In the more than 17 years All Freelance Writing has been around, I've often shared my New Year's resolutions, goals, and plans with you. Some years are successes. Some years go far off-track. And most are a mixed bag. But this year, I'm doing something a little bit different: exploring goals vs focus areas.
This is something I'll talk more about over on my broader business-related blog, Kiss My Biz, soon. But a big focus area for me in 2024 is All Freelance Writing. So I wanted to share some of those plans and changes, some of which are well under way, and some of which might affect you.
Let's go over some of the big things:
The All Freelance Writing Job Board
To even my own surprise, the bulk of this year's job board changes are already complete.
Most changes to the freelance writing job board won't impact you much on the front-end. But here's what's going on behind-the-scenes:
- The job posting submission form got completely revamped.
- These job board form changes came with new (or sometimes clarified) rules.
- There were also accessibility improvements for that (and most other) forms on the site. More will come throughout the site in general this year, continuing that focus from last year.
- The entire job posting structure changed on the back-end.
- Significant back-end improvements happened to help with general job posting visibility (already quadrupled the traffic coming to them via search!).
- While the structural and SEO improvements leave me with more manual work to do right now, I'm exploring AI use cases to help automate certain parts of curation (there will always be manual admin oversight; just building in help with the data entry and related tasks).
- Job emails (subscribe if you haven't yet) will now include more detailed pay info where available, so you'll only click on job links you really want to learn more about. This began with today's emails.
- The main job board page already had some minor design changes. That will continue in the near future.
- There will be much more job-related content added to the site, both directly related to the job board and how to use it as well as content on seeking out and securing freelance writing jobs in general.
The Freelance Writer Directory
The big back-end changes to the job board were things I've wanted to do for years. But as I recently shared on LinkedIn, I put them off because I expected them to take weeks or even months to complete.
So imagine my surprise when most of that finished in a day (inspired by some other work I was dealing with thanks to Ahrefs).
The best part? This means the planned changes for the freelance writer directory can also happen much quicker than I initially thought.
The directory changes won't happen until the job board changes are finished. But here's a preview of what's coming:
- The directory will undergo similar backend and structural changes to the job board.
- Profiles should see improved search visibility through those structural changes and significant SEO improvements (especially important for new writers who don't have a professional site up yet, or a third-party portfolio like those from Writer's Residence).
- The profile pages themselves will change considerably. The most challenging part of this process will be manually checking and porting existing profiles based on the back-end updates.
- Any profiles with dead links will continue to have them removed.
- Extremely outdated profiles or those with next to no content will be removed or hidden. You'll be notified if this affects you.
- Permanent listing fees will go away. You can still get them now by adding your writer profile, but after the changes, fee structures will also change. This will not affect existing profiles.
- The writer directory should integrate more with the job board (more on that as details are hashed out).
- The directory display will significantly change and hopefully make filtering and searching for writers much easier.
Overall, the aim is to clean the freelance writer directory up significantly, make it easier to use (both for writers and those wanting to hire them), and help writers increase the visibility of their profiles.
The Writer's Market Database
The writers' markets here at All Freelance Writing will also undergo some changes this year. And again, the boost from figuring out this process with the job board means this will happen sooner rather than later (possibly before the writer directory changes as those are the most complex).
Here's what's coming to the writer's market collection:
- Again, there will be back-end structural changes to how the markets display on the site.
- Markets will each get an individual profile page here (currently they're brief summaries linking to the market sites only).
- Again, big SEO-related changes that mean markets should become even easier to find.
- Similarly, on-site search and browsing updates aim to make it easier to find markets you want.
- I'm working on another AI integration that I'm hoping will speed up and simplify the market management process (updating and removing old links, checking rate info more often and flagging listings for updates, etc.). This means more markets, more updates to markets, and therefore a more useful market database for you.
- There will be significantly more blog posts featuring niche markets and other types of targeting (by rates, print vs online, etc.). Remember, these all pull from the database automatically already, so the most up-to-date info there gets pulled into each post. Bookmark them and check back to see if there are new additions. For example: Websites That Pay Writers $100 / Article (and more) -- Markets on this one get reviewed and updated in the near future.
