How to Start Your Freelance Writing Business-From Scratch

How to Start Your Freelance Writing Business-From Scratch

When we were younger, you were asked what we wanted to do with your life. At such a young age, how can you answer such a question?  I mean, who the hell knows! Well, I sort of knew. I have always wanted to be a writer.

But was it establishing my own freelance writing business? That was not a part of the dream or the plan.

Until one day, I realized I had let life get in my way, and others dictate how I would live.

With my own business up and running, I want to inspire others to follow their dreams.

I’m giving you a step-by-step guide to starting your own freelance business from scratch.

Oh, and did I mention you will get a free checklist when you sign up for my newsletter?

Keep reading!

writing services editorial calendar

Choose your business focus.

When it comes to freelance writing, you will discover no shortage of niches or topics. From medical to tech and everything in between is an opportunity for writers.

Personally, I’m not too fond of niches; I feel it puts one into a corner, but having said that, I think you should choose a niche when you are beginning, so you have direction. When you feel confident enough, you can change the niche.

 

What services will you offer?

This is where you get into the planning of your business. Hashing this detail out will help you down the road from many headaches. Use your chosen niche to help guide what type of services you want to provide your clients.

Some examples of services are Blog writing, article writing, UK Copywriting, white papers, medical dictation, and much more.

Your mission statements

While it sounds easy, coming up with your mission statement is complex. But it doesn’t have to be. Your statement is why you are in business; why do you exist? What is your ultimate goal, and why are you operating?

Here are some examples of mission statements:

Patagonia: We’re in business to save our home planet.

IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people.

Nordstrom: To give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible.

Prezi: To reinvent how people share knowledge, tell stories, and inspire their audiences to act.

Coming up with your business name

If you look on the internet regarding advice for naming your business, you will pull out your hair. Some say you should not give your business a hard to pronounce name, and while that is sound advice, others will say not to name your business after you.

Why?

That may be a challenge if you want to sell your business later.

Honestly, I think whatever works for you, and if it’s catchy, do it.

However, keep in mind that you want to make sure that your business name hints at what you are offering.

writing service, freelance business

Getting set up to open your doors

This is the exciting part of your journey and also the most strenuous. While I personally like to create my templates and client paperwork, if you are ok with taking a shortcut for these things, do it. You can find some awesome freelance writing templates online. My favorite is from katboogaard.com

I purchased her packages, and they have, served me well—everything else I created from scratch-and tears.

Set up your office

You want to get a comfortable chair and a great desk. You also want to have an excellent internet connection and other office supplies that you will need.

Please don’t go overboard with purchasing things like post-it notes or pens unless you need them. Remember, once your business takes off, you can add items to your office. This is your office, so make it as lovely as you like. Add pictures of places you love, your family or pets, and make it your space. Keep it as decluttered as possible.

Things you will need right away: computer, printer, stapler, pens/pencils, notepad.

Bookkeeping

Thankfully there are several bookkeeping software on the market. When I did my research, my choices were between Quickbooks and Freshbooks. And while they both have great features, I ultimately chose Freshbooks because it is tailored more for freelancers.

 

 

 

Business Structure

Essentially, this is where you create policies, procedures, and the blueprint of how you want to fun your business.  You don’t want to have conflicting information for each client, and you want to be prepared, so you are professional.

At this point, you do want to start thinking about registering your business. Find out the costs for your state or county, and then understand what is required of you regarding taxes and filing.

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Simple Marketing Plan and get that Client!

Marketing trends these days are all about storytelling and making connections with your audience.

Though making emotional questions has always been a part of the marketing process, it is even more so now. But don’t worry, marketing is less complicated than you think.

 

Set your launch date

Your first goal, so you know when you implement your marketing plan, is to set the day you will launch your business. This is a great time to share with your social media.

Share behind the scenes. “What are you working on?” Talk about your mistakes and the lessons you learned from others. Start excitement that you are going to be launching your freelance business.

While you’re at it, have your family and friends spread the word about your behind the scenes and upcoming business launch.

Word of mouth is the most important and holy grail of marketing.

Create a client Persona

To understand who you want to reach, you need to research them and then create a persona. Learn their fears, their strengths, what they do for a living, and challenges. (Check out our upcoming marketing packet to help you plan your business/services!) COMING SOON! Sign up for our early bird special!

 

 

Set up your LinkedIn account/profile

Setting up your LinkedIn account the right way, the professional way can be amazing for your business.

I have gotten several clients from LinkedIn, and I will tell you there is nothing better than having a client come to you! Also, networking is done on LinkedIn.

This is where your connections think of you if they need a writer or put you in touch with their connections to help you get a client.

