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Learn the way this small automobile rental enterprise optimizes its Google Enterprise Profile so you are able to do the identical in your operation.How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

Are you a freelancer seeking to develop your earnings? It may be robust 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 sort of stability is nice … however it may possibly additionally hold you trapped. Perhaps 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 frightened about shedding a consumer.

I’m going to take you thru the methods I used to extend my freelance earnings from one 12 months to the following. This isn’t a narrative about “learn how to 10x your earnings” or “how I went from rags to riches in a single day,” … however as a substitute, I hope, a extra sensible and achievable take a look at learn how to considerably enhance your individual freelancing (or small enterprise) earnings. 

Let’s begin with the tip 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 12 months. That’s a 79 p.c enhance. I did this round a standard, on a regular basis life, with a partner, youngsters, hobbies, and lots of different issues I didn’t wish 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 Targets

I’ve been freelancing for over 16 years now, and I’m embarrassed to confess that for much too a few years, I didn’t have a selected earnings purpose in thoughts. I used to be masking all my payments, and usually, I used to be completely happy 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 this can be a frequent downside for freelancers and solopreneurs when I came across this piece by Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz. She defined:

If you happen to can’t appear to interrupt a sure quantity (and particularly if that quantity is suspiciously near your previous day job wage), you’ve acquired an higher restrict downside.

Tips on how to Do It

Determine what you made final 12 months (final calendar 12 months or earlier tax 12 months, no matter is smart for you). Then, set a better purpose for the approaching 12 months. Intention for one thing difficult however sensible: perhaps a 25 p.c or 50 p.c enhance, and even one hundred pc extra, in case you’re going to have the ability to work extra hours.

Let’s say you made $30,000 final 12 months. You can intention for $45,000 this 12 months. It’s a big enhance, however removed from an unimaginable one.

Be aware: Personally, I set earnings targets for the calendar 12 months, however for the needs of this submit, I’ve given my earnings enhance right here primarily based 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 may 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 a number of 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 day off for our children as wanted. 

There are many methods I may 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 youngsters, as an illustration, I used to be completely happy to work on weekends; now, I keep away from night and weekend work.

Tips on how to Do It

Resolve what your individual “strains within the sand” are along with your freelancing. Maybe you wish to hold weekends (or at the least one weekend day) fully free from work. Perhaps 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 can be wholesome for your corporation and for you as an individual. 

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

When you’ve acquired your earnings purpose, you’ll want to interrupt it down into smaller chunks as a way to work out in case you’re on observe or not at any given time.

After I first began doing this, I used to separate up my purpose purely mathematically. If I needed to make, say, £40,000 in a 12 months and needed to work 40 weeks (youngsters are in class for 38 weeks of the 12 months within the UK), then that may 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 purpose 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 regular, so I set a decrease purpose for Q1 vs Q2. 

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

Tips on how to Do It

Basically, plan to make a bit much less within the first few weeks or months of the 12 months. You’ll progressively invoice extra as you convey on new purchasers, increase your charges, or get higher at utilizing your freelancing hours effectively.

Take into consideration instances of the 12 months whenever you’re prone to have trip, household commitments, or different tasks 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 hold work to a minimal for the remainder of the calendar 12 months.

Right here’s how your 12 months would possibly break down for a $60,000 earnings purpose:

  • Q1 (Jan-Mar): $13,000 (increase earnings)
  • Q2 (Apr-Jun): $16,000
  • Q3 (Jul-Sep): $18,000
  • This fall (Oct-Dec): $13,000 (day off for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
How I Increased My Freelance Writing Income By 79% Percent in a Single Year (and How You Could Too)

You may then break down this purpose by month, by week, and by day. You don’t have to set this all out at first of the 12 months (actually, I like to recommend you don’t!) As a substitute, see what’s developing week by week and plan accordingly.

Step 4. Monitor All Your Freelancing Time

I acquired severe about monitoring my time throughout 2022 – and that is the one change that I imagine made the most important distinction to my earnings that 12 months.

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. Figuring out that made it simple to know which consumer’s work to prioritize.
  • Some duties took longer than I believed they did (like making ready invoices). Earlier than monitoring, I typically mentally discounted this sort of admin time, forgetting to essentially plan for it in my week.
  • I labored fewer hours than I believed, often simply 15-20 hours per week. 

The act of monitoring my time inspired me to give attention to billable duties, like finishing articles for purchasers, relatively 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.

Tips on how to Do It

There are a great deal of totally different apps that will help you observe your time. Having experimented with a number of, I discover that Clockify is the most effective match for me.

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

If you happen to don’t wish to use an app, you would possibly wish to strive 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 whenever you’re working from dwelling, and also you don’t have set hours (or a boss), it’s very simple 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 telephone, you would possibly discover that your working time is getting interrupted or chopped up.

Some flexibility isn’t any dangerous factor; actually, it would properly be why you selected to freelance within the first place. However flexibility can change into an issue in case you’re continually including only one other thing into your day … which means that you just’re shedding hours of productive time over the course of every week. 

Tips on how to Do It

You would possibly discover that it helps to:

  • Have particular “begin” and “cease” instances in your freelance day. (My day is book-ended by my youngsters’ begin and finish instances 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 would possibly even use two totally different apps.

