Now that I'm settling in and getting used to working from home, I thought it would a great time to share some of my freelance blogging tips. Freelancing full time has really changed my work style and I'm constantly working on becoming more efficient.
The hardest part for freelancing is creating a schedule. It's really important for me to have structure each day, as this helps me accomplish work goals and deadlines.
Here are ten freelance blogging tips:
Plan your day, week and month ahead of time. While this might seem difficult at first, it's really helpful to plan out your blogging schedule. You can do this online a couple different ways:
- Use an editorial calendar via WordPress
- Google has a great calendar
I prefer to use old fashioned pen and paper with Emily Ley's Simplified Planner. For the work week, I use the Weekly and Daily Planners (yes, I have two!) for all of my blog scheduling, deadlines and keeping track of guest posts. For daily planning, I use the Daily Planner in conjunction with the Weekly Planner to plan doctors appointments, trips to the vet and my freelance work schedule with all my clients.
Create a blogging to do list. Whether it's first thing in the morning or the day before, write out what you need to accomplish before starting the work day. This helps you get through your to do list, prioritize what's most important and have a plan of attack.
Stick to a routine. While it doesn't have to be chiseled in stone (hey, we freelance for a reason!) it's a smart idea to stick to a semi-regular routine. Do you like to workout before starting your work day? Go for it. Need to take lunch and get some personal work done? Great idea, but try to keep it around the same time every day. This will help you fall into a semi-regular pattern of working and staying focused.
Keep business hours. If you want to have set times for availability, include your hours in your email's signature line. This lets clients know when you are available for emails and chatting, as well as reminds them when you are out of the office.
Take work breaks. While this sounds counter-productive, stand up and walk around multiple times during the day. Sitting all day isn't healthy and it's nice to get up and stretch. Take the dog for a short walk, go grab the mail or put away a quick load of laundry. Moving around is great after sitting down for so long.
Find a work spot. It's easy to get distracted working from home. Find a spot in your home where you can focus and get to work. It can be tempting to sit on the couch all day, but only do so if you can still work efficiently.
Having a work spot helps create a separation between working and living at home. I enjoy doing the majority of my work from my cute work space area, but I enjoy shutting it down at the end of the day and walking away.
Prioritize. Sometimes there's just too much work to finish in a day (hey, this is a good thing. Busy is good!) Prioritize what's important on your list of things to do, and get these things done first. Focusing on the higher priority items first things will allow you to work more efficiently without any distractions.
Ask for help. Sometimes there's just too much to do. If it's in your budget, outsource your task to a VA. Fiverr is a great way to get immediate help. Consider outsourcing small but time consuming tasks, like checking social media and scheduling posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. If you need help with Pinterest or fine tuning your images in your latest post, you can hire me to help you with these services.
Limit email. Checking and responding to emails all day can be distracting from getting work done. Limit how many times a day you check your inbox. If you check emails on your phone, consider removing your work email. It can become a bad habit to constantly check your emails, especially when you aren't actually working.
Know when to shut it down. It can be easy to spend the entire day on the computer. Sometimes I find myself online so much that I'm ignoring what's happening in real life. At a certain point, it's time to shutdown the computer and enjoy life.
Freelancing has been such a learning process so far. I've been freelancing full time for nearly a month and am still working on creating the perfect blogging schedule each day.
Do you have any freelance blogging tips?