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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
- Bob Bly
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by Nick Usborne
If you want to make more money, you need to be more productive...in every way.
This speaks to one of the challenges of being a solo-entrepreneur. There is just one of you. That means the billable hours you get paid for are yours alone. Every minute or hour youre not doing something you can invoice for, youre not making money.
One way in which you can improve your level of productivity is to become proficient in the software programs you use.
Computers and software have had a huge impact on how much work we can get done in one day. However, if you dont know enough about the features and shortcuts of each program you use, a few things could happen:
- Youll waste time trying to figure out how to use a feature youre not familiar with.
- Youll produce documents that dont look as finished or professional as they should.
- Youll take longer to complete tasks simply because you dont know the tips and shortcuts you can use.
Where to get started...
The first programs you should look at are the basic Microsoft Office applications, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Many of us use these programs on a regular basis, but probably use only about 10% of their features.
As a freelance writer, think about your use of MS Word for instance. Or WordPerfect, for that matter.
Your word processing software is the basic tool of your trade. Its the plumbers wrench. The farmers plough. Its the most important application in your professional toolbox.
But how well do you know it?
Its amazing to think there are so many writers out there who remain so casual about the potential of their core business software tool.
Have you ever heard of a professional designer who is casual about his or her use of Photoshop? Or a web developer who knows only a little about XML?
Other professionals buy books and training videos, or even attend conferences, so they can get the best from the software tools they depend on.
So why wouldnt writers and copywriters take the same professional attitude?
Once you have mastered the core programs you use, its time to move on to other programs you may use only occasionally. For instance, if you use PowerPoint, albeit rarely, it still makes sense to learn enough about the program to use it professionally and efficiently when the need arises.
The same goes for Excel, or any accounting software you use.
Knowing your software means you will work more efficiently, waste less time and produce more professionally finished documents.
Put this on your list of things to do. Become more proficient with your software programs, and youll soon see a benefit in your bottom line.
NOTE: To increase your productivity as a writer, follow the 5 rituals I lay out in my guide for writers, Writing Rituals. Learn more at the Writing Rituals web site...
Related learning materials:
The demand for print and direct mail copywriters is static, to say the least. The real demand right now is for copywriters who have the skills to write effective copy for the web. This is a professional-grade course that will make you a specialist in online copywriting. This is where the future for copywriters lies! More about this online copywriting course...
Improve your copywriting skills and enter the very lucrative market for direct marketing copywriters. This is a comprehensive course and my #1 recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to write copy that drives results. Read my in-depth review
Get your copy of Writing For the Web #1 - 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
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