Friday, January 4, 2008

A Writer's Plan for 2008

2007 was a big year for me and my writing career. In the spring of ’07 it was my one year anniversary as a freelance writer and the point where people in my life started to get an inkling of why they couldn’t ever reach me on the phone. This was because I was online working. They didn’t really know at first what I did but now some of them seem a little impressed with my creating a business from thin air doing something I said from almost toddlerhood that I'd someday do.

As the year began I was growing weary of slave wage article writing that didn’t follow any pattern or match my desired niche. I felt like I was in a sweatshop and although I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to move forward. I had learned a lot and paid some dues and I decided I wanted to focus more on writing what I wanted to write and I needed to up my rates too (desperately). I think I’ve had a very successful year and I have met some goals. My income has increased by more than 50% in 2007 over 2006 and in 2008 I aim to double 2007’s income.

In 2007 I worked to get better paying jobs and started my own little business venture where I became a team leader for the agency I’d been working for. I formed my own team of writers mostly from an online forum of wah moms. Some had writing experience and some wanted mentoring. I help those who want regular work by giving them a pretty constant flow of writing work. This larger volume allows me to pick and choose what I want to write, allows me to earn a commission off the work I sub out and has helped me help others. The rates aren’t the best yet but I continue to work to find gigs that are better paying for me and for the team and it's a pretty symbiotic relationship.

Those on my team can pick and choose their assignments and can tell me their desired niche so I can help them get more work in that area so they can shape their own careers in the direction they desire. The team thing is still pretty new and despite some challenges has been going fairly well. I’ve taken my strong client relationships and used them to my advantage and writers who are proving talented and organized can look forward to plenty of work and guidance from me. I’ve learned a lot in just under two years and am happy to pay it forward.

Although I ghostwrote countless articles and an e-book in 2007, I also saw my name in print and got some recognition. I saw my name in print in a magazine that was not an e-zine which was a great feeling. I also started a new venture with a connection in my offline life who has asked me to co-write a life coaching book with him. That’s something that has me pretty stoked about 2008. I’m co-writing instead of ghostwriting this book so it could be great for my career. I love the self improvement niche and getting involved in it is what really launched my career in the first place.

And, as much as I enjoy ghostwriting, the ability to write something I can claim is pretty exhilarating. I’m also planning to move forward with the novel I’ve been sitting on for most of 2007. Those who’ve previewed a few rough chapters have given me great feedback.

I am writing more about the subjects I enjoy such as internet marketing, food, health and self improvement and I’m doing less search engine fodder and more creative writing. I also created my own website at which saw the birth of a new blog that I’m still in the early stages of developing but that I believe will benefit my business and my writing career.

This year, I plan to further expand my writing team, raise my rates by at least a third and my team member rates too (I'm thinking of tweaking my team structure in a few months) plus get more creative writing work for us all. I’m planning to delve into a few new markets that I haven’t yet worked in and am hopeful for improvement in my work/life balance by doing some technical upgrades at home to help with my productivity. I’m planning to do more subbing out to my team instead of hoarding some of the harder projects due to possessiveness over certain clients as well.And I'm going to write many more words that I will claim as my own.

I’m looking forward to 2008 and to continuing to share my journey in this blog to help others and I am thankful every day for the blessings I’ve been given in being able to call myself a writer.


lornadoone said...

This is a great post. I love the fact that you're willing to share just what you've done to get where you are. Way to go, and best of luck for 2008.

lornadoone said...

This is a great post. I love the fact that you're willing to share just what you've done to get where you are. Way to go, and best of luck for 2008.

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Great work, Dana. I'd be interested to hear more of your ideas for tweaking the teams.

Kristen King, Inkthinker said...

Thanks for sharing your 2007 strategy and accomplishments, Dana. I look forward to seeing how 2008 shapes up for you. Best of luck!

Kristen King

Dana Prince said...

Thanks Kristen! I was at your blog last night reading about your income accomplishments for 2007 & need to say...I want to be like you when I grow up! (I'm a baby freelancer when compared to you. lol)

Genesis said...

Impressive. Congrats on making it so far in your business over the past year.

I, too, reached the conclusion that I didn´t want to work for slave wages, early in 2007. It was the best decision I ever made, to quit a job that was giving me steady, but low-paying work and strike out on my own. My husband was a bit nervous, but I´m now earning enough that he was able to quit his job and focus on his real interest, music. :D

suewrite said...

Congratulations Dana, you really have done well this year. Good luck for the future.