7 Days to Change Your Ways: Becoming a Freelance Writer

Can one week of hard work change your life? Let’s find out!

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

I’m a believer in the moon shot. For folks who are unfamiliar with term, it is essentially setting a goal that seems too great or grand to be true, and then sticking with it until the the job is done. I know it is hard to look at the current times and view this as a time of opportunity. A pandemic is raging and there is instability in both the labor market and society in general. Another thing has also become obvious; the inherent risk of counting on a 9 to 5 job without any other sources of income.

I have wanted to financially liberate myself for a while. The freedom to set your schedule and pursue your interests is an obvious reason, but what about freedom from having to count on a corporation to have your interests and well being in mind.

News Flash: They usually don’t!

Working during a pandemic can be a real eye-opener as to where a company’s priorities lie. I have tried to engage in this challenge before with mixed results. This time though, the world and stakes are different, and I mean to follow through. Just stating it doesn’t promise success, but I will be writing a post for each of the following 7 days to change your ways to track just what results from it. Let me lay out the plan below.

Day 1

Create a viable schedule and follow it – I have NEVER been good at this. Coming up with the schedule? Sure, I can write down all sorts of fantastical things that I want to accomplish, but the meat is in the follow through.

Send out 3 proposals for work – A crucial first step to getting writing work is to seek it. I will seek out work from three different sources and send out well written proposals.

Create a spreadsheet for follow-ups – As has been noted by many successful folks, following up on a proposal is equally as important as sending one out. It shows that you care and truly want the job. It also helps on the road to getting organized.

Write about it – The final step on all of these days will be to write a blog post detailing how the day went and the successes and failures that I encountered. These will be released the following morning.

Day 2

Send Out 4 Proposals – The purpose of waking up earlier in the morning is to allow me time to send out writing proposals. Since I live in a full house with two children and my wonderful partner, this is key to getting some silent time to work. On the second day I will send out four proposals with the goal of ramping up throughout the week.

Marketing – Having established a schedule and gotten the ball rolling on proposals, it’s time to do some marketing! There is a multitude of ways to go about this, but I will be focusing on using Twitter and updating my Facebook work page. I will also be reformatting my Linkdin page. I will be doing so to establish continuity for my brand across all platforms. I will be marketing myself as an article and blog writer with experience writing informative buying guides

Day 3

Send Out 5 Proposals – In the spirit of ramping up, I will add one to my total and get those proposals out. I will also start researching local companies and others that operate in industries I have knowledge in. What does this look like for me? Comics, disc golfing, video and audio editing, anything that I have interest and knowledge in. Why do this? To move on to the next step that seems the most intimidating of all…

Send Out a Cold E-Mail proposal – This has always been a stumbling block for me. To randomly send an e-mail to a corp or person asking for work is counter intuitive to me on multiple levels. I am an introvert after all! From everything I’ve read, this is also the best way to get high paying clients you would not normally pursue, so it MUST be a part of any strategy to become income independent as a freelance writer.

Day 4

Send Out 6 Proposals – At this point, writing proposals should start to feel very natural. This is also the first day I will send out a cold e-mail proposal to get work.

Follow-Ups – Remember that spreadsheet that was created to track who I was sending proposals to? Time to start using it and follow up with folks that I sent proposals to on the first day. It will be a casual, warm follow-up and having given folks a couple days to consider ,it is the perfect time to start doing this. This will become a daily activity in order to keep yourself in the minds of potential clients.

Marketing – Almost thought I forgot about this, didn’t you? Marketing yourself and your brand as a writer is one of the most important things you can do. This is counter intuitive to my nature as an introvert, but you have get out of your comfort zone if you are going to progress as a professional writer, and as a person. Marketing on this day will involve re-posts of some of my favorite articles to generate traffic to my site and get my name out there.

Day 5

Send Out 5 Proposals – Being as I am a parent and still working full time while working towards this transition, I am going to set my cap for daily proposals at five to keep it manageable. “But you sent out six the day before?” Correct. Sending out one less will seem like a little break and I just wanted to see what cracking five would be like.

Marketing – My final piece of marketing for the week will be to take out a Twitter and Facebook ad highlighting my services. These are inexpensive and capable of reaching a wide audience. I will have an evergreen post to accompany it to draw readers in, while also directing them to my services. The ability to target with these platforms cannot be understated.

Follow-Ups – Like I said, this must be a daily thing and I will be organizing it in such a way as to follow up with folks that I e-mailed on the second day and so-on and so forth. These e-mails should be personal, as all follow ups and proposals should be. None of that canned garbage!

Day 6

Send Out 4 Proposals – The final day of structured proposal writing and I intend to finish strong. I will be sending out one less than the previous days as a sort of “break” to lead into the final day.

Follow-Ups – Now that this is a daily thing, it of course has to happen. This will be a constant except for on the 7th day, or the “free” day. For the purposes of this challenge, the “free” day will still involve some work, mainly any odds and ends that are deemed necessary. Ultimately, the goal is to have the “free” day be just that, a day to do as I choose.

Assessment – As I barrel towards the end of this 7 days to change your ways, it is time to see exactly where I stand. At this point I will have:

  • Sent out 28 proposals
  • Followed up on 13 of those proposals
  • Reformatted my Twitter and Facebook profiles to reflect the services I am offering. I have also posted and advertised on those platforms to draw attention to myself.
  • Created a viable work schedule to bring order to the business
  • Streamlined my spreadsheet of proposals/contacts to work fluidly

This will also be a day where I consider folks to send pitches for guest posting in order to write for someone I admire, and also expose myself to their audience.

Day 7

The final day is a “free” day. Now that doesn’t mean a day off, it just means that I am allowing myself a day to tackle anything that I view as important related to the business that I am trying to start. This could be more marketing, or cleaning up profiles and possibly creating new ones. The point of this day is to take a deep breath and celebrate the work that has been put in to get through this challenge and get my freelance writing business off the ground. Enjoying what you are doing is necessary, or you’ll just grow to hate it.

Submit two guest post pitches – The only proposals I’ll be submitting on my free day will be for guest posts and linking on the websites of folks that I find to be an inspiration, or that are in a field that I am knowledgeable about. This will make the posts write themselves and prove to be a fun, and hopefully rewarding, distraction. This will also put me up to an even 30 proposals on the week.

The final task will be to write a summarization of how the 7 days to change your ways went and if you really can change your life in a meaningful way in just one week. Tune in, I think you’ll get to see some real results and perhaps consider if you want to take 7 days to change your ways, a week to turn from meek to sleek, or whatever catchy phrase you want to use.

Thanks for reading and please comment or get in touch with me if you have anything you want to ask or declare.

Peter

4 Comments

    1. Thanks for reading! I will be posting results of the challenge daily during the duration, starting on Sunday, May 3rd.

      Like

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