Where I’m Writing and How I’m Doing It

March has been a great month for my business. I thought I’d let my readers know a little bit about how my writing business is going.

This year started off with a bang! I launched my new writer website design and immediately received queries for my writing. While not every query landed a writing job, it did confirm that my inbound marketing tactics were working.

If you’re looking to land a few clients for your freelance writing business, you might want to look at:

Where I’m Writing and How I’m Doing It

Freelance Writing Jobs for Newbies: Landing Your First Client

6 Foolproof Marketing Tips to Help You Become a Better Freelance Writer

7 Guaranteed Ways to Write Faster and Get More Clients

Where I’m Writing

In January I secured one writing client, Twtrland, and two eBook designs.

I really enjoy graphic designs (as you can tell by my feature images on my blog posts), so when I had a fellow freelance writer ask me to make an eBook for her course, I jumped at the opportunity.

She graciously referred me to one of her clients and I was able to design an eBook for the anticipated food company.

February was a busy month. Not only was I writing for my clients, I had family appointments and obligations. I managed to keep my blog afloat with some freelance writer interviews and was able to pick up two more clients.

Go We Love It is a lifestyle website that provides a variety of topics on a daily basis. I provide 2-3 posts a month depending on my content schedule. I enjoy stretching my writer wings and being able to explore a variety of topics that interest me.

In my Confessions of a Freelance Interview, I mentioned that I signed up for Tom Ewer’s Paid to Blog Job Board. I signed up for one month to see if it would help me land more clients. Unfortunately it did not.

Most of the job ads were from Craigslist, meaning the pay was below my minimum rate. I was, however, able to land one client, The Meal Prep.

The Meal Prep is a food delivery service for people who are too busy to cook healthy meals. I’m really enjoying writing about healthy eating options and I have a lot of flexibility on what topics I end up writing. Currently I’m writing 4 posts a month.

This month, March, brought me four more clients – all of them acquired within one week!

I know, that’s a lot in a short amount of time.

Something also new happened – two out of the four writing jobs are for ghostwriting clients. I landed ghostwriting gigs for one professional blogger and one other blogger. I’m in the process of writing up my posts for them.

These are my first ghostwriting clients and I’m learning that even though I can’t promote my content, I’m being well compensated for being anonymous.

I also picked up another writing gig with a visual effects company called Visualaz. This client was actually a referral from another freelance writer. This freelance writer connected with me via LinkedIn and when she was approached by Visualaz for content services, she ended up referring me.

I asked her why she referred me over her other network of freelance writers and she told me it was because of my author bio.

On LinkedIn, you have a space next to your name for a title that tells everyone who you are and what you do. My title is, “Freelance Writer and Blogger for Hire.” She saw that I was seeking work and she referred me.

My last client I secured in March is The Allergy Kit. The Allergy Kit is the first of its kind. It’s actually a treatment for allergies. It is a unique product and part of my writing task is to try this kit and journal my progress on their blog.

I’m excited to give it a try as I do have a milk intolerance and am susceptible to the ill effects of wheat (inflammation, weight gain, mood swings etc…). I’m slotted for 4 posts a month.

On top of my paid clients, I contribute content on two websites. I am a contributor for FreelancerFAQ’s (and I recently acquired the domain from Alicia Rades, making me the owner), which is a great resource for new and aspiring freelance writers.

We answer the questions you ask. It doesn’t take a lot out of my schedule as I only write one post a month and the length is variable. So far, I’ve written three:

How Do I Set Myself Apart From Other Freelance Writers?

How Do I Make More Money As A Freelance Writer?

Are You Hitting a Home Run With Your Pitch Letter?

I also contribute digital marketing content for Tweak Your Biz. Tweak Your Biz is an online business community that welcomes guest contributors. I provide 1- 1,000 word blog post every 30-60 days. Here is my first post:

How to Build a Powerful Blog That Will Drive Traffic

It looks like my plate is almost full! Currently I have 8 clients. So, how am I juggling all of my client work?

