12

How to Start Even If You Don’t Think You’re Ready

This is a guest post by Kimi Clark 

Experts. Schools. Successful people. They teach us what we should be doing. They teach us the steps we need to take, what goals we have to meet, and they even point us in the right direction.

But there’s one thing that many people aren’t teaching, and that’s how to start. More importantly, how to start even if you don’t think you’re ready.

Because you can be provided with tips and be given directions, and heck, you can have the whole plan well laid out before you, but if you lack the confidence to get started, then you likely won’t.

You’d be stuck with questions like:

“What if I choose the wrong path?”

“What if the experts are wrong?”

“What if I make a mistake?”

And, of course, the big one: “What if I fail?”

Sometimes, the biggest things keeping us from getting started are our own thoughts.

So, how do you get control of those thoughts, get past the doubts, and actually START? Check out my tips below:

Look at what’s behind you.

The things you’ve accomplished, the progress you’ve made…it’s all proof that you are capable of attaining your goals and getting things done. Look at the things you’ve started before, even the times you have failed. There’s a lot of evidence that you can start, that you know how, that you’re competent.

Maybe you don’t have it all figured out….that’s OK. Knowing the direction you want to go is important, but having each and every step figured out isn’t a necessity to begin with. Too often it’s used as an excuse for why we can’t start.

Look at what you have to work with, and then choose one thing that will take you in the direction of your goals.

Launching  my freelance career was tough for me because I felt like I had already failed at so many things, and I spent way too much time looking at other writers who had more education, knowhow and self confidence.  But when I look at all the lessons I’ve learned along the way and the terrific people that I’ve met, I realized that I have the same opportunities as anyone else. I’m a decent writer with a passion for helping others, especially business owners.  Everyone was at the bottom once, we all have to start somewhere. So I got up the courage to start my own blog and things just escalated from there.

Use what you know.

Rather than feeling like you have to watch just one more webinar, read one more book or take one more course before you can step out into your destiny, how about looking at what you have already learned, and then use that.

I must admit, I’m totally guilty of not following my own advice here way too often! My inbox is chock full of how to’s, classes and webinars that I signed up for. Learning, although important, can get overwhelming and cause you to get stuck.

Now, what I try to do is learn in an area that I’m currently working on and then get a task accomplished before I start learning something else. For example, I’m currently learning more about building an email list and opt in offers, so until I complete my goals and am confident that I’m on the right track, I won’t move on to learning more about social media or copywriting.

Create a plan.

As I’ve mentioned, this isn’t a necessity to get started; but for some people, having a plan makes them feel more confident in starting because they know the direction in which they’re headed.

Whether you take guidance from some experts or create your own, having a plan can make it easier to start because you’ll know what you’re working towards. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a simple outline is fine. (Scribbling thoughts on a napkin works too!)

I’m old school, so I’ve got notebooks full of thoughts and ideas. As soon as an idea hits me, my pencil hits the paper!

What’s next?

When you can remember your past accomplishments, use what you already know and develop a simple plan of action, then all that’s left to do is to start… with one simple step.

Just one. Quit looking at (and getting overwhelmed by) the big picture. Stop examining all of the steps at once, and how far you have to go to reach your desired goal.

Just look at one thing.

One small task. One decision you can make. One thing you can work on. Do that one thing, and just like that, you’ve already started. The invisible barrier that has been keeping you stuck will be broken down and making that one, small step will give you confidence. It will give you confidence that you can do this, that you’re ready. That, in turn, will prod you to take even more steps.

And with each additional task you accomplish, your confidence in your abilities will grow.

Once you’ve started, you’ll keep going. And you’ll realize that getting started is the hard part, keeping at it is the fun part!

Trust me on this one. Take just one small step. Don’t even think about “being ready.” Just take action. Do it today. Do it now. Then let that step inspire you to keep going. Once you’ve mastered how to start even if you don’t think you’re ready, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to start in the first place!

 

Author Bio: Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in blog posts about writing, entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood.

You can find her ramblings at http://www.writewriterwrite.com, where she’s on a mission to support and encourage fellow writers to follow their dreams and enjoy the journey!

 

 

21

I Got Dumped: What to Do When Your Client Drops You

 

About two years ago, I landed what I would consider an ideal client: A burgeoning tech startup that not only sold a service I believed in, but exhibited a culture and image that I could relate to. (And yes, they had the budget to pay my rates.)

I remember the giddy feeling I got when I saw their response to my LOI. The founder liked what I had done so far and wanted to jump on a quick call to talk about how we could work together.

So I got on the phone the next day and we talked about his company’s content needs. He then agreed to hire me to revise their website’s “Careers” page and we would move on to bigger projects if they liked my work.

So we go about the usual process. I asked him all the necessary questions, then proceeded to write content for the page. I then sent him my first draft later that week.

The founder responded a couple of days later with a quick “Great, thanks!” and promptly paid my invoice.

I was psyched (at first, anyway) because I thought that I really nailed it on the first try, and that would be just one of many projects that we would be working on together.

I was wrong.

Because after that email, I never heard from him again. I followed up a few times, but didn’t get a single response.

And then a few weeks later, I swung by their Careers page and saw that they did update the page’s content… only they didn’t use a single word that I wrote.

Suffice it to say, I was pretty disappointed. But I did pick up a number of lessons from the experience.

Here are a few takeaways:

 

1. Resist the urge to feel butt hurt or blame yourself

Oftentimes when people get rejected, their first instinct is to blame themselves. Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, deal with the situation with a business mindset and don’t take things personally.

Just because a client isn’t a fan of your work, it doesn’t always mean that there’s anything wrong with it (or with you, for that matter). It could simply be because your style isn’t a good fit for their business.

Think of it this way: You walk into a clothing store and you try on a T-shirt. The product looked good on the shelf, but it just wasn’t right for your body type, so you put it back. Does this mean that there was something inherently wrong with the shirt or the store? Nope. The product just wasn’t right for you.

The same thing can be said about freelance writers.

Of course, if you’re always getting rejected or if you’re getting the same negative feedback over and over again, then it might be time to evaluate your work and take the steps to improve your skills or processes. (But this is a topic for another post.)

2. Try your best to find out why they didn’t like your work

Do what you can to find out why the client passed on your work.  Get in touch and ask what they didn’t like and what you can do to improve.

One thing you need to remember when sending this type of message is to take on a non-confrontational approach. Sure, you might be disappointed, but keep your cool and write an email that conveys you’re open to feedback and you’re willing to learn.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll get some constructive criticism from the client. Other times (like the client in the story above) you won’t hear back. In any case, the important thing is you make an effort to get to the bottom of things and work on improving yourself.

