My 2009 Freelance Writing Goals – Have You Set Yours?

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on November 25, 2008 in Freelance Writing Business
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Earlier this month I posted a monthly challenge - to look back on this year's work, your goals for this year and whether or not you reached them, and to start thinking about your freelance writing career goals for 2009.

I hope you were able to make some time to think about next year's goals, or that you do soon before getting too wrapped up in the end of the year holidays and such.

Every year I set a LOT of goals both personally and for my business. It may seem nuts, but the truth is that I know I'll succeed at some and fail at some. Goals constantly change for me, and projects get sidelined to pursue other things I hadn't thought of.

So here are some of my successes and failures for 2008 (so far):

Successes

  • I quit PR consulting, and went into full-time PR and business writing. (This was probably my biggest goal.)
  • I released the first in the Web Writer's Guide e-book series.
  • I released a second (free) e-book on writing e-books (just yesterday actually - you'll have to be an email subscriber to the blog to get it).
  • I raised my rates significantly this year for my most popular writing service (press release writing), and have had no problem whatsoever reaching into a new market willing to pay those rates.
  • My income increased again - so far it looks like it'll be about a 30-40% increase by year's end.
  • I hired a CD reviewer to help me revive my indie music webzine (my first site). I do still have a lot of work to do on this site though.
  • I re-worked a lot on my business blog, and have its income on the rise again.
  • I outlined two novels.

Not So Successful

  • I didn't finish my marketing book as planned. As a matter of fact, it's been completely sidelined. Being that I'm out of PR for the most part, and retired my PR blog (the biggest subscriber base with a relevant audience), it just doesn't feel like the right time, and I decided that I don't want that book being the first I pitch to publishers. So I don't know if that one will get picked up again or not. Either way, it won't make my goal list for 2009.
  • I really didn't make a lot of progress with AllBookMarketing.com or AllBookWriting.com.
  • My "personal-ish" blog (JennSays.com) hasn't really been a priority, and I'm not sure if I'll invest much more time there in the near future.
  • I didn't make much progress on Writers-Guidelines.com either (a directory of writers' markets). There's no good excuse for it though. I do plan to do that this year.
  • I started a new directory at eLearn101.com to replace FreeDeepLinks.com. I never even got close to finishing it. I'm thinking I'd like to build it up and then sell it off - I don't want to run a lot of directories in the future. I earn more from my blogs and e-books (and enjoy them more).
  • I would have liked to have gotten another e-book in the Web Writer's Guide series completed.
  • The first Web Writer's Guide e-book has had a much slower start than expected. It's picked up a little since I altered my marketing a bit, but still isn't where I want it. I need to drastically improve that before finishing the next one (which is outlined at this point only).
  • While income on my big three blogs (including my business blog, this one, and my retired PR blog) has improved on all fronts, it hasn't grown as much as I would have liked. I need to come up with new monetization plans for each.
  • I have several domains sitting around. I wanted to setup small static sites or blogs on them to either keep static for ad revenue or to flip and sell off. I haven't done enough of it. I think I only sold 3 sites this year.
  • I was finally published in a few print magazines (although all ghostwritten for clients for trade magazines).

2009 Goals

I'm sure my goals will change a good bit between now and February or so, but here are some of the main goals I want to achieve in 2009.

  • I want to flip at least 6 sites.
  • I want to finish drafting at least one of my outlined novels.
  • I want to get AllBookMarketing.com on a regular posting schedule, even if just once per week.
  • I want to get back on posting to AllBookWriting.com about my books and e-books-in-progress. I didn't post enough there during my e-book process.
  • I want to launch at least two more Web Writer's Guide E-books after I settle my marketing on the first one.
  • I want to get published with my byline in at least one print publication.
  • I want to finish e-Learn101.com, build some traffic and revenue, and then sell it.
  • My big goal for the year (and one I know will be a struggle to achieve) is to move from full-time freelance writing to full-time income from my blogs, e-books, etc. (writing "for myself"), with just part-time client work by the end of the year.
  • And of course, I want to see my overall income keep climbing year over year.
  • I desperately need to finally get a new accounting and filing system setup to help me with my always-messy records and such.

Those are the goals I have so far. I know I won't achieve all of them, but if I achieve half, I'll be pretty happy.


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So what about you? What goals have you set for yourself this year?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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7 Comments

  1. Chrisblogging.com November 25, 2008 Reply

    Awesome post, Jenn! I strongly believe in goals as well. While I have yet to write down all my goals for 2009 the time is coming…

  2. Jennifer Mattern November 25, 2008 Reply

    I find them absolutely essential. I can’t imagine not setting goals, both large and small (from yearly goals to simple to-do lists). I wouldn’t get through a day without them! :)

  3. Kimberly November 26, 2008 Reply

    Jennifer, this is an inspiring post. I am busy mapping out my goals for 2009 and reviewing the ones I didn’t meet in 2008 (I suppose there’s still a tiny window of time). I am very interested in learning more about flipping websites. My biggest goal for 2009 will be to really diversify my income and marketing more consistently to continue growing my client base.

  4. Write and Earn a Living December 1, 2008 Reply

    This post is really on target. Goals are the fuel that propels a freelance writing career.

    I always take a look at what I’m doing and then look at how I can leverage those efforts.

    It’s easy to lose focus, when you are tied up with so many projects.
    To counter that, I create what I call an intention page. I type off what I want to accomplish and hang it above my computer. This serves as a reminder for the coming year.

  5. Jennifer Mattern January 4, 2009 Reply

    Allena – I always try to set difficult (but achievable) goals. I figure if I meet every one of them, I probably wasn’t trying hard enough, and frankly I’m also just a glutton for punishment.

    Looking at the list, one of the goals may change – while building up a site on free online courses (to flip), I fell in love with the concept, so I may use eLearn101.com for a similar directory-style site to keep for a while instead of building the existing directory format and then selling it.

    I’m already making some progress on other goals though:

    1. I’ve been working on one of the novels – editing the outline now and I’ll start drafting in about a week.

    2. I’m reviving AllBookWriting.com to follow along in that process (there’s a post written to go up tomorrow to kick that off).

    3. I have a few posts planned for AllBookMarketing.com, with one going up this week to kick off its new weekly schedule.

    4. I’ve made a good bit of progress on some of the quick flip sites (getting them online, themes chosen, ad placements setup, introductory posts done, and even some of the actual content for a few of the first ones to be flipped (such as EatLoseWeight.info, which I believe has 3 placeholder posts and 2 full ones at the moment, not counting the intro post which will be removed).

    That said, I also need to re-focus a bit on a few things – like the next Web Writer’s Guide e-book (not only is that a goal itself, but that series will play a role in whether or not I’m able to go full-time “writing for myself” this year or not).

    As of now, I’m pretty hopeful about all of the goals. I’ll reevaluate in 3-6 months and see where they all stand.

  6. Allena January 4, 2009 Reply

    Wow Jennifer… Your goals tire me out but WOW!

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