 

Lastly, perfect how you want to speak to clients. Have your templates like creative briefs, client questionnaires, and client intakes ready to go so you always know what to ask your client and guide the client to provide you with the information you need to create excellent writing for them.

freelance writing

Establishing your own freelance writing business from scratch is much easier than you may think. While I may have boggled you down with a load of information and a checklist to help you, you can do this!

You are a dreamer; you are a planner, and you want to write. So, pick up your pens, pencils, markers, keyboards, whatever you use to write, and start building your empire!

Oh, hey, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and get your free download.

How To Be More Productive with Time Blocking

How To Be More Productive with Time Blocking

Do you often stare at your schedule and think it could be better organized? To run your business efficiently, you need to be in charge of your business schedule and the routines you do every day.

Have you ever heard of schedule blocking?  

No? That’s okay; I am here to help explain it to you.

Blocking your schedule will help you with your business, writing schedule or writing routine, blogging, or just an everyday schedule.

Every Sunday, I plan out the upcoming week. This helps give me a better idea of what I am looking at and makes me feel ready to start the upcoming week.

 

time block schedule

First, I take a look at what I need to complete first, for example, pressing deadlines, meetings, etc. When planning out your week or month, one crucial step required to remember is understanding how long a task will take you.

This will come in handy in a moment.

From there, I simply begin the process of placing the tasks I need to complete on my calendar.

I have figured out how long I take to research, write or post something. In particular, this article only took me two days, and that is with researching, outlining, gathering photos, and writing the blog post.

On the last day, I created social media content to be scheduled on the day or the day after the blog post is published.

Blocking your schedule takes away any guessing and makes putting the schedule together simple and easy, allowing you to focus on your goals and business.

While having a life.

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Secret Tips to Help you get Organized

  • Why Time block your schedule?

Creating a schedule does not have to be complicated. For my calendar, I use Google.  By adding calendars and color coding them I can set up my schedule that works for me and my life.

The main thing I think about when creating my schedule is my life, I schedule my business around that. As an example, in the morning I write on my novel, before taking my son to school. When I get back, I then start working on pitches or networking.

Organizing yourself and your schedule takes time but, in the end, it is so worth the trouble.

For the different calendars I created, AKA tasks, I changed the colors first to match my brand and the second, so they are pleasing to me.

There is no reason to be basic, even with your calendar.

Besides, you have to look at it all the time, so you might as well love what you’re looking at.

To create your schedule, let us first do a visualization. Picture your ideal week. Decide what you want in your week, what you want it to look like, and maybe write down what you come up with, use this as your foundation.

 

  • Create a Routine

Create morning and evening routines that work for you.

Why?

Routines help you plan out your week much easier than you realize. When you have routines in place and color-coded on your calendar, they can stay there; you don’t have to keep adding them.

Thus, helping you remain efficient and productive.

 

  •  Knowing when you’re available

Getting the “routine tasks” on the calendar will make it much easier to see when you are available.

This will be useful when scheduling clients for consultations or meetings.

Once you know what times you are available, you can prioritize your essential tasks and learn what tasks you can group or eliminate.

block time your schedule

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Once you know what times you are available you can prioritize your important tasks and learn what tasks you can group together or eliminate.

If you really want to be organized check out my post on How to Keep Your Freelance Business Organized

  • Batch your Tasks

To help you plan your week faster and more efficiently you will need to take a look at the common tasks you do each day. Such as admin or creating and sending invoices, etc.

Decide how much time it takes you to do those things then put them on your calendar, creating scheduled times dedicated to these tasks.

  •  Get tasks done in one batch!

Completing these tasks in one batch will free you up to do more important things such as sending pitches or working on your novel.

christina q writes
  • Review your work week

Decided what worked and what didn’t make changes if you need to. Learn how to deal with things that you didn’t complete and how you can improve.

Do you need to put the task in a more productive time for you? Or in my case are you fighting time zones? Should you start work later, since you are nine hours ahead?

It doesn’t matter what you use when it comes to creating your time-blocking calendar. You can use a spreadsheet or a google calendar like me.

The point is to be more productive and love to be organized.

It takes time and you have to learn what works best for you, there will be bumps in the road, but you will get through and love how productive you can be.

5 Ultimate Reasons to Be a Ghostwriter

5 Ultimate Reasons to Be a Ghostwriter

Do you often dream of being a writer, but you’re scared of putting yourself out there? There is a way for you to be a writer and not have to put your name on projects. I have been there, in fact, I often thought about becoming a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriter, that’s writing you’ve heard of before.

Celebrities are notorious for using ghostwriters for their autobiographies.

 

Ghostwriting is how you can create your very own writing service without having to put yourself into the world.

