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From sharing learnings with different creators to discovering and negotiating model offers, these communities are a treasure trove for influencers {and professional} creators.How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Are you a freelancer trying to develop your earnings? It may be powerful to know the place to begin. Maybe you’ve fallen into comfy freelancing routines with purchasers you’ve been working with for months or years. 

That type of stability is nice … however it could additionally preserve you trapped. Possibly you’ve stopped questioning your assumptions about how lengthy writing an article will take, as an illustration, otherwise you haven’t raised your charges in ages since you’re apprehensive about dropping a shopper.

I’m going to take you thru the methods I used to extend my freelance earnings from one yr to the following. This isn’t a narrative about “how you can 10x your earnings” or “how I went from rags to riches in a single day,” … however as a substitute, I hope, a extra lifelike and achievable have a look at how you can considerably enhance your personal freelancing (or small enterprise) earnings. 

Let’s begin with the top in thoughts: these methods led me to go from roughly $39,200 USD [£30,744] to roughly $70,500 USD [£55,266] in a single yr. That’s a 79 p.c enhance. I did this round a standard, on a regular basis life, with a partner, children, hobbies, and lots of different issues I didn’t need to compromise.

Right here’s what I did … and the way you are able to do the identical, whether or not you’re just getting started otherwise you’ve been freelancing for years.

Step 1. Set Clear, Particular Revenue Objectives

I’ve been freelancing for over 16 years now, and I’m embarrassed to confess that for a lot too a few years, I didn’t have a specific earnings aim in thoughts. I used to be protecting all my payments, and generally, I used to be comfortable to easily make the identical quantity I’d been making in my day job after I was in my early 20s.

A lot later, I spotted it is a widespread drawback for freelancers and solopreneurs when I came across this piece by Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz. She defined:

In case you can’t appear to interrupt a sure quantity (and particularly if that quantity is suspiciously near your previous day job wage), you’ve bought an higher restrict drawback.

How one can Do It

Work out what you made final yr (final calendar yr or earlier tax yr, no matter is sensible for you). Then, set the next aim for the approaching yr. Goal for one thing difficult however lifelike: possibly a 25 p.c or 50 p.c enhance, and even one hundred pc extra, in the event you’re going to have the ability to work extra hours.

Let’s say you made $30,000 final yr. You possibly can goal for $45,000 this yr. It’s a major enhance, however removed from an unattainable one.

Be aware: Personally, I set earnings objectives for the calendar yr, however for the needs of this publish, I’ve given my earnings enhance right here based mostly on tax years (for me within the UK, that’s April 6, 2021–April 5, 2022, vs. April 6, 2022–April 5, 2023) as that’s how my detailed data work out.

Step 2. Know What WON’T Work for You

In my enterprise, I might probably earn more money by subcontracting: loads of freelancers do, and that is how Kat Boogaard achieved some extremely spectacular figures as a contract author, scaling her business to make over $300,000.

However for me, proper now, I just like the simplicity of being a one-person enterprise. My husband works away among the time and has a lot much less flexibility than me: I actually like having the ability to plan my work round simply me, taking time without work for our youngsters as wanted. 

There are many methods I might enhance my freelance writing earnings … however these aren’t trade-offs I’m prepared to make at this level in my life. Again earlier than I had children, as an illustration, I used to be comfortable to work on weekends; now, I keep away from night and weekend work.

How one can Do It

Resolve what your personal “strains within the sand” are together with your freelancing. Maybe you need to preserve weekends (or at the least one weekend day) utterly free from work. Possibly there are specific forms of freelancing work you received’t tackle – I do know freelancers who received’t write items about weapons, say, or tobacco. 

There are many methods to make more cash throughout the boundaries which might be wholesome for your online business and for you as an individual. 

Step 3. Break Down Your Annual Revenue Objective Into Smaller Chunks

When you’ve bought your earnings aim, you’ll want to interrupt it down into smaller chunks as a way to work out in the event you’re on monitor or not at any given time.

After I first began doing this, I used to separate up my aim purely mathematically. If I needed to make, say, £40,000 in a yr and needed to work 40 weeks (children are in class for 38 weeks of the yr within the UK), then that might imply incomes £1,000 per week. But it surely quickly turned clear that not all weeks can be precisely the identical.

Now, I have a tendency to interrupt down my aim by quarter, then month, then week. So, as an illustration, within the first quarter of 2024, I knew I’d have much less freelancing work than common, so I set a decrease aim for Q1 vs Q2. 

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

How one can Do It

Usually, plan to make a bit much less within the first few weeks or months of the yr. You’ll regularly invoice extra as you convey on new purchasers, increase your charges, or get higher at utilizing your freelancing hours effectively.

Take into consideration occasions of the yr while you’re prone to have trip, household commitments, or different obligations affecting your freelancing time. For instance, the ultimate quarter ends on Dec eleventh, because it's my birthday on Dec twelfth, and I wish to preserve work to a minimal for the remainder of the calendar yr.

