You want to do better next year. But, how?
Earn more money? Gain more clients? Write more words? Land more projects?
Now is the time to decide what your writing goals will be for 2016 and how you plan to reach those goals.
I’m often asked via email, Facebook, social media messengers and here on the blog how to really be successful at freelance writing. The short answer is: Work at your goals daily. The more effort you put into anything — work, fitness, family, hobbies, writing — the more you get back out of it.
Persistence pays off.
So, here are 16 goals to consider for the upcoming year. Pick one, two or all sixteen and gear up for your best writing year ever!
Get Motivated: 16 Writing Goals for 2016
- Create business-focused social media profiles. Share your writing, information about your services and helpful industry-related information for your readers.
- Create a calendar to stay organized. Use Google Calendar (It’s free!) to map out time to pitch ideas, network, draft articles, do paperwork or whatever tasks you need to complete.
- Connect with your clients. It’s not enough to finish a project and be done. Share, like and comment on the posts your clients put out on social media.
- Start writing daily. The more you write, the easier it gets. If I’m not working on something for a client, I blog on my personal corner of the web, Cupcakes and Yoga Pants.
- Go to a conference. If you’re seriously lacking direction, motivation and structure, go to Content Marketing World or another industry conference to get inspired. Virtual conferences count too! Log in, take notes and learn.
- Break down tasks. I’m not a fan of large, daunting projects, so I break them down into smaller bite-size writing tasks. For example, I might set aside an hour to research, an hour to outline and an hour to draft the first version of an article.
- Read other writers. Get to know who’s killing it in your genre of writing and see what they’re doing. It’s inspiring and refreshing to see others making progress and what they do each day to stay on top.
- Put your hands on the keyboard. Schedule time each day to write. Write anything. You aren’t a writer if you’re not, um, writing.
- Compare drafts. Learn from how editors polish your work by looking over your drafts and the final published piece.
- Focus on what pays. So many writers say they don’t make much money from this job. It’s time to prioritize your clients and projects so you’re completing money-making tasks first. Period.
- Get a writing buddy. Just like a gym buddy, a writing buddy helps you reach your goals, stay on track and keep you sane when it feels too difficult to move forward.
- Write down ideas. It’s easier to work from a list of partial thoughts than sit down to a blank page or pitch request without any direction.
- Make communication a priority. Reply to messages promptly, check in with your clients often and be the writer they go to because you’re easy to get a hold of and work with.
- Make a change. If you dread sitting down at the keyboard, you need to evaluate what you don’t enjoy. The client? The project? Writing in general? Being a writer isn’t as romantic as people think!
- Put yourself out there. Networking is the number one way I get freelance projects. You have to talk to people, engage on social media and ask for work if you want to stay busy.
- Stop submitting first drafts. I know time is money, but quality is what keeps your best clients coming back for more. Always let your writing sit, then revise it later with fresh eyes so you can catch the small mistakes.
What are your writing goals for 2016? Please share in the comments below or over on Facebook at Web Writing Advice.
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Note: This post was last updated on March 29, 2021.