Not Writing: 5 Things a Writer Must Do Every Day

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While most people think that freelance writing is simply typing at a laptop or computer all day long, we professional freelance writers know better. Just as with any other job, there are many other components to a writing career than merely cranking out content for clients and getting paid.

Here are just a few of the things you will likely do every day of your freelance writing career.

Accounting

There is a wide range of daily accounting activities that are essential for a successful freelance writing business.

From paying the ever-present and very important taxes as a business (whether you’re a sole proprietorship, an LLC or a DBA, you should check with your state guidelines to make sure you’re set up correctly), to invoicing your clients, paying out vendors or even other freelance writers who work for you, and even daily trips to your bank to make deposits if needed, there is definitely a daily accounting monotony that freelancers have to keep up with on a daily basis.

Collections is another important task freelancers must do, even though it’s definitely a dreaded one. But in order to be successful, you need to learn to stand up for your business and collect the money that is owed to you.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more are all crucial to the freelance writer and must be kept updated every single day. Status updates, regular tweets, link backs and everything else that goes along with social media are crucial to get done, as they are central nowadays to networking, connecting and promoting your business.

Marketing

Along with using social media as mentioned above for marketing your business, there are several other things freelancers need to do daily to network and market your name and brand, including a business website (and regular maintenance including updates, interacting with clients, blog posts and more), a dedicated blog (if you don’t already have one on your business website) that needs postings and other content added daily, and daily pitching to new clients.

Research

Freelance writers will spend much of their daily writing time doing research for assignments, whether those pieces take the form of website content, blog posts, white papers or press releases. Research is a crucial part of a freelancer’s job, and accuracy is extremely important as well. Your clients are relying on you to provide content that is accurate, factual, and relevant to the topic, but no writer knows everything. 

There are many sources that freelancers use for research, including the main one: the Internet. The World Wide Web is the single best source for research, with millions of websites out there providing information. But writers need to search out the most reliable websites, as there’s tons of inaccurate data online. Interviews are another great source of information, especially if you’re a freelance reporter or journalist.

Organization

Keeping your work space and paperwork tidy and in order is a daily struggle for many freelancers, especially for those who aren’t necessarily organized by nature. Make sure you end your day by tidying your desk and putting away loose papers, filing important client paperwork like contracts and rough drafts and setting up your to-do list for the next day.

Daily organizing tasks of freelancers include client and project tracking, accounts payable and accounts receivable, sorting through emails and responding when needed, checking voicemails and more. Using a task management app like Asana, Wunderlist, Evernote, Google Keep or Slack makes getting and staying organized much easier.

As you progress in this career, you'll marvel over and over again at how very much busy work you do, and how very little writing gets done at times. Don't fret though! All these tasks are integral to a successful freelance writing career.