I've been working out my monthly plan for my freelance and creative writing for January, and I figured it might be worth posting about, partly to give readers a better understanding of what I'm doing individually, and partly because I'll be more likely to stick to my plans / schedules if I post them. Here's a general plan for January:
If you've looked at our action plans, you'll know that I'm expecting my first quarter of 2007 to be extremely slow with writing / editing income. The primary reason is that my personal perspective on the Challenge is to apply myself more to long-term projects (such as profiting directly from my own writing - through passive revenue streams like my own sites, and the books I'm working on). So here's a general breakdown:
1. I'd love to have my book proposal done for a nonfiction piece by the end of this month.
But a more realistic goal is by the end of February. The book I'm hoping to pitch this year is a marketing niche book, dealing with a spin on creative self promotion that I haven't seen done yet. I don't want to give too many details for obvious reasons until it's picked up (hopefully) and finished.
2. I'm overhauling my top two content sites, in an effort to streamline them and automate them more.
The first to be finished will hopefully be my indie music webzine at AudioXposure.com. I'm shooting to have that done by the end of January. The second is BizAmmo.com, which is a small business network, currently containing 4 sites. Hopefully by the end of February, I'll have the content finished and things moved to the new design. When it gets overhauled, it will contain 20 sites. I'm hoping to very significantly improve how I monetize these sites this year, so they'll be a major focus.
3. I need to get on querying.
I should have spent the end of '06 trying to line up freelance pieces for this month and next, but I didn't do that, because I was too focused on these longer term projects. I'm not going to really push the print magazine queries hard until the book proposal is finished and the sites are relaunched, but I'd like to get into the habit, so I'm going to shoot for 1-3 queries to print or large online publications each week for now. There's a large scientific publication that I'd like to eventually target due to some interesting connections and a bit of background that I have, so I'll probably work towards that by spending this first quarter querying smaller publications in the same niche, to build up some highly related clips first (again, hopefully).
4. I'll be looking for subtle ways to monetize some of my current sites.
I'll also be launching one or two new ones (likely blogs)
5. I'll be researching a novel a bit more deeply this year, and I'd like to jump in quickly this month.
The novel relates to the German relocation after WWII, something that directly affected my family. I have a collection of stories passed on from my grandfather, who passed away last year, which will be the basis or inspiration for the main character. I'm hoping to be able to talk to his brother, and a few connections I made in Germany (older gentleman who lived through it personally) this year. I don't know if I'll get past the research phase this year on this project, but it's very important to me personally, so I want to make sure it's done "right."
6. While I won't be putting on any heavy promotions for my PR writing, I'll obviously be doing some client work this month (from press release writing to Web copyediting).
I certainly don't expect the client work to amount to the $2000 weekly needed to reach the 100k goal. However, I know that the hours I put into the book and my sites now will be paid for further down the road this year. Also keep in mind that there are only so many hours in a day, and writing and editing are only a part-time endeavor for me. So the amount of client work I take on in the beginning will depend largely on the amount of time I spend managing campaigns and other non-writing/editing work for my PR clients. For the time being, I'm just having a bit of faith that I'll sell the first book, and it will later account for the difference early in the year. I'm sure each of the other writers involved have their own game plans in mind, and in the end, we'll all get to see how a variety of paths worked out.
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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