Right here’s how your yr may break down for a $60,000 earnings aim:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): $13,000 (build up earnings)
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): $16,000
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): $18,000
  • This autumn (Oct-Dec): $13,000 (time without work for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

You possibly can then break down this aim by month, by week, and by day. You don’t have to set this all out at first of the yr (in reality, I like to recommend you don’t!) As an alternative, see what’s arising week by week and plan accordingly.

Step 4. Monitor All Your Freelancing Time

I bought critical about monitoring my time throughout 2022 – and that is the one change that I consider made the most important distinction to my earnings that yr.

Monitoring my time confirmed me:

  • A few of my work was netting me near $200/hour. Different work was bringing in additional like $120/hour. Understanding that made it straightforward to know which shopper’s work to prioritize.
  • Some duties took longer than I assumed they did (like making ready invoices). Earlier than monitoring, I typically mentally discounted this type of admin time, forgetting to essentially plan for it in my week.
  • I labored fewer hours than I assumed, often simply 15-20 hours per week. 

The act of monitoring my time inspired me to concentrate on billable duties, like finishing articles for purchasers, reasonably than non-billable work, like writing emails. This paid off rather well by way of my earnings within the medium time period, although now, in 2024, I’m including in additional time on advertising and networking once more so I can proceed to develop my enterprise.

How one can Do It

There are a great deal of completely different apps that can assist you monitor your time. Having experimented with a number of, I discover that Clockify is the very best match for me.

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

In case you don’t need to use an app, you may wish to attempt monitoring your time utilizing a spreadsheet in 15- or 30-minute intervals. 

Step 5. Ringfence Your Working Hours

I’m positive I’m not the one freelancer who finds that while you’re working from house, and also you don’t have set hours (or a boss), it’s very straightforward for all kinds of non-work duties to creep into your day.

Whether or not it’s popping to the shop for a lacking ingredient for dinner, switching the laundry to the dryer, or chatting to a good friend on the cellphone, you may discover that your working time is getting interrupted or chopped up.

Some flexibility isn’t any dangerous factor; in reality, it would properly be why you selected to freelance within the first place. However flexibility can turn out to be an issue in the event you’re always including only one thing more into your day … which means that you just’re dropping hours of productive time over the course of per week. 

How one can Do It

You may discover that it helps to:

  • Have particular “begin” and “cease” occasions on your freelance day. (My day is book-ended by my children’ begin and finish occasions at college.)
  • Have time allotted elsewhere for non-work admin and chores, so these don’t find yourself creeping into your work day. 
  • Hold your work to-dos and your life to-dos in separate to-do lists. That would imply two lists inside one app (or paper planner), otherwise you may even use two completely different apps.

Step 6. Elevate Your Charges if You Haven’t Completed So Not too long ago

One of many causes my freelance earnings rose was as a result of a shopper who accounted for an honest chunk of my earnings elevated by pau from $0.20/phrase to $0.25/phrase. 

I used to be fortunate I didn’t must ask in that occasion, however I’ve typically put up my charges and have by no means had any pushback. Final yr, I raised one other shopper’s price from $0.13/phrase to $0.15/phrase.

You may discover these charges are fairly completely different! Don’t be afraid to set completely different charges for various purchasers based mostly on what the work entails. As an example, my higher-paying shopper’s work required much more analysis than the lower-paying shopper’s work, and it additionally typically meant tackling requested edits.

How one can Do It

Elevating your charges as a freelancer may be daunting: you may be apprehensive about dropping a superb shopper. Bear in mind, it is a regular a part of doing enterprise, and your shopper may be very prone to take it utterly of their stride.

I discover that it’s easiest to tackle newer purchasers at the next price after which regularly increase the speed for older purchasers to match. I goal to offer purchasers at the least a full month’s warning that my price can be going up.

Step 7. Use Timers to Hold You Centered and Productive

In addition to monitoring my freelancing time, I additionally use timers to maintain me targeted … you could discover this a bit an excessive amount of, but it surely’s undoubtedly value a attempt.

I usually set my timer for 15 to half-hour, which helps me keep laser-focused. After the timer goes off, I’ll both set it once more for a similar process, swap to one thing else, or take a break.

Typically, I’ll goal to finish a sure process (e.g., drafting a piece of an article, writing a top level view) earlier than the time goes off – I undoubtedly discover this helps me velocity up and work extra effectively. I additionally use the timer at factors the place I may be combating my focus.

How one can Do It

I exploit a bodily timer dice (I at present have the TickTime Cube) or set a timer on Alexa. You possibly can use your cellphone … however I discover I simply get distracted within the act of setting the timer if I spot a brand new notification!

In case you’re struggling to focus otherwise you’re procrastinating about beginning an enormous process, setting a 10-minute timer and promising your self you’ll focus for these 10 minutes may also help you get transferring.

