Should You Grow Your Business?
By the time you get to the point that you're thinking about expanding your magazine-writing business, you will need to have established a firm base. There's no better way to sink yourself over the long haul than to try to expand too quickly, before you have a regular set of clients to count on for assignments and income.
The first thing you need to do before deciding how you
The idea of making more money is a powerful lure, but you have to keep your base happy if you want to stay in business for the long haul. If you already have four magazines giving you regular assignments, don't accept a one-time-only job from a new client — no matter how well-paying — that will force you to forgo your regular work.
You also need to realistically assess whether or not you can physically handle an expansion of your business. For magazine writers, more business typically means more writing — and with more writing can come things like repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome, very painful injuries to your wrist muscles and nerves caused by spending too many hours sitting at a keyboard.
If you're already working ten-hour days for six days each week, then you may not be in the best position to expand into new markets that will require you to do a lot more work for not a lot more pay. Yes, it's good to expand your business in ways that will let you work less while earning more, but you need to make a point of finding those kinds of jobs before you set out to expand in the first place.
One of the hardest things for anyone in any profession to do is make a realistic assessment of their current situation. You need to do this as a magazine writer because you can't figure out where you're going if you don't know exactly where you're starting. Ask yourself a few key questions before you decide you're ready to expand:
Are you willing to work more hours than you're working now?
Is your desire to expand based on wanting to make more money, or to write for different kinds of magazines?
Are you able to keep the good clients you have while working with new clients, too?
Are you willing to drop your lower-paying clients if you find new, regular clients who pay better?
These are the kinds of questions that will help you see, very realistically, where you stand and how much risk you want to take by trying to expand.
The answers to these questions will also help you determine your goals for expansion: to make more money, to write for different magazines, to broaden your client list in general, to replace a low-paying client with a higher-paying one. Having taken the time to assess your situation in these terms can be incredibly helpful when you actually define your expansion goals and set out to achieve them.
Think Smarter, Not Harder
In a lot of cases, you won't have to do very much extra work at all in order to expand your magazine-writing business. Many top-dollar freelance writers earn their livings by thinking smarter about the work they're already doing instead of setting out to work harder for an ever-growing list of clients. How do they do it? They start by repurposing the content they already own.