Setting a Freelance Writing Work Schedule & Sticking To It

Working from home as a freelance writer does afford you many freedoms. You can work in your pajamas. You can work from your bed, your office, or your couch at home. But perhaps every once in a while you want to work outside the home and rent a shared office space, go to a coffee shop, or a bookstore. You can work during the day, or you can work after the kids go to sleep.

However, every freelance writer needs a freelance writing work schedule. It’s vital to making sure you stay on task and get all of your work done every day. And it’s also vital to ensuring that you end your day at a specific time so that you don’t over work yourself and cause burnout.

You also have freedom when deciding how you want your schedule to look, and what is the best way to maintain it.

Figure Out Your Goals

Knowing what you want to achieve in the short term with your freelance writing business (because it IS a business and should be treated as such) will determine how you look at your writing schedule. Depending on your goals, you may work a few days a week, or you may work six. You may work for four hours each morning, or you may work a full eight to nine hour day. However, you must know your goals before sitting down and setting up a freelance writing work schedule for yourself.

Lauren Carter says wisely, “The first step to creating a killer schedule is defining your three short-term writing goals, because these will guide all of your actions.” Her blog talks about many ways you can identify the goals you want to set for yourself in the short-term that will guide that schedule.

Make a Daily & Weekly Checklist

When you write down a list of tasks that need to be completed each day and week, you know what you will need to be placed into your freelance writing work schedule before you sit down to write it. This will make creating it much easier. The lists you make will be comprised of tasks you already do each day or week, like checking your email or any recurring writing assignments you have, as well as items you have found from creating your three short-term freelance writing goals in the step above. They may be the goals themselves or the steps you need to achieve those goals.

Schedule the Proper Amount of Time

You should know how long each task on your checklists takes. Before making an actual schedule of what will be done when, take a few days to time yourself doing each task and write down these times. Then take an average of these times and schedule this amount of time for it when you put it on your schedule.

Rubie, of the Domestic Beast, gives some fantastic advice about additional scheduling: “Always allow for 10-15 minutes of break time between each task.” She goes on to talk about why this is important. Not only do you need a mental break but you can take time to recharge your creativity and face the next task with fresh eyes.

Important Things to Schedule

Not only do you need to make sure each task has a well defined time slot and you stick to it, you need to schedule two other important things: stop/start times, and meals.

Starting and stopping at the same times are very important. Not only will your clients be able to anticipate when you can contact them, but you will have a regular routine to follow. The end time should be adhered to without question, even if you are in the middle of something. Your work hours are important and sacred, and so are the hours you spend NOT working so you can spend time taking care of yourself and spend time with friends and family.

It can be hard to take time away from what you are doing to eat. However, eating will ensure that you are thinking properly and that you maintain your health. If you schedule in the time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will always stop what you are doing to eat, because that time was set aside just for that.

 

When you decide to start and stop work, when you decide to schedule your meals, when you decide to place each task that you have to accomplish each day, and what exactly the tasks are that are placed on your freelance writing work schedule are completely up to you. This is part of the reason why freelance does equal freedom to many people. However, having discipline to create and stick to a schedule will ensure that you get the most out of your time and effort.

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Managing the To-Do List as a Freelance Writer

There will always be more work to do when you’re a freelance writer and time management is important. As a freelance writer, the amount of money you make depends on how much you can get done in the time you have available to do it in. It’s important that you make the most of that time with time management skills. Some are born organizers that can plan their day’s work, get it done, and continue on to even better things. However, most of us aren’t and we need a little bit of help when it comes to managing our to-do lists.

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3 Free SEO Tools Essential for Any Freelance Writer

When it comes to writing search engine optimized web content, there are the basics of what to write. But how do you get started, and then how to you check to see if your SEO efforts are working or not? These 3 free SEO tools will help with various steps along the way toward a perfectly optimized site. Free SEO tools will give you a leg up on others who aren’t using them on their own site, and they will help you keep up with the ones that are. All three of these tools are necessary and they are listed in no specific order.

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5 Ways to Organic SEO Results

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for any web page or website that needs to be seen online. Reasons may include: being seen to make money from the ads it displays or product sales. Search engines find new pages to list in the page ranks every day. Where yours ends up will largely depend on how well it has been optimized for those engines. You could just pay Google, Yahoo, or Bing to put your website at the very top and not even worry about SEO. I will wait here while you get an advertising proposal from a search engine for prime link space.

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Writing an Online Writer’s Resume

Follow these guidelines if you want to apply as a writer for certain freelancing sites or through clients on your own. It is necessary to know how to be a writer and to have a freelance writer’s resume. This resume for freelance writing will highlight your strengths, convey past experience, show educational background, and more. A resume for freelance writing is different than the conventional resume. Your experience is presumably, and mostly, online. The type of information you include on your freelance resume will vary depending on the jobs you are applying for. You may have several versions. At the very least, a resumeforfreelancewriting should include the following: contact information, objective, areas of expertise, experience, and education. Listing any memberships to writing organizations you hold on your freelance writer’s resume is optional. The same goes for listing links to samples, awards, or hobbies.

 

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Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and MORE!

Entrepreneur Magazine’s line of Startup books has offered readers valuable information on how to start nearly any kind of business. Their book, Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and More: Copywriter, Proofreader, Copyeditor, Journalist, is very helpful for those who want to get into the business of freelancing as a copywriter, proofreader, copy editor, or journalist.

 

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How to Build a Website for Freelancers – Part 2

Now that you’ve established your domain and you have your simple website built from GoDaddy, from How to Build a Website for Freelancers – Part 1, it’s time to get to the basics of what to include on your website. It’s best to keep it simple at first, until you have the funds to expand or know exactly what you want to include. Constantly changing your freelancing website can lead to your clients seeing you as being unprofessional, so it’s best to keep that to a minimum. Find a website you like from another freelancer, or maybe a few, and take note of what they include and how prominent those things are on their site. You’ll notice that three things stand out: a personal about me page, a services page, and a contact page. If you’re using the Website Tonight from GoDaddy, then these pages will be widgets on your one-page site. Let’s look at each page or widget a little closer.

 

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How to Build a Website for Freelancers – Part 1

It’s very important for freelance writers to have their own website. They can post their bio, references, services, or just have a space on the web that is all their own. It will look (and make THEM look) professional. A professional freelancing website can help you appear more professional, even though you already are. There are a lot of options available when it comes to building a website. Many companies can do it all for you. It comes at a price. There’s a quick and easy way to set up a professional looking website yourself for very little cost. I’ve recommended this option for many of my freelancing friends, especially those new to the industry. It hasn’t failed yet! So this is how to build a professional freelancing website!

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5 Tips For Using Twitter For Freelancers

Knowledge of Twitter is common. Many people still don’t know how to utilize the micro-blogging site for the most benefits, however. Many of those people are freelancers. Knowing how to use Twitter can help build your reputation, land you gigs (writing jobs), and can give you the chance to help others. Those people may, in turn, help you when the time is right! The first step is to set up your Twitter account with a username that is professional. Use either your name or keywords associated with what you do. What do you do next? These 5 tips for using Twitter for freelancers can help get you started!

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How to Use Google AdWords for Keyword Research

Keyword research before you write an article is just as important as using an analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, to research how well an article is doing with the keywords you’ve chosen to use. The best tool to use for keyword research, that is also free, is Google AdWords keyword tool. With this tool, you can type in a topic or phrase that you are focusing on, and you will get a list of popular search terms with great information that will tell you how best to use those terms in writing freelance articles. So how do you use the Google AdWords keyword tool?

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