18 New Year’s Resolutions for Freelance Writers for 2023

What a 2022 it has been for the world and for my business!

Was it just as wild as mine?

From being interviewed for a Business Insider article to sharing my thoughts in the Globe and Mail on hand pain, I am amazed by all the opportunities I’ve had lately.

18 New Year’s Resolutions for Freelance Writers for 2023

Another accomplishment I’ve had because of my writing is landing some high-paying and notable clients this year.

I’m excited that narrowing my niche and working with more SaaS businesses worked.

2022 was also filled with many new life changes – like adopting a new kitty.

So, what’s in store for my business in 2023?

Many writers in my Writeto1k Facebook group are discussing intentions rather than resolutions.

Whatever you call them, my resolutions are simple: be present in my life and make good choices overall.

I usually have a word for the year; for 2023, it’s LIVE.

To help you achieve the best in 2023, let’s go over some freelance writing resolutions you can set for your business.

1. Raise Your Rate and Make More Money

Something cool happened this year for me: As soon as I raised my copywriting rates, I landed better-paying clients!

And I’m pretty sure that if YOU raised your freelance writing rates, you’d attract better writing jobs.

So, what does this look like?

If you’re writing for $.10/word, then for the next job lined up, ask for $.12/word or $.15/word.

With every new writing gig that comes your way, increase your rate.

This goes with creating a client ladder (my next resolution for you!)

But, a significant driver to increasing your rate is up-leveling your writing skills.

Check out my video for tips on how to do this!

2. Create a Client Ladder

When starting as a beginner freelance writer, one thing that can help you stay on track and make a living is creating a client ladder.

What is this?

You create a roadmap of how to get to your ideal client.

As a new freelancer, it’s hard to land that ideal client right off the bat. Instead, you can create a ladder of bottom-tier clients to get to your top-tier client.

So, if my top-tier clients are digital marketing SaaS businesses, I can create a client ladder this way:

  • Bottom-tier: solopreneurs with multiple sites
  • Mid-tier: small businesses with 50 workers or less
  • Mid-tier: small businesses that focussed on digital marketing content
  • Mid-tier: new SaaS startups
  • Top-tier: established SaaS businesses

This is just one variation of a client ladder, but you get the picture!

To help you set up your client ladder, make sure and pick up my free business plan template!

3. Read More

I don’t know about you, but I seriously failed my reading goal in 2022.

I set out to read at least one business book every quarter (yes, I know that isn’t a big demanding goal, but I lack time, and I’m constantly tired because of our kitty), but I have failed this.

I’m hoping to get some time and sanity back in 2023 (my word: LIVE) so that I can read more.

I want to read for enjoyment and learning.

And it should be the same for you. When you read more, you simply become a better writer overall.

You learn sentence structure, storytelling elements, and more with reading.

To help you start your goal of reading more books, check out my guides for business-type reading:

4. Start that Fiction Writing (Or Pick It Up Again)

One intention some of my course students want is to try or get back into fiction writing for 2023.

Marlon Martinez has a plan once he finishes his degree.

What I am thinking about is finishing my English bachelor’s degree, and I feel you on investing more time in fiction writing! I want to have tried my pen at every form of writing there is by the time I die. I just want my degree out of the way, and then blasting forward full speed ahead establishing myself as a writer.

I also know that many freelance writers aim to publish a fiction book, and kudos to them!

I don’t have the fiction writing bug, so this isn’t a resolution I would have but I thought I’d put it on my list since I know many writers have this goal or intention.

One thing you can do to jumpstart your writing is to hop onto Medium.

Medium allows you to write in any genre – fiction, history, cryptocurrency, and anything in between.

You can use Medium to help you land freelance writing jobs and as a way to just write away!

I use it as a dumping ground for things I want to write about that just don’t fit on any of my blogs.

These are more personal things I’m going through.

If you’re not on Medium, 2023 is YOUR YEAR to do it!

5. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

I hope you’re on LinkedIn as a freelance writer!

This is a MUST to help you get your business off on the right foot.

LinkedIn and Twitter were the first two social media platforms I used for my freelance writing business, and over the years, it’s helped me make tens of thousands of dollars.

In my Writeto1k course, I go through how to set up your LinkedIn profile correctly and find and attract clients.

To help you get started, one tip I can offer is to boost engagement on LinkedIn.

