Alright, picture this: You’re a professional writer with your own business, but you struggle every day to find time to write.
But it wasn’t like that in the beginning.
When you first started your business, you had no other choice but to do everything yourself. Money was tight, but it was still exciting because, finally, you were doing something you’d dreamed about for a long time. Even those areas you were clueless about, you went out of your way to improve on, and you still had time to write.
More recently, though, your business has grown and you have more money coming in.
But—while this is good news—you now have an increasing number of business tasks competing for your time and attention, in addition to your writing.
You have to market, work on your accounts, pay bills, and respond to emails. Added to all that, you also create images and even resolve technical issues as they arise.
Just to help you cope, you started working longer hours every day, and you’re even sleeping less. You also work through weekends with little or no time for other areas of your life outside work, but the problem persists.
Right now, you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and you’re also worried about your physical and mental health.
You’re searching for a solution that will allow you time to write and take care of other tasks, without overworking yourself or sacrificing your health and other areas of your life. Writing is the core of your business and your priority, because without it, there’s no business.
Okay, take a deep breath and calm down.
Now take some time to think about it and you’ll discover the solution is right in front of you. Because your business has grown and you’re a bit more stable financially, you don’t have to do everything alone.
Instead, you can outsource some of these tasks.
Outsourcing means you’re hiring others—maybe an expert or a virtual assistant, or even an agency—to handle some of your important business tasks, not as an employee but as a contractor. Apart from giving you more time to write, other benefits of outsourcing are:
To avoid overworking yourself and putting your physical and mental health at risk, let’s look at six tasks you should outsource to have enough time to write and even improve the quality of your work.
Without a website that combines a fantastic user experience with a professional, modern, and attractive look, it may be difficult for your business to survive in this digital age.
Your website should load quickly, must contain content that’s easy to read, needs to be optimized for mobile devices, and should be accessible from any browser. In addition, forms should work perfectly, pages should load properly, software and plugins need to be updated regularly, and security scans have to be reviewed in a timely manner.
To achieve all these, your website design has to be right. Once the site is up and running, regular maintenance is also required to get the best out of it.
Even if you have some knowledge of coding and are familiar with web design and development, handling all these on your own will consume a hefty chunk of your time, and that’s time better spent on your writing.
Outsource your website design and maintenance to a capable expert or agency, depending on your budget, so you can gain extra time to write more and also enjoy peace of mind about your website performance.
As a professional writer, you benefit more when you outsource copy editing of your work.
Copy editing is where your writing is checked to identify and correct errors in tone, clarity, sentence structure, facts, consistency, and so on. Copy editing comes before proofreading and is different from it. When necessary, a copy editor will reword, rearrange, or even rewrite parts of your writing.
Even if you’re able to remove all the errors in your writing, quality copy editing takes time, and that’s time you’re supposed to use productively for your writing.
But when you outsource copy editing, you’ll have more time to write.
And in addition, your professionally edited writing will be easy to read and understand, facts will be accurate, information will be consistent, and your readers will have a more enjoyable time reading your work.
Proofreading is the final quality check your writing goes through before publishing, and usually all other forms of editing should have been done before this stage.
Even though some writers prefer to proofread their own work, it’s a well-known fact that it’s more difficult to spot the mistakes and errors in your own writing, so you should not depend only on your proofreading ability. Spending your limited time proofreading your work can turn out to be a waste of time you’re supposed to spend writing.
Proofreading and copy editing appear similar but are different. During proofreading, the final draft of your writing is scrutinized for errors or mistakes in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, formatting, and adherence to style guides. Proofreading does not involve rewriting or rearranging.
While you can outsource to agencies that provide both copy editing and proofreading services, a lot of professional proofreaders provide only proofreading services. In the same vein, you will also see copy editors who do not provide proofreading services. All this goes further to show that proofreading and copy editing are totally different tasks.
So make the right decision and outsource your proofreading to another set of eyes so you can save time to dedicate to your writing, improve the quality of your work, and increase your writing productivity.
Keeping proper books can be a challenge for most business owners, but it’s a necessary part of running a business.
You have to pay bills, send invoices, and keep up-to-date records of your expenses and customer payments. You also need to reconcile your bank accounts, track and monitor debtors, and be prepared to pay the right tax at the right time.
Keeping accurate, timely, and up-to-date financial records helps you make the right decisions to avoid costly mistakes in your business.
Unless you’re an expert in this area, trying to handle accounting and taxes can take up a lot of your time. And you may discover you’ve wasted your time because you got things wrong.
To avoid wasting precious time as a professional writer, outsource your accounting and tax management.
Hiring professionals to handle this task allows you to have more time and energy to spend on your writing. Added to that, you will have access to expert review and interpretation of your financial figures plus accurate records you can share with confidence, when required.
If you write for a living and spend a lot of time online promoting and displaying your work, you already know how impactful pictures can be.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and people still judge a book by its cover. With so many free image creation tools available, it’s tempting to create all your images yourself.
But let’s face it: Creating images instead of writing is not the right way to spend your limited time as a professional writer.
If you need a cover image for a book, a logo, an infographic, a picture, or even images for your marketing materials, make the smart decision and outsource this task.
You will save time that you can use productively to write more, and you’ll also get images and pictures of higher quality, since you’re outsourcing to professionals and expert graphic designers with more knowledge and experience.
As long as your target audience can be found on social media, it makes sense to have an active social media presence.
But you have to choose the right platforms for your business from all the options available, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on. You also need to come up with a strategy, create a schedule, and start posting regular content. Of course, before you can create content your target audience will connect with, you must have a good understanding of your audience and the social media platforms of your choice.
From all this, it’s obvious that social media management can take up a lot of your time, but that’s the nature of social media. The fact remains that you can achieve desired results when it’s done the right way.
Outsource it to a competent social media virtual assistant or management expert, or even a professional agency, so it won’t distract you and consume the time you’re supposed to dedicate to your writing.
A growing business can be challenging. When you write for a living and so many business tasks require your attention, to the extent that you end up being physically and mentally stressed out, you won’t have enough time for your writing.
But you can overcome this problem by outsourcing these tasks:
Once these tasks are outsourced, your work-life balance will become better, you will enjoy peace of mind, and your physical and mental health will improve.
Furthermore, you’ll have more time to write, your writing productivity will shoot up, the quality of your work will improve, and your business will stand a higher chance of growing even more.
Sola Kehinde is a freelance content writer for hire with 10+ years of corporate business management experience. She helps businesses of all sizes create engaging blog posts, case studies, guides, tutorials and eBooks that attract and convert. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drinking green tea, watching movies or curled up with a good book. Visit her writing portfolio here.