 

As a writer myself, I understand how hard it is to work on something with your heart and soul, only for someone to rip it apart or ignore it altogether.

 

Not only is it painful, but it makes you wonder why you even began writing or thought about having a writing service at all.

 

Ghostwriting is the answer to all of this and a great way to launch yourself into a writing career that is both exciting and creative.

 

The greatest part is more businesses and companies want or need ghostwriters to write marketing copy and website content.

 

So buckle up and get ready to launch your ghostwriter adventure.

ghostwriter

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What is a Ghostwriter? 

When it comes to ghostwriting, you get to create something for someone else.

As the title suggests, you are the “ghost,” meaning you do not have a byline, nor do you get credit publicly.

 

You write on behalf of the client who hired you. Their name or the name of the business appears in the byline or takes the credit.

All in all, it is as though “they” wrote the piece themselves.

When writing for your client, you also need to write in their voice, not yours.

Why?

The project is supposed to come from them. For whatever reason they were unable to write the piece themselves, it is your job to make it appear as though the project came from them.

 

Is a Ghostwriter a freelancer?

 

Ghostwriting is a freelance writer, and you can work on various projects on behalf of a client.

 

 

 

Types of projects

As a Ghostwriter, you can work on a ton of different projects, such as:

  1. Nonfiction books
  2. Public speeches
  3. Online content
  4. Book proposals
  5. Magazine articles

 

ultimate reason to be a ghostwriter

5 Ultimate Reasons to Become a Ghostwriter

 

Aside from being able to stay behind the curtain and having a fantastic writing career, the other benefits of being a ghostwriter can be:

 

1. Working on interesting subjects-

The exciting subjects and interesting clients are limitless.

2. Large and wide audiences-

You can also use ghostwriting as a way to get into the publishing world if you want to get that much sought-after book deal.

Many people use Ghostwriting to prove they can sell books and their writing is profitable.

3. Payments for your work-

Ghostwriting is often a flat fee, not hourly, which can mean a lot more money than what you would make if you only worked on articles (which can be from $0.10 a word to $2.00 a word)

4. Not having to promote the project:

You only have to write; you don’t have to do readings of the book or the speech.

You don’t have to attend press junkets or worry about social media posts. (for introverts like myself, this is a win!)

5. Great writing experience-

You get a chance to build your writing skills and apply that to your projects.

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christina q writes ghostwriter

Ultimate Reasons to Become a Ghostwriter

 

Many writing jobs require that you are at least an entertaining writer, with Ghostwriting, you need writing skills and listening skills.

 

You also need to be able to “sound” like the person you are writing for. A successful ghostwriter will be able to manifest the client through the writing.

 

When thinking about becoming a ghostwriter, you also want to think about if the job is remote or in a physical location.

 

Many of the publishing companies are located in New York, London, or even Paris. (Although you can find more in Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and the Bay Area in California.)

 

Learn how to pitch yourself to companies successfully.

 

Though the location isn’t necessarily the way to become a successful Ghostwriter, it is having access to clients in need to have their projects written.

Ask for Recommendations

Word of mouth is the greatest form of marketing you can ever get. If you are looking for word as a ghostwriter, you want to let people know.

 

Make sure your ambitions are known to the publishing industry connections, for instance, if you know a freelance editor or an author, they could be your connection to put in a good word about you.

 

Build a network

Networking is essential as a writer, not only for research and friendship but also for business.

Personal connections are incredibly powerful in helping you meet the right people and, of course, get the word-of-mouth marketing you want.

LinkedIn is a great source for networking, as is writing groups on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Perfect your craft-

You have heard the saying, “Write every day!” this is one way to keep your skills of writing sharp, another way is to work on getting your samples out into the world.

 

You could do this in the form of a blog or self-publishing books on platforms such as Kindle Publishing.

 

You could even do this with podcasts. Write up the script and record!

 

Develop your Own Personal Style

While you enjoy the anonymity of being a ghostwriter, some of you may want to write for yourself.

As with perfecting your craft (the tip above), you want to carve out time for your own projects.

 

This way you can maintain your voice and personal writing style while enjoying the financial benefit of ghostwriting.

 

The best part of both worlds is you get to enjoy the artistic rewards!

christina q writes

Final Thoughts

 

Whether you are looking for your dream writing career or one that gives you the opportunity for writing, a freelancing ghostwriter career could be your backdoor into your dream writing career.

 

A freelance ghostwriter career can be rewarding both for the ability to be able to write and to be creative.

 

So, think about becoming a ghostwriter and enjoy an awesome writing career.

How to Tackle Networking Using These 3 Tips

How to Tackle Networking Using These 3 Tips

Networking in 3 Easy Tips?

