No one can deny the countless benefits that come with running a freelance writing business. Not only do you gain the freedom to work from wherever you’d like – be it your home, office, or even on the other side of the world – but you also have complete control over your work hours.
Whether you’re an early riser who prefers the mornings or a night owl who prefers the late shifts, you can choose to work when it’s most convenient for you.
While this may sound pretty, it is not always so rosy. There is more to a freelance writing business than the stringing together of words. You have to source for clients, manage your projects, research topics, produce quality content, and manage your accounts, among other things.
With so many hats to wear, you may wonder what time you have to write.
Anyway, not to worry. There is hope yet, and it comes in the form of knowing how to automate your freelance writing business.
Work automation is a technology-based system for performing specific knowledge-based tasks. Work automation tools will perform your tasks even without constant human supervision.
What Part of Your Freelance Writing Business Should You Automate?
Technology has advanced so much that there is hardly a part of your freelance writing business that you cannot automate. That said, here is a list of aspects you may choose to automate:
Managing your account as a freelance writer can be a daunting task. If you have to move between bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll, etc., there is a good chance that you’ll be spending at least one-third of your 24 hours on these tasks.
Aside from the fact that it involves a lot of paperwork, it costs valuable time. Time spent on account management is too much time spent outside the actual task that brings in the dough.
Automating account management not only helps with tedious accounting tasks but also saves time and makes mistakes less likely.
You can also program your account automation tool to automatically generate invoices and send them to your clients when you accept a project from them.
Every business has a target market. The stripper at the club works hard to attract her clients, as does a business executive. As a freelance writer, you must constantly put yourself out there.
Since the world is a global village, marketing automation tools help create and maintain your online presence. These tools manage your social media profiles and automate your digital marketing posts.
Marketing automation tools help you come up with creative ways to market and make marketing campaigns that are tailored to each of your target groups.
When the messages start to swarm in, the chatbots in these tools can handle introductory client communication.
From a relative standpoint, there is more emphasis on client sourcing in a freelance writing business than in other businesses. The reason for this is not far-fetched: income flow depends on the frequency of projects you get.
Client prospecting is a tiring business. Having to constantly search for potential new clients and send them proposals is not easy. Also, what good does it do a freelance writer to waste time and money trying over and over again to get that big-fish client?
With client sourcing being automatable, you don’t have to struggle to maintain balance. Client prospecting automation software helps to mechanize the process of generating and nurturing leads.
You can also use search engines and content marketplaces to set trigger keywords for client prospecting. For instance, you can set up an alert for freelance writing jobs with keywords like “technical writing” and “freelance writer”. When potential clients are searching for your services, you will get a notification.
Even the best writers can hit a snag while doing what they do best. Continually coming up with ideas and stringing words together, day in and day out, can take its toll. Besides, writing involves a lot of research, brainstorming, and editing. If you work as a freelance SEO, you also have to spend time on rankings, keyword lists, backlinks, etc.
AI-based technology receives and analyzes data, then runs it through an algorithm to create a text that people can read. This is called writing automation. This process improves data accuracy in writing and reduces turnaround time.
The freelance SEO writer is not left out either, as automation helps with routine tasks and saves time otherwise spent on manual checks of rankings, keyword lists, and backlinks.
One of the best things about being a freelance writer as opposed to a corporate worker is that you can set your own hours. Ironically, a freelance writer tends to work more hours in a day than someone in corporate employment.
The reason for this usually boils down to the varying tasks that a freelance writer must handle. It can be hard to run a freelance writing business because you have to juggle multiple projects, take on new clients, and stay in touch with old clients.
When there are a lot of tasks at hand, it might be challenging to keep track of events, either verbally or in writing. This underscores the need for project management tools to go through your project, deadlines, and contract terms and generate daily tasks.
With these tools, tasks and deadlines are more defined, and your business gains structure.
Why Should You Automate Your Freelance Writing Business?
There are a lot of benefits that automation affords you as a freelance writer, but we’ll stick to a few:
- Increased Productivity. With most repetitive tasks taken care of, you have more latitude to channel time and resources to high-value tasks. This way, there is room for growth and innovation in your freelance business.
- Easy and Faster Processes. Work automation eliminates the need for repetitive tasks that you would otherwise engage in. For example, if you are an SEO writer, you don’t have to search for targeted keywords by hand or keep checking how your articles rank for those keywords.
- Cost Saving. Automating your freelance writing business will save you from the costs of acquiring human labor. Not only is it less expensive, but it will also allow you to keep your overhead expenses low.
- Increased Chance of Accuracy. It is not far-fetched that you are likely to make errors in processes like data entry, billing, invoicing, etc. Sometimes, these errors may be costly.
Meanwhile, if you automate these processes, this chance is much lower, since machines almost never make mistakes.
- Client Relationship Development. You can agree that sometimes keeping up with friends can be tedious. Well, the same goes for client relationships, especially if you have many clients.