How I’m Doing It

This may seem like a lot of client work, in actuality it isn’t a lot of writing. Many of these clients want shorter, more concise posts of no more than 500 words, while other clients want posts less frequently, but in the 1,000-1,5000 word length.

Still other clients are on a “as needed” basis and only contact me when they want content.

As I just landed four new clients, I will see how this will fit in my content schedule, but I do have some organizational systems and productivity techniques to keep me from missing deadlines.

Here is what I’m doing to get my writing done:

1. Excel Sheet

I have a running sheet of my on-going clients and their requirements. On it I also have a spot for deadlines and submission dates to help me see which writing task I need to do first.

Since each of my clients pay me a different rate (depending on length, topic, and if it’s ghostwritten among other things), I have an excel sheet cataloguing:

  • What my clients pay  me
  • When my clients pay me
  • How they pay me
  • When I receive payment

This helps to see if my business is growing, stalling or declining.

Currently, January was a good month, but February slowed down. March, however, is busy and I will see some growth in my business.

2. iCloud Calendar

My calendar on my laptop comes in handy for not only client work, but for my family appointments. Each family member has a color so it’s easy to see what needs to be done.

I use my calendar to mark Google Hangout times, interviews and long-term deadlines. It’s always good to have multiple places to mark your deadlines if you suddenly have many clients.

I’m not sure how other calendar systems work, but with mine I usually get a reminder a day or two before the actual due date and this has been a blessing if I’m knee-deep in a clients’ writing task.

3. My To-Do Lists

What freelance writer doesn’t have a to-do list? I’m not one for technology when it comes to my checklist. I prefer the old pen and paper approach for my day-to-day tasks.

I have a notebook for each client and this is where I write down necessary information such as their brand message and voice for their content. I also write down topics and an outline for each post I write.

I also have a notebook for my blog and have a running list of the many topics I plan to cover.

On top of this, I have my weekly calendar where I highlight deadlines and write notes. For example, I’ve written posts in advance for clients and I note of when a post is published to make sure to link it on a future post that will be published.

4. Work on One Client a Day

Before I had multiple clients, I would work on one or two clients at a time. So, in the afternoon, I would work on clients’ A work and in the evening, I would switch focus and write for client B. I was able to get the work done, but I found it would take me 3 or 4 days to complete my work for one client.

With my new clients, I knew this wasn’t going to fly for my business. There would be no way for me to write for 5-8 different clients and meet my deadlines.

So, after doing a little bit of research on productivity, I found if I did one simple thing  it would increase my workflow.

What is it?

It’s spending one day on one client.

Since landing new clients, I found that if I devote the entire day to one client I:

  • End up writing more
  • Able to better represent my clients’ brand and brand message when I can focus whole-hardheartedly on their content
  • Can often complete their month’s  content needs in less time than if I worked on several clients at one time

 Loving My Writing Business

In the world of freelance writing, you can have dry spells where you haven’t any clients and are desperate for client work at any price. Then, there will be times where you have too much writing tasks and you suddenly are desperate to drop a few clients to get some breathing room.

That’s the life of a freelance writer. You’ll have great months and poor months, but as long as you are seeing positive growth, you’re going in the right direction.

Ideally, you want to have soo much work you have to arbitrage it out, but that can be a headache all by itself. Luckily, for me, I’m enjoying consistent work on a daily basis.

If you’re a freelance writer, what’s on your plate currently and how are you handling it? I want to hear from you!

Oh, and don’t forget, sharing is caring. Please Pin this!

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.

