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Sunday, November 27, 2011

10 Ways to Treat your Writing Business Like a Business

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I'm a business owner first, a writer second. That's one of the reasons I've been able to keep my freelancing business afloat for fifteen years, despite the massive changes afoot in the publishing industry. So it's not surprising that the topic of my latest article in The Writer was on 10 ways to treat your writing business--well, like a business!

Pick up the December, 2011 issue of The Writer at a bookstore near you (yes, they're still out there!) for the full article. In the meantime, those 10 ways are: 

1. Develop resilience. Don't let a bad day of freelancing (or two, or three) sour you on the business.
2. Keep regular hours. It shows that you take freelancing seriously.
3. Be responsive. Your clients should know that you'll get back to them, fast.
4. Track your income. You should always know what you're making, who owes you, and how much.
5. Track your expenses. How else will you write them off your taxes?
6. Stretch yourself. You've got to continually learn new skills to stay marketable.
7. Follow up on every pitch. Following up isn't being a pest; it's being a pro.
8. Think before you write. If you're not sure whether you send that email, don't.
9. Project success. It will attract clients.
10. Set goals. If you don't know what your goals are, how will you know whether you reached them?

These are only 10 ways to succeed as a freelancer. For 91 more, why don't you preorder my new book, Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success, which will be released in April, 2012 by Writer's Digest Books? It's a compilation of the 101 strategies I (and other successful freelancers) use to make more money in less time as self-employed writers. One of those 101 strategies is become a ghostwriter (ghosting and coauthoring is the lion's share of my work these days), and if you want to learn more about this lucrative field, check out Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Books: The Writer's Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books.  


  1. I agree that tracking your earnings is important, and for me an important component to stay motivated. Great list!

  2. These are great tips, Kelly! Resilience is so important for new and seasoned freelance professionals. You can't let one bad day ruin the rest of your career! Use those days as opportunities to grow and reflect on how far you have come as a freelancer.