How to Freelance Like a Farmer and Get More Done

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~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

Goodness gracious! Seems like everyone and their brother is in the process of a big “launch.” Their “tribe” is all excited. Whoda thunk?

Sigh.

Here’s the deal: I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. Every time you feel your emotions stirred, it’s time to put on the brakes and examine the situation. Ask yourself what kind of qualifications this person has. Check out their track record. Verify claims.

Better yet? Freelance like a farmer. Doing this makes you nearly immune to the latest short cut to freelance success.

Don’t know what this whole farming metaphor means? Check out my latest podcast. In a little more than 20 minutes, you’ll be in the know. Here’s the link.

Enjoy!

Beth 🙂

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jumpstart littleRumor has it, Amazon is messing with “buy” buttons again. Online magazines have lowered pay rates. Email opens are declining.

These bits of news can crush a writing career… if you rely exclusively on them for your income.

Check out how to freelance like a farmer, cultivate multiple streams of income, and thrive in today’s uncertain freelance environment.

Some highlights:

  • How to hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing for income stability
  • Learn secrets of fiction (a blast to write, fun stream of income)
  • Organize your nonfiction articles to make them easier to sell
  • Write powerful queries to eliminate so many rejections
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon

Worldwide

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1932794034How to Do More in Less Time – Part 3
Robert W. Bly

The ability to work faster and get more done in less time isn’t slavery; it’s freedom. You’re going to have the same big pile of stuff to do every day whether you want it or not. If you can be more efficient, you can get it done and still have some time left over for yourself – whether it’s to read the paper, hike, jog, play the piano, or something else.

Here are more ideas that can increase your personal productivity so you can get more done in less time:

7. Protect and value your time. Productive people guard their time more heavily than the gold in Fort Knox. They don’t waste time. They get right to the point. They may come off as abrupt or dismissive to some people. But, they realize they cannot give everyone who contacts them all the time each person wants. They choose who they
spend time on and with. They make decisions. They say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done and then move on.

8. Don’t do everything yourself. Hire assistants or acquire equipment to eliminate repetitive and routine tasks. Going to the corner stationery store to make photocopies is a waste of your time. Buy a small photocopier and keep it near your desk or hire an assistant to make copies for you, so you never have to go out and do it yourself again. I haven’t been to the post office in 7 years, because that’s a task better done by my $10-an-hour assistant than by me, the $100+ an hour writer.

Despise inefficiency. I spent the extra money on a plain paper fax, because photocopying the curly thermal paper from the old fax machine was an utter waste of time and energy.

9. Don’t shy away from the Internet. Learn your way around the World Wide Web. It’s the most fantastic research tool ever available to writers. Information that used to require hours of research at the library to uncover can now be accessed online in a fraction of the time. Why get into your car and drive to read an article when you can bring it up on your computer screen in seconds?

I urge every writer to become Web-literate and learn how to search Web sites for information on the topics they write about. Not only will it save time, but the content (and therefore the quality) of your work will be improved too.

10. Don’t become addicted to Internet chat. The Internet has great potential for saving time, but also for wasting time – especially online forums and chat rooms. Limit your Web surfing and e-mailing to research and communication related to your business.
Otherwise, aimless online chatting can eat away most of your morning or afternoon before you know it. Use the Internet as a tool; avoid Internet addiction.

11. Don’t get up. You’re most productive when you stay in your chair. Arrange your office so that everything is within easy reach. Don’t, for example, work in the basement but keep office supplies in the attic. Going up and down the steps is wasted motion and energy.

12. Don’t go out. Or at least, be selective about where, when, and how often you go out.You can get so caught up in networking, lunches, and writers’ groups that you spend the whole week shmoozing, and consequently get little or no productive work done. Novelist Chaim Potok once began a talk by saying, “I feel guilty standing here talking about writing, because I should be home doing it.” Stop talking about writing and instead, write.

12. Don’t go out. Or at least, be selective about where, when, and how often you go out.You can get so caught up in networking, lunches, and writers’ groups that you spend the whole week shmoozing, and consequently get little or no productive work done. Novelist Chaim Potok once began a talk by saying, “I feel guilty standing here talking about writing, because I should be home doing it.” Stop talking about writing and instead, write.

13. Don’t undervalue your time. Assign a dollar value to it. If you work 40 hours a week and earn $1,000 a week, each hour is worth $25. Measure other activities you can do during writing time against that $25, and then make a decision whether these activities are worth pursuing.

A friend of ours, for example, will drive a 40-minute round trip to a distant store to redeem $5 in coupons the local store won’t honor. That works out to a savings of $7.50 per hour of labor. My hourly billing rate is many times that, so for me it makes more sense to pay the extra $5 at a local store, save myself the long drive, and spend the 40 minutes working at my hourly rate instead.

“Time is the most precious currency of life, and how we spend it reflects what we truly value,” writes Richard J. Leider in his book The Power of Purpose. “Once we have spent it, it is gone forever. It cannot be re-earned.”

Samuel Butler called time “the only true purgatory” and Emerson said time is “the surest poison.” But I disagree. How you use your time is up to you. Writers, who sell nothing but time, must use it wisely. The best time to start doing so? Right now.

NOTE: Bob’s got dozens more immediately useful techniques for successful self promotion in his book, “Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success: How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer and Have the Time of Your Life Doing It.” It’s available as an economical ebook here.

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You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, market smart, publish. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

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