How to Manage Freelance Writing Projects

Saturday, June 18, 2011
by Nicky LaMarco

Many freelance writers lack organization and this can cause lost income, which no one wants. Learning how to manage your freelance writing projects is vital to your business since you are working on several different writing projects at a time.

Use a Template

Start with inbound client paperwork. Keep it on your desk at all times. When a client calls or emails you with a new project you will be able to ask all of the right questions and get it all on paper. Templates save you time and energy. You can create them for invoices, project outlines, e-mails, interviews, articles, and just about anything. To get an idea of what freelancers use them for, check out these helpful templates for research on WOW! You can get some other helpful templates on Jennifer Mattern's blog, All Freelance Writing.

Coordinate Calendars

You should have a desk calendar, a home calendar, and a daily planner. Keep them updated on a daily basis. Write deadlines and appointments on your desk calendar. If you need to go to a business meeting write that on all of your calendars. Use your daily planner to write out the tasks you will need to complete every day in order to meet your deadlines and make the money you need to every day. Before the start of your work week pull all three calendars together to ensure you have everything written on each one. And if you don't want to lug around printed calendars, you can always create calendars online with Google or get an app for your smartphone.

Use a Schedule

Create your own schedule and stick to it. If you plan to work from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, then do it. Work when you are scheduled to work and do not work when you are not scheduled to. This will help you manage your freelance writing projects and avoid overworking.

Determine Your Limit

How much can you write every day? What is your limit? Knowing this will help you manage projects because you can immediately accept or decline new freelance writing projects. For example, if you mainly write articles and you can write 10 articles a day, but no more, you will know that you can accept more if you are currently writing 8 articles a day. Use a little math to determine how many you will need to write each day in order to meet the deadline. If you can write 2 articles a day to meet the deadline you can immediately accept the new project. If you can't you will need to have a later deadline or decline the project. Don't be afraid to say, "I am sorry but I am currently booked until March 1st," for example. Overworking yourself on too many freelance writing projects will cause burnout and may end up in broken contracts and projects that do not get finished. This results in lost money and a client that will probably never contact you again.

Managing your freelance writing projects will help you become more successful.

Image: digitalart /


Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. She specializes in ghostwriting and copywriting. She enjoys helping new writers find success with her website and blog, Writing Pays, as well as with this class.

Nicky is also a WOW! Women on Writing Classroom instructor. Her interactive workshop GET PAID TO WRITE: BECOME A FREELANCE WRITER! YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO FREELANCE WRITING BASICS  starts Monday, June 20th. Click here for more information and to sign up!


Unknown said...

Great list of fundamentals for organization here.
Thanks for the links as well.

Margo Dill said...

I really do think organization is the key. I could not live without my trusty calendar. :) Thanks for the tips.

Lynette Benton said...

Thanks for the useful list.

I'm feeling challenged by potential clients who seem to take a long time deciding to actually get the project off the ground. That's problematic when I have other clients I could schedule. Still working on this.

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