When you do this, you’ll get more profile views. This is the strategy I used to get around 1,000 profile views to my LinkedIn profile.

6. Start Guest Posting (Or Do More Guest Posting)

If I had to pinpoint the one thing that really ramped up my freelance writing business, it would be guest posting.

I know….you were probably thinking cold pitching or networking, right?

Well, guest posting opened the doors to networking and landing clients easily.

But, over the years, I stopped guest posting. I mean, I already had great client work, had other blogs, and was doing good.

Then, I wanted to offer a new service and land a few more clients.

There was no need to check job boards as I didn’t want entry-level writing jobs.

So, it wasn’t until one of my students, Wendy Coop, hosted my Book Clients in 30 Days Challenge that I was inspired to guest post in 2021.

And, because of guest posting, I landed a gig with Zapier, and more clients came after that.

The guest posts were also on great types of blogs: Good Men Project and Addicted2Success.

If you want to guest post, you can always check on Facebook and ask other writers where they guest post, and you can Google your niche + write for us.

When you put yourself out there, the jobs come to you!

7. Experiment with Different Types of Content

A big resolution for freelance writers is to offer a new service.

To do this, however, you need to be proficient in a new type of content.

For example, if you want to offer copywriting, you should know how to write marketing materials like a sales page, landing page, Facebook ad, etc.

The same goes for any other type of service, so a resolution is to learn different types of content.

I recently did this when I started offering email sequences.

I was very familiar with email sequences since I have two email lists with over 20,000 subscribers but am not experienced in offering this service to others.

So, I created a client ladder and used Instagram to attract my bottom/mid-tier clients.

I found working with other mompreneurs inspiring and worthwhile. It filled my creative cup and ultimately made me a better writer.

Some types of writing you can do:

When exploring new types of content to write, read a lot of that type of content and take note of similarities.

For example, with SEO writing, you might realize that most top-ranking posts are over 1,000 words, so it’s long-formed.

You might also see that certain words are used in keyword titles like Best, How To, What Is?

Another thing you might notice is how many SEO blog posts use keywords in their subtopics.

After noting these similarities, it’s your turn to try this type of writing.

If SEO writing is something you want to learn in 2023,  enroll in my masterclass!

 

8. Update Your Portfolio

A great end-of-the-year task for your freelance writing business is to look at your portfolio and remove any posts that just aren’t the greatest writing you know you can do.

You can also remove articles that aren’t in your wheelhouse or niche and streamline your portfolio if you have a lot of articles to show (like me!) by sectioning your portfolio.

When you update your portfolio, you’ll gain the motivation to pitch to job boards, do some prospecting on LinkedIn, or do more marketing for your business.

This is what happens to many other writers and me. It’s similar to when you clean your home; you then want to organize your home and then buy new things for your home 🙂

9. Take a Specialized Course

A popular New Year’s resolution for many people is to take a class or course to learn a new skill.

I did mention this when talking about trying different types of writing since the easiest and quickest way to learn a skill is to learn it from someone who has already done it!

Over the years, I’ve taken a copywriting course, Facebook ads course, and recently I’ve been diving into more blogging and digital product processes.

If you are interested, I have some specialized courses to take to help you make more money with your writing.

10. Grab an Invoice Tracker Sheet

Guess what?

I’m working on creating an Invoice Tracker Sheet for freelance writers, but it’s not ready right now.

So, why am I making this type of spreadsheet?

I know how important it is to get paid!

You’ll hear about clients that miss deadlines and don’t pay on time or those that just ghost you and don’t email you, let alone pay you.

So, to keep you accountable and hopefully your clients, an invoice tracker sheet can help you organize your freelance writing business. (as well as a project management system).

These simple tracker sheets are a great resolution to help you ramp up your business and make it legit!

11. Say No to Bad Clients

Let this be your 2023 mantra: “Say No to Bad Clients!”

And trust me, you’ll run into bad clients as you land more freelance writing gigs.

You can keep a list of red flags that come your way or also use my handy checklist here!

(Click to see enlarged)

Bad clients bring you down and make you work harder for little pay.

They may belittle you and make you feel like you aren’t even a writer.

You don’t HAVE to endure this as a freelancer.

This is YOUR business, and YOU dictate how many clients and which clients you want to work for.

