worked with.
Also, pay attention to how they market their freelance writing business and reach clients. Do they have a strong social media presence? Are they offering freebies? Discounts/
Lastly, take a look at their strengths and weaknesses. Do they offer SEO optimization? Do they actively market their business? This is a great way to best develop your overall business strategy.
When you start a freelance writing business, there are really two ways you can find clients – peruse job boards and apply for jobs and market yourself so clients come to you.
Developing a marketing plan involves taking these two methods into consideration and organizing how you intend to get the word out about your writing services!
I wouldn’t recommend focusing on too many marketing channels at once – you don’t want to get overwhelmed. Instead, start with a couple of social media platforms and a couple of job boards to get started.
In time, add in a plan to pitch clients directly as well as offer guest posts to other publications.
Your marketing plan should also include posting blog articles to your website, cultivating an email list, and making sure your content is SEO optimized to draw in organic traffic.
As you plug along with your marketing plan, make sure to keep note of what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to waste your time and energy on something that is not panning out for you.
The great thing about starting a freelance business is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! However, there are some startup costs you should consider.
Here are some costs you should write down so that you can create a budget for your business:
- Domain and Web Hosting
- Website Design
- Job Board Subscriptions
- Editing Tools (Canva, PicMonkey, etc.)
- Email Subscription Services (Convertkit, etc.)
- Courses (to expand your knowledge!)
- Laptop and Other Equipment
Again, you don’t really have to fork out a lot to get started.
Focus on getting your website up and running, courses to help with your writing and business skills, and a laptop to work on (if you don’t already have one).
Business Goals – Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly
At the beginning of business plan writing, I asked you to think about your main business goal. However, once you get started, it’s important to break down the big picture into more manageable steps.
Start by thinking about what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. From here, work your goals down into quarters.
A quarter is a grouping of three months and typically starts at the beginning of the year. For example:
- Quarter 1: January-March
- Quarter 2: April-June
- Quarter 3: July-September
- Quarter 4: October-December
Knowing what you want to accomplish during a three-month period will help you determine what you should be working on each month!
You can then write down your monthly goes in your freelance writing business plan.
How to Create and Implement Your Freelance Writing Business Plan
Business writing when it comes to your freelance business is all well and good – but what do you do with your plan once it’s done?
Here are some ideas of how to create your plan and make sure you implement it:
What Kind of Format Works Best For You?
I am offering this free freelance writing business plan as a fillable PDF to help you keep track of how you intend to start and operate your business.
However, some people work best with pen to paper so you can print it out as well!
It may help to have a printed copy pinned to the wall of your office or workspace to help you keep track of your plan.
Although, I do know some freelance writers that like to write out their current goals on a whiteboard. It’s completely up to you!
How Will You Update Your Business Plan?
Nothing is set in stone, especially when it comes to business writing and coming up with a plan. You should be prepared to make changes as necessary to help you reach your goals.
For instance, you may start out planning to make money as a freelance writer in one niche only to find yourself gravitating toward another that is more lucrative. You may also begin by focusing on Facebook for marketing but realize that Twitter works best for you.
That’s why I like the fact that my free business plan allows you to fill out the PDF form so you can make changes along the way!
This is also why a whiteboard does wonders for following your plan because you can quickly and easily make changes as necessary.
I would recommend reevaluating your plan at least once a month to see if you’re staying on track as well as what is working for you versus what isn’t.
That’s It! Business Plan Complete!
I’m so excited that you are getting your business plan underway! This really is the first step in creating a lucrative freelance writing business.
Imagine spending every day doing what you love – it’s amazing!
Now it’s your turn: Do you have any other tips for writing a business plan?
Share them in the comments – I’d love to hear them!