3 Tips on How to Manage Your Freelance Writing Career

In my last post, I talked about some of the things a new freelance writer needs to have to get the job done. One tip I mentioned in that post was in order to be a successful freelance writer you also need to be a successful project manager.

In Part 2 of my mini blog series I plan to cover

  • How to be a star project manager
  • Minding your P’s and Q’s (that’s manners for those of you who don’t have a clue what I mean)

So how does a new freelance writer become a  project manager? Just follow these proven and successful tips!

3 Tips on How to Manage Your Freelance Writing Career

Be A Project Manager

1. Be Your Own Best Manager

Managing your own projects and deadlines is a huge part of your freelance writing career. To excel at writing, its imperative to be a great project manager.

Do you want to know the difference between a highly sought after freelance writer and one who only has a few clients?

I’m quickly learning that the difference is having to take responsibility for your work, whether it is good or rushed and hacked together. It’s easy to just blame poor quality work on external factors like a bad break-up or the stress of opening your house up to parental visits. Successful writers know when they have produced a low quality work and they own up to it.

Although you may think that a client will fire you  for producing low-quality work (and don’t get me wrong, they could fire you), you might be surprised to learn that if you own up to it, they will admire your honesty and be more inclined to work with you in the future.

What will get you fired, according to Freelance Writing, is repeatedly missing deadlines. So take it from me, instead of missing your deadline because you feel you produced shoddy work, talk to your client and see if you two can come up with a reasonable time frame to re-work your article or blog post.

A great resource I often go to for solopreneur tips is at CarefulCents.

2. Set Reasonable Expectations

Many new freelance writers take on more than they can chew in the beginning of their budding career. It might take you a few months to get steady work, but once you have  a few clients under your belt, you’ll have a hard time passing up any projects that come your way.

If you are going to remember only one thing from this mini blog series, remember this:

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

It’s easy to go after all the jobs in your niche . However, having restraint and setting reasonable expectations is what makes a good freelance writer. So how do you set expectations?

  • Make your payment terms crystal clear when presenting it to your prospective client
  • Consider a contract. This ensures what your expectations are with a client.
  • Mark your deadlines on your calendar
  • Be honest with yourself and ask Can I really take on another writing project at this time?

3. Use a Project Management Tool

If you find that you are unable to track all your projects and deadlines it’s a good idea to find a project management system that’s right for you.

I started out using Microsoft Excel, but once my client load grew, I had to find something better. Now I use Google Sheets and I’m finding it’s a great tool to keep everything in order.

Manner’s Count

If you think:

  • using emoticons in your communication with clients
  • starting an email to a potential client with, “Hey!”
  • responding to a client via email that is littered with short form words like ttyl, ASAP, IDK, and bc

are all considered okay or even professional, then I’m here to tell you that it isn’t good netiquette.

If you want to get serious with your freelance writing career, then make sure you practice professionalism in all areas of your work.

What can you do to mind your manners? Find out in Part 3 of my blog series on Getting the Job Done!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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Hi Elna! These are great tips. Would it be helpful at all to delve into (lightweight) project management training? Have you ever been asked by a client to formally project manage as part of a writing gig?Reply to Jill
Hi Jill! Thanks so much. Unfortunately, I don’t do any project management for my clients and can’t offer any training on that!Reply to Elna