Step 6. Elevate Your Charges if You Haven’t Performed So Lately

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

I used to be fortunate I didn’t should ask in that occasion, however I’ve typically put up my charges and have by no means had any pushback. Final 12 months, I raised one other consumer’s fee from $0.13/phrase to $0.15/phrase.

You would possibly discover these charges are fairly totally different! Don’t be afraid to set totally different charges for various purchasers primarily based on what the work includes. For example, my higher-paying consumer’s work required much more analysis than the lower-paying consumer’s work, and it additionally typically meant tackling requested edits.

Tips on how to Do It

Elevating your charges as a freelancer will be daunting: you is perhaps frightened about shedding consumer. Keep in mind, this can be a regular a part of doing enterprise, and your consumer may be very prone to take it fully of their stride.

I discover that it’s easiest to tackle newer purchasers at a better fee after which progressively increase the speed for older purchasers to match. I intention to offer purchasers at the least a full month’s warning that my fee will likely be going up.

Step 7. Use Timers to Hold You Targeted and Productive

In addition to monitoring my freelancing time, I additionally use timers to maintain me centered … chances are you’ll discover this a bit an excessive amount of, nevertheless it’s positively price a strive.

I sometimes 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 job, change to one thing else, or take a break.

Typically, I’ll intention to finish a sure job (e.g., drafting a piece of an article, writing an overview) earlier than the time goes off – I positively discover this helps me pace up and work extra effectively. I additionally use the timer at factors the place I is perhaps battling my focus.

Tips on how to Do It

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

If you happen to’re struggling to focus otherwise you’re procrastinating about beginning an enormous job, setting a 10-minute timer and promising your self you’ll focus for these 10 minutes might help you get shifting.

Step 8. Attempt Creating and Promoting Digital Merchandise

A small share 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, nevertheless it did lead to an earnings increase 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 better 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 clients.

Tips on how to Do It

There are all types of digital merchandise you possibly can promote: assume ebooks, e-courses, templates, printables, apps, and extra! You’ll want some sort of on-line platform of your individual – that could possibly be a web site/weblog, Instagram account, Fb group, e mail listing, or wherever that you may 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 wish to cease there! In the course of the 2023-2024 tax 12 months, I did a few extra issues to proceed to develop, albeit extra progressively. You would possibly wish to give these a strive, too.

Taking On Further Freelancing Duties

Typically, you would possibly be capable of up your earnings by taking over an additional job for an present consumer. One in every of my freelance writing purchasers requested me if I may 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 fee and created a complete guidelines to observe, so it turned a simple, low-energy, and low-stress job. Not solely did this imply extra billable work for every article I wrote, it additionally meant I may write extra articles, as I used to be maintaining the pipeline of latest posts flowing.

Tips on how to Do It

Choose a consumer you get pleasure from working with and ask if there are any additional duties you possibly can tackle. Some potentialities are:

  • Writing briefs for articles so the consumer doesn’t have to prep these
  • search engine optimisation optimizing articles in keeping with the consumer’s preferences
  • Making ready e mail newsletters or social media posts primarily based on an article 

Working With an Accountability Coach

I didn’t fairly meet my earnings purpose for the 2022 calendar 12 months. In November 2023, I began working with an accountability coach, Blake Stratton. I discovered teaching invaluable to assist me push to satisfy my earnings purpose in 2023: particularly, it helped me do higher at ringfencing my freelancing time and at avoiding distractions.

Tips on how to Do It

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

Dealing with Elements Outdoors Your Direct Management

All of the above concepts are ones you possibly can replicate or management. However some modifications is perhaps exterior your direct management. You do nonetheless have some affect over these.

For example, within the 2023 to 2024 tax 12 months, I landed a brand new higher-paying consumer because of a former colleague who was now in a advertising/enhancing function. You may’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.

For example, you possibly can:

  • Sustain with previous contacts and let individuals know in case you’re on the lookout for extra work
  • Write visitor posts to get your identify on the market (significantly in case you can write for blogs that your very best purchasers are prone to learn)
  • Keep good relationships with editors and purchasers who would possibly go your identify on to people who find themselves on the lookout for a author

Your Plan for Rising Your Freelance Writing Revenue Over the Subsequent Yr

Are you prepared to extend your freelance writing earnings? Let’s run by means of crucial steps from above to get you began.

  1. Set your earnings purpose. Intention to be each formidable and sensible! Solely you realize what which means in your circumstances. It is perhaps a 25 p.c enhance, a 50 p.c enhance, or perhaps a 100% enhance in your earnings from final 12 months.
  2. Break down your purpose by quarter, then by month, so you realize in case you’re on observe.
  3. Search for the best wins first: ones that don’t require working any additional hours. That would imply:
    1. Bettering your focus, so that you’re getting extra finished in the identical period of time.
    2. Monitoring your time so you may see precisely which gigs are price probably 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 along with your present purchasers: that is simpler and sooner than trying to find brand-new purchasers. Provide to tackle extra of the identical (e.g., six articles monthly as a substitute of 4), counsel additional duties you possibly can deal with, or ask in the event that they know anybody who wants a author.

You can also make an ideal dwelling as a contract author. My earnings in 2024 seems to be 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 a number of day off throughout college breaks. It took me 16+ years to get to that time, however you possibly can do it a lot sooner utilizing the concepts above. Even simply implementing one or two of them may make an enormous distinction to the place you might be in a 12 months’s time.

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