3. Move on as quickly as possible

There’s no use wallowing in the situation or sitting by the computer waiting for the (former) client’s email to hit your inbox. If you found out that you got dumped, move on. Work on your marketing or take on other projects. In other words, keep yourself busy.

4 Always have something in the pipeline

This is where the good ‘ol ABM (Always Be Marketing) tip comes in handy. Don’t let the fact that you have clients now lure you into complacency. Your plate may be full at the moment, that doesn’t mean you should take off your marketing cap completely.

At the very least, you should constantly implement “soft” marketing tactics such as updating your blog, building relationships on social media, or collecting clips.

 

Weigh in

Have you ever been dumped before? What did you do about it? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

 

 

22

How to Make Sure Your Freelance Writing Income Goes through the Roof this Year: 17 Surefire Ways that Work

This is a guest post by Pooja Lohana

It hurts, right?

You see other freelancers crushing it and commanding top dollar while you’re only dreaming about it.

After all, you’re just as good as them. And you put in a fair deal of effort to source leads.

Naturally, you can’t help thinking. . .

“What else can I do to make a comfortable living from home without having to worry about the next paycheck?”

But here’s the thing:

You’re asking the wrong question.

In fact, you don’t have to do anything more. If anything, you need to stop doing whatever it is that’s sucking up your time – immediately.

Because clearly it’s not working.

I swear by a principle in Neuro Linguistic Programming which goes like this: As you work toward your goals and it doesn’t work, do something else tomorrow. And if that doesn’t work either? Do something else.

It’s like reiterating what Einstein said, isn’t it? The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

So what should you do?

Here is my go-to list of ideas that always work. You can instantly start applying them. I’ve personally applied each of them to get amazing results – in short, cool clients and great gigs.

Ready? Here we go.

17 Surefire Ways to Make Sure Your Freelance Writing Income Goes through the Roof in 2015

1. Gather clips early on:

It’s a common excuse among new writers: “I can’t find new clients because everyone asks for clips. I don’t have the clips because I don’t have any clients!”

Understandably, it’s a catch 22 problem. But unless you go out there and offer help to someone, you’re never going to produce decent clips.

If necessary, do it for free in exchange of a glowing testimonial or endorsement.

One way is to look for not-for-profit organizations in your area. They are always looking for some help.

My first copyediting work was at my local Writer’s Centre as a volunteer. I got a chance to learn about style guides and how to use them. I honed my attention to detail applying edits to their monthly e-bulletin and magazine.

Did they ask for samples? No. The fact that I showed up and offered free help was enough for me to set my foot in the door in this prestigious organization.

It also depends on how you approach the client and what you’re pitching. There’s a difference between one client hiring you for 300-word blog post and another for full-on white paper.  The first may not ask for a clip but the latter will want some solid proof that you can write.

2. Move on from freelancer websites quickly:

Is it OK to start with platforms such as Elance?

I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” with trying these sites.

Do you have better options to act as springboard?

Yes, you do. And you’re going to discover them soon.

But since we are on the topic of Elance and other freelance platforms, I’d like to share my story. Five years ago, Elance gave me my first writing assignment. Agreed, it wasn’t $1 per word gig, but hey, I wasn’t ready for that kind of pressure and commitment then.

I was a new writer and the biggest thing I needed at that time was… wait for it…

Proof.

Simple, undeniable proof that my writing was sellable.

Back then, I didn’t care where I sold it or for how much. It was a stepping stone. But given a chance to do it all again, I would opt for other options before going on freelance sites.

Surprisingly, Elance is not full of $5 article assignments. I’ve seen gigs at a semi-decent rate of $20 per 300 words. Not great, but not that bad either.

You just have to be smart about it. Daniel DiPiazza tells you how to hack Elance in his post here.

Tip: Once you’ve found a client (or two), move ON. Don’t stick to bidding sites forever.

The competition is too fierce. It will break your back and won’t sustain you for long. Your goal should be to look for less work, more pay.

3. Raise your fees:

If you haven’t raised your fees in last six months to a year, I suggest you take a second look. Simply tell your existing clients that you’ve revised your rates.

You can give them a discount for a month but after that, let them know it’s all going to change.

4. Get out of your shell and meet people:

The freelance lifestyle makes us lazy. We’re so used to living in our safe, comfortable cocoons that we forget there’s a world outside the home-office.

The only way is to force yourself to get out of your shell and meet new people.

The first rule of networking is to offer help. Try a BNI group to get started (and get referrals).

Personally, I like to shortlist events that specifically target my ideal client within an intimate setting. I stay away from huge networking events where people from every industry are thrown together to “speed network”.

It may work for you, but I find smaller groups more interesting because they yield a good ROI. You have more one-on-one time with each person plus it gives you a chance to engage and ask laser-focused questions and qualify prospects.

5. Start your own Meetup group:

If you can’t find a group where your ideal clients hang out, why not start your own?

You can use Meetup.com to create up to three groups for as little as $45 for three months. Keep in mind though, that you start a group to primarily help people.

You spread the word about your service as you help them.

Do Meetup groups work? Yes! I’ve gotten several marketing leads and clients from my groups.

A tip: Start a group that attracts your ideal client type. So, if you’re a copywriter for small business owners, start a group for the latter, not other freelance writers.

6. Offer help first:

Always be helping someone. If you get an email from a prospect, ask them great questions to find out what they need.

You don’t have to worry if they will hire you. Just offer to solve a problem, recommend an article or get on a 10-min Skype call with them.

Even if they don’t hire you, they will appreciate it and remember your favor.

7. Use LinkedIn to source hot leads:

LinkedIn has been my best go-to strategy to source clients. It’s a professional platform (versus a social one) where “pitching business” is not considered intrusion to their privacy, like Facebook.

Tip: Don’t just add fellow freelance writers as connections. Instead, follow your target market closely and build connections.

On that note, I don’t get writers who are so protective of their LinkedIn accounts. This is a professional network and you can’t grow it if you keep rejecting connection invites.

My thumb rule is to accept new connections from people I may not personally know yet because I’m here to build a strong network.

For anyone without a photo or profile? I’m rejecting their invitation straightaway.

I’ve found my top-paying clients by extending help on LinkedIn. Here’s a true story when a LinkedIn email made me more than $7500 (and counting).

8. Quit lurking on Craigslist:

I don’t care what you’ve heard, but please stop wasting time on Craigslist. I’ve known horrific stories of Craigslist addiction.

