Managing Your Workload As A Freelance Writer

By on September 13, 2016
Managing Your Workload As A Freelance Writer - Writer's

There are many ups and downs to working as a freelance writer. Struggling to get jobs and maintain a steady income can be a huge challenge. However with the abundance of writing jobs out there today, many freelance writers find themselves with an opposite sort of problem - the job offers flooding in, and suddenly having to ensure they have enough time, flexibility and organisation to ensure they meet all those deadlines.

Managing your workload as a freelance writer can be tricky. Of course, we are used to being able to pick and choose when we work (one of the many great perks of the job), but without proper scheduling, when the bigger, more demanding, more complex projects come in, it is easy to get into a state of panic very quickly.

Many freelance writers, like me, are creative writers at heart. Natural organisation doesn’t necessarily come easily to them. What can happen easily, however, is taking on too many jobs, underestimating the length of time it is going to take your to do them and ending up juggling an impossible workload which leaves you feeling stressed and exhausted.

Here are some of the common predicaments freelance writers find themselves in

Not being able to say no to any job - you don’t know if you might lose a client, or your other work might dry up, so you say yes to everyone just in case

You don’t pay attention to how much you are being paid. You get paid completely different amounts for different jobs and don’t realise that some of them are taking you just as long but for half the paycheck.

You can’t bear the idea of outsourcing any of your jobs because you want to exceed your client's expectations, and the only way you can do that is by managing every aspect of your freelance writing business yourself.

Sound familiar? If it does you need to take control and find a way to make your business work for you, before you become overworked, overbooked and unable to keep it up any longer.

So how do you do it?

Know your worth

Your existing clients should know by now that you deliver good quality work on time and go over and above to make sure they are satisfied. Therefore if you put your rates up, they should be happy to meet them to keep you working for them. Making yourself the cheapest of the cheap won’t work, in fact, it will put off clients who will assume they’ll get what they pay for. Don’t take on jobs that don’t pay properly; they don’t do anyone any favours, especially you.

Learn how to drop clients

Make a list of all the people you regularly work for, the hours you work for each one and how much you earn. Drop your lowest payer, or the one that takes up too much of your time. You should make room for new clients who are willing to pay more and demand less for the quality of service you provide.

Build your testimonials and get a tip top portfolio together

Getting great testimonials will prove your worth and these, plus a great portfolio means you can start to pitch for the best-paid jobs. You need to show what you can do and having the above will make that so much easier.

Get referrals

If you particularly like working with a certain client ask them if they know of anyone else you might find your services useful. Informing your clients you’d appreciate it if they referred you to others will help get the job offers rolling in.

Outsource what you don’t need to do

There are plenty of administrative tasks that come with the freelance writing role. Once you start making a decent living, why not alleviate some of that pressure and hire someone to help you manage your day to day workload. This could be anything from sending out enquiries and managing your emails to doing software updates, research, and running general errands. Go on; you’ll make your life so much easier if you do.

Structure your day

Most people work around an 8 hour day. You don’t have to do the usual 9-5, but what you should do is be aware of how much you are working. It’s fantastic to work hard and care about your career, but if you are working 70 hour weeks, have no social life and never get to hang out with your partner/kids/friends, then you need to restructure and rethink how you work. Set your business hours, let clients know and then stick to them. If you are a workaholic no doubt you will find this tough at first but clients needs to know what your boundaries are, and so do you.

Say no

Don’t take jobs you won’t enjoy or ones that pay next to nothing - remember you are worth so much more than that!

These tips will help you manage your workload and reduce it down so you are only working on quality projects you love, that pay appropriately and leave you with time to have a life too!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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