Spring Clean Your Writing Business And Boost Your Income: 7 Ways

    Struggling to increase your income?

    Maybe the clutter in your life prevents you from seeing and grabbing the lucrative opportunities around you.

    I encourage you to put on your spring cleaning cap, and spruce up your writing business. Because, believe it or not, cleaning can help you boost your income.

    This isn’t just about tidying up a room and finding spare change under the cushions.

    I’m talking about significantly increasing your revenue by removing physical, psychological, and professional blocks from your writing business.

    Just as spring cleaning your house brightens up your environment and makes room for better stuff, cleaning up your writing business will allow you to make room for better clients and more revenue.

    Here are seven ways to help you accomplish it.

    #1. De-clutter to make inspiration and income flow

    A disorganized workspace doesn’t just make it harder for you to find that pen or style book, it also makes it more difficult to find the ideas and thoughts you need.

    A cluttered environment hinders your focus, creativity, and motivation. Clean it up to ensure your workspace is conducive to inspiration and productivity.

    De-clutter your desk, your office, your patio – wherever you do your writing. Put away things that distract such as bills, old post-its, and supplies you don’t need.

    Also consider clearing your inbox by deleting and unsubscribing from unnecessary newsletters. Got more time? De-clutter your phone by deleting apps you don’t need.

    All these steps lead to a cleaner working environment – one that lets you focus better, be more creative, and get more work done. When clients see how quickly and well you respond, they’ll be more inclined to work with you and pay top dollar for your services.

    #2. Sort mental clutter

    Nothing curbs effective writing more than a cluttered mind.

    Organize your thoughts by writing outlines for your articles. This creates a structure for your post or story, making it easier to flesh out the piece.

    Another way to organize your thoughts is through mind-mapping. Use a tool like Magical Pad or bubbl.us to create a visual representation of your thoughts.

    Organizing your thoughts will make it easier to finish projects. You’ll increase your hourly rate, and you can use the extra time to find more opportunities.

    #3. Write tight

    Embrace brevity when writing. Get straight to the point. Doing so will lead to better content and higher rates.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    – Nix unnecessary adverbs. While adverbs can sometimes enhance your writing, for the most part, they’ll only clutter up your work. As Mary Jaksch puts it, you’re better off shooting adverbs on sight.

    Hit “Ctrl+F” on your document to find words ending in ly and delete the ones that fail the redundancy test (e.g. “smiled happily,” or “ran quickly”).

    – Keep your sentences short. Short, snappy sentences pack more punch. They get your point across faster, and make it easier for readers to follow your writing.

    – Shrink your writing. Replace two- or three-word phrases with just one word. For example, the phrase get rid of can be replaced by eliminate, nix, or delete, depending on what you mean to say.

    – Break up your paragraphs. Walls of text look intimidating and turn readers away. A good rule of thumb is to keep paragraphs under five lines. This makes them easier to read and digest.

    Make sure each paragraph communicates only one idea.

    If you apply these principles to your work, your writing will be more effective. That’s something clients gladly pay for!

    #4. Recognize that less is more (niche-wise)

    While I do see the value in being a generalist who can write about anything under the sun, I’ve found that expert writers work faster and command higher rates.

    Consider specializing in a handful of topics, instead of becoming a jack-of-all-trades. If you already know a lot about a particular topic, you can decrease your research time and produce articles much quicker, thus increasing your hourly rate.

    Another benefit of specialization is that it’s easier to generate ideas if you have in-depth knowledge of specific topics.

    Finally, specialization will help you build a stronger portfolio.

    All these factors make you more valuable to clients, making it easier to charge higher rates.

    #5. Say goodbye to problem clients

    Do you have nightmare clients that are costing you time (and money)? Consider firing them to make room for better ones.

    I once had a client who haggled on price all the time. She wasn’t the easiest person to work with either, and I ended up spending more time and effort on her projects compared to those of my better, higher-paying clients.

    Parting ways with her was one of the best decisions I made. It freed up my time and allowed me to find more lucrative gigs.

    I was also able to eliminate a ton of stress which, in turn, improved my overall well-being… and the quality of my work.

    #6. Free yourself from negative beliefs

    Your thoughts and beliefs influence your actions, and your actions influence your results.

    Address this by becoming more mindful of what’s running through your head.

    Clean up your belief system. Throw out limiting words or thoughts like “I can’t do it” and “I can’t earn that much” to make room for more positive beliefs.

    Instead of bemoaning what you can’t afford, think of how you’ll be able to afford what you want. The “can’t” belief is limiting and makes you feel sorry for yourself, whereas “how” empowers you, pushing you to come up with ways to earn more.

    You may come up with more article ideas to pitch to publications, or marketing strategies to bring in better-paying clients.

    Remember, if you think you can’t, then you probably won’t. So sweep away limiting thoughts and replace them with empowering ones. Doing so will open up your mind (and wallet) to greater things.

    #7. Spruce up your network

    You’ll find better opportunities by spending time with positive, thriving individuals.

    Successful people can share tons of advice on working smarter and earning more. You can learn a lot by hanging out with them.

    You might even find your next lucrative project, partnership, or client around them.

    That’s more than we can say for negative people. Think about it. When was the last time you scored leads or great advice from whiners and naysayers?

    From here on out, make a conscious effort to surround yourself with optimistic people. You can do this by joining mastermind groups, finding mentors, and networking with successful individuals.

    Improving your writing business isn’t just about charging on and moving forward.

    Sometimes, you need to stop, look around, and unload the unnecessary stuff that you’ve acquired along the way.

