Nowadays, many people are making a part-time or full-time income through freelance writing. However, to succeed in this business, you need to handle it with the seriousness it deserves. Here are some guidelines for running your freelance writing business professionally:
1. Business Hours
When working from home, it is very easy to become undisciplined. You might find yourself spending more time chatting on social media or browsing the internet than working. Or you could decide to watch a movie or wash dishes when you should be building your business. This is why every serious freelance writer should have fixed business hours. For instance, you could decide to be working from 10am to 5pm, with a few short breaks in between. This is beneficial for several reasons:
- It helps you stay focused and avoid getting involved in other tasks
- It establishes boundaries for our friends and families
- It establishes boundaries for clients who would want to do business outside the prescribed hours
- It enhances your productivity
One of the best things about freelance writing is that one can work from anywhere. This could be the park, the library, the local coffee shop or even the beach. However, every freelance writer needs to have a dedicated workspace where they can write comfortably. This could be a corner or room in the house where one can work without being distracted by family members or the television. Once in a while, you can opt to work from a different location to find some inspiration.
As a freelance writer, you should always be promoting yourself as well as your business. The first thing you need to do is build your own personal blog or website. Be sure to include a detailed ‘About’ page which explains who you are and the services you offer. You should also create social media profiles on sites such as Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
4. Customer Service
The success of your business will be determined by the level of your customer service. If your customers are happy, they will keep coming back and referring others. In addition, you will earn a good reputation, which will bring in even more business. However, good customer service is not just about writing excellent posts. It also means keeping the client updated on the progress of a project, as well as delivering the work within the set deadlines.
5. Financial Management
Financial management can be a very tricky affair for freelance writers. This is especially because of the fact that there is usually no guarantee of a fixed monthly income. Here are some great tips for managing your finances:
- Don’t mix your business and personal accounts - This will allow you to monitor how much you are making from your freelance writing business.
- Take time to build an emergency fund - Your savings should amount to three to six times of your monthly expenses. This fund will cushion you during emergencies such as illness or low seasons of business.
- Hire an accountant – Most freelancers struggle when it comes to handling their taxes. Hiring an accountant will not only save you lots of time, but will also enable you to cut down on your taxes.
- Prepare a writer invoice – This is a very important document for every freelance writer. A proper writer invoice should have your logo, name and mailing address. In addition, it should clearly outline the payment instructions. Whether you want to be paid via PayPal or by check, this information should be provided on your invoice. Finally, you need to ensure that the invoice is dated.
Just because you work from home does not mean that you can go about your freelance writing business in a sloppy manner. If you handle it professionally, other people will also take you seriously.