Instead, hunt for jobs at ProBlogger job board.

Peruse press release distribution websites such as PRWeb to read about the latest in your target market and approach the companies that you can help.

Here’s a post that explains how to use PR websites to find new clients in five simple steps.

9. Try Facebook ads:

With Facebook sending you fewer organic visitors by each day, ads are a good option. Facebook ads don’t cost a fortune – you can budget yourself for $10 and have an ad spend $1 per day for ten days.

Or you can have two days at $5 each. The most important part is the image and how well you target.

10. Learn about ghostwriting:

Ghostwriting pays more than a freelance post. You’re essentially giving up your byline in exchange for more income.

And the practice isn’t just limited to books. Several Fortune 1000 companies want fresh content for their blog. Pitch them and see if you can become their ghostblogger.

11. Always be following-up (ABF):

This is how you can win gigs that are in limbo. Sometimes, all it takes is a gentle push to remind your client how important that piece of copy is for their business.

As a thumb rule, I follow up at least three times with a gap of 4─5 days between two follow-ups. At times I’ll also use a tracking plugin like Streak for Gmail to get notified when a prospect has opened my email. It helps me decide on when to follow up next.

12. Reach out to your old clients:

The following-up tactic isn’t just limited to assignments that are stuck in limbo. You can always reach out to your old clients and check in with them to see if they need your help.

I first heard of this tactic from Bamidele Onibalusi of Writersincharge. It sounds simple but you never know when a simple email can generate thousands of dollars worth of work.

Remember, out of sight is out of mind. I like to keep in touch with my past clients and email them every 8 months to a year. Most people will reply; at times they will hire you for a new project or refer you to a friend.

13. Know where your clients come from:

Following the Pareto principle, about 80% of your income will come from 20% of your top-paying clients. But do you know where these top-paying clients come from?

It could be via social media, referrals, in-person networking, or a Letter of Introduction (LOI) you sent out last year.

This weekend, set aside an hour to create a simple spreadsheet listing your client’s name and how they found you. Highlight sources that have brought you the most lucrative gigs so far.

For example, in my case, the top two sources are LOIs and LinkedIn.

With this information, I can jump on LinkedIn or compose a new LOI to source new clients. The idea is to milk these sources in order to boost your income.

14. Ask for upfront percentage of fees:

Upfront payments are a standard and safe way to make sure you’re paid for your efforts. I like to charge anywhere between 25% and 50% depending on the size of the job.

You can also add a kill fees clause in your contract in case your client cancels the project mid-way.

15. Repurpose content:

Should you use the same piece of research you’ve done for one client for another? This is a gray area and opinions differ.

According to Contently, if you did an interview with someone and they seem to know a lot more than you can cover in one piece with one angle, you can repurpose the extra research for a second piece, but to be safe, always ask permission from the original editor first.

On the other hand, you can always rinse and repeat a concept and write for multiple sources. For example, I’ve written extensively on the role of visual marketing in boosting small business – although the concept is the same, I’ve pitched this idea from many different angles to major marketing blogs such as MarketingProfs and JeffBullas, which they all have happily accepted.

Repurposing can get you more bang for your buck. But make sure your pieces aren’t too similar and that all parties involved are OK with it.

16. Use Twitter to source clients:

Twitter hashtags can be super-helpful to find writing projects. Punch in the right keywords for the service you offer, for example #ghostblogging or #copywritingjobs. Voila!

But there’s more to Twitter than meets the eye.

Let’s say I want to write about copywriting. I punch in the kyword and this is what I find:

By doing this I find out who’s tweeting about copywriting and I can add them to my prospect list.

I follow this person on Twitter. More likely than not, they will also have a website that can be found by going on their profile.

Now you can do the bare-minimum. Go, leave a comment, and get a relationship going.

As a next step, you can look for them on LinkedIn. Or, take a direct approach and send a message via their web contact page or an email LOI telling how you can help.

I’ve used that approach many times and the worst that could happen is you form a new connection with someone.

17. Start a blog with a catchy lead magnet:

This is where you slowly cross the bridge between a freelancer and an entrepreneur.

Have you got a website or blog? Imagine what happens to all those wonderful leads that visit your website, consume your content and . . . leave.

What if you could capture their details and interact with them in a more personable manner?

A lead magnet is a freebie you offer in exchange for signing up on a blog. Here’s a great example of Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks as a lead magnet.

But how does it help you boost your income? In the marketing world, there’s a saying “The money is in the list”. Your email list consists of warm leads – people who have already said “yes” to you before – and therefore it’s much easier to sell them.

Studies show that an existing customer is much more likely to buy from you again. If you can sell a $7 ebook to your list, they will be 60% ─ 70% more inclined to buy a more expensive product from you next time.

Of course you need to have a platform, a lead magnet and a nurtured list for this to happen.

Overall, it’s a neat way to prepare for passive income in the years to come.

 

There you go – 17 ways to boost your freelance writing business. Which one’s your favorite? Or did I make a whoopsie and leave it out?

 

Pooja has been featured on Firepole, JeffBullas, MarketingProfs, Hongkiat and other major blogs of the world. She teaches aspiring writers how to become self-employed, create wealth and live better lives by launching their online writing biz. Steal her free mini-course to make your first $1000 (and more) writing at home.

14

5 Lies That Will Keep You from Building a Successful Freelance Writing Career

This is a guest post by Alicia Rades

Are you a freelance writer? Or maybe you’ve been playing with the idea of breaking into freelance writing. If so, then you’ve probably heard quite a few claims about the field, many of which are blatant lies, usually from people who don’t have much experience.

As someone who’s been freelancing full-time for the past three years, I’ve noticed a few common claims that are only setting people up for failure.

In this post, we’ll be discussing some of these claims and why’re they’re complete BS.

Check ‘em out below:

 

1. It’ll be a Cinch

I have to roll my eyes at my younger self looking back four years, because I believed this one, too. Eh, sure it was easy to start making money writing, but at $0.01 per word, I was far from successful. If you think you’ll become successful writing at those rates, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Believe it or not, you can find clients willing to pay $0.10, $0.20, $0.50, and even $2.00 per word. Those are the people who actually value writers and understand that writers don’t just vomit words. (Thanks to Lauren Tharp for coming up with the phrase “writer vomit.”)

The kicker is that building up that clientele isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time, promotion, and patience. But it is possible and worth it if you’re serious about your career. I suggest taking a look through Be a Freelance Blogger’s archives for excellent tips on how to start building up your business (many of the tips apply to all types of writers).

