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Freelance Business (Early) Mid-Year Check-in 2012

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on May 30, 2012 in Freelance Writing Business
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With the start of June right around the corner, we're nearly halfway through the year. Just one more month. When I realized how fast time was flying by, I went back to review some of my business goals and resolutions for 2012. I decided it was time for an early mid-year check-in. Why spend another month waiting when I can start improving things today?

Basically, I've done an awful job so far this year when it comes to my business goals. I had that problem last year with the big move and trying to settle into the new place (the process went from early May through the start of this year). And so far this year I was too caught up with wedding planning to deal with some of my larger projects. So things stayed on hold. That's changing now, and I'm finally able to get back on track.

Here are some of the goals I set at the beginning of the year, and how they're coming along:

  • Get back on schedule with my sites, blog posts, and books. -- These are the projects that have suffered the most in recent months. Because I had to cut back on overall working hours for a while, I put my emphasis on ongoing client relationships instead of my own projects. While I regret not doing more with them, I don't regret the decision to put clients first during times like those. I'm just now getting back on schedule with blogs (starting with this one), am back in development mode as I finish the new business site and finish rebranding another one, and am working on manuscript edits again.
  • Increase gross income at least 20% over 2011. -- While I can't say I'm already 20% over where I was this time last year, I'm still doing well with this goal. Client work as been pretty steady, and some has even increased. That's helping to make up for the lost income from my sites. And those things will be picking up with new monetization plans in coming weeks. So I'm still feeling good about this goal.
  • Finalize the business name change. -- This is taken care of.
  • Set up my new office space. -- This is also pretty much finished. I just need to decide if I'm going to paint the room and hang a few more things on the walls.
  • Publish at least 5 short e-books. -- None yet, but all five plans are set and the e-books are outlined. These will be fairly quick projects, so I'm still feeling good about this goal too.
  • Finish editing The Query-Free Freelancer manuscript. -- This is one of the big projects that got put on hold a while back. And I'm just now getting back to it. The new draft will include some significant changes (including new interviews and a new chapter or two). So it won't be quick. But it's damn well going to get finished.
  • Finish drafting the first Murder Scripts novel. -- Another big project that was put on hold. But I feel good about getting the draft finished. I'm waiting until the other manuscript is edited, and I expect this draft to take me around 3 months given my previous book drafting schedule of 2000 - 2500 words per day on my usual work days.
  • Release the first Murder Scripts game. -- These are ancillary products that tie directly into the novel series. And the first game will come out before the first book. I'm hoping to release the game in November or December of this year, with the first novel edited and released in the first half of 2013. If I can get it all ready sooner, I will. But for now that's the plan.
  • Get $500 per month revenue on my genealogy site. -- Um, no. Not even close. I haven't monetized the site yet, and it's still waiting for me to get back to a regular posting schedule. On the plus side, one of our old posts has been generating some long-term conversations, which is nice. So it's serving a purpose. I just need to devote more time to it. And there's a plan for that.
  • Find uses for at least 3 of my unused domain names. -- I suppose you can say this is finished. Although I probably registered new ones since setting that goal. Either way, there are several new domains in development in various niches, and at least one was used for the rebranding of an existing site.

I mentioned previously that I have a plan in place to get things back on track. And basically it involves getting help. I'll be hiring a cousin to work as a virtual assistant part-time. She'll update some of my blogs and deal with some of the administrative things that waste a lot of my time that could otherwise be spent writing. That will free up more working hours for income-generating activities. We also have family helping out around the house -- people who are far better at landscaping and organization than I am, so we're leaving it in their capable hands. Again, this frees up more time.

In the latter case, I won't necessarily use all of that free time on work (although I might work extra hours if I'm in a groove while working on a manuscript). It's more about eliminating some of life's general stress so I'm able to better focus on work and be more productive when writing. We'll see how it goes.

How are your goals for 2012 shaping up so far? How often do you do check-ins? I like to do them monthly, but honestly I haven't made time for it in a while. This is my wake-up call. Let us know how you're doing in the comments.

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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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6 Comments

  1. Cathy Miller May 30, 2012 Reply

    Such lame excuses – a wedding- a house :-D I still don’t know how you get done all that you do.

    Funny that you should be doing this early because my conscience has been nagging at me and I was playing the wait until June game. Like that’s so far away. :-)

    On some fronts, I’m doing well – income is ahead of target and expenses are lower. My monthly guest posts are right on track, I released my LinkedIn video, but surprise, surprise, other personal stuff is suffering. I haven’t released an e-book (as planned), upgraded my site, or released a planned white paper (due the end of the 2nd Q-& it isn’t going to happen by the end of June, that’s for sure).

    So, thanks for kicking my conscience in gear. I can always depend on you, Jenn, for a good butt-kicking. ;-)

    • Jennifer Mattern May 31, 2012 Reply

      lol Yeah. I’ve been full of excuses lately. Sadly I haven’t figured out how to add more hours to the day yet.

      Sounds like you’re off to a great first half of the year. :) You still have time to get those things finished. Even if your white paper doesn’t come out next month, I’m sure you can get it done not too far after. Keep at it!

  2. Amandah May 31, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for the reminder about goals. I did get a quote from ABF U-Pack to see how much it will cost me to move from Ohio to California. My deadline is to be moved by Aug. 31st. Fingers crossed! Of course, in my mind, I’m already in California. :)

    I reached my goal of selling greeting card copy. I’m still waiting to hear from a couple of other companies I sent to. I’m progressing in my screenwriting career by working with someone on an independent film. I have a new theme for my writer website and it finally matches my personality. I moved my teen/parent coaching to my hosting company but haven’t done anything with it, yet.

    My income’s still not where I want it to be, physically speaking. I follow the advice of Dr. Wayne Dyer and ‘see and feel’ I reached my income level. I let go and allow it to unfold.

    I need to do more marketing of my services. This can get tricky because I can’t show ‘untouched’ typescript because of confidential agreements. I also can’t show ghostwriting work because it’s ‘ghostwritten’ work. Hmm….

  3. Kimberly May 31, 2012 Reply

    Congrats on the wedding and the new home, Jenn. This post is kismet – I’ve been doing my own check-in of sorts. I’m behind schedule on a few things. I’m very happy with my earnings, but not happy that it comes primarily from one source – my freelancing. I’ve been working on diversifying and establishing multiple income streams. It’s a work in progress. I’ll have to re-adjust some goals and deadlines I’ve set for myself, but I’m still moving forward. Slowly.

    • Jennifer Mattern June 1, 2012 Reply

      Thanks. :)

      If you don’t mind sharing, what other kinds of income streams do you plan to pursue to diversify beyond freelancing?

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