I last talked about 2009 writing goals and here's a continuation of that post. Because this year is a difficult year for the economy, here's what I'm doing for the moment as work has been a bit less of a veritable smorgasbord and this has required some tweaking of goals and approaches.
I'm doing work for my existing client base (although on a smaller scale) and trying to keep them very happy with me so that I don't lose any clients. This has meant trimming the writing team a little and only using people I can rely on so that I don't jeopardize any currently stable relationships. I'm also writing more and subbing out a little less. I'm doing some risk management, too to ensure I don't have any big problems with a few slow payers who might disappear. I've seen a few clients slow down their payment cycle which puts me in a tough position so I'm trying to watch money very closely.
I'm quoting a bit lower than my usual rates to try to build my profile on Elance. So far, so good. Elance is a huge source of potential income but it's also a big source of competition so I'm continuing self-promotions efforts and SEO and promotion for my own website as well. I know writers earning six figures a year with job bidding sites so I'm investing $20 a month in a membership and seeing how it goes. I'm in month 2 and doing ok with some repeat business and one client who liked my first job enough to pay me almost double for a follow-up project. One-off clients are not my ultimate goal but can be good gap fillers for slow times and might build some more repeat business and referrals.
If a potential client finds me, I'm quoting higher than I do on a bidding sites because they found me and saw something they liked on my website and so I have nothing to lose but I'm not quoting quite as high as I might have quoted six months ago--- or as high as I think I could be quoting because things have gone from feast to near famine for a lot of writers I know. I'm also offering some introductory rates to some new clients with potential for increases later on to protect myself.
You have to evolve in order to stay alive in this industry so you're not writing at the same rates year after year or having to drop your pants and write for a penny a word when you're a ten year veteran because there is SO much competition. I'm trying to learn and spend time listening to successful people. I'm also trying to balance between writing for others and building my own online empire. I'm working on building value for existing clients as well so that they get more from me than they do from other writers.
This might be a year of transition for me instead of complete evolution as I decide which direction I want to take my business in. My desire in evolving means transitioning to more of my own work such as my blogs and internet marketing and writing what I want to write instead of having to write 30 articles on tire rubber so I can buy groceries.
Whatever I have to do, I definitely take comfort in knowing I can make enough money doing this that I don't have to go back to that rat race I ran from. The trick is, not letting *this* turn into just another rat race.
This might be a year of late nights and lower paying gigs to ride out the storm but I'm determined to make sure I also find a way to grow and evolve and continue to love my job.