Ask the majority of freelance writers out there, and they will all tell you the same thing – a vast proportion of their working week is nothing to do with writing at all. Scouring the web for new clients, updating your website, looking at new SEO techniques – it all takes you away from the activity that earns you a crust.
Time management is difficult enough as it is when you are a freelancer, but you have to remember one thing – time is money. And every hour you spend doing other things is costing you. With this in mind, it’s vital that you can focus your efforts on doing what earns you a living – writing. Here are a few tips on finding that focus and getting more done.
Of course, sending pitches and approaching people for work opportunities is a vital part of your day, since, without clients, you won’t have work. But it’s vital to make it as smooth a process as possible. Templates are your best friend, here.
The idea is to create a basic outline of who you are and what you do – along with some links to your previous work. This will allow you to adapt emails to the person you are approaching, but the bulk of the pitch is already done. Try it out – honestly, it will save you a lot of time!
Social media can be great for picking up work and driving business to your site. But it is also a huge time drain. Focus your efforts on automating your social media updates to avoid it taking up too much of your valuable time. There are plenty automating apps available – check out IFTTT, Grum or Tailwind.
Outsource when it makes sense
When you are freelancing, the temptation is to do everything yourself. You’ll build a website, do your SEO, start the marketing process and a whole lot more besides. However, as IT specialists Kumo point out, the reality is that you will be a lot more efficient by finding partners to do the hard work for you.
So, whether you want to host your site on the cloud or try out a new SEO techniques, find someone that can do it quicker, easier and better than you. The time – and, therefore, money – it will save you will not be insignificant.
Buy a notebook
Finally, the sad truth about being a writer of any kind is that it’s impossible to turn on the creativity like a tap. And while you might set aside writing hours every day, there is no guarantee of finding inspiration.
In fact, it’s more likely you will be struck with a fantastic idea just before you go to bed or when you are in the shower than during dedicated hours. The answer is simple, though. Buy a notepad and write down your thoughts when they happen. A voice recorder is another option – anything, basically, that will help you remember your moment of inspiration and can give you a kickstart during your writing hours. I must admit, I’m a notebook horder.