As freelance writers, we want to reap, right? We want to make money. Whatever your goal is, whether it’s just enough to cover some bills or to make a lavish living, you want to make money doing this. I know I do. So why does it seem like so much of the time we freelancers find ourselves, especially in the beginning, living project to project and sometimes not even doing so hot at that? Why can’t we break into the markets we want, make more, sell more?
I wondered that recently. I had also been praying a lot about it, and I ran across the admonition in the Bible about he who sows much reaps much. And suddenly I kind of had an idea about writing.
What do I really do in order to gain work? On a daily basis, what do I do?
So I decided to make a spreadsheet. I lined up all the places I work for, places I hope to obtain work from, and decided to track for a week how much output occurred in those areas.
Let me explain.
So let’s take Constant Content as an example. The point of CC, as I call it, is to post articles, have them reviewed and published in the catalog, and then hopefully have people buy them, right? And people can’t buy them unless they’re up for sale, yes? So how many have I submitted?
Take another example – corporate clients. I want to gain corporate clients, right? And in order to gain corporate clients I have to market to corporate clients right? So how many prospects did I market to? How many emails did I send?
I want to make some money off publications, how many queries did I send?
See the idea?
*waits for the frantic flurry of people grabbing pencils and papers and opening spreadsheets to cease*
Great! Now that you see how this idea can be beneficial, here’s what I found out.
I’m broke because I do nothing.
Okay that’s an extreme on both counts, but you get the idea, right?
I think I had put out like 2 articles to CC in the last week or two, and seeing as it takes a week to get them reviewed and it’s paid monthly that’s….not great. I had no emails for several days to corporate prospects. And I can’t tell you the last time I’ve sent out a query.
That’s HORRIBLE! Haha. Now I’ve been working. But I’ve been working on current projects. I have fallen into the trap that I warn about when I write about freelancing. And I’m going to admit it. Because I hate reading articles or posts by people who act like they have all the answers and never make mistakes. It’s unrealistic and it bothers me.
I make a lot of mistakes. I’m still learning. But I think those mistakes can be extremely valuable learning tools.
So! I’m reaping little because I sow little. You can’t let current projects get in the way of prospecting, because otherwise those projects end and you have no work. You must always keep a pipeline going.
I did several things to help with this, some of which will be their own blog post because it’s too much information to put here, but basically I set up a way to track it – the spreadsheet – and I set up quotas for myself.
So for instance, I have to get so many words done per day on my e-book, submit so many articles to CC a day, submit so many queries per day, etc.
You can set aside the time to do this in the morning or the evening, whichever you prefer. Maybe in the middle of the day. But you should set aside time to do it regardless. Because what you don’t sow, you don’t reap!
I’m going to do a more in-depth post on this later and I will try to find a way to include images of my spreadsheet setup if I can, I’m a little technologically inept at some things, but regardless I’ll try to set something up for you that is organized and easy to follow so you can see what I mean.
I’m going to follow these quotas for 30 days (and onward, of course, but they may need to be altered) to see what it earns me.
Is there something about planning that you want to know about? Budgeting? Setting rates? Let me know what you would like more information on and I’ll try to post about it. 🙂
Until next time, happy writing and God bless!