2. Freelance Sites like Elance Are the Best Places to Make Money

You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again: Bidding sites are the bottom of the barrel! You could be getting paid ten times more for the same type of work by landing your own clients.

If you do choose to start at freelance writing sites, don’t expect to stay there throughout your entire career (unless…you know…you’re okay with making next to nothing your whole life). Have a plan for building up your career (and your pay).

Here are a few things you can do to break free of the content mills:

  1. Create a writer website. Shockingly, a good 40 percent of writers don’t have their own website. Remember: You are a business owner. Showing that through your professional website will attract clients.
  2. Find private gigs through job boards. You don’t have to wait around for clients to find you! With job boards like ProBlogger, All Indie Writers, and Journalism Jobs, you can apply for jobs where you work with clients one-on-one and get paid more.
  3. Market yourself. Yes, this may mean cutting back a bit on your content mill work so that you have time to market yourself, but it can definitely pay off in the long run with higher rates. You can market yourself through social networks, by talking with local businesses, by guest blogging (strategically, mind you), and through numerous other alleys.
  4. Network with other writers. My highest paying clients have come through referrals from other writers. Not only can this practice land you clients directly, but you’ll get so much advice and feedback from other writers to help you boost your career.

3. You Work for Your Clients

No, no, no. You’re an independent contractor, which means that you’re not employed by anyone. That means you don’t have to deal with ridiculous client demands! You set your rates and your schedule. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re working for your clients and they have the final say. You’re under a professional arrangement, not an employee-employer relationship.

Let me ask you this: Are you your dentist’s boss?

No? Well your dentist is an independent contractor, too. Just like your lawyer or accountant will work with you to meet your goals–but doesn’t work for you–you will do the same for your clients.

I once heard someone say that as a freelancer, you’re an employee without the benefits. But you’re not! Yes, you should aim to please, but you’re working together under a professional business arrangement, and don’t let yourself or your client forget it.

4. Freelance Writing is a Great Way to Make Money on the Side

Okay, so this one is little true, but if you’re thinking about doing freelance writing full-time, you have to let go of this mindset. Most people who freelance write on the side are writing on sites like TextBroker or finding jobs on Elance. That’s not going to lead to a successful full-time career.

The thing with this is that framing freelance writing as a “great way to make money on the side,” or an “excellent way to supplement your income” usually gives the idea that 1) it’s super easy and anyone can do it, 2) it’s not a good full-time option, and 3) it’s comparable to other income supplement options.

Living with these ideas in your head is only going to keep you from building a successful freelance career.

The truth is that it’s not for everyone. I’m not saying that it’s super hard and most people can’t handle it, but some people simply don’t enjoy working for themselves, and honestly some people don’t have the writing/marketing skills or talents and aren’t willing to learn and grow.

Contrary to what the “side gig” mentality says, freelance writing is an excellent way to make a full-time income. In fact, I’ve been supporting my husband and myself on my freelancing career alone for the past three years while we were both in school. I’ve also come across numerous successful freelancers who were able to make more freelancing than they ever did as an employee.

Finally, if you have enough drive to build up your freelancing business, it’s nothing like taking online surveys, mowing lawns, selling your plasma, or selling odds and ends on eBay. It is a real career, and that I can say from experience.

5. Freelance Writing Isn’t a Stable Career

I’ve heard Linda Formichelli of The Renegade Writer say it before, and it makes perfect sense. Freelance writing is arguably more stable than a traditional career.

As an employee, your employer could cut you off in a second, which means you suddenly have NO income. If you lose a client freelancing, you still have plenty of other clients offering work, so unless you’ve completely isolated yourself and are working for one client alone, your income isn’t going to come to a standstill. It makes so much sense that I don’t think there’s any need to elaborate.

 

Did you believe in these lies before now? Maybe you completely disagree with my reasoning and think they’re 100% accurate. Either way, let me know in the comment section, and make sure to tell me what other claims you’ve found are false in regards to freelance writing.

Author Bio: Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a freelance blogger, writer, and editor. When she’s not writing for clients, you can find her moderating comments on her favorite blogging forum, offering freelance and career tips on various blogs, or discussing blogging topics at aliciaradeswriter.com. Visit her site to learn more about her available blogging services and to grab her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet. 

10

10 Reasons Not To Write

This is a guest post by Kimi Clark 

 

As writers, we’re supposed to be writing all the time, right?

At least that’s what we’re told.

Write every day.

Think about writing all the time.

Dream about writing.

Do it so often that it becomes second nature to you.

So you can do it in your sleep.

With one hand tied behind your back.

 

But life happens.

Burnouts happen.

And it’s OK.

It happens to everyone.

And when you’re at that place, it’s sometimes best to do something other than write.

Why? Aside from saving your sanity, you’ll find that not writing can, in its own way, actually improve your craft (and your freelance business).

Below are ten good reasons to stop writing (temporarily, of course). Can you relate to any of them?

 

1. So you can read.

Reading is something most writers love to do anyway, and yes, it helps us with our writing.

I personally find myself putting it on the back burner because of the feeling that I need to put writing first, and with a limited amount of time, reading seems to go by the wayside. Don’t let that happen.

 

2. Because you need to learn.

Being a writer these days requires SO much more than writing!

Between websites, blogs, social media, eBook creation, drumming up clients…the list goes on and on.

You really do have to devote time, sometimes a lot of it, to these other tasks. And it’s a whole lot easier if you know what you’re doing. So if you have the opportunity to watch a webinar or listen to a podcast on growing your email list or managing social media, by all means, do it!

 

3. So that you can meet with a client.

If you’re a freelance writer, chances are you either have clients or are looking for some.

Even if your goal is to have your own business and solely do your own writing, (I’m all for working for yourself!), on the way there writers usually do work for someone else somewhere along the line.

Clients aren’t always easy to find, it takes time and effort on your part. Then once you have a client, you have to meet with them, or discuss details by phone or email. It just takes time, but it needs to be done.

 

4. Because you’re working on other non-writing business tasks.

Again, this is a necessity when you’re a freelance writer.

You have to upload your posts to your blog, and get them to look just right. (Unless of course you’re already doing well enough to hire someone to do it for you.)

You need to update social media. Be careful with this one though, it tends to take up way too much time if you’re not careful. (And yes, I’m speaking from experience.)

You have to manage your email list and send out a newsletter.

Again, the list goes on and on.

 

5. You need to attend a promotional event.

Whether you’re an author out promoting your next book or you’re a newbie just getting to know people at a local Chamber of Commerce networking event, you will have to get out there (step away from the computer screen!) and promote your work.

