Tools You Need to Run a Successful Freelance Writing Business

Now that you’ve decided you’re ready to take the plunge and start your own freelance writing business, we need to discuss what you need to create a successful freelance writing business. There are only a few things you need to create a successful freelance writing business – at least one stream of writing income, whether it’s clients, a writing product, a blog, or all three; a way to track your time,  a way to track your expenses, and a way to market your product and/or services.

Clients, a product, a blog, or all three

You can find work as a freelance writer in a few different ways:

You can work for a content writing agency. That’s what I did for the first five months I worked as a freelance writer after I quit my job. However, I ended up losing my contract with the agency because some clients found evidence of plagiarism in my articles. After that, I started getting freelance clients on Upwork. I’ve been doing that since June, and it’s gone much better for me – I’m still not making much more than I made when I worked for the agency, but I’m working on it.

Create a product a product. If you don’t want to work for clients, either through an agency or a freelancing site like Upwork or Freelancer, another option is to create a product like an e-book, and sell it on Amazon or some other e-book site. This takes a little more marketing, plus you also have to create a book cover or have someone create one for you. You could also have a hardcover version of your book published. There are more steps to this because you have to choose paper, trim size, etc.

Write a blog – If you don’t want to write for clients or publish e-books or physical books, you can also make money by writing a blog and running Google Ads. This takes a little more knowledge of keywords. You may also be able to make money by writing sponsored posts on your blog.

No matter your methods, ensure you’ll make a consistent income with them.

A way to track your time

Whether you’re working for a freelance client or writing an e-book, you want to keep a log of the amount of time you spend working on each phase of a freelance project. The best tool I’ve found for this is Toggl. It’s free, and you can set up different clients and projects on their website. It’s an easy way to track how much time you spend on each project phase, so you can get an idea of how much you’re making per hour and adjust your rates accordingly.

A way to track your expenses

Since you’re a freelance writer, you can write off your expenses on your income taxes. For that reason, you’ll want to track your expenses. You can do this a few different ways – using pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or a program like Quickbooks.

Spreadsheets are easy because they cost little to nothing – if you know how to set up categories in a spreadsheet, it’s fairly easy to set one up to track your expenses.

If you don’t like spreadsheets or want to use something more automated, you could use a program like Quickbooks to track your expenses. It takes a little setup in the beginning, but once it’s set up, it’s pretty easy to track your expenses regularly.

A way to market your product and/or services.

This doesn’t have to be a website. You could choose just to start a blog, or if you’re on a social network like Facebook or LinkedIn, you could create a page for your business. If you want to create a website for your business, you can use it to market your services even further and create a mailing list, though.

Those are the basic things you need to create a successful freelance business. As you start getting clients and making money as a freelancer, you may want to hire people to help you with some of these things – we’ll discuss how to hire and vet freelancers later.