"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Work Less and Earn More in 2015! Here's How...

Thanks for joining me today at Pen and Prosper.
It's good to be back. So, let's get on track...

Whether you're new to the freelancing game, or you're a seasoned veteran, how you spend your time will greatly influence your quality of life and your bottom line as a writer.

Which is why working "smarter, not harder" should be your ultimate objective.

If your output exceeds your income, it's time for a a paradigm shift.
Instead of feeling "spent," you could be out spending. Hello?

With this is mind, here are some practices and principles for a bigger payday with less toil.  

1. Sell Reprints.
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. Get more bang for your creative buck by selling your work to multiple markets. It's perfectly legal and ethical, as long as you retain the rights, and the publication allows for it. In my interview appearing in the 2014 and 2015 editions of Writer's Market, I share how I have actually earned more on reprints than on my original submissions. In fact, one market paid me $150.00 for an article that I was previously compensated $50.00 for. Not sure where to start? Google "Reprint markets" for a listing of potential places to submit.

2. Increase your existing rates.
This may seem simple to some, yet it's often overlooked by many. If I were to venture a guess, I'd say most of you are probably still charging the same rates for blog posts, articles, press releases, etc. that you were in 2012, 2013, 2014. True? Other "professionals" get a cost of living increase, why not writers?
Here's an interesting take on the topic provided by Men With Pens.

3. Contract out.
Remember that "Time is money."  Depending upon your skill set, hourly fee, and time constraints, sometimes it just makes more sense to have someone else to do  market research, administrative tasks, or search for images to accompany blog posts. Don't always try to do the "heavy lifting" alone.

4. Publish a book once. Earn royalties many times over (depending upon the contract and the method of publishing).

5. Consider adding "coaching" or phone consulting to your creative services.
Some seasoned scribes and successful authors charge $50.00-100.00 and up, just to provide answers to budding writers' questions, and to provide their expertise on the publishing industry. This type of offering is typically less time consuming and requires less mental wear and tear.  You can list this service on your site, or place an Ad on Craigslist.

6. Market less by taking out Ads on prominent sites.
It's all about strategy. One common practice for many authors, is to guest post in order to build their brand and sell their products. Which is effective, in some instances. But, it's important to recognize that not all blogs are created equally. In other words, unless the site is one that is well-regarded with an active community of supporters and buyers, your R.O.I. (return on investment) might not be worth it.
(Interested in an Ad here at Pen & Prosper?
Email me at: Gemsjen@yahoo.com to learn more.)

7. Establish a reputation for excellence.
The more you can make this happen, the more likely you're able to garner referrals, as opposed to pitching feverishly for new business. Word of mouth is still one of the best forms of advertising.

8. Choose the right clients.
Take it from me. When you are able to partner with the right people, it truly makes a big difference. The "right" client values your contributions, pays accordingly, and generally produces less stress.
Less stress leads to greater productivity and enhanced peace of mind.
And who couldn't use more of that? :-)

Follow these eight timely tips for a more profitable, progressive 2015.

Any strategy that resonates with you in particular?


  1. These are excellent tips, thank you so much, Jen. I often recycle article ideas or tweak previously published articles, and that has helped my bottom line. As per your recommendation, I also think it is time to raise my rates.:)

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 1, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      Glad you found this info useful, Karen. Good luck! :-)

  2. Your great advice is like a bee in my bonnet, always buzzing around, making me think! Thanks.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 1, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      ..And your words are as sweet as honey. Thanks so much for the feedback, Lin. :-)