This one isn’t easy for many of us, and there probably are writers who haven’t done much promotion…but I think the majority of us have, or will, at some point.

 

6. So you can network with other writers.

Writing is a lonely career…or it can be, if you let it. You need to put in the effort to connect with other writers so you don’t feel isolated and alone.

Some people form local groups and meet up in person at the local coffee shop, while others find an online forum or Facebook group to join and connect with their peers. Do whatever works for you, but please do something. It’s so important to have the support and camaraderie a group offers.

 

7. Because you’re helping someone else.

Yes, even though writing seems like it’s all about us, the writer…it’s really about others. Who do you write for? How can you help them?

Along those lines, at times we actually have to actually stop writing and help someone else.

Maybe it’s another writer who wants you to read through their latest work, or even a neighbor who could use your help moving their couch. Whatever it is, reaching out and helping others is something that not only helps the person, but it helps us as well.

Giving of ourselves is the best gift we can give.

 

8. You’re out experiencing life.

Whether you’re an author, journalist, freelancer, or a blogger, if you really want to have good material to write about, you have to LIVE!

Go out and have experiences that you can write about…it’s as simple as that.

Enjoy your life!

 

9. Because you’re spending time with the ones you love.

This kind of goes with the enjoying your life suggestion above, but focusing on family and friends when you’re so consumed with your writing can be challenging.

It’s not that we don’t want to, but there is always so much to do!

Take the time to stop writing and give your family your full attention on a regular basis.

After all, what good is it making it to the top if there’s no one there to celebrate with you?

 

10. You’re enjoying your freedom!

This is my favorite one. As a writer, even though we have deadlines and due dates, we still have more freedom than most people.

Freedom to work at the local coffee shop, or take the afternoon off. Freedom to work the hours we choose, or to schedule our vacation when it works for us.

Freedom to watch a Disney movie with my kids when they ask me to. Now that’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.

 

So there are your 10 reasons not to write.

Can you think of any others?

Share them with us in the comments.

 

Author Bio: Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in blog posts about writing, entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood.

You can find her ramblings at http://www.writewriterwrite.com, where she’s on a mission to support and encourage fellow writers to follow their dreams and enjoy the journey!

11

How to Get Leads and Gigs Off Your LinkedIn Posts

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love LinkedIn and I think it’s a goldmine for freelancers looking for clients. Not only does it have excellent search features that can help you find and vet prospects, but it also has community and messaging capabilities that enable you to get in touch with people in ways that email or other social networks can’t match.

Side tip: Check out my post on Freelance Writers Academy for advice on using LinkedIn to find clients and ideas.

Recently, though, I found yet another reason to love this social network.  Earlier this year, LinkedIn announced that it would be rolling out its publishing platform to all members, allowing users to write and post articles on the site. The feature, which used to be exclusive to selected influencers, gives you the chance to share your knowledge, demonstrate your expertise, and connect with individuals in your field.

And if you use it correctly, it can even help you find clients.

Consider what happened to me two week ago, when I posted this article about customer loyalty.

I finished the piece, hit the publish button, then shared the article on Twitter and on LinkedIn Groups.

I logged back in after a couple of hours and was surprised to see several notifications waiting for me. The post I had just published was picked up by LinkedIn’s algorithms and ended up getting featured in the Marketing and Advertising section of LinkedIn’s Pulse app.

As a result, the article gained numerous likes and comments and I also got several followers and connection requests. Most important, I received a message from an executive inquiring about my writing services.

Can you replicate the same results? Yes, I believe you can. And to help you accomplish this, I’ve put together some tips and best practices for publishing articles on LinkedIn. Check them out and see how you can apply these pointers when you’re using the site’s publishing platform.

Publish forward-thinking posts

I’ve found that people love reading about innovations and forward thinking. In fact, my most popular posts are the ones that discuss the latest trends or the future of the industry.

If you have any predictions about where your field is heading or if you’re knowledgeable about the hottest trends in your niche, be sure to write about them. You’ll not only demonstrate your expertise, but you could end up on LinkedIn’s front page in the process.

Have an opinion

Opinionated pieces tend to get the most traction and are more effective at generating discussions. Keep this in mind whenever you’re publishing on the site. Avoid being a fence sitter and instead use the platform to express your stance on a given issue. Just be sure to do it in a respectful and professional way.

As LinkedIn put it:

Don’t shy away from expressing your opinion. However, keep your long-form posts appropriate for the LinkedIn audience. Do not long-form post anything obscene, shocking, hateful, intimidating, or otherwise unprofessional.

See what people are talking about in your field

A good way of determining which topics resonate most with your audience is to check out the posts that are making the rounds in your industry. Head to LinkedIn’s Pulse page (under “Interests”), go to the Discover tab, then follow the channels you’re interested in.

Ex: If you’re a freelance writer focused on the finance industry you can check out channels like “Banking & Finance” or “Economy”.

Read the channel’s popular posts, identify common themes and topics, then incorporate them into your own articles.

Aim to get featured

Getting featured is like the holy grail of publishing on LinkedIn. When this happens, your article is pulled into LinkedIn Pulse and included in the Pulse section of LinkedIn’s homepage. It puts your post in front of more people, allowing it to get more views, likes, and comments. I’ve had two posts featured on LinkedIn so far and in both times I’ve experienced spikes in profiles views, followers, and requests.

How exactly can you get featured on the site? According to LinkedIn:

[Getting featured in Pulse] is determined by an algorithm and other variables that matches the right content with the right professional. This assures that every member sees customized professional news and insights that are meaningful to them among other things.

If you’d like to optimize for the likelihood that your long-form post will be featured in Pulse, you can: 

  1. Write content that’s relevant to specific channels, such as Green Business and Professional Women. 
  1. Write content that resonates with your connections, followers, and target audience. The most meaningful and high-quality long-form posts will be promoted through member feedback, such as views, likes, comments, and shares. Note: these are some of the metrics taken into account to determine which long-form posts should be included in our Top Posts section.

I may not have the exact, step-by-step recipe for getting picked up by the Pulse app, but I believe I’ve already given you some of the ingredients that can increase your chances. Consistently apply the tips mentioned above and you’ll be on your way to hitting the featured section of the site.

Remember that publishing LinkedIn posts is only part of a bigger picture

Don’t expect to get a sudden influx of leads and clients just because you published a few posts on the site. Your LinkedIn publishing efforts should be combined with other strategies, such as group participation and proactive outreach.

