Make Like a Tree and Branch Out: Tips for Expanding Your Freelance Business
There are only so many hours in a day and so many days in the week. When you’re running a one-person freelance writing business, the limitations of time can seem to limit the amount you can grow. Unless you’re able to write 24/7 or increase your rates on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll eventually hit a wall when it comes to how much you can take on. The trick to expanding your freelance writing business is to think beyond writing. You only have space for so many clients and so many assignments — what else can you do to make the most of your time and increase your income?
Outsource the Admin
When you freelance, you not only have to handle your assignments and projects, you also have to deal with all the tiny little administrative tasks that, in larger companies, are usually handled by someone else. If you’re looking for a way to add a few extra hours to your week, outsourcing your administrative tasks to someone else might be the way to go. There are plenty of agencies that let you hire or work with a virtual assistant or you can put up your own ad on Craigslist to find someone in your area. Your assistant can handle things such as setting up appointments or conference calls with clients, sending out invoices and answering your emails.
Try Something New
Tackling a new niche or learning a new writing skill can help you branch out, without putting extra constraints on your time. For example, if you’ve been writing for websites that depend on ad revenue to pay their team of writers, you might not be earning a particularly high amount per assignment, meaning you have to write more to earn a basic amount of income. But, if you approach a company that offers a distinct product or service and charges for that service, you will most likely be able to get a higher rate per assignment than you would from the ad-revenue supported site.
You can also throw yourself into learning new ways of writing. For example, if you want to increase your earnings or branch out by becoming a business writer, you might take a course on writing for business or a technical writing course.
Create a Source of Passive Income
Once you’ve reached a certain point in your freelance career, you may find that it’s time to rethink the type of assignments you do. You can continue to work on projects that pay a flat rate, but it can also be worthwhile to create projects that generate income over time. Examples include writing a book and selling it on your website or offering a “Writing Basics” tutorial that you sell.
It might be that you reach a point in your freelance career where freelancing no longer makes sense. Clients are beating a path to your door, your sources of passive income are doing well, and you really can’t take on another project. At that point, it might make sense to partner up with another writer (or two) and launch your own small writing business. Just be sure to screen the other writers you partner with well. If you’ve been offering clients a stellar product, you don’t want to start working with someone who doesn’t offer high quality work or who might mess up your reputation.
After freelancing for a few years, you might be in a groove and might not be ready to make a major change to your work habits or style. But, there will come a point when you’re tired of the same old-same old and will want to do something new to challenge yourself and expand your writing business.
Bio: Amy F is a freelance writer in Philadelphia. Her favorite side projects include writing a blog about shopping and sewing and writing short pieces of speculative fiction. She is always looking for ways to grow as a writer.