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Managing the Business Side of Your Freelance Career — Online
From:
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York , NY
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

 

Gina Hagler
The freelance life comes with plenty of benefits. It also comes with the hassles of running a small business. At the top of the Hassle List for the writers who consult with me are:
1. Creating an affordable, professional Web site,
2. Tracking the money flowing in/out of the business
3. Building an audience and platform, and
4. Blogging consistently.
Here are a few simple ways to take care of these necessities:

  • Your Web site is the place for potential clients to view your clips and learn a bit about you. Having a polished site is essential to your bottom line. There are several ways to get a professional-quality site up and running with a minimum of expense and hassle. My personal favorite is to use a WordPress.org theme and Plugins. Go this route and you won?t need to program anything ? or touch the CSS and HTML that lurk in the background!
  • Whether you think of yourself as right-brained or left, you must keep track of the money flowing in and out of your business. QuickBooks has long been the industry leader for small-business accounting software. Their Online editions put the software in the Cloud, meaning you pay a monthly fee to use the program via your browser. QuickBooks takes care of the accounting entries as you write checks, enter payments from your clients and create invoices. One trick to using QuickBooks to help you manage the money due to you is to create an invoice each time you sign a contract. You may never send the invoice to your client, but with it in the system, it will show up as money due until you match a payment to it.
  •  Keeping in touch with your audience without annoying them in the process is essential if you?re trying to build a platform. Arguably the best known of the email marketing services, Constant Contact gives you the tools you need to create a newsletter or other forms of communication with your audience. They can even match the template you use for your communications to your Web site for a uniform look. They also provide free tools for creating a contact list.
  •  Whether you opt to blog on a specific topic or choose to blog about whatever strikes you that day, your blog is your voice on the Web. It?s essential to blog consistently ? and that?s where it gets tricky. On a day when your time is more than spoken for with paying work, do you really want to sit down and come up with a blog post? Why not use the scheduling feature to create several posts when you have downtime and schedule these posts for publication in the future? This method makes it easy to create a series of posts on a topic. While you?re at it, write and save a few evergreen posts as drafts. You can make them live when you?re in a crunch.
 
Alexandra Owens
Executive Director
ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors)
New York, NY
212 997-0947
212 937-2315