To maximize the potential of your LinkedIn articles, share your posts on appropriate groups and engage with the people who liked or commented on your work.

Also make it a point to connect with relevant individuals. LinkedIn notifies your connections whenever you publish a new post, so having more contacts could potentially increase your posts’ viewership.

Finally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get direct leads or gigs from your posts. Recognize that LinkedIn publishing has other benefits.

For one thing, posting articles on the site can help you position yourself as an expert and gain credibility.

And if your posts do really well (i.e. if they get featured or get tons of views/comments) you can include them in your portfolio or even use them when pitching to potential clients. Send one as a writing sample and say something like “I’ve been a featured author on LinkedIn’s Small Business channel.” Doing so could impress your prospects and (hopefully) increase your chances of landing the job. 

Your turn

Have you ever used LinkedIn’s publishing platform? What are your thoughts on it?

14

How to Attract Dream Clients with Your Personal Blog

 

This is a guest post by Irene Enriquez of GirlyGeek.Ph 

 

When you’re planning to take your blogging to the next level and become a full-fledged freelance writer, the most common advice you hear is to set up a writing portfolio. While this is sound advice, it isn’t the only way to start your freelance journey.

If you’ve been blogging for years using your personal blog, you can actually use it to leverage your freelance writing career. You just need to make a few tweaks in order to make it more attractive to your dream clients.

 

Choose Your Niche and Stick with It

Choosing a niche isn’t only helpful to give your blog focus, but it can also help you build your specialty. If your current blog tackles different topics like personal finance, travel, lifestyle, and your pet adventures, you might want to consider focusing on one topic that you can write about for the long haul.

Here’s a good way to choose your ideal topic: Find the intersection between what you love, what you’re good at, and what makes money. Finding topics that makes money is a bit tricky. There is no way you can know for sure which topic translates to money in your bank account. However, you can check out the websites of successful freelance bloggers. What are the topics they blog about? Do they target B2Bs, startups, or SMEs?

I’ve been blogging for over four years. I used to blog about different topics: health and fitness, beauty, gadgets, personal development.  But two years ago, I decided to focus on writing about technology. Most tech blogs are heavy with gadget reviews. I set myself apart by focusing on how technology can help people live a happier and more productive life. This decision worked quite well for me–my traffic has quadrupled because of it! I also got offers from advertising networks, and I was able to establish myself as an expert in the tech space. (Being a girl who blogs about technology also has its benefits. ;) )

 

Write Passionately and Truthfully

Jeff Goins is a highly successful blogger with a few books under his belt. In his blog, GoinsWriter.com, he always talks about the importance of writing about your passion. In his post, Three Critical Steps to Writing Success, he writes, “If you’re trying to figure out your calling as a communicator, what your purpose in writing is or what your subject you should, you need to write what you know.”

There is magic when you write about something that rings true to your beliefs. And readers will pick up on that. Your future clients will, too!

The truth is ideal clients are always on the lookout for writers who understand their industry. Clients are attracted to writers who believe what they believe. In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, he explains how great brands like Apple inspire action from their customers. People buy Apple products not only because of the value it provides but mainly because people believe what Apple stands for.

To consistently deliver the same message or belief in your personal blog, list your philosophies or the causes that you support. When writing a new post, check the list and see if the post is consistent with your beliefs.

 

Show You’re an Expert

Writing passionately about the topics you care about can establish you as an expert in your field. However, you don’t have to stop at writing blog posts. Use every aspect your site to showcase all of your skills. You must walk the talk and set a good example to your clients. If managing social media is one of your services, make sure to include Twitter and Facebook links on your blog, keep your social media accounts updated with helpful content, and engage with your readers.

Another way to show you’re an expert is to write a blog post that challenges a recent trend in your niche. For example, if you blog about makeup, you could go beyond the usual how-to tips. Is there a recent trend in social media that challenges people’s perception of beauty? Write a unique and meaningful post relating makeup and your beliefs in beauty.

Publishing a post with a fresh and profound perspective on a controversial issue is not only a traffic magnet, but it could put you on your dream client’s radar.

 

Be Friends with Brands

If a founder of a startup reaches out and asks you to review their app or their product, reply with enthusiasm. Try their product. Write an honest review about it. In your review, give suggestions on how the app or their service can be further improved. Once your review is live on your blog, make sure to send a link to the founder. She will be over the moon knowing that you took the time to write about their product or service. You even made helpful suggestions!

These brands, startups, and PR companies who reach out to you could be future clients.

Actually, that’s exactly how I scored my first dream client.

A startup company reached out to me to try and review their app. Since I love discovering new apps, I was more than happy to do so. I tried the app, wrote a review about it, and suggested ways to improve it. The post was a quite a hit! I was able to send users their way.  After six months, the startup’s VP hired me as their Communications Specialist.

 

Other tips on getting the attention of brands you want to work with:

  • When you write a post that puts a brand in a positive light, share it on Facebook and tag the brand’s Facebook page. You can do the same in Twitter and Instagram. In addition, use the brand’s hashtags.
  • As you transition to freelancing full time, let PR companies, startups, or business owners that you’ve collaborated with in the past know that you are now a freelancer. Send them an email. Ask how they are doing. And let them know that you’re looking for writing projects.

 

Keep in Touch and Build Genuine Relationships

You may not get a reply right away when sending an email, but don’t let this discourage you. Keep in touch with the brands and businesses that you want to work with. Share and ReTweet their posts. Send the founder or the VP a personal birthday greeting. These tiny things accumulate over time and could lead to future collaborations and projects.

This strategy might not score you clients right away, but it is a great way to attract clients that you truly want to work with. These potential clients already know your writing style and your specialty. Plus, it can help weed out those clients that you’re not compatible with.

 

Share your take

Do you think that using your personal blog is a good strategy to get clients? Or do you believe that it’s better to create a separate writing portfolio?

 

Irene Enriquez is as a freelance writer and editor who loves to write about technology, social media, and mobile gadgets. She’s still happily working with Veems, a social photo-sharing app, as a Communications Specialist. Visit her tech blog GirlyGeek.Ph to see how she uses her personal blog to market her freelance writing services.    

5

2 Keys to Unlocking the Door to Your Perfect Client

This is a guest post by William Ballard 

In sports circles it has been said that the best defense is always the best offense. In other words, having the most points on the board is your defense, and the only way to have the most points on the board is to have an aggressive offense.

It’s the ones that are aggressive that dominate the field (or court). So, how do you become aggressive in your freelance writing business?

Well…the answer is twofold, 1) you must know your client better than they know themselves, and 2) you must know yourself better than anyone else.

