Happy new year fellow writers. It's been quite some time since we've talked about new year's resolutions and goal-planning here at All Freelance Writing. Now feels like a great time.
I'm a big fan of resolutions, both on the personal and professional fronts. So today I'm going to share some of my 2023 freelance writing resolutions and goals related to freelance-adjacent areas of my business.
For some of you, freelance writing might be your entire business. In my own case, I have a three-prong approach to consider:
- Freelance work (freelance writing, marketing and PR consulting, training, thought leadership publication / content strategy, social media strategy, etc.)
- Web publication (blogs and other websites -- I own dozens of them)
- Publishing (e-books and/or print books, both non-fiction and fiction under multiple pen names)
Each year I break down my professional new year's resolutions and other goals into those three categories. I'll talk more about them over at Kiss My Biz later this week, but for now let's focus on my 2023 freelance writing resolutions in particular.
Just keep that in mind when reading some of these plans because that could make mine look very different than yours (such as my billable hour target).
My 2023 Freelance Writing Resolutions
I'll talk about this more over on the Freelance Writing Pros blog later this week, but last year I started working more towards a freelance retirement of sorts. And I plan to continue that this year.
That doesn't mean I'll stop taking on freelance writing and consulting work in the immediate future. But it does mean there will be some changes.
Here's a look at some of those planned changes (some already underway) as well as goals and plans related to my freelance writing websites.
Freelance Rate Targets
Every client has to hit my recently-updated "get out of bed rate" of $250 / hr. This includes writing, consulting, and any other service-oriented work.
That should mean letting go of just one client, as others increased rates to accommodate last year. Then I'll look to increase workloads with existing clients or find others to fill that time.
Learn more about "get out of bed rates" in Why Your Hourly Freelance Writing Rate Matters.
Cutting Back on Client Projects
I plan to devote no more than 10 hours per week to client work. My aim is to hit that by mid-year, at which point I'll decide if I want to stay there or go even lower depending on how other projects perform.
The rest of my working hours will go toward longer-term business ventures like my websites and publishing projects.
Changing Project Scopes
Aside from one client I do occasional work for (we've worked together for 15-16 years, and they meet the hourly target), there will be no more one-off gigs for things like articles and press releases.
The focus will be on retainer clients, and longer-term contracts for regular content writing, copywriting, or consulting. Exceptions would be much larger, higher-ticket projects like e-books, white papers, or research design / report packages.
This should be one of the easier changes as most clients are already regulars. But I will be updating my site to reflect these changes and promote more package options.
Professional Website Overhaul
I don't intend to change the design too much on my professional site -- ProBusinessWriter.com -- but the site focus and copy will be overhauled a fair amount.
Again, this will be to stop promoting one-off projects and focus more on packages and retainer work. I've also been much more heavily focusing on thought leadership publication strategy, research design, and related reporting work (white papers, reports, press releases, etc.). So the copy and blog will move much more heavily in this direction.
The blog focus will also emphasize more tutorial-style content. I'm a big believer in teaching clients about the work you do. That means helping them on the DIY front, but also educating them so they better understand the value of what you do and what your work does for their business.
The changing blog focus will tie in heavily to a new planned white paper series and premium guide series. And I'll finally put some real energy behind the email list there.
As I move more away from client-oriented work, I fully intend to keep that professional site working for me by making it more product-oriented instead.
Freelance Writing Experiments
My final 2023 freelance writing resolutions revolve around a couple of experiments I'd like to run.
I won't get into the details until they're complete and I release results.
But, in short, it's about going beyond tutorials and advice here on the blog to give you more of a real-world case study on doing common things newer freelance writers often struggle with.
I hoped to begin the first in January, but due to some personal family circumstances we're trying to work out at the moment, I suspect the first will be a second-quarter project.
All Freelance Writing & Freelance Writing Pros
My freelance writing related work isn't only about client projects. I've also published sites for fellow freelance writers for around 17 years.
This site, All Freelance Writing, is the main one.
I more recently launched Freelance Writing Pros which features more advanced marketing and business tips for more experienced freelance writers.
There are several goals and resolutions tied to each of these sites for 2023.
- I plan to launch my first online course.
- Both will see premium e-book / guide releases
- Both will receive new free product releases (short guides, templates, worksheets, etc.)
- Some older products will be re-worked and re-released for free, either as free downloads or long-form blog content (or both).
- All Freelance Writing is undergoing a big backend overhaul.
I'm particularly excited about the last one as it's long overdue.
What will the changes include?
- There will be some design changes despite being rebuilt on the same theme framework.
- The backend will be simplified to cut down on compatibility issues with plugins and to also decrease the amount of time I spend maintaining things.
- Key features will be completely redesigned including the freelance writing job board, writer directory, and writers markets.
Those aren't the only changes, but they're the most important.
The job board and directory changes are about improving usability.
The backend changes are about speeding things up and cutting down on maintenance.
And the design changes are largely focused on future-proofing the front-end of the site.
That's it for me. While this doesn't touch on all my professional resolutions for 2023, it covers those related to my freelance writing work and my work for fellow freelance writers.
I expect client-focused resolutions will be easy wins. The site updates will be the most complex. And if anything here ends up completely neglected, it will likely be the experiments as they're both three-month commitments in my off-hours that depend on other aspects of my life allowing that time.
What about you? Have you set any 2023 freelance writing resolutions? If not, what type of goal-setting do you prefer to keep yourself on track?