Why is networking even important?  I could give you many reasons why networking is essential, but you might fall asleep.

 

How to network in 3 easy tips depends on the goals you have set for your business.

 

 

The 3 tips I have listed will help you tackle the networking I have listed for you and help you reach your networking goals.

 

 

Once upon a time, I worked for a fantastic boss who was a natural at networking. She loved to meet and greet and mingle with the lot.

 

 

Unlike me, she is naturally outgoing and loves to be around people. She was incredibly at ease with meeting and pitching herself.

 

 

In one night at a wine mixer, she would have three to four clients lined up for a consultation meeting.

 

Even if they didn’t commit to her services, they recommended others to her because they loved her.

 

 

I will tell you right now that we are not all like this. 

That is ok because even introverts can network. 

christina q writes

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 What is Networking?

By definition, networking is connecting with others to create awareness.

 

 

Networking is a great tool to get the word out about you, your company, and your services. It’s also a great way to get your face out there.

 

 

People love not only to hear your story but also to get to know you.

 

 

As a blogger, networking will help solidify your expertise and brand authority.

 

 

When your network (aka friends) get to know you, they will feel comfortable recommending you to others, and sometimes this happens; if they are in the same service as you but can’t take a new client, they will send that client; to you!

 

Small business Content Creating

3 Tips for Networking

 

1.  Read Blogs

Spend some time looking and reading other blogs in your niche or the same service you provide. Get to know the blog creator by commenting on a few posts.

 

Leave meaningful comments they can respond to, maybe even starting a conversation.

 

Spend some time getting to know the blog creator, and then comment on a few posts.

 

Make sure that you leave meaningful comments that they can respond to or even ask them to stop by your blog so you can share your great content with them.

2. Give Suggestions to other Bloggers or Creators

Providing helpful suggestions to other bloggers or connecting with people via social networks is another great way to network.

 

For example, let’s say you are on Twitter, and you read someone has tweeted something like, “I’m struggling to write my next blog post; writer’s block sucks!”

You could share how you tackle writer’s block with this blogger or writer.

 

Don’t be afraid to be generous with your advice; the writer will appreciate you taking the time to help them.

 

Beware, though many people are not very giving, tend to take more than they give.

 

You may even be surprised by the reactions that you receive.

 

When networking, you want to help support the person working on a goal.

 

So be resourceful and help them achieve that goal, or better yet, provide them with tools that will guide them towards success.

 

While I promote generosity, please make sure to set boundaries as many people will try to take advantage of your kindness.

 

If they are not providing you with quality as you are with them, then move on.

 

Building a relationship will take time, allowing networking friendships to develop naturally. Build trust and mutual understanding.

 

3. Become the go-to person!

Establish yourself as an expert in whatever you are presenting on your blog or business, becoming someone people can come to for advice or even for information.

 

Attempt to create a relationship with others by giving them resources and, of course, if you cannot help them providing them with a path that will.

 

 

Not only will this create a good impression, but it also will provide you with more opportunities and, of course, traffic to your business or blog.

 

 

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photo of three women lifting there hands

More tips to help you tackle networking

Meet people

Look for others who share your interests and look for people (potential clients) with whom you can connect. 

 

You can do this on social media such as LinkedIn or even Facebook groups.

 

When you connect with networking groups, the number one thing you should also be doing is SHOWING UP!

 

 

Remember, the purpose of social media is to make connections. The only way to make that connection with your network is to participate.

 

 

People often join and think they will automatically gain tons of followers and traffic to their sites. That isn’t the case.

 

 

Why?

You haven’t established yourself or even tried to become an expert. You have to prove yourself; remember, you have to become the go-to person!

 

 

 

Create a plan

Coming up with a compelling reason or goal for marketing will help you stay on the path.

 

Some of us tend to say, “Ok, I’m going to start networking.” And then they don’t follow through.

 

 

Setting up a plan or schedule for when you are active on social media will help you achieve your networking goals.

 

 

Be sure to establish what goal you are trying to achieve.

 

 

Side note: Make sure that you stay true to your brand while you are networking. You represent yourself and want your image to align with your business brand.

 

christina q writes

The Purpose of Networking

Connect with other people who share your same interests and connect with potential clients.

 

 

Networking is also a great way to show your expertise in what you do.

 

This form of marketing is also a great way to establish your blog and create brand awareness/identity and loyalty.

 

 

Keep in mind these essential elements, and you will succeed in networking.

  • Why are you networking?
  • Why do you want clients?
  • Why do you want to make money?
  • What will you do with that? What do you want to do?

 

 

Repeat this to yourself several times, write it down and post it somewhere you will see it every day!

 

 

Now go and achieve your networking goals!

 

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