    This season, take the time to do just that. De-clutter your physical, mental, and professional environment.

    I promise you, you’ll end up feeling productive, refreshed, and empowered. And find better clients. And command higher rates.

    Got any other spring cleaning advice for writers? Share them in the comments below.

    About the author

      Francesca Nicasio

      Francesca Nicasio (formerly Francesca StaAna) is the founder of CredibleCopywriting.net. She helps aspiring freelance writers break into the business at Be a Freelance Writer. Download her free eBook, How to Land a Client in 10 Days.

    • Another method of self-healing is to take on a positive attitude in the direction of life. Many of us are prone to cynical thinking, which is the reason why they fail to realize the possibility of an option to the problem. Handling a positive and constructive attitude will offer an individual the strength to deal with the issues of life and look for a solution to the very same.
      Mr. Valadez

    • Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your site in web explorer, might test this?
      IE still is the market chief and a big component of other
      folks will omit your wonderful writing due to this problem.

    • “My external environment is always a reflection of my internal landscape.” –Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m glad to hear that spring cleaning did wonders for you, Mani. 🙂

    • Mani says:

      My external environment is always a reflection of my internal landscape. Cleaning up the clutter always leads to increased mental clarity and creativity. We did a Spring clean a couple of weeks ago, and the difference it has made in my emotional state is nearly miraculous.

    • I was thinking just a few minutes ago about how much the clutter on my desk and in my office is interfering with my work. That doesn’t even include, as you mentioned, the mental clutter. I’m going to try out Bubble.us as soon as I finish this comment. Thank you.

    • Jackie says:

      Great ideas here! I definitely think there is a connection between the internal and external world. When i feel more decluttered externally there is more room for me to create and explore internally. I have found that mindfulness is an important process to do some emotional spring cleaning. It also helps me move forward with my creative work if I am feeling blocked or unsure of myself.

      • Yep, yep, mindfulness is a MUST when you’re de-cluttering. Sorting things out starts with examining your “stuff” (both on the inside and out) and figuring out how to organize everything.

        Thanks for the comment, Jackie!

    • omar says:

      great ideas can’t wait to try.

    • Hi Francesca! Remember me? 😉 You gave me my first guest-posting slot! Looking back, I can see that I was very green then. I’ve ripened in the last year, though!

      I liked your tips, especially the last one, which is why I decided to drop a comment here. Networking online is tough for me sometimes.

      • Of course I remember you, Lorraine! Thanks for that great post and if you’re looking to do it again, feel free to check out my new site. 😉

        Anyway, I wouldn’t have pegged you as someone who has a hard time networking online. I see a lot of you on Twitter and LinkedIn and I think you’re doing an awesome job connecting with others.

        • I have been checking it out and might even contact you with a guest post proposition. 😉

          I try to spend time each week on social media networks, too. It’s all part of my grand-master plan to meet more people!

    • Ankita Chandran-Dave says:

      Wonderful ideas. Definitely going to try them. 🙂

    • Those sneaky little adverbs! I use them far less than I did, but find that the suckers creep in anyway.

      The hardest are #s 1 and 6. I’ve freed myself from the squids mentioned in #7. The most recent that I’m working on is #4 (finally found my niche).

      Thank you for the whole article.

      • Sneaky indeed. While I try to catch those adverbs while I’m writing, some of them just manage to make their way into the content. Thank goodness for the find tool!

        Congrats on freeing yourself from negative people. I also agree that #6 can be difficult. One thing I’ve learned is that limiting your negative beliefs is an ongoing battle. I don’t think we can completely get rid of them completely, but we can learn to manage them.

    • Cynthia Pearson says:

      Great ideas that are all very useful. Thanks much.

    • Marcy McKay says:

      Love, love, loved this, Francesa! I’ve experienced periods as “a broken writer” (ie – when my literary agent left the biz and I was back on my own). I was so heartbroken that I didn’t know what to do. For some reason, I started cleaning out drawers…just 5 minutes a day. Nothing major happened at first, but in time, I began to get new ideas, I felt less broken and more whole. There’s so much truth to what you said today. THANK YOU.

      • You’re very welcome, Marcy! Glad you were able to bounce back. Funny how something as minor as cleaning out your desk can make all the difference. 🙂

    • Debra says:

      As I sit here on my lunch break catching up on emails, I had to laugh at this one. That’s because I am currently writing an e-book for a client now about simplifying your life and how to declutter. Just this morning I had to stop and clean my desk yet again after things began piling up that were draining my creativity. I love learning new things,


      • How very timely. 🙂

        Good luck with the e-book, Debra and here’s to not letting clutter drain our productivity.

    • Patrick says:

      This (blank, blank) information. I (blank) my (blank) getting (blank) already. (not sure dropping words is really helping me).

      Thank (blank) anyway!

    • Hi, Awesome article and ideas. It seems I am always trying to keep the clutter away and in a few days it’s back. I need to do some cleaning right now.

      Thanks for the inspiration, Monna

      • Hi Mona,

        Tell me about it. Clutter builds up fast, which is why I *try* to clear it up every few days. But to be honest, I’m not always on top of clutter–especially when I’m juggling a lot of projects. I’m working on it, though!

      • You’re welcome, Mona.

        And tell me about it. Clutter builds up fast, and I *try* to clear it every few days. But to be honest, I’m not always good at staying on top of clutter–especially during days when I’m juggling a lot of projects. I’m working on it, though!

    • e3941297e17226345b367b4f61e62e3e98e44947f806b5be70