CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 09, 2015
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5 Reasons to Keep an Archive of All of Your Writing Work

As a writer, you know the value of the written word. A good example can land you a job, making every document you have created potentially vital for your future. Beyond obtaining more paid work, a comprehensive archive is vital for running any decent literary enterprise. Here are some of the less obvious reasons:

#1 Reduces the Stress during Audits

There are two portfolios every writer should keep. The first is the public one, which can be tailored to meet a particular client’s expectations. The second one is the comprehensive archive we are currently discussing. By keeping a comprehensive archive, with details about what is in each document, you can make alterations to the public portfolio without any additional stress.

#2 Provides Statistics for Market Positioning

Every quarter you should sit down and determine what each form of writing brought in, and adjust your market outreach accordingly. The comprehensive archive will keep track of how much each document made. With a simple glance at a spreadsheet, you can determine who the highest paying clients are, and what genre they look for. This will help take the guesswork out of the administration of your small practice, and help maximize potential revenues.

#3 Provides Insight to How You Write

By including how long each document took, and when you did it, you can grasp what sort of writing truly comes naturally to you. For instance, you may have to spend an hour doing research for a five hundred word cat food advertisement, but only spend twenty minutes writing an editing guide of the same length. This will help you identify where you need to grow as a writer.

#4 Eliminates the Search for Old Work

Occasionally, you are asked to revisit old documents to create fresh material or provide revisions. By having a comprehensive archive, you can quickly find out where the document is located and all of the specifics surrounding it. This can shave hours off of your workload, especially when trying to revive a relationship with an old client.

Additionally, you can use this to keep from repeating yourself with the same client. It is amazing how reading an old document can inform you about potential avenues for future work. It is a good idea to look back over everything on a regular basis.

#5 Helps Protect You against Theft

By having all of the relevant information about a document at your fingertips, you can effectively protect yourself from thieves. Remember, you have the legal right to keep people from misusing your intellectual property. It is a good idea to dedicate a day every couple of months to check CopyScape for illicit copies of your work. A comprehensive archive will help eliminate any doubt that there are items out there, for sale without your permission.

Everyone is familiar with the need for the public portfolio. It is what clients expect to see, and is the first tool in many freelance writer’s arsenals, when trying to obtain a new client. The comprehensive archive serves as the ultimate backup for this and helps you reduce the stresses that running your business can bring.

By including statistics with the documents, you will have a very powerful tool that can help you maximize the potential profit for your company, and carve out a niche that will help you obtain steady employment with a more established firm. A simple glance on a regular basis can save you time, money, and protect yourself from digital theft. Start your comprehensive digital archive today, and reap the benefits that come with access to every metric that helps your business succeed.

 

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