Updates. Ideas. Rants. Techniques. Opinions. Blog.

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How To Use YNAB for your Small Business

Stephen Marsh and Seth Rowden are two copywriters with one thing in common; they both swear by using You Need a Budget (YNAB) for managing their finances.

Here, they swap notes and talk about why freelancers and businesses should use a zero dollar budget, including:

  • Coping with irregular income
  • Why tracking every pound doesn’t have to be a pain
  • How a strong budget solves the biggest problems freelancers and small businesses face around their finances
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Making Sense of your Freelance Income

With National Freelancers Day 2017 coming up on June 8th, existing and aspiring freelancers are coming together to talk about the issues of doing it for yourself.

Here’s a prediction: expect to see the web full of blog posts and articles about becoming a freelancer, working from home, maximising your rates, and winning work.

But that’s just one side of things. What happens next? What do you do once you’re up-and-running? How do you handle the money (or lack of it)?

With inconsistent income, feasts and famines, managing your revenue as a freelance copywriter (or any kind of freelancer) isn’t easy. In fact, I’d say it took me six of the eight years I’ve been in the business to get a workflow that worked for me.

And so, whether you’re already freelancing or just thinking of getting started, here’s a little guide to what I did – and what I do now to keep things organised.

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Three Things I Learned in 2015

When your seasonal blog post starts life as relevant, passes through 391 days of making your website look dated, then becomes relevant again, you have two options.

You make the most of that fact and get on with some real work, or you finally accept that it’s time to put a new post online.

And what better topic than the issue of not blogging? What exactly have I been doing for the past twelve months? And, if I’ve not been sharing things I’ve picked up during the year, could I share them all at once now?

Yes, I can.

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Four Obvious Things About Running a Copywriting Business

Nobody’s asked, but you might be wondering why I keep stating the obvious.

Well, when I wrote Four Obvious Things About Copywriting, it was because these were things people sometimes seemed to forget.

The very basics of copywriting. The things you know instinctively, automatically, and from the moment you write your first piece.

They’re forgotten because they’re too obvious. They’re not creative. They’re not clever. They don’t make people say ‘Wow, you’re such an imaginative little fellow.’

But they do help sell things. Which is good.

Now, I’ve decided to state some obvious things about running your business. You can read Four Obvious Things About Running a Copywriting Business as a guest post over at Copywriter Collective.

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Negotiate Yourself a Better Freelance Fee

One of the hardest tasks as a freelance copywriter is working with the money side of things. It’s a shame, because for all of the job satisfaction and wonderful clients, it’s the money that matters.

If you’re not getting paid, you may as well quit copywriting and write your world-changing novel or script!

But negotiating a good deal with no experience is tough. Some extra advice can help you to organise your thoughts, set a price, and know how to get the copywriting fee you deserve, or the terms that suit you.

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Does Your Freelance Copywriter Need a Big One?

Let’s face it – a big one makes it easier for everyone involved.

It can provide a handy shortcut for decision makers on whether they want to start a relationship or not. If you know that other people are satisfied, you can be more confident than ever that your freelance copywriter will satisfy you too.

But a big brand just isn’t the be all and end all. Size isn’t everything.

So why are so many copywriters eager to pull out their brands and measure them side by side?

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Do You Pay Your Copywriter To Write?

Well, let’s hope you pay your copywriter.

But what exactly are you paying for?

It is the job of a freelance copywriter to write things, of course, and only natural to assume that the fee relates to the words. But why, then, do so few professional copywriters get into messy ‘per page’ or ‘per word’ discussions?

Over at the Professional Copywriters’ Network, members continue to discuss how much different types of work should cost. What are people charging for website copywriting? What is the going rate for a single page sales letter?

But if you’re looking for a copywriter and wondering how much you should pay, think less about the words and more about their purpose.

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Don’t Make Offerings To Copywriting Gurus

Guru Nanak earned his title.

This guy was a radical, from the age of 11. He stared into the face of Hindu and Islamic thought and decided it wasn’t right. In one the most famous stories of Guru Nanak, he announced that people should be judged by what they do, not the threads that they wear. This was the foundation of the Sikh religion.

A radical free-thinker that defined an entire religion. That’s a guru.

Does it really apply to your copywriter?

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