Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 ways to earn a full-time income freelancing part-time

This article is intended for freelance writers but it can also be useful for freelance translators:
Here are five tips for maximizing your working hours:
1. Never start the workday without a plan. When your hours are limited, you can’t afford to waste a minute figuring out a to-do list for the day. Before you even sit down to work, have a task list ready to go. I always make my list the last few minutes of the previous workday, when I’m in the zone and know the status of each project. The next time I start work, which depending on my schedule could be several days later, my list is ready and so am I. I dive right in and get a ton more accomplished.
2. Set revenue goals. Many freelancers hesitate to set revenue goals because income is so unpredictable. But the up-and-down nature of freelancing makes setting goals even more important. You’ve got to have a clear idea of how much money you want to make so you have something to aim for. Set a yearly goal, and then break it down by quarter and month. If your monthly goal is $5,000 but one month you make $4,000, you know you’ve got to ramp up marketing to make up the slack. If you don’t set and actively monitor revenue goals, your could get a surprise at the end of the year – and rare is the freelancer surprised at how much more she brought in than she realized. Revenue goals are even more important for part-timers. It’s too easy to think of freelancing income as grocery money or gravy. Take your work, and the amount you want to earn from it, seriously.
3. Develop anchor clients. Anchor clients, editors and corporate clients who use you again and again, are the foundation of a part-time freelancer’s house. Work you can count on helps make meeting revenue goals that much easier, which means you can spend less of your precious time marketing and more writing, and earning.
4. Be the best professional you can be. How do you get anchor clients? Editors and corporate clients will come back repeatedly if you turn in good work, make yourself available for and amenable to revisions as necessary and generally make their lives easier. Anticipate how to do that, or ask. I try to remember that my clients have their own pressures from bosses, clients and advertisers, and may have different goals for my copy than I do.
5. Set your sights high. If you don’t believe you deserve the big projects, the highest per-word rate, the feature stories, who will? Be humble, build up your body of work, and then go for the good stuff. Source: