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6 Tips for Setting up a Freelance Writing Business

6 Tips for Setting up a Freelance Writing Business

We all want more freedom and more space to do the things we most enjoy in life. If you crave breaking away from the 9-5, and writing is your thing, setting up a freelance writing business could be your dream. It can offer the flexibility of working the hours that most suit you, from any location you choose. However, when you go freelance, you’re going into business – and if you hope to succeed, you need to be business-like in your approach from day one. Here are 6 tips to help you turn your freelance pipedream into reality. 1. Prepare financially Switching to a freelance career or not, everyone should know their basic cost of living, or the minimum needed to cover the bills and food each week. If you are contemplating leaving a salaried job to start freelance writing, set aside extra savings (if you can) that will cover your living expenses for a period of time once you leave your job. Alternatively, if it won’t cause issues with your employer, start your business and begin engaging in activities to build your client base before you take the leap out of employment. There are multiple avenues for finding regular writing work – we cover this topic in-depth in our freelance course, Build Your Freelance Content Writing Business. 2. Set your business up correctly so you’re ready to trade These are a few things to consider when setting up any business. If you’ve only ever worked as an employee, you’re likely to need to: Register an ABN (Australian Business Number) If you want to trade under a business name...
5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough

5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough

The idea of working from home as a freelance writer is very appealing – you get to schedule your day your way, be your own boss, spend more time with family, and so much more. Yet many try to achieve the dream and fail – and head back to the safety of full-time employment all too soon. If you’re stuck in that dilemma now, you should know that it doesn’t have to go that way! Working with freelancers for over 10 years, here’s my take on the 5 mistakes that prevent freelance writers earning enough. 1. Not business networking Nothing comes close to topping ‘word of mouth’ when it comes to getting work. If you think ‘word of mouth’ is limited to people who’ve used your service and tell others, that misperception is probably costing you a fortune. Referrals can come from anywhere, and the best way to start them rolling is by networking. Networking is all about connecting and getting to know people. The more people you connect with, the more people will be able to mention you when someone in a room (or a social media group) asks, “Hey, does anyone know a writer?” But that’s not all – enquiries that come from referrals are much more likely to convert to sales. They’re also less likely to try to haggle over your quote. 2. Under-estimating and under-quoting If you have an ideal hourly rate, under-estimating the time involved in jobs you quote will ensure you don’t earn your goal rate. If you typically charge by word-count, chances are you’re not always getting paid for extra time spent...
How to Build a Client Base for a Freelance Writing Business

How to Build a Client Base for a Freelance Writing Business

You’ve started a freelance writing business and put in the hard yards to get it running. You’ve sourced an ABN, secured a domain, developed a glowing brand, set up a website and social accounts. You’ve done everything and you’re fired up and ready to go. And then…crickets and tumbleweed. So, what next? Finding your first paid work can feel down right stressful. You’ve told everyone about your venture, and your worst fear yet is that everything will crumble. However, in startup, you have to put fear in your pocket and keep going. Sorting costs… and pricing No startup is completely predictable, but there are things you can do to prepare. If you’re leaving a stable income to start your freelance writing business, know your basic cost of living. This is the minimum required to cover the bills and the basic necessities each month. Put it all into a spreadsheet and add it up, then triple check you have enough to cover that amount for as long as you feel comfortable. Not everyone will have a cash reserve to support them through startup, and some freelancers begin when they’ve lost a regular income, and have almost nothing in reserve. While talking finance, it’s important to mention that almost everyone new to freelancing struggles with pricing, and it’s a topic we cover in detail in our online course for Aussie freelancers, Build Your Freelance Content Writing Business.  As a new kid on the block, starting at a lower price point might help you to attract new clients, get the income flowing, and gain more experience. The down side of a low price...
Blogging Without Results? 4 Ways to Improve Your Blog

Blogging Without Results? 4 Ways to Improve Your Blog

You needn’t be a professional copywriter or experienced marketer to write business blogs. To improve your blog posts, you just need to know how to use them to your advantage. Whether you can knock out a quick article in under 30 minutes, or spend hours agonising over the right opening line to snag your audience, the most important thing to remember is that you know your business better than anyone else. Couple that with these four essential steps, and you can improve your blog posts and increase your chances of converting readers. 1. Choose the right topics Content marketing agency professionals spend years honing the craft of topic ideation and delivery – it’s why they’re so good at taking businesses large and small to the next level. But you don’t have to be a content marketing expert to recognise the importance of choosing the right topics. After all, without an interesting topic, no one is going to read your blogs. And if no one reads your blogs, your online presence will suffer greatly. So just how do you choose the right topics? Start by asking yourself the following: What are you passionate about? If you’re not interested in the topic, or it’s not relevant to your business, that will seep into your writing and turn off the reader. Who’s the audience? As a business owner, you likely cater to multiple demographics and have more than one target audience. Do your blogs appeal to everyone, or are they niche topics where you can drive readers towards a particular product or service? Is it evergreen? An ‘evergreen’ blog is one that has long-term appeal. It’s...
The best internal communications strategy? Storytelling

The best internal communications strategy? Storytelling

Does your internal communications strategy incorporate storytelling as a tool? Prose that leads people to action can appear in the most unexpected places. A rare moment of poignancy from a tormented author. A whimsical sonnet scribed by a long-dead anonymous poet. Even a bare inner-city building can become a blank canvas for the literary-inclined – the legality of graffiti notwithstanding. Many of us hold a narrow view on where we should find moving phrases and flashes of verbal brilliance – in novels and memoirs, poetry and song. But what those people often forget is that we live in a hyper-digital world. Our pencil gave way to the keyboard years ago. Why, then, can’t we tell stories without pen and paper – why should it be reserved for fiction? Let’s go even further – beyond the explosion of online journalism, blogs, editorials and interactive novels. Why can’t we bring storytelling into the workplace? No one has ownership of business storytelling. And content marketing isn’t the only outlet to drive people to action. If you have a story to tell and you know how to tell it, why shouldn’t you drive that message home through your internal communications? After all, if a story about hobbits can lead universities the world over to create Lord of the Rings-specific courses, think what your business could achieve once you embrace storytelling. Storytelling in internal communications drives engagement The biggest corporate buzzword in recent years has been ‘engagement’. The C-suite wants every employee to be fully engaged while on the clock. Supervisors want to engage their teams on a personal level. But when you look...
How to Plan and Write a Case Study

How to Plan and Write a Case Study

A content preferences survey in 2017 found that 78% of buyers prefer to use case studies over all other types of content when researching purchases. It’s easy to understand why they are such a valuable content format, but as many marketing managers could attest, the process of planning and writing case studies can be challenging. If you haven’t had to plan and write case studies before, or you’ve found the process challenging, I hope our seven tips below will make the task easier. How to plan and write case studies Click To Tweet What is a case study? A marketing case study is piece of content that showcases a successful project. It typically sets out the commencing situation, the solution recommended by the company creating the case study, how the solution was implemented, implementation actions, along with challenges encountered and how success was achieved. Why do case studies work so well? A case study provides an overview of a positive business transaction with a client. Unlike a testimonial, it’s not just a review or report from a customer who supports your business. It’s a success story. A detailed account of how you were able to successfully solve a problem your client faced. If you are targeting particular industries, writing case studies that resolve challenges unique or highly relevant to those industries, can help you gain the confidence of prospective clients. They’re often a key part of the content strategy for B2B products or services. Case studies can attract new customers, build trust in your business, and make the work of your sales team a bit easier. They also provide...