You should have the second down pat, but we will get to that one last.

Know Your Client (and Their Readers) Better Than They Know Themselves

Before you ever pitch an article idea to a client (publication), you must know that client inside and out. In other words, thoroughly research that client’s vision and mission statement and adopt it, personalize it, and make it your own.

Know their audience. Know their demographics; know what age groups, gender, or perhaps even their religious preferences. Know there likes and dislikes. Know the voice and writing style of the publication.

When you do this, what you are doing is searching for the gaps of that publication that only you can fill. That takes us to the next point.

Know Yourself Better Than Anyone Else

Now, this point requires a bit of confidence on your part as the freelance writer. You need to be self-aware of what you bring to the table or to the market place. There are things that only you can contribute and no one else. You have a background and you have experiences in something. What you need to do is know those “somethings” like that back of your hand.

Of course, you should get the self-awareness part down first before you go looking and researching possible clients. Because without that knowledge of yourself you will not be able to find those gaps in the publication that only you can fill.

Example: True Story

I wrote an article for Entrepreneur.com where I took four concepts or principles that I learned in the Marine Corps and related them to business.

It wasn’t more than a day when that article had been published that a reader clicked on the links from my bio (in that article), came to my freelance writer and author website, and filled out my contact form requesting my writing services for a project that he was thinking about doing.

Now, this client is in the business of speaking, coaching, and training, but also has a unique angle to his niche. Because he is a former Marine, he likes to take Marine Corps principles, relate them to business, and then teach them to his clients in his seminars, etc.  He wanted to do a series of blog post that was or is similar to what I did in the article for Entrepreneur.com. This client wanted me to take the 11 leadership principles of the Marine Corps and do an 11 article series where I take each principle and relate it to business (filling the gap).

Here are the connecting links that make me the best writer for this type of job:

1)    This client is a former Marine, as am I.

2)    This client loves leadership development and business development, as do I.

When this client and I were talking and trying to negotiate price, I told him that the minimum I charge for blog post are $100.00. He then responded by saying that he knew that he could go to sites like oDesk, Elance, or Fiverr and get writers to write him content for much less. However, he also understood about the value I possessed from my background and experience in the Marine Corps.

In other words, the chances of him getting a writer from one of those sites mentioned who are a former Marine (or at least knowledgeable of the Marine mindset) are 1 and a million. He wanted someone with firsthand knowledge of what it means to be a Marine, as well as someone who is passionate about leadership and business. This is where I fill the gap for what he is trying to do with this project.

Not only does he want to do this blog/article series, but he also has a book that he wants me to help him write that is similar to the blog series in the sense that the book has to do with Marine Corps principles, but difference in the sense of what those principles are. In other words, the article series is about the 11 leadership principles, and the book project is about the 14 leadership traits of the Marine Corps as they relate to leadership and business.

Developing Your Aggressive System to Landing Freelance Writing Clients

When you get these two things down, what you are doing is learning to be aggressive in your freelance writing business. Overtime, being able to find those gaps that only you can fill will become your habitual system that you develop that brings in the clients, and allows you to be aggressive in your price negotiations.

Action Steps to Take With You:

1)    Self-Awareness and Self-Inventory - Make a list of things that you know from experience that no one else has. Believe me, there are some things that you have that no one else does. No one has your same background. It is important that you know and believe that. When you know your value and what you bring to the market place (or what you bring to the table) it becomes much easier to have aggressive confidence.

2)    Thoroughly Research a Client (Publication) Before Pitching an Article Idea – Know that client inside and out. Find the gaps that only you can fill. Then, and only then, do you pitch them with aggressive confidence. Notice I said, “aggressive confidence” and not pride or arrogance. You are not trying to destroy the client and make him or her feel that without you their publication is weak. What you are trying to do is add value to them and to make their publication better. Notice I said, “…make their publication better”. That implies that it is already better (or good), but that what you have to bring to the table is of value and will take their publication to the next level.

 

Author Bio
William Ballard is a Canadian-based freelance writer and blogger who offers both writing and designing services. He blogs on various websites and, if yousubscribe to his newsletter, he will send you a copy of the first few chapters of his ebook, The 21 Qualities of a Successful Writer: Develop Them and Become the Writer Everyone Wants to ReadJust let him know that you signed up through this article on Be a Freelance Writer.

11

5 Blog Posts That Will Propel Your Freelance Writing Business (and Life) to New Heights

Have you ever read blog posts that were so powerful or motivating that they actually altered your thoughts, habits, and actions? You know, posts that gave you big AHA moments or pushed you to create goals and take big actions?

I have.

And in this post, I’d like to share those life-changing nuggets with you in hopes that they’ll motivate you in the same way they did me.

Check them out below and see if they resonate with you as well:

 

1. Soulquake: 5 Questions That’ll Stir You Up Inside – I just started my freelance writing business when I first read this post. And honestly, I was floundering. I didn’t have any income goals, I haven’t chosen a niche yet, and my ideal clients were pretty much anyone who wanted to hire me.

This blog post helped changed that. It shed light on questions that I needed to ask myself in order to get clear and specific on what I really wanted. The answers to those questions gave me focus. They pushed me to figure out the kind of life and business I wanted to build, and that, in turn, helped me find the people and resources I needed to meet my goals.

If you think you could use some clarity and focus in your business and life, I suggest you spend time asking yourself the 5 questions mentioned in this article. As trite as it may seem, you have to do some soul-searching every now and then to get back on track.

 

2. Why Most People Are Full Of Shit, And How To Not Be One Of Them - The world is of full flaky and unreliable people. And that’s good news for you and me. Why? Because it’s easier for us to stand out and make an impression. In this post, Peter Shankman shares some uber simple ways to do just that.

I’ve applied his tips time and time again, and they have enabled me to connect with people and be more memorable. They even helped me land a bunch of writing gigs.

[Hat tip to KeriLynn Engel. Her comment here reminded me of this post and helped inspire this article.]

 

3. 872 Subscribers in 24 Hours?! – I will always remember the day I read this post because it was the first time I came across Danny Iny—the online marketing genius who inspired and taught me to build an audience-based business. I was able to pull off the Be a Freelance Writer launch thanks to the lessons I learned from him, and I will always be grateful.

But back to the post. 872 Subscribers in 24 Hours?! contains some good nuggets about launching a product or website. But even more important is that it taught me the difference between “half-baked” and “fully-baked.”

It made me realize that if I want something to be a homerun, I shouldn’t settle for good or great. I should aim for spectacular.