- I haven't decided yet, but I may add premium featured listings here when these other changes go into effect. I don't expect that to change much until I promote this much more. But it will allow market owners (usually smaller or newer ones that add their own listings) to increase their visibility and get access to keep their own market details up-to-date. As usual, my priority here is to maximize earnings from people trying to reach writers like you, much moreso than constantly asking writers to shell out more money for memberships, subscriptions, and the like. There will be more premium products coming, but I never want you to feel bombarded by requests to "buy now!"
- Similarly to the other two changes, there will be additional content to what you see now, hopefully giving you better information about individual markets, helping you find related markets, etc.
The writers' market database has always been an important feature and traffic source for All Freelance Writing. Despite that, I rarely do any active promotion of it. That's going to change.
More Focus on All Freelance Writing
All Freelance Writing is one of a handful of key focus areas in my work this year. I'm thrilled with the progress so far, especially when I never expected to get so much finished before the end of January. But aside from updating the three big features of the site, you can expect much more:
- Many of the free downloadable resources for freelance writers will be updated. And I'm hoping to add quite a few new ones this year. As usual, you'll be invited to subscribe to the newsletter to get the download links. But I don't ever require that.
- There will be more accessibility improvements to the site. A lot of font and color updates in the base overhaul last year tied to accessibility improvements. This year will focus on fixing some form accessibility issues (like the form font problems recently fixed) as well as going through the massive image archive to get new and improved alt tags implemented. I'm also planning to put together and post better pages with transcripts for the podcast archives.
- Along those lines, no final plans yet, but the All Freelance Writing Podcast should make its return.
- There will also be a heavy focus on improved SEO. And this is one of the things I'll talk about soon at Kiss My Biz. So subscribe to that blog from the home page if you want notifications about new posts. Long story short, for someone successfully involved in client SEO for nearly 20 years now, aside from my client-facing site, I don't always put the time I should into my own properties. This year I'm determined to be my own best client and get this site back to its former glory, while also boosting some of the newer and smaller sites I run (like All Freelance Writing's sister site, Freelance Writing Pros). No more neglect on this front. And with an SEO mess from the All Freelance Writing --> All Indie Writers --> All Freelance Writing rebranding debacle of years ago, this is long overdue. I've already made amazing progress this month, and I'm genuinely excited to continue this work in the same way I've amplified my clients' brands for many years. Don't treat your own business as "less than." Take it from someone who's made that mistake.
- More content. More updates to old content. More content mergers. And more content removals (I expect to eliminate anywhere from 500-800 posts this year, possibly more).
- I'll soon go back to sharing link roundup style content here as well, helping you find the best of the best. And not just posts from freelance writing blogs. Links to news stories impacting independent contractors, links related to business and marketing topics you can use in your own business, etc. Think of it as almost a newsletter within a blog post.
- There will also be more actual newsletter content. I'm not committing to a specific frequency until I have the post schedule settled. But I'm hoping for two newsletters per month on top of the job lead emails (you can choose to subscribe to one or the other, or both). Newsletters always have content unique to subscribers. You can view some past examples in the newsletter archives.
- Additional minor design changes are coming. These shouldn't impact how you use the site in most cases. Other than that, it comes down to redesigning individual pages (in addition to the directory and markets, that includes the home page, about page, and similar pages).
- The current e-book for sale comes off the market soon (for repurposing).
- Some other free e-books should receive overhauls, getting turned into long-form posts. And they might remain available as free .pdf downloads.
- There's a new big content feature coming that I'll share more about as its release gets closer. But I'm prioritizing the job board before anything else proceeds.
I'm sure I'm forgetting things. But basically, All Freelance Writing will be the primary focus on the web publishing side of my business. And that side of my business will be my main focus overall (as I keep easing closer toward a "freelance retirement" of sorts). So expect to see far more content. Expect to see far more updates to the site itself. And expect big changes to key features here, along with new premium products--primarily e-books--and new freebies.
If you have questions or specific requests, please leave them in the comments. I can't guarantee I can work them into plans, but I'm always happy to listen.