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Writers: What Were Your Best 2010 Earning Strategies?

Carol Tice

In freelance writing, I think analysis is good for the soul. No, not the go-see-a-therapist type of analysis — the kind where you look back on the year and analyze what you earned.

Who were your best-paying clients by hourly rate? Who did you earn the most with? How did you meet your best new clients? So often, when I do this review I think I know who my best clients were, but when I do the numbers, it’s someone else. I actually recently dropped a client who represented a major monthly chunk of change, but on an hourly basis…blecch. They had to go.

I recently did an analysis of my earnings this year, and great new clients came from many places — my writer site getting found on natural search, through my LinkedIn profile, sending multi-idea queries, on niche job boards, and at in-person networking events. For me, having a multi-pronged marketing strategy has been key to making this my best earning year ever.

It was also my first year where I started to see meaningful income from my side business/passion for helping writers earn more — through mentoring and offering ebooks and Webinars. I’m excited about the potential there for next year. This was also the year I saw paid blogging for clients take off — along with related consulting work — and become a substantial part of my earnings.

One funny observation about this year: I did some weird projects! I got some unusual offers, and they contributed a decent amount of income. For instance, I wrote a white paper for an employees’ union. I blogged about surety bonds. I got a lot of nibbles about ghosting eBooks…maybe one will pay off next year.

I try to stay openminded when someone brings me something a little outside my normal wheelhouse. You never know when that offshoot will turn into a whole new, great-earning niche. I like to learn and grow and try new stuff, and that tendency seems to contribute to my bottom line, too.

What were your marketing wins and best earning strategies of 2010? Leave a comment and tell us what’s working out there.

Photo via stock.xchng user michaelaw