This is a guest article by Indiana Lee. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
Writing professionally is all about maximizing your efficiency while retaining a high level of quality. You can’t afford to spend days fiddling with the same paragraph and need to make the most of every minute at the keyboard. Maximize your productivity as a writer by focusing on improvements to your workflow. Even subtle improvements, like automating your spell-checking, can save you hours of work every week.
Completing your work quickly doesn’t just improve your hourly rate — it also frees up time for professional development. This is particularly important if you want to appeal to high-end clients who are looking for a talented wordsmith to brainstorm blog posts and produce well-researched, refined articles.
Let’s take a look at how, as a freelance writer, you can improve your productivity by incorporating tech-based workflows:
If you’re a freelancer and have multiple clients, you’re probably familiar with workflow software like Asana, Trello, and Wrike. These high-tech workflow management programs help businesses keep track of projects and give employees real-time updates on existing tasks.
You can make use of cutting-edge programs by incorporating tech into your workflow, too. Utilizing high-tech workflow programs can improve coordination between yourself and your clients, simplify your document storage, and reduce the risk of human error when drafting blog posts, articles, or ad copy. Other benefits of tech-based workflow programs include:
- Reduced lead time
- Improved task tracking
- Better future projections
Some workflow programs also include data analytic suites. This means you can track important metrics like average price-per-article, time-to-completion, and total tasks completed. You can then use this data to identify weaknesses or inefficiencies in your current workflow.
For example, if you use a program like Asana or Trello, you can track exactly how long it takes for each task to move from “first draft” to “final edits”. If you notice that you spend most of your time brainstorming, you can pursue professional development courses to improve your creativity as a writer.
As a freelance writer, you want to focus your mental energy on writing engaging content that resonates with readers and impresses clients. However, you may find that important financial tasks get in the way as your freelance business begins to grow.
Don’t spend your days filing taxes, organizing your accounts, and invoicing clients. Instead, organize your finances by automating them. Automation takes care of the heavy lifting and can save you hours every month. Automation can help with things like:
- Review your recurring bills to organize your expenses
- Automatically transfers a portion of your income for savings to protect your cash flow
- Monitors your accounts for unauthorized activity
- Adjusts your account to improve your investment strategy and strengthen your 401(k)
Automated banking is extremely convenient and gives you peace of mind. This is particularly important if you’re new to freelance writing and need to build your savings. Let an automated banking program take care of payments, invoices, and savings so you can focus on improving the quality of your final drafts.
Set aside an hour or two every week to work on your finances. This will help you stay on top of bills and invoices without detracting from your creative process. You’ll also benefit from increased focus if you dedicate an afternoon to organizing your finances. Eventually, this will help you spot red flags and ensure that your freelance writing business remains profitable.
Many freelancers fear the recent rise of generative AI programs like ChatGPT, Bing Chat, and Google Bard. However, in reality, AI programs will only bolster your productivity and help you land more lucrative clients. (Editor’s note: There is room for a lot of disagreement here, and I personally don’t adhere to this position. In my view, generative AI will cause more harm than good for writers.)
Get your feet wet with automation by installing real-time editing software. Programs like Grammarly are a huge help for new writers, as the program picks up on spelling errors, typos, and syntactical slip-ups in real-time.
Real-time editing programs are particularly important if you want to break into high-paying, risk-averse fields like contract writing. Protect your professional reputation and boost your productivity by utilizing contract writing automation software. Contract automation helps you understand customer’s needs and improves compliance in your writing. This can flag potential issues before they turn into serious problems for your clients.
Automation can save you time and reduce your risk of burnout. Quickly searching for synonyms on ChatGPT is sure to reduce your frustration when behind the keyboard and can help you stay in the flow state when writing.
Avoid the temptation to over-rely on generative AI when writing. Using programs like Google Bard at every step will eventually undermine your style, voice, and authority. Instead, look for AI-led assistance when you’ve truly hit a roadblock. This will minimize the risk of distraction, too, as we’ve all been guilty of losing an hour of work while playing twenty questions with ChatGPT.
A productive workflow is key to the success of your freelance writing business. A well-organized, clear workflow board can help you track tasks, communicate with clients, and identify areas for improvement. Further improve your productivity by leaning on cutting-edge automation software. Programs like Grammarly can spot errors before you send drafts to your editor while generative software can help you brainstorm new ideas. This is crucial if you want to compete for lucrative contracts and high-paying clients in the future.
About the author: Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.