You must, however, learn to keep in touch with your clients. A freelance writing business is a relationship business, so you want to maintain your clients.
With automation tools, you can get follow-up reminders for your prospects, reminders about special occasions for your existing clients, automated email communication, etc.
Tools to Automate Your Freelance Writing Business
Trello for Project Management
As a freelance writer, it is common to wake up on a Monday morning, knowing you have a lot of projects at hand but not knowing where to begin.
Trello helps to clear up this confusion by prioritizing your projects using task cards in the calendar view. Meanwhile, you can see the tasks at hand using the week view, which will help you prioritize your daily tasks.
Trello is also integrated with third-party apps like Gmail. You can set up a rule on Trello to do a certain thing when a set of triggers happen.
The benefit of this to you as a freelance writer is that when a client assigns you a project, you only need to send an email. After this, a card is automatically generated under the Assigned list.
This makes it easy to keep abreast of all the client’s instructions and due dates without having to dig through your mail.
Working as a virtual assistant, Trello can also help you keep track of deadlines by letting you know when they’re approaching and showing you which projects are past due.
Zoho Books for Accounting Management
For any freelance writer, managing accounts is a pain in the ass. There are too many tasks, all of which require optimal functioning and high concentration. Some of these tasks are invoicing, bookkeeping, expense tracking, and audit maintenance, among others.
Zoho Books makes the process easy by automating all of these boring tasks with workflow rules. This means you don’t have to spend time entering data and can focus on more important tasks.
When in touch with a prospect, Zoho Books initiates a business relationship by sending detailed estimates to your clients via mail. When the client accepts, the software automatically converts them into professional invoices.
With Zoho Books, you don’t need to chase your clients for payments. The software simply sets up payment reminders and sends them periodically until the money is paid.
As a freelance writer, it is understandable that your clients will be from all walks of life. Zoho Books supports multiple languages, so you can easily do business with clients from any part of the world in their own currency.
Luckily, this account management automation tool has a user-friendly interface. Despite being an accounting tool, it is intuitive, and you don’t need complex accounting knowledge to operate it.
If you’re the fashionable type, you will love the customization feature of the tool. You can make a brand statement by including your company logo on the invoices, bills, estimates, etc.
Zoho Books saves you money – because your time is money.
Jasper AI for Writing
There is no denying that even the best writers suffer from creative blocks. Whether you are unable to access your well of creativity or you just want to take advantage of technology, you can’t go wrong with Jasper AI.
Jasper is a content creation automation tool used to generate original, well-researched, and engaging content. You only need to type in a few keywords, a short description of the keywords, and the tone in which you want the content to be written.
With this, Jasper would use AI to match the key elements in your command to the million sentences in its database.
Whether you need to create converting marketing copy, a blog post, or SEO content, Jasper can serve you and help you craft the perfect content. So far, you can picture your article, Jasper can bring it alive.
This AI content creation software can be used for several content types. You can use Jasper to create business documents, poetry, blog posts, social media ads, etc., in a matter of seconds.
Luckily, Jasper is not limited by language, as it can be used to create content in 26 different languages. This is definitely a plus if you are a multilingual freelance writer.
Hootsuite for Social Media Marketing
Considering that your target market is mainly on the internet, it would do you good to create and maintain a social media presence. This will aid your visibility in the content marketplace. How do you keep track of all your social media platforms, talk to your audience, and share helpful information?
This is where Hootsuite comes in. This social media management tool allows you to manage all your social profiles in one place. This means that you make a post and link it to your other profiles. It lets you send the same message to your audience, no matter what platform they use.
You can also schedule your posts, so you don’t have to do them in real time. This affords you time to post on LinkedIn while you sleep or are otherwise engaged.
With Hootsuite, it is easy to track the engagement that your posts receive by utilizing the analytics report. This way, you can check and analyze the effectiveness of your social media platform.
While there is a free version, you may also subscribe to Hootsuite Pro, which assigns you an assistant to post on your behalf, schedule messages, and interact with clients.
Betterlance for Customer Relationship Management
Building relationships with your clients is a life hack that every business owner must learn. As a freelance writer, this will help you build and maintain a healthy clientele. Since you make money by constantly looking for new projects, having a defined clientele would give you a sense of stability.
Although keeping in touch with clients can be time-consuming, a CRM tool makes it easier. A customer relationship management tool like Betterlance helps you keep your existing and potential clients at the forefront of your freelance business.
Betterlance manages your contacts by organizing and monitoring information about them. It also sends automated follow-up reminders to keep up with existing clients and prospects.
Designed to understand the pain points of the average freelancer, Betterlance seeks information on your ideal client and industry. With the answers provided, it sources potential clients that fit your niche.
When new leads are generated, it shares their profile with you on your dashboard. Their profile includes their name, email, website, LinkedIn profile URL, etc. Betterlance helps you keep in touch with your leads even more by giving you a library of email templates you can use for cold emailing.
How Do Freelance Writers Find Work?
