www.inkthinkerblog.com— The other week, my Biz Chicks Rule co-blogger, Bridget Wright, helped me brainstorm on my 2008 business strategy. After all, I have a big goal this year, and I need the planning to support the attempt. And on the heels of a painfully slow January, thanks to my multiple weeks of not being able get online, I’m starting out in a major deficit compared wtih what I was hoping for in the first months of the year.
“Where are you making your money?” she asked me. So of course I forwarded her my post What Exactly Is $70,000 in Freelance Income?, which breaks it all down. “Okay, so how many streams of income DO you have?” she asked. “Blogger, speaker, writer, editor… WOW!” Wow is right. Although it’s obvious that I know I make money from these things, seeing as how I listed them in the breakdown, I never though of them as streams of income — just stuff I did.
So! Now the question arises: How can I turn these different streams into real income? How can I monetize my time?
Well, first of all, I can do a better job of monetizing my blogging. Blogs aren’t just soapboxes. They’re little businesses, too. For my paid blogging work, the majority of my compensation is a direct result of traffic. To increase that income, I need to promote the blogs more aggressively and post more frequently to get more people to the site and keep them coming back. On my personal blogs, I can use affiliate relationships and advertising space to generate income. I can also get into the habit of saving blog post ideas in a tickler file so I always have something to write about and don’t have to deal with the panic of writer’s block. I can also use blog content as the basis for teleseminars, e-books, and other information products to generate additional income and encourage people to purchase my coaching services or hire me for their projects.
Second, I can charge for speaking. I’m a darn good speaker, and I’ve been doing it for a while now. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t be compensated for it, not when other people are making money on my presence. Volunteer work is one thing. Giving away the farm is another. I can also use speaking engagements as an opportunity to sell other products and services, like coaching or, as Bridget pointed out, a book. (Note to self: Write a book.) I can also start proactively promoting my services as a speaker to professional organziations, school groups, and writing conferences.
Third, I can focus my efforts on writing work that pays well. Heck, I have a master’s degree in publishing from one of the nation’s best known public universities. I can charge a decent rate and produce really outstanding writing products. Rather than waiting for work to come to me, which I have been guilty of doing lately, I can revitalize my marketing efforts and build marketing into my daily activities. I can also capitalize on skills I possess and am developing to promote new or modified services. For instance, I make decent money writing resumes as a subcontractor, but I could double or triple that income by promoting resume writing as a direct service because I’ll get all of the money instead of just a portion. Additionally, I’ve been working through the AWAI Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting with the help of fellow freelancer Hope Wilbanks. I can get my butt in gear and finish the course, and start selling long-form copywriting services.
Fourth, as far as editing goes, I’m kind of phasing out editing for all but my longest-standing clients. Most of the people who come to me need more than an editor — they need basic instruction in written communication. So rather than killing myself completely overhauling their writing but not giving them anything of long-term benefit, I’d rather focus those skills on coaching people to become better writers and better freelancers, which I am very good at and wish I were doing more. It’s better for me and it’s better for the client, so that makes coaching a win-win.
What is really comes down to is this: I need a business plan. So, that’s what I’ll be working on over the next month or so. And in the meantime, I did go ahead and purchase domain names to promote speaking, coaching, and copywriting, and resume writing services, so you can look for more updates on those projects in the coming months. BUT! Strategy first.
What are your income streams? Which do you love, and which would you like to dam? Leave a comment?
Tags: freelance writing, inkthinker, kristen king, revenue stream, diversifying your income, financial goals, strategic planning, business plan, professional speaking, resume writing, editing, copywriting, blogging, affiliate income, e-books, teleseminars, information products, coaching services
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