Your Billable Hours
When I’m coaching writers one-on-one to build a freelance writing business, one of the first things I do is have them set a regular work schedule.
Even though many people think freelance writers sleep till noon, then laze around most of the day before they finally write something for an hour or so, the truth is, most successful freelance writers have a regular work schedule they stick to (for the most part).
That work schedule includes plenty of “billable” hours each day.
In this case, billable hours are the hours that a writer is available for work he will bill clients for.
As a writer, start thinking of your workday in terms of billable hours.
When you do, you’ll realize that you need to spend at least 50% of each workday on things that will bring in income – in other words, on things you can bill for – your billable hours. This means you must find some clients and assignments.
The other 50% of your work day can be spent on administrative tasks, reading and studying things to improve your writing and marketing skills, and social networking, etc.
As your business grows, you will want to outsource some of these types of actions to give yourself even more billable hours each week (so maybe 80% of each day can become billable hours).
You’ll probably also want to create some sources of passive income since you only have so many billable hours each week no matter what you do.
Take a look at what you have done so far this week during your billable hours.
Did you spend 50% of your time each day working on writing assignments you already have (that you can bill for)?
If you didn’t have any writing assignments, did you spend 100% of your time writing queries, searching for jobs on online job boards, etc.?
You need to quickly get some assignments or clients so you’ll have some hours/work to bill for.
Did you spend most of your billable hours on actions you won’t get paid for – things like posting to your blog (without monetizing your posts) or visiting other fun blogs (not ones that are relevant to your target market) and leaving comments, or checking out everyone’s Facebook page? These are all things you want to do to build your writing business, of course, but you’ll need to do them strategically (monetize your blog posts, for example, or visit other blogs that have the same target market as you and leave relevant comments there that will help build your credibility as a writer). Also, make sure these actions aren’t taking up more than 50% of your billable hours.
Once you realize the amount of time you spent this week on billable tasks, you should see a direct link between the way you’re spending your time and the amount of money you’re earning.
This seems self-evident, yet I find that so many beginning writers wonder why they aren’t making much (if any) money, when the reason is really quite simple. They don’t have enough billable hours (meaning hours they are billing clients for, not just hours they have available to do assignments).
If you want to increase your freelancing income, next week simply spend more hours on actions you can either bill clients for or that you can make immediate income from (as with affiliate marketing, creating your own products to sell, etc.).
To Your Success,
P.S. For more writing tips, information, and resources, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge now at www.morningnudge.com.