12 responses to “10 ways to cut costs from your freelance writing business”

  1. EP

    I like your less-is-more approach here. I am convinced that we all tend to spend more (on just about everything involved with an online small business) than we need to. One needs to replace more spending with more patience. Anybody can spend money.

  2. Susan Johnston

    I’d love to hear more about how you went paperless, Michelle. I try to use as little paper as possible, so, for instance, when I need to sign a contract and it’s in an editable format, I’ll insert a jpg of my signature and convert it into a PDF instead of printing and scanning. But some clients still want me to mail contracts or other paperwork, so not everything can be done digitally. I also get quite a few paper checks and receipts for business expenses, but I’m experimenting with apps that allow me to deposit checks digitally or scan receipts and organize them for me. Have you tried any of these?

    On another note, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at how quick and affordable transcription can be. I’m frugal by nature so I held out for a long time, but I decided it was worth transcribing interviews when the article will be in Q & A format. That way I can really focus on the conversation and less on typing furiously to keep up. I always type some notes in case the recording fails, but this way I don’t have to worry as much about getting down every single word (not as crucial when quotes are interspersed with other information in an article and you can sense which sound bytes you’ll want to use, in my opinion). The transcriptionist I use charges by the recorded minute, and she’s very reasonable (usually with 24-48 hour turnaround), so I’m happy to refer you if you ever need transcription help.

    I’ve never used a landline as a freelancer, so I’ll share some of my tips in a post of my own!

  3. Richard Stiennon

    Not only did I go paperless but I dumped Microsoft all together. The latest version of Mac OS X, Lion, helped sever the last cord to paper. I have a few clients that want me to sign contracts or W-9s. With Lion there is an amazing little feature in the PDF viewer. You click on a little squiggle and the camera on your Mac turns on. You hold up your signature on a scrap of paper and it is magically added to the document. As I posted in a blog, Steve Jobs last gift was to kill off the industry he gave birth to, desk top publishing.

    I dumped the land line altogether. Get eFax for sending and receiving emails.

  4. Cathy Miller

    I relate to your “little” marketing. I have a specialty niche, too, but I decided to focus on corporate writing and as a result, often land bigger projects that are higher-paying, like white papers.

    When I do write articles, it’s typically ghostwriting for my client for publications in trade magazines. So, I don’t have to pitch ideas (except maybe to my client, although they usually come up with the ideas).

    I moved in 2009 and did not set up a land line. The only reason I kept it in my previous home was for my fax machine. I’ve since found I rarely fax anything or receive a fax. You can just scan your document and email (with encryption, if necessary).

    Great ideas here, Michelle. The paperless is tough for me as I have a VERY difficult time accurately reading onscreen. I especially need a printed copy for proofing. What can I say-boomer eyes. 🙂

  5. Lori

    Great post, Michelle. I’ve given you some link love over on my blog.

    Your first point is bang on. I will say my first reaction was “Huh? Are you kidding?” Then I realized what you were saying, which is so true. Smarter marketing cuts down your time and your costs.

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