How to set goals for your freelance writing career

Whether you're starting a writing career from scratch or looking to boost your income, setting good goals can help you. It allows you to think concretely of what you want, what you need to get there, and keep you motivated. 
 
This is a worksheet you can use when planning out your goals. Some things to keep in mind: 

Make it SMART

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. "I want to make a lot of money"-- not SMART. "I want to increase by income by 25% in 2022 by expanding my client list and raising my rates" is. 

Think about your why

Your "Why" is what motivates you on this journey. It's what should be top of mind so that when motivation ebbs and flows, you could stay focused. For example, your why can be so you feel financially secure, have more work-life balance, or more flexibility. 

Break it down

One year-long goal can be overwhelming. Instead, break your goal down into five or six chunks....
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When to fire a client

 

As a freelance writer, it’s hard to say goodbye to a client. After all, we need the money!

Sometimes, though, the money just isn’t worth it. 

3 red flags - it's time to fire that client

Increasingly unreasonable demands

Maybe the gig seemed like a decent idea at the start, paying just fine. Now, though, you’re being asked for more revisions, longer posts, and maybe even additional fact-checking requirements — without seeing increased pay. If you’re being asked to do more and more without being compensated, it’s probably time to move on.

Unprofessional interactions

Is the client unprofessional? Do they interact with you in a condescending manner? Those kinds of interactions can take a toll on your mental health — and it can spill over into other areas of your life, causing problems with your other relationships. 

You dread doing the work

Anytime you look at your calendar and see an assignment from a client and immediately cringe,...

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What you need to accept if you want to make money as a freelance writer

We all love freelance writing here at the Freelance Writer Academy. After all, it’s led us to lives of flexibility and freedom. 

BUT, it’s not always a cake walk and there are some hard realities you need to face if you want to be successful in the long run. 

The writing isn’t always fulfilling

We become writers because we like writing and we want to Write Important Things. However, the writing isn’t always fulfilling. Sometimes you’re writing to SEO and just paying the bills. As a working writer, making money isn’t very glamorous all the time. Sometimes you just need to pay the rent and buy groceries.

Get used to rejection

Not everyone is going to work out. You’ll be told no. You’ll be let go from jobs. Miranda is considered one of the foremost personal finance writers out there and she still gets told no. It’s hard not to take things personally, but remember that rejection isn’t personal and that there are other...

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How to use LinkedIn to get freelance gigs

freelance writing gigs Dec 20, 2021

You might be surprised to discover how useful it can be to use LinkedIn to find freelance writing gigs. Kat has had a great deal of success using LinkedIn, and Miranda has also been recruited for gigs just for being present and active on LinkedIn.

Improve your LinkedIn profile

The first step is to update your LinkedIn profile so that you put your best foot forward. Some ways you can make your LinkedIn profile more attractive include:

  • Use keywords to describe yourself, including “freelance writer” and “professional writer.”
  • Don’t forget about words that describe your niche. Miranda uses “freelance financial writer.”
  • Make sure your picture is professional.
  • Include credentials if you have them.

With descriptors that potential clients are looking for, you’re more likely to show up in searches.

Ask for recommendations

If you’ve done a good job, you can ask for recommendations to be included in your profiles. Some testimonials can...

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5 ideas for beating writer’s block

freelance writing tips Dec 13, 2021

We’ve all been there. Writer’s block is a real scourge for just about every writer at some point in time. As a freelance writer, though, it can be especially frustrating because, my goodness, deadlines.

If you ever suffer from writer’s block, there are some things you can do to get beyond it. Before you try any of this, though, a good rule of thumb is to plan your freelance writing schedule so that you’re working on assignments at least a couple of days before they’re due.

You might need time to work through the writer’s block and trying to force it half an hour from when you’re expected to turn in the assignment can be a problem.

 

  • Go for a walk: This is one of the top ideas for beating writer’s block. A little physical activity and fresh air can help you get out of your funk and energize you to move forward.
  • Write something else: Take a break from the current assignment and write something else. It doesn’t even have to...
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4 tips for keeping editors happy

freelance writing tips Dec 06, 2021
 

As a freelance writer, one of the most important things you can do is build a good relationship with your editors. And it’s not just because it makes for a more pleasant professional situation. 

Editors move publications — and there are even freelance editors who work with multiple publications. Miranda has worked with one particular editor on three different projects, at his request. She is currently freelancing for Forbes because another editor brought her along when he started working there.

So, how do you wow your editors? You might be surprised at how simple it can be.

Meet your deadlines

When you can be counted on to turn your work on time, that goes a long way with most editors. If you know you’re going to miss a deadline, let your editor know ASAP. Good communication combined with turning in most of your stuff on deadline (or even a little early) can make a huge difference and move you to the top of the list.

Turn in clean copy

Do a little proofreading...

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