For anyone who wants to make money as a freelancer, time management is key, otherwise you have no time to write.
Weird, but true. You can spend all day interacting with clients and doing those things which are essential to maintain your business — only to realize at 5 P.M. that you haven’t yet written a profitable word.
Time management when you’re a freelance writer
If you’re overwhelmed with your writing business, there’s one thing to remember: write first. Everything else must fit in around your writing, because that pays the bills.
Basically, your time management consists of setting your “do not disturb, I’m writing” hours, and fitting everything else in around that.
Luckily, today’s technology is a blessing, because you can work anywhere when you use cloud apps.
1. Love the cloud: you can work wherever, whenever
Over the past few years I’ve gradually transitioned my work files to the cloud: Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, Trello… The big benefit of cloud apps is that you can work anywhere you need to work.
I wrote about proposal generators here, Get Clients: Pitch Your Writing With Proposal Generators:
Online proposal generators have become very popular, and for good reason. Back in the day, creating a proposal which looked great could take an hour — or much longer, if MS Word happened to be buggy that day.
Today, you can plug your pitching ideas into a proposal generator. You won’t necessarily spend less thinking time, but you’ll definitely spend less formatting and delivery time.
2. End the client runaround with useful cloud collaboration apps: Glip, Quip, Slack…
You can waste hours in email exchanges with clients and colleagues, or you can use team collaboration “chat” apps.
Here are the ones I’ve tried and use today; their pricing is either free or minimal.
- Glip — work with clients, manage projects, and work on the go.
- Quip — I love Quip because it’s so pretty. (What can I say, I’m shallow. :-)) It’s another collaboration chat app, but focused on documents.
- Slack — hugely popular, and free for small teams.
3. Are you a self-publishing author? Hire help as soon as you can
Once you’re an established freelancer, your stress will be unbearable unless you get help. This is especially true for self-publishing authors.
Can’t afford a virtual assistant? It can be less expensive than you imagine. For simple tasks, like installing WordPress, hire someone on Fiverr. If you need a few hours’ of help each week, try Upwork.
No time to hire help? Take time to make time
Many writers grumble that it’s too hard to hire a virtual assistant. It all takes so much time: the hiring, the training…
It’s worth it. Consider the benefits of spending a few hours now, over saving hours each and every week.
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