10x your online freelance writing business with accounting skills

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Are you a full- or part-time freelance writer who works primarily online? If you are, then becoming familiar with accounting is not optional.

Lacking skills in this area threatens the viability of your business, impairs growth, and creates unnecessary work. Simultaneously, being proficient in financial accounting accelerates growth, improves your understanding of your business, and encourages efficiency.

In the article below, I’ll give you a list of accounting skills to learn and the reasons to learn them.

What is accounting?

The core competency of accountants is the drawing of insights from financial data. …


These are the criteria you need to consider to set a fair price for your writing

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

The biggest question on the minds of many freelance writers, especially those new to the game, is, “What should I be charging?”

It’s an exercise in futility to try and offer a general range of prices since different writers charge such wildly varying amounts for work of equally variable quality. The market offers one-cent-per-word writers churning out content for Upwork and ghostwriters charging wealthy executives $50,000+ for lengthy pieces of content.

And while I can’t offer you a specific number you should ask for, I can suggest several questions you’ll want to consider when determining the price of your next…


Invest time and money in these areas to overcome stagnation and grow your business

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Continuing professional development is as crucial for a solo freelance writer as it is for any lawyer, doctor, accountant, or other professional. A steady influx of new knowledge and skills is necessary to maintain and improve your level of success. In other words, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.

I was reminded of this when I read this excellent article on professional development for freelancers by Rosie Alderson, PhD:

And while the article emphasized the importance of continuing to grow as a professional, it didn’t point out any specific subject areas that might be of particular use to…


From business leaders who should know better

Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. Mark Zuckerberg. They are some of the richest entrepreneurs in history and, if much of their media coverage is to be believed, virtually infallible.

For many, their names are synonymous with an almost omniscient understanding of business.

And I say that’s — to use a term of art — a buncha hooey.

Because for all their wealth, success, and power, these men — and those like them — frequently prove that they are just that: men. They understand some things and fail to understand others. They are skilled in some areas and incompetent in others.

And…


How to survive 3 huge risks writers face each day

Photo by Raúl Nájera on Unsplash

As a freelance writer, you’re exposed to countless risks. But, if you prepare and act proactively, you can reduce or eliminate some of the worst ones.

From losing your most important client to working for free and experiencing a fatal dry spell, here are some simple and straightforward ways to avoid disaster and find success in your freelance writing practice.

Losing a whale

Normally, getting dumped by a client isn’t a huge deal. If you’ve been in this game a while, you’re probably used to it. …


This one quick email can help you avoid disputes with freelance writing clients and get you paid on time and in full, every time

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

So, you’ve just landed your first, second, or five-hundredth writing client, and you think to yourself, “Should we put this agreement in writing?”

You don’t want to go out and hire a lawyer (too expensive, too time-consuming), but you do want to protect yourself and make sure you get paid for your hard work.

You’re not wrong to think about reducing your freelance writing agreement to a written document. As you probably already know, putting agreements in writing is beneficial for both the client and the freelancer (but not for the reasons you may have expected). …


Why writing is a lot like keeping people out of prison

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Before I was a writer I was, for several years, a criminal defense lawyer. I defended people accused by the government of all sorts of crimes, from fraud to aggravated assault. My clients ranged in age from 12 to their late fifties. Some were guilty, some were innocent, and many were somewhere in-between. Some were facing large fines and others were staring down the barrel of their first penitentiary sentence.

As unique and individual as each of my clients were, one thing tied them all together. They all needed me. …


Customer-centric freelancing is simply the practice of remembering that successful freelancing involves a never-ending focus on your clients’ perspective and needs. Many freelancers, especially those found on portals like Upwork, treat freelancing like a side gig. It’s something they do when they have the time but not something that they’re going to put a full amount of effort into.

This is the wrong attitude and one that guarantees lackluster returns on the time you invest in your freelancing. Any customer-centric or client-centric business, freelance or otherwise, depends on the proprietor’s ability to focus on the needs of her client.

Even…


Recession-proof businesses are hard to come by. I found mine by accident. When I started content writing I did it out of necessity. My wife and I had moved thousands of kilometers away to an isolated island in the Atlantic so she could advance her career and we could enjoy island life. I needed to do something to keep me busy while I wasn’t attending school electronically or going to the beach here in Bermuda.

It was only by coincidence that the Covid-19 pandemic started tearing around the world just as my content writing business was starting to pick up…


In a previous article, I explained why I think that freelance content writing is the best side job for professionals. Without putting too fine a point on it, I wrote that writing is a skill most professionals have and that it’s highly marketable and in-demand. I also promised to show you how to start content writing from scratch. Continue reading below for the basics.

How to Start Content Writing: Foundations

Successful content writing requires a particular set of skills. More than anything else, you’ll need to know how to do the following:

  • Find a client
  • Keep a client happy
  • Write well
  • Write quickly
  • Accurately gauge your…

Steven Toews, JD, MBA

Former criminal defense counsel and prosecutor and current freelance writer. Writing on entrepreneurship and freelance success. Follow me at @steventoews.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store