For more help, check out my video on bad clients!

12. Take a Pitching Challenge

Another popular resolution for freelance writers is to take a pitching challenge.

This is especially a good marketing tactic if you are brand new and don’t have any clients under your belt.

A pitching challenge gives you a plan you can stick to for a set time. I often tell writers to set a two-week pitching challenge and for that time, to pitch 10 times each day. 

This is a total of 140 pitches in 2 weeks. It’s a huge goal but one you can do.

For my Writeto1k students who have finished my course, I offer a Book Clients in 30 Days Challenge.

This is more involved than just sending out pitches.

I help my students get all the right tools in place and use different ways to market their business in 30 days.

This challenge runs multiple times a year, thanks to alumni students who host the challenge, and many of my students have landed gigs within days of this challenge!

13. Set an Income Goal

Part of the client ladder is to also do an income goal for each “rung” of your ladder.

This can be set as a per word rate or per service.

For my email sequence clients, I set my income goal at $300 per email. So, I started with $150 per email and worked my way up as I went up my client ladder.

For 2023, try setting your income goal in this way to help you see what types of clients pay what rates.

14. Focus on Networking and Growing Your Professional Network

Networking is the backbone of your freelance writing business.

Without it, it would be hard to make a living as a writer.

The other freelancers you meet on social, and the clients you work for are all part of your professional network that you can leverage.

To start networking, be friendly to your clients and go above and beyond for them. That way, they will remember you and give you a glowing testimonial when you ask them to refer you to their network of business owners.

You can do this for other freelancers like web developers, copywriters, graphic designers, coaches, and more.

Provide help, be friendly and open, and over time, you can ask them if they know anyone who needs a blog writer.

15. Celebrate Every Win in Your Business

To stay positive when things are slow, celebrate every type of win for your business.

It can be as small as signing up to Trello or as big as landing your largest retainer client.

Be intentional, and present when these wins happen and reward yourself.

Take the afternoon off or go to dinner with your partner or friends.

Again, this is YOUR business, and you run it how you want to!

16. Schedule Time Off

One thing you might realize too late is that because you are your own boss, you tend to stay “late” and work every day (or want to work every day).

I almost slipped into this the first year as a freelance writer. My twins were toddlers and napping once a day, and I would keep writing, pitching, or marketing when they woke up from their nap.

I had to go back to my “why” of doing this and realize I didn’t want to miss out on motherhood, so I had to set timers and things to help me  stop working at 3pm or when my twins woke up and be in mom-mode.

But while I had my days more balanced, I didn’t have my life balanced. 

Most of my time as a freelance writer, I never took a vacation.

It was only last summer that we did a family road trip.

I’m not proud of this, but because I have my hand in many pots (multiple sites, multiple clients, and multiple students/products), I have to work all the time.

I take summers mostly off, and I pick and choose how many clients I can manage at any time.

These time-offs have been good for me recently, and I will continue to structure my business this way in 2023.

17. Prioritize Self-Care and Wellness Daily

Along with scheduling time off, go ahead and set a resolution for prioritizing self-care in your day.

Incorporate walking or yoga, meditating in the morning or before bed.

Spend quality time with your family or cook, or explore a new hobby.

These self-care things balance your life and make you a better freelance writer (because you’re happier and have a clearer mind).

18. Develop a Writing Routine That Works for You

Do you have a writing routine for your client work?

Over the years, I have refined my writing process for high-paying clients, my own blog posts, and my niche sites to make money blogging.

Each type of “platform” requires a different writing process.

Figure out what you need to have a consistent writing routine. It might be that your environment has to be quiet and has a lot of fresh sunlight.

So, this means writing in a quiet office facing the window.

For others, you might need music and a water bottle to set the mood; from there, you can write your outline.

Overall, for your writing process to work, don’t spend too much time writing.

A 1,000-word blog post should take you no more than 3-4 hours (if you’re a beginner).

I can write it in about 1 hour, but that’s after years of writing online!

Spend most of your time editing your content and researching your content pieces.

New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

There ya go!

I hope you enjoyed these resolutions (or intentions) for your business in 2023.

Tell me in the comments what your resolutions are!

Please remember to pin me!

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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2 Comments

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Hi Rodney, So glad to hear that! Yes, I love reading about New Year’s resolutions!Reply to Elna