A strong online presence, networking, and looking for new clients will help you a lot in your freelance writing career.
To get contracts as a freelance writer, you should stick to these tips:
Search for Opportunities Online
The world is a global village, and most, if not all, of your prospects, are online. They are searching for you as much as you are searching for them.
For an easy and refined search, it would be best to work with an automation tool. This way, you can get alerts for targeted keywords like “technical writer,” “copywriter,” etc.
Consider Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the practice of writing for other companies’ blogs or websites. By strategically positioning yourself this way, you get to attract a new audience to your expertise and build relationships within the industry.
A good place to start is by researching blogs that outsource their content to external writers as well as those that specialize in your niche. Not all blogs pay handsomely for guest blogging, so you may want to be strategic about the blogs you write for.
Send Customized Cold Emails
Cold emailing has always been an effective means of attracting prospective clients. As a freelance writer, it is normal to have companies or businesses you look forward to creating content for.
When you make a list of these companies, research the best way to reach them—the decision-makers behind the scenes, really—and send your pitch.
Collaborate with Other Freelancers
There is strength in numbers, and working with other talents will give you a high chance of exposure. Some talents work hand-in-hand with freelance writers. There are web page designers, graphic designers, social media managers, etc.
When you build a small community with other freelancers, they get to suggest you to clients that require your services.
For instance, if your fellow freelancing web developer lands a client that requires a market copy, they can suggest your name to the client.
Build Relationships with Clients
The sooner you know that the freelance writing business is a relationship business, the better for you. It would help if you learned to build long-lasting relationships with your clients. Besides, there is no category of people that does free advertising for talents like satisfied clients.
Make it a habit to reach out to them from time to time, congratulate them on their successes and send them birthday and anniversary wishes (hello, automation tools!)
You never know when a client might assign a project to you just because you popped up on their radar at the right time.
How Do I Market Myself as a Freelance Writer?
Knowing how to market yourself as a freelance writer properly is a survival skill you must cultivate. It is only by doing this that you will get noticed by prospective clients and eventually bring in a regular stream of work.
To get you started, here are some hints on how to promote yourself as a freelance writer:
Choose a Freelance Writing Niche
In other careers, being a jack of all trades and master of none might be fancy, but not necessarily for a freelance writer. A clearly defined niche makes it easy to market yourself since you know who to target.
If, on the other hand, you are all over the place, it might not be easy to streamline yourself to address a particular audience.
Create a Freelance Writer’s Website
Having a website is another effective way to market yourself. Make sure your website is presented in a way that makes it easy for your visitors and potential clients to tell what you do and the kind of writing services you render.
A freelance writer’s website will help boost your credibility and present you as an industry expert in your chosen niche. A website will also aid your brand’s visibility.
Create a Portfolio
You can also market yourself by creating well-written samples in your portfolio. It is advisable that you are strategic about the samples you display, as they have to be relevant to your niche.
Your freelance writing portfolio must also be up-to-date. It may also contain your published works on blogs, magazines, and other content marketplaces.
As a freelance writer, your portfolio announces you and what you’re capable of.
Write for Publications and Apps
There are quite a number of publications that invite writers to submit their work. These publications include Freedom with Writing, Curiosity Never Killed the Writer, The Creative Cafe, etc.
Writing for these publications is an excellent way to present yourself to a large audience while getting paid for it.
LinkedIn is another platform you want to take advantage of. As a professional network, you can display your work and connect with potential clients. Meanwhile, you stand a better chance of being noticed if your profile is optimized for search.
Medium is another great option.
The best way to stay collected as a freelance writer is to get a task management automation tool that is integrated with everything that you do. This tool will go through your data and create a list of tasks you have to do, projects you have to submit, deadlines you have to meet, etc.
Burnouts can be avoided by practicing organization. Make a list of things you need to do, and create a feasible timeline. Also, you should have it at the back of your mind that nature cannot be cheated. As such, you should create some you-time when you can rest and feel rejuvenated.
The freelance writing business is highly competitive. With digital marketing at the forefront of brand marketing, the demand for the services of writers has stepped up a notch.
Meanwhile, to take advantage of the situation, you must constantly upskill yourself. This way, you can stay relevant regardless of the wave of competition.
If you have a healthy clientele that consistently awards you writing projects, you could live off of freelance writing. With an average income of $68,000 per annum, you may decide to never work for another man ever again.
Some of the most sought-after writing niches include:
Health and Fitness
Maintaining a freelance writing business is a lot of work. You have to juggle writing with administrative tasks that take too much time.
There is no specific scale of preference when it comes to these tasks, seeing as they all hold equal level of importance. After all, sourcing for clients is just as essential as maintaining a relationship with them. As a result of this, giving each task a healthy degree of attention might require superhuman strength.
It is safe to say that most freelance writers are not from Krypton, and so maintaining a successful freelance writing business might prove difficult. Luckily, even if you can’t be a Kryptonite, you can access the abilities of work automation to make your writing business a productive one.