Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Freelance Writer's Business Plan

Update: I'm working on publishing my first science fiction novel! Check out the Kickstarter page to learn more :)

If you're in the process of starting (or developing) your freelance writing career, have you given any consideration to your freelance writer's business plan?

Starting a freelance writing career is a just like starting any other business. People tend to rush headlong into freelance writing (or at least, I did) because, unlike a lot of other types of businesses, there is a relatively low barrier to entry. Basically, anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and a modicum of writing skill can start a freelance writing career.

The main reason that I started thinking about making a concrete plan for my writing is that I got a little, well, sidetracked. I had figured out the basic amount of money that I needed to make each day in order to break even (after paying business costs, living costs, taxes, etc.) and written that number proudly on my white board. Only... I wasn't making that much each day, and I had no plan to get to that daily amount from where I was. I had a vague idea of "Oh, if I can write twenty articles a week on this site, and ten on this other site, maybe..." But my plan simply wasn't concrete enough, and I got frustrated.

So I decided to start setting very concrete goals for the number of articles I would write each week, including how much I'd make and which markets they'd be for. Since I was still a little short, I included a hefty dose of "new market research" in each weekly plan.

I haven't gone through and filled out a complete freelance writer's business plan yet, although I do have an excellent template that I got from SCORE (which is an amazing resource if you're interested in starting any type of business, by the way).

Members of the Associated Content forums have been very encouraging of weekly goal-forming (this link is to an old weekly goals list; there is a new one every week).

Thanks to Kelly McClymer for the inspiration to start a freelance writer's business plan. On her site, she goes into an in-depth discussion of business plans for writers, with posts such as A Writer’s Business Plan — Finances – Cash Flow Projection.

Image courtesy of Flickr.
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