How to Transition from a 9-to-5 Job to Freelancing Full-time as a Writer
Go to Free Articles Home Page & Be Sure to Sign Up for Our Newsletter Below

Share

Iíve been freelancing since 1993; full-time since 2007. Over the years, Iíve answered questions from a lot of aspiring freelance writers about how to successfully make the leap. In doing so, I realize that I kept coming back to the same piece of advice over and over again.

What is it? In a word, time-blocking.

The reason time-blocking is so important when youíre trying to transition from a full-time job to freelancing is that as a freelancer, your days can be unstructured. After all, youíre the boss now and if youíve never freelanced before, you can get distracted Ė especially working at home.

Thereís the laundry to do, the kids to pick up from school, the grocery shopping to get done, etc.

But you must, must, must treat your new career as the business it is in order to succeed.

Time-Blocked Schedule for Brand New Freelance Writers

Following is what your schedule should look like when you first make the transition.

9:00-1:00: Surf the net to find leads to 25-50 companies; put in database

1:00-4:00: Compose marketing email and send to leads found; put link to writing sample(s)

4:00-6:00: Create marketing material for my niche audience (eg, a free, downloadable marketing pamphlet that highlights benefits I provide; an article to distribute via article directories; a guest post to send to targeted blogs in my niche; etc.)

6:00-7:00: Update social media accounts

Note: This time-blocked schedule assumes that you already have a website with your services listed and writing samples.

Youíll notice that the bulk of your time is spent on marketing. Thatís because in the beginning, you wonít have any projects to work on. Of course, your schedule will change as work starts to flow in, but in the beginning, almost all of your time should be spent on some form of marketing.

The #1 Mistake Many New Freelance Writers Make When Transitioning from a 9 to 5

When the writing jobs do start flowing in, many will stop marketing because they have work. But no, you shouldnít do this because itís what leads to the feast-and-famine existence many freelance writers experience.

What you should do is rework your daily schedule to fit in getting existing work done AND continue marketing. So, for example, letís say you land two new clients and it takes you on average of 3 hours per day to complete the work, your new time-blocked schedule make look something like this:

9:00-12:00: Surf the net to find leads to 15-25 companies; put in database

1:00-3:00: Compose marketing email and send to leads found; put link to writing sample(s)

3:00-6:00: Work on client project

6:00-7:00: Create marketing material for my niche audience (eg, a free, downloadable marketing pamphlet that highlights benefits I provide; an article to distribute via article directories; a guest post to send to targeted blogs in my niche; etc.)

7:00-8:00: Update social media accounts

What do you notice here? That your day just got one hour longer, right?

Well in the beginning, this is how it should be because you canít pull back on marketing altogether. You may lessen the number of contacts you make per day, but you still must get a certain number in in order to keep work flowing in.

How long should you keep this up?

Well a lot depends on your niche, freelance writing rates, conversion rate, income goals, etc. But Iíd say at least for the first six months, you have to really market, market, market. This should land you some steady clients that will allow you to breathe a bit and not worry about where your next job is going to come from.

Conclusion

You must be fastidious about how you use your time when you transition from a full-time job to freelancing full-time. Time-blocking allows you to see exactly what youíre supposed to be doing each hour of the day Ė and increases your chance of success as a freelance writer.

About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. She's also the publisher of two blogs Ė InkwellEditorial.com and SeoWritingJobs.com Ė leading sites for info on how to start successful, home-based freelance writing careers. She says, "With proper training as a freelance writer, you too can work from the comfort of home Ė or anyplace else you choose like I do! Ms. Black has authored over 50 ebooks, most of which cover some aspect of freelance / SEO writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in addition to her own website(s).

Keywords used in this article: freelance business, how to freelance, freelance writing tips, how to become a freelance writer

###

HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH THIS ARTICLE: Become an Inkwell Editorial affiliate and use this article on your website, blog, or in your newsletter to make sales. Article marketing is one of the best ways to promote products and services online. And by using articles on this site, you never have to write a word. We write, you make money! It's that simple.

TERMS OF REPRINT: This article may be reprinted on your website, blog, in your newsletter, etc., as long as the info in the "About the Author" section is included (including all links). This content may not be rewritten, revised or edited without the author's consent (except to put in your affiliate link for Inkwell Editorial products). Failure to include the info in the "About the Author" section is copyright infringement, and will be prosecuted as such.


Questions? Comments? Send email to info{at}inkwelleditorial.com.
Note: YuwandaBlack.com is a subsidiary site of InkwellEditorial.com. About the publisher.
©2013. All rights reserved.