Friday, October 17, 2008

Is the Economy Changing the Way You Operate as a Freelance Writer?

I don't mean for you start taking $2 and $3 per keyword article writing jobs to make extra money. Please don't do that. I want to know if the recent economic changes have caused you to rethink your freelance writing business strategy.

Don't be a One Trick Pony

Whether or not you choose to specialize in a certain niche or work primarily as a generalist is a personal decision. There are benefits to both. As a specialized expert in developing winning press releases, you can position yourself to become known as the go to person for awesome releases that get results. Likewise, a generalists may be able to target more clients across the board. But if you freelance for a living, you still need to think about diversifying your income streams. Now more than ever.

Amy Derby discusses her decision to start offering blogging consultation services, Sharon Hurley Hall has initiated a valuable writer mentoring service to help new freelance writers start their own freelance writing careers. These are some very savvy business moves that prove freelance writers can take their valuable skills and increase their earning power significantly. Go ahead, give yourself a raise.

Just in Time for the Holidays

Jennifer Mattern discussed the impending holidays in a recent post. She talked about preparing your holiday marketing strategy NOW – something I've never bothered to do because I don't celebrate the holidays. But that's silly because most of my clients do.

She shared some great ideas for passing some savings along to your clients: Offering special rates for a certain length of time, sending a free special report and more. Check it out. I'm planning my own "end of the year closeout" special right now.

Should You Lower Your Rates to Give Clients a Break?

This is a sensitive topic for most freelance writers. Only James Chartrand at Men With Pens would be brave enough to bring it up as he discusses why "Recessions are the Best Time to Start a Business." I don't know about you, but it's taken a lot of research and silly mistakes for me to arrive at the rates I now charge. When I first read James' thought provoking post on yesterday advocating that freelancers consider lowering their rates, I wasn't quite sure where he was going. I suppose it's a personal decision for each individual writer – but it's one that deserves a certain amount of consideration.

Consider first whether you are charging enough in the first place before you even think about lowering your rates. As a business owner (which you are), it's entirely up to you to make sure you have enough clients and charge enough to live on. I realize the reason most freelance writers don't discuss rates, or display them on their websites. It's because so many different factors can wind up affecting the cost of a project; research, organizing information and the difficulty of a topic just to name a few.

Once you carefully analyze your situation, you might find that you can still benefit from slightly lowering your rates. It could make it easier for a client to send you more projects, or make it easier for a prospective client to afford you. But please don't go changing your rates without crunching the numbers first.

A lot of people consider freelance writing to be a very carefree business. But any business benefits from a well thought out business strategy. Take the time to figure out what you want from your freelance writing business and think of what you can do to continue making a comfortable living – despite the current economic gloom and doom. Have you made any recent changes as freelance writer or blogger?


Angie Ledbetter said...

My blog is new, but it's been a blast so far. Enjoyed this post.

Avid Writer said...

Angie, your blog is definitely one of my favorites! :)

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