Step 8. Attempt Creating and Promoting Digital Merchandise

A small proportion of my earnings – about 3.5 p.c in 2021 to 2022 and simply 0.9 p.c in 2022 to 2023 – was from promoting my very own digital merchandise. 

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

This wasn’t a very vital earnings stream, but it surely did end in an earnings enhance in months the place I wasn’t doing a lot freelancing (I usually run Summer season and Winter gross sales, as an illustration, as that matches with after I’m taking a while off from freelancing).

In 2024, I’m specializing in rising this side of my enterprise: it’ll give me much more flexibility and a larger incomes potential, plus I really like creating my very own merchandise. As a part of this, I’m engaged on rising my newsletter list to construct a bigger viewers of potential prospects.

How one can Do It

There are every kind of digital merchandise you could possibly promote: assume ebooks, e-courses, templates, printables, apps, and extra! You’ll want some type of on-line platform of your personal – that might be an internet site/weblog, Instagram account, Fb group, e-mail listing, or anyplace you could promote your merchandise to your followers.

Step 9. Hold Experimenting With New Strategies to Develop

All of the above steps helped me enhance my freelance earnings considerably … however I didn’t need to cease there! In the course of the 2023-2024 tax yr, I did a few further issues to proceed to develop, albeit extra regularly. You may need to give these a attempt, too.

Taking On Extra Freelancing Duties

Typically, you may be capable of up your earnings by taking over an additional process for an present shopper. One in every of my freelance writing purchasers requested me if I might format and add weblog articles for him, as this was an actual bottleneck in his course of.

I agreed to do that at an hourly price and created a complete guidelines to comply with, so it turned a simple, low-energy, and low-stress process. Not solely did this imply further billable work for every article I wrote, it additionally meant I might write extra articles, as I used to be holding the pipeline of latest posts flowing.

How one can Do It

Decide a shopper you get pleasure from working with and ask if there are any additional duties you could possibly tackle. Some potentialities are:

  • Writing briefs for articles so the shopper doesn’t have to prep these
  • search engine optimization optimizing articles in response to the shopper’s preferences
  • Getting ready e-mail newsletters or social media posts based mostly on an article 

Working With an Accountability Coach

I didn’t fairly meet my earnings aim for the 2022 calendar yr. In November 2023, I began working with an accountability coach, Blake Stratton. I discovered teaching invaluable to assist me push to fulfill my earnings aim in 2023: specifically, it helped me do higher at ringfencing my freelancing time and at avoiding distractions.

How one can Do It

Teaching is an excellent technique to put money into your self as you develop your online business – but when one-to-one teaching isn’t inexpensive, you could possibly have a look at peer help. That may imply becoming a member of a supportive on-line group or working with an accountability buddy, the place you share your objectives and mutually help each other.

Dealing with Components Exterior Your Direct Management

All of the above concepts are ones you could possibly replicate or management. However some modifications may be outdoors your direct management. You do nonetheless have some affect over these.

As an example, within the 2023 to 2024 tax yr, I landed a brand new higher-paying shopper due to a former colleague who was now in a advertising/enhancing position. You possibly can’t power one thing like that to occur – the supply got here out of the blue, for me – however you may make it extra possible.

As an example, you could possibly:

  • Sustain with previous contacts and let folks know in the event you’re in search of extra work
  • Write visitor posts to get your identify on the market (significantly in the event you can write for blogs that your excellent purchasers are prone to learn)
  • Keep good relationships with editors and purchasers who may go your identify on to people who find themselves in search of a author

Your Plan for Rising Your Freelance Writing Revenue Over the Subsequent 12 months

Are you prepared to extend your freelance writing earnings? Let’s run via a very powerful steps from above to get you began.

  1. Set your earnings aim. Goal to be each formidable and lifelike! Solely you already know what meaning in your circumstances. It may be a 25 p.c enhance, a 50 p.c enhance, or perhaps a 100% enhance in your earnings from final yr.
  2. Break down your aim by quarter, then by month, so you already know in the event you’re on monitor.
  3. Search for the simplest wins first: ones that don’t require working any additional hours. That would imply:
    1. Enhancing your focus, so that you’re getting extra finished in the identical period of time.
    2. Monitoring your time so you possibly can see precisely which gigs are value essentially the most to you per hour.
    3. Elevating your charges so that you earn more money for a similar quantity of labor.
  4. When taking over additional work, begin together with your present purchasers: that is simpler and quicker than looking for brand-new purchasers. Supply to tackle extra of the identical (e.g., six articles monthly as a substitute of 4), recommend additional duties you could possibly sort out, or ask in the event that they know anybody who wants a author.

You may make a terrific dwelling as a contract author. My earnings in 2024 appears set to place me throughout the highest 10 p.c of employees within the UK regardless of working part-time hours – by no means greater than 20 per week – and taking numerous time without work throughout faculty breaks. It took me 16+ years to get to that time, however you could possibly do it a lot quicker utilizing the concepts above. Even simply implementing one or two of them might make an enormous distinction to the place you might be in a yr’s time.

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