I adopted the “fully baked” mindset since, and it’s led me to create successful projects for my clients and my business. I hope this post enables that mind shift for you as well.

 

4. How to Prevent A Business Dry Spell – I was experiencing the infamous “feast or famine” cycle when I found this video, and it helped me kick my business into gear. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s struggling with having a steady and reliable stream of gigs.

Marie’s video is super informative and quite entertaining as well. ;)

My favorite part:

Action is magic. When you start taking consistent action, you will create results. Now those results may or may not be related to the actions you take, but trust me: nine times out of ten, stuff just starts to happen seemingly out of the blue when you get your butt in gear consistently.

I’ve experienced this first hand. It works.

 

5. Write Epic Shit – Those three words became my mantra ever since I read this blog post. Whenever I’m writing something, I make it a point to ask myself: Is the content epic? Does it provide value? Does it really help, entertain, or inspire people? If not, then it’s back to the drawing board.

I suggest you do the same. And if you ever find yourself struggling writing epic shit, give this post a read and bookmark it whenever you feel complacency creeping up on your writing.

 

Over to you:

I’d love to read the blog posts that changed YOUR life. Share the URL in the comments and I’ll check them out.

 

4

A Writer’s Guide to Growing a Freelance Business… and a Toddler!

This is a guest post by Rakiah O.

Every freelancer knows that effective time management is key to running a successful freelance business.

That doesn’t sound so hard, right? Set up everything on a calendar and you’re all set as long as you stay on schedule.

But what happens when you have a toddler? Or two?

Working on a schedule becomes a distant memory. Most days, 24 hours feel both too long and too short. You struggle to stay on top of things and constantly battle feelings of inadequacy – both as a mother and a business owner.

Let this go on too long and you’re going to reach a point where you’ll have to make a choice. Motherhood or business? And we both know that’s no choice at all.

The good news is, it’s possible to avoid this choice and grow your business along with your toddler.

You just have to change your definition of time management and make the following changes:

Change your schedule to suit your toddler

Conventional advice says to tailor your kid’s routine around yours. In my experience, that simply doesn’t work.

What does work is tailoring your schedule around your child’s. After all, who’s the adult in this relationship?

Mothers instinctively know their child’s daily patterns and routines – when he gets hungry, poops, naps, play outside etc. If you’re not (totally possible when you’re juggling a business as well), map out your child’s routine for a week and put it on a calendar. You’ll see patterns emerge.

Now that you have their routine, make it formal and allot time for each activity. Allow grace periods for before and after each time slot because we all know nothing is set in stone when it comes to kids! Start with when he wakes up in the morning.

Now, do you see those tiny time gaps between each of your kid’s activities?

That’s your window to get some work done.

Now divide your tasks into small doable chunks and incorporate your own tasks in the calendar you just set up.

Oh, and don’t forget those ever present house chores that you have to squeeze in there as well!

Feeling overwhelmed? I did too until I did the following.

  1. Set small goals for each work cycle

Consider the tiny gaps you get your work cycle.
Now, deciding to finish an article in an hour is never going to work. When you sit down to write, it’ll feel overwhelming and that’s exactly when your inspiration will decide to take a hike.

Break the writing process into achievable tasks of research, first draft, fact checking, proof reading, editing, and rewriting.

Some of these tasks can be done in 20 minutes while others can take longer.

  1. Get a big white board and big, loud clock.As a freelancing parent, you can’t afford to lose track of time. Otherwise, you’ll only have networked on Twitter and Facebook before your child’s 90 minute nap is over.In sight reminders and alarms are life savers.

Hang a big white board in front of your workspace and write your kid’s schedule (as well as the house chores that you need to do) on it.

Now set an alarm clock on your desk and set an alarm every time you sit down to work.

You can, of course, forego the white board and clock in favor of a kick ass reminder app but I’ve found it’s much more productive to go old school.

  1. Sleep early and wake up even earlier.It’s so tempting to stay up late at night to work. The house is quiet and the baby’s asleep. You have a whole night to work! But that just messes up your entire day.Speaking from experience, you’ll feel sleepy all day long and parenting will leave you exhausted and cranky – much like your child.If your child sleeps at around 8:00 pm, allow yourself to work until 9:30 max. Then, spend at least one hour unwinding. Spend time with your spouse, read a good book – anything that keeps you away from work.Whatever you choose, be in bed by 11:00 pm. And don’t get up until you’ve had a 7 – 8 hours of sleep.

    Of course, this is assuming your toddler sleeps through the night and doesn’t wake up at the crack of dawn. If he does, adjust your schedule accordingly. I know freelancing parents who’re in bed by 10:00 pm and are up at 4:00 am!

Working When Your Toddler’s Awake

It’s naïve to think your toddler will leave you alone when you’re working. Kids are busy bodies and will never let your attention divert from them for too long a time.

So, how do you handle such situations?

Here are a few tips that kill two birds with one stone – handling a cranky baby and cutting down on house chores at the same time.

  1. Let Your Kids Tag AlongHouse chores are an ever-present evil, there’s no avoiding them. But how can you do them with a baby on one hand and business work on the other?Save some of your chores for times when the baby starts getting cranky. Start with some menial tasks like tidying up the house.Ask your kid to help you with the clean-up. Give her tasks that she’ll enjoy and make her feel grown up at the same time.If its laundry day, let her put the clothes in the washing machine. If it’s cooking you need to get done; get her a stool she can stand on, some utensils, fill them with non-hazardous cooking ingredients then tell her to start cooking.

    No matter what your chore, the more “Oh, you’re such a big girl!” vibe you can give, the more engrossed and entertained she will be.

  2. Teach Your Child To Let You WorkLetting your kid tag along will only work so far. What happens when your child wants to play with you and you have a deadline to meet?Create a mock office for your kid close to your desk. Give her a table, chair, stationary, toy laptop, a bag etc. Try and give her the things you have on your worktable. Take a minute to give her drawing or coloring “assignments”. Set a timer and make a game out of no one leaving their work until the timer goes off.
  3. Be FlexibleSometimes kids just want you in their sight. So, create a flexible work environment for yourself. It could mean taking your laptop to your backyard while your child plays or turning off your computer for an hour to spend time with your child.

Even if you follow all the advice that is given here, word for word, you will still sometimes find it difficult, at times, to juggle the two roles at once – that of a mother and a business owner – but don’t be discouraged, I assure you if you stick to it for at least a month things will become much more manageable.


Rakiah is a freelance writer and blogger who’s raising a freelance writing business and toddler at the same time. She’s also the owner of Blog Labs.