Leave a Reply

16 Comments

Hi Elna! I’ve been reading your posts from time to time, and I really appreciate how helpful you’ve been. I especially like the “how I did it” posts because I can relate — I’m a mom of little ones trying to really break through freelance writing. Recently, I’ve been inspired to try your methods mentioned here, which will I will do!! I was really resistant to accepting non-paying gigs. I’m changing my mind. I’m going to hunker down and build my portfolio with the free gigs to get the real paid gigs!! The other way is sooo slow for me. Can you suggest any other general interest Websites to contribute?Reply to Justine
Hi Justine, That’s great you want to get into freelance writing and hunker down! It can be overwhelming can’t it? That’s why I’m working on a comprehensive guide and boot camp for people just like you that want to get into freelance writing but is just having a hard time doing it. I have a content upgrade of 120+ guest posts you can contribute. Take a look at my post on 3 Ways to Build Your Portfolio to download it! And you could always guest post over on FreelancerFAQs!Reply to Elna
It’s so awesome to do what you love! These are some great tips on how to work well & the client gets the most from it. Thanks for sharing!Reply to Leslie
Hey Leslie! Thanks, I love sharing my information on where I’m writing. It’s a great feeling when your business is really taking off. You just want to tell everyone about it. I hope I inspire other writers to keep pitching and landing clients! Thanks for stopping by. ElnaReply to Elna
Elna, it is great that you are doing so well! I’m so proud of how far you have come in such a short while. You go, girl! 🙂Reply to Lorraine
Thanks Lorraine! My poor arm and wrist is bugging me! The other day I slipped on some ice walking with the kids and it just got me more out of whack. Now I have a sore bum! My arm was already bugging me before the fall, but now, it’s totally bugging me. Can barely use the mouse or go on the laptop! Grr………. Anyways, thanks for the comment! I’m working super hard and getting queries lately! It’s nice!Reply to Elna
Congrats on your awesome progress in 2015! I’m really glad we “met” through Twtrland 🙂Reply to KeriLynn
Hey KeriLynn! Yes, I’m glad we met through Twtrland. I like to network with freelance writers as a way to grow my business and offer any help I can to those who need it! Thanks again for stopping by! ElnaReply to Elna
Way to go Elna! 4 clients in 1 week is a pretty big deal. You go girl!!Reply to Gina
Thanks Gina! I’m working super hard and getting things accomplished 3 hours a day! It goes to show, the more you write, the faster and more efficient you get! And hey, you are still a writer chica, don’t ever forget that! ElnaReply to Elna
I love that you’re sharing this with other writers! It’s really cool to follow writers on their business journey. Good luck with everything!Reply to Alicia
Hey Alicia, Thanks for the comment. I feel the same way; whether it’s income reports or what type of clients they have, it’s nice to see how other writers are doing it. I know you are one busy gal yourself! Can’t wait to hear about your new books! ElnaReply to Elna
Hi Elna! Congrats on landing all those new clients in March! I love having new projects to work on and find the variety keeps me motivated. I have one quick question (which would also make a great blog post topic!). How do you handle payments from individuals? I work with so many companies that have established payment systems set up for freelancers, that I always get nervous about doing work for an individual, because I wonder if they will actually pay, despite having a contract. Tips? Thank you! AngelaReply to Angela
Hi Angela, Practically all my individual clients pay through PayPal (as well as some companies). I have one client that pays direct deposit so that’s a relief for me! With individual contracts, you can deal with payments a variety of ways: 50% up front, payment after each assignment, payment after a set amount of writing assignments, bundling your work, or having a set retainer. For me, I either bundle my work or request payment after each writing assignment. I won’t go into detail about what happens if a client delays payment as this is confidential information, but what I can say, is I trust each of my clients to pay me on time and they trust me to provide quality content! Great question. I hope I answered it! For other freelance writers, how do you handle payments?Reply to Elna
Thanks for the tips and ideas! The majority of my clients pay with PayPal, direct deposit or checks. It’s new start-up companies that don’t have a system in place to work with freelancers that makes me worried!Reply to Angela
Thanks for stopping by Angela! Yes, the majority of my clients pay via PayPal or direct deposit. Everything so far with new clients or start-ups are going great! They mostly pay on time and most, if not all, are great clients to work with! ElnaReply to Elna