Do you enjoy writing, money and working in your pyjamas?
Who doesn’t, right?
And freelance writing is a perfect side hustle for moms.
But how are you going to juggle your client work with your full time gig of being a mom?
(I mean, without giving up sleep, your husband and Netflix??)
You know what I’m going to say, right?
With some basic, solid organizing systems.
So I called my girl Rachel from Write Freelance Writer For You.
She’s a mom, a nurse, a blogger AND a hugely successful freelance writer. And she’s here to show us how we can get organized to be a freelance writer.
AKA - that major first step on the road to being a work at home mom.
So here’s Rachel!!
Have you been scratching your head trying to work out a way you can earn money as a WAHM without going crazy?
I know when I first looked into freelance writing I was intimidated by how much work it seemed to be.
However, I made the decision to try it anyway.
And I have not looked back.
Over my 3 years as a freelancer, I have learnt a lot about freelance writing and how to balance everything as a WAHM. Most importantly, I have discovered the tricks to do it all without losing my mind and falling into a hot mess.
Firstly, What is a Freelance Writer?
The simplest way to put it is a freelance writer is a pen for hire!
A business, company or individual hires you to write blog posts, articles, product descriptions, eBooks, emails, website content and so much more!
Why is Freelance Writing a Great Choice for WAHMs?
The best thing about freelance writing as a work-at-home-mum is you get to choose HOW much you work, WHO you work for and WHEN you work.
This gives you the flexibility to fit your writing business around your family and choose how you run your business.
Only want to earn some extra cash on the side?
Run your freelance business as a side hustle, or take on one off jobs.
Want to earn a full time wage?
Take on bigger projects, hustle hard, find clients for repeat work, and work on long-term projects.
The power is yours! And yes, I did put my Captain Planet voice on!
How do you Balance Freelance Writing and Motherhood?
There are a few simple steps to finding the balance between your freelance writing business and your responsibilities at home.
Step one: Set Your Freelance writing Hours
This first step is the most important. Sit down and work out how many hours per week you are able to dedicate to your business.
How much time do you have during the course of your day?
Are you able to work during naptime?
Do your children attend childcare, kindergarten or school providing you with uninterrupted time to work?
Find the bare minimum of hours you have per week for your business and write that number down.
Step two: Plan Your Freelance Work Time
Take that number you discovered in Step 1 and break it down into:
Social Media (technically part of marketing but I like to work it out separately).
Working on your website.
When you are first starting out you may find that you spend up to 75% of your time on the first 4 points above.
Step three: Create a freelance writing Schedule
Now you know how much time you need to spend on each of those areas you can create a schedule.
Make sure you leave enough time for FUN!
I like to use batching tasks for time management. This is where you group similar tasks together to be completed in one “task window”.
For example, I know that Monday, Thursday and Friday I get roughly three “task windows” per day. 45 minutes to an hour in the morning, again in the afternoon and than approximately 2 hours in the evening.
Let us take Monday as an example. In my diary I would write out:
Task Window 1: Outline and research blog posts for the month (usually in batches of 4-5 blog posts)
Task Window 2: Outline and research Client A blog posts for the month.
Task Window 3: Outline and research Client B eBook.
See how similar tasks are grouped together? It streamlines your thought processes and boosts your productivity….it is really amazing!
I also use this method to “batch” my household chores.
Finding a Support System
You need support systems in place to successfully manage your freelance business as a WAHM.
What do I mean by support systems?
Simply, they are the people and community around you that will help you with your workload and children.
Obviously, my husband is one of my main supports.
Each week I try to sit down with him and go through our schedules for the week ahead. He often will take the kids out for an hour or so over the weekend so I have extra time than.
I use childcare twice a week.
One of those days, I am at a nursing shift, and the other I have a full uninterrupted day for my freelance writing business. Childcare is a fantastic support and if I have a heavy workload, I can always book them in for an extra day.
I am also a member of several different WAHM and freelance Facebook groups and online communities. They are full of great support, encouragement and advice.
Other places you can find support:
A babysitter or nanny.
Family members or close friends who can help with the children (or even the household chores).
A regular cleaner.
Online support groups (Facebook, forums, Twitter).
Other WAHMs (like me)!
Organising Your Freelance Writer Life
Organisation is KEY.
I would be absolutely lost without a few key tools and techniques that help to keep me organized and on track.
Aside from my all time favourite batching time management tool, to stay organized I love a paper and pen diary! Very old school, but I find the act of writing things down soothing and helps to keep it clear in my head.
I also use Asana for project management (and I am just getting into using it with clients too)! You can set up your projects with smaller sub tasks and due dates so that you never miss anything.
Other tools I could not survive without:
Excel spreadsheets (anything from finances and budgets, to post tracking, pitches and client details).
Invoicing service. I use Rounded, which is Australian based and aimed at freelancers. It is amazing!
The ability to create folders and tags in Gmail. So easy to keep all those email conversations organized!
Finally, Keep your “mum role” and Your “businesswoman role” Separate!
This is super hard, but is essential to a happy home life and successful freelance writing career.
You don’t want to constantly feel like you are being tugged in two different directions.
You need to set your “working hours”, and ask that your family respect those. That way when you are working you can 100% focus on your writing business.
When you step away from the office, you focus solely on your family. This means no checking emails, no quick browse through your business social media accounts, no writing out a blog post.
Remove temptation by putting your computer away and your smartphone out of reach. Then you can simply be with your family.
Next Steps to Becoming a Legit Freelance Writer
When you’ve crossed these steps off your to-do list, check out Rachel’s FREE course on how to be a freelance writer.