Sometimes as a professional web writer you reach the point of being totally and completely maxed out. That’s where I am. I’ve been working through a series of great information about blogging successfully and it’s made me realize that I do not want to write for other websites forever. I love writing here on my own website! There is something very exciting about putting the words out there on my own behalf for a change. Granted, the money isn’t all that great yet, but it’s getting there as I begin to implement some tips for success, and really just continue to share my heart with you guys.
And speaking of heart, I have another project on my heart. A huge one. Something I am passionate about big-time. But in order to make room for that, especially now as I enter my first year of homeschooling, I am going to have to let something else go. And man, you have no idea how tough that is for me to say. I am the queen of juggling! The type-a mom who has it all together, can never say no, is eager to help you out and ready to work for you.
Change Your Rates – Increase if Necessary
I’ve informed my private contract clients that my rates have increased – I am now charging $.15 per word for web content and no less. Most of them are staying with me and, in fact, I got two requests for articles just yesterday. For the rest of them, we parted on good terms at least, and I am happy to turn that focus elsewhere. I also let one of my web-writing positions go and decreased my efforts at a couple of the others. Future, here I come!
Make a List to Help You Eliminate Tasks
So how did I decide where to continue to focus? With so many options available, so many sites ready to take my words and pay me for them, how did I choose where to set my sights? I made a list. It sounds stupid, but it’s true. I made a list of every website I was currently writing for and every website I wanted to be writing for. Next to each name I put the number of words per month required. This was an easier measurement for me since I post/article size varies site by site. Then next to that I put down what I had been averaging in terms of pay. Then I prayed about the list. Then I put stars next to the sites I thought had the most potential. Then I put stars next to the sites I felt the most passionate about.
Then I slept on it. I think that’s important. Give yourself a chance to hear the answer you are praying for. In the morning I showed the list to my husband. One of the sites doesn’t pay high per post, but I feel so passionately about it, find the requirements exceptionally easy to meet, and it has potential so I kept it. The next day (Yes, the next day!) I made $30 in affiliate sales from a single post, in a single day. Sometimes when you have the passion for something that is enough. But sometimes it isn’t, and so the balancing act begins.
You have to make the decision for yourself. Find what you are passionate about and what you being compensated for, and focus your efforts there. Sometimes the two aren’t exactly the same so you devote energy into something you care about. And sometimes, unexpectedly, those efforts pay off in ways you never expected.
Now I am interested to hear – How do YOU decide what to focus your time and energy on? What steps do you take to trim your list a bit? How do you balance it all?
I decided when (just before?) I started freelancing what I was worth per hour and I don’t deviate. There are certain things I am passionate about and will write for darn near (or in some cases completely) free for, but those things are my choice. In this market I’ve been outbid by low-balling writers time and time and time again. It is hard sometimes; to see your worth through the storm of “writers” offering articles for next to nothing, but in the end it all comes out in the wash. Or so that’s how it has come out so far…
I came to that very same decision as you, Angela! I’ve recently decided to put more energy, time, and passion into my own blogs. I’ve kept a couple paying gigs that I enjoy, but I know that in order to be successful and content with my work, I need to focus. Glad to see you’re feeling good about your decision!
A few years ago, I wrote down all of the “hats” that I wear in my life, all of the roles that I play regularly. From being my parents’ daughter, to being a web writer, to volunteer, to being the opposable thumbs bearer responsible for the four legged creatures in my household. I then prioritized those roles – in order of importance to me, my well-being and my life. From then on, with a few revisions here and there, I’ve been able to use that as a compass for what I’m spending my time on, which hat I need to be wearing more often, and when it’s time to let go.
Carole Somerville says
Regularly I too have to have these ‘sort outs’ and get things prioritised in my mind. I’ve been freelance now for thirty years and in that time have brought up three children and educated one out of school for a year while writing full time too. It’s incredible what we can manage to get done but sometimes we get ‘stuck in habits’ and start giving too much time to the wrong things.
I do a lot of voluntary work too and I’m happy to write for free for deserving causes but again, there has to be a balance as ultimately, the bills must be paid.
Great article Angela I think perhaps you’ve reminded me it’s time to make a list and prioritise in my life and writing too.
Angela this was short, sweet and to the point! I’m a beginning writer with limited experience but all that you have said is true and specific. I hope to bring this same flow out to the readers who will be reading and commenting on my work soon! You keep up the good work and I’ll visit again soon, it was worth reading.
Teressa Lund says
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