Whether you just started freelance writing for money or you’ve been a professional freelance writer for years, one thing is simply undeniable: The more jobs you take, the more money you make. This basic truth can lead to trouble for writers, however; it can be easy to fall into the trap of taking on more than you can handle. Use some simple calculations to decide exactly how much work to take on and how to schedule your writing jobs for success.
Take Only What You Know You’ll Complete
It can be a natural tendency to take on as much work as possible when it’s available. The problem with this is that you may end up with a lot of writing work that you will be scrambling to complete by the deadline, especially if it has the same deadline. For example, if you see three articles about the same subject, you may be tempted to grab them all. If you know that you have the time to do the research and create three unique articles on the same subject, then go for it! However, if you know from past experience that you’ll be struggling for words after one or two same-subject articles, you might want to just take one. Manufacturing inspiration on a tight deadline can be difficult and frustrating, so don’t put yourself in that position by taking on more than you know you can complete comfortably.
Record Every Deadline
Deadlines are all-important for the writer. When you deliver prompt, high quality work to your clients it will almost always pay off in the form of more work in the future—sometimes at a higher rate. The more you meet deadlines with great work, the more “Love Lists” you are likely to find yourself on within the WriterAccess community, and the more trustworthy you will seem to any client. One way to make sure you don’t miss deadlines is to keep a calendar, either online or using a simple paper calendar. Consider writing memos to yourself about when to finish each job. For example, if you have a deadline on Friday, you might want to make a note on your calendar to finish that job on Thursday. Working a day ahead can be really helpful since you’ll never have to worry about missing deadlines. Another bonus with this approach is that you can use that final day for proofreading and any final revisions. When you track your deadlines in this way, you won’t ever have to worry about missed deadlines and lost work.
Stay On Track
It can be tough to decide how much time to spend on each project, but it can be simplified if you remember one thing: Don’t get bogged down. Thorough research and well-written work is essential, but you don’t need to start over-researching. If you are writing an article about one subject, remember to keep to the subject. You may very well find a lot of fascinating, and potentially relevant, information on a similar subject or on a small aspect of the topic, but it will often be unnecessary extra information that may even make the article too long or slightly off-topic. Strict adherence to the topic will always keep you on track and keep your research and writing time where it should be.