My freelance writing and niche blogging goals

When I started as a newbie freelance writer, I made some big mistakes. To get back on track I summarized lots of helpful tips on how to become a freelance writer (see for example these tips on freelance blogging, freelance writing and niche blogging). For starters, I want to use this step by step guide as a way to really set up my freelance writing career. No halfhearted work this time. The first step is to set goals. So, that’s what I’m going to do!

First step: goal setting

To become a successful freelance writer, the first step is to set a goal. As mentioned in the step by step guide, I need to answer the following questions:

  • How much money do I want to make in a year, in two years, in three years?
  • What am I willing to do to make it a success?

When thinking about these, I noticed that there was a question missing: what do I want to do?

I get easily bored

Well, let’s start by telling something about myself. I like change, I like a diverse set of tasks and I am easily bored when I need to do things I already have some experience in. When I started visualizing my ideal freelance career, I couldn’t decide what to do. This frustrated me enormously. Was it so hard to pick one? Then I realized I don’t necessarily need to choose. Just as with picking a niche (the next step in the process on how to become a freelance writer), I am not obliged to choose one topic or one type of work. I can pick multiple things to do!

Although I must add that all successful bloggers and freelance writers emphasize the importance of choosing a niche. But this is a process, one that takes time and having a few profitable niches can be very beneficial.

Combination of freelance writing and niche blogging

With this in mind, I came up with two things I really enjoy: freelance writing and niche blogging. I didn’t want to choose, I want to do them both. I think that with combining these two I don’t put all eggs in one basket ánd I won’t get bored so easily. Win-win, right? I hope that in a couple of years I can look back on this decision and think of it as a wise, successful one.

I have to add, though, that technically I don’t have ‘pure’ niche blogs. Sharon from Digital Nomad Wannabe calls it authority sites. But since I focus on a certain niche and intend to earn money with it, I think niche blog is also a good name for it.

My overall goal

To put it very simply, my overall goal is to earn enough to support my family of 4. But how much is enough and how much time do I want to put into this? Currently, my husband works 40 hours a week and earns around € 2200 (after taxes). This is just enough to pay the bills and there is no money left for savings. We manage and we feel blessed with the job my husband has, but when something big breaks like our car or washing machine, we will have a problem. Also, it is my husband’s dream to work with his hands in construction and gardening. In the future, we want his dream to come true. It is, therefore, necessary that I can provide for the financial part.

To get to this point, we want a shift in our working hours. I expect that I can work an average of 20 hours per week (in the evening and weekends). The more I earn, the less my husband needs to work. So we gradually change places: when he works less, he will take care more of our children so I can work more hours and earn more, et cetera. In the end, I will (hopefully) fully support our family financially.

Freelance writing

I have worked as an editor for more than three years, I followed a masterclass in investigative journalism at an established magazine in the Netherlands and I had a few years of blogging experience. So when I started freelancing, I wasn’t totally fresh. When we left with our caravan to travel Europe, I told a friend I wanted to do some freelance writing. She gave me the name of someone she knew and just like that, I had my first assignment. It was so easy! And that was when I made one of the three biggest mistakes: I thought the work would come to me. Obviously, it didn’t.

Niche blogging

I currently have 4 websites:

  • Huisoppas Europa | Literally: house sit Europe. A Dutch website that brings house sitters and house owners (with pets) together. This one is not made with WordPress, so for the technical part, I rely on my husband’s skills.
    Revenue model: currently membership is free, in the future paid membership, and advertising.
  • Samen de Wereld Ontdekken | Literally: discovering the world together. My personal blog in Dutch. I started journaling our life as a newly digital nomad family, but I think this website has more potential if I focus on traveling with families.
    Revenue model: affiliates, advertising, and products.
  • Europe Family Camping | My niche website about family camping. I wrote more than 30 pages last year when we were living in our caravan. I put them online and then I left it as it was.
    Revenue model: affiliates, advertising, and products.
  • Digital Nomad with Kids | I wanted to write about digital nomadism with children for more than a year and only a few weeks ago I thought yes let’s do this now! So I wrote a few blog posts and started this website.
    Revenue model: affiliates, advertising, and products.

As you can see, all my websites are still in its infancy. But I think they all have the potential to grow. Or at least, I do hope so. In the very least, they are part of my portfolio so I can use it to support my freelance writing.

Targets in numbers

Now you have an idea about my overall goal and portfolio, so let’s put some numbers down for the first two years.

  1. In April 2017 (six months from now), I want to earn at least € 1000 per month with freelance writing. This may seem like a very easy target. There are plenty newbie freelance writers who earn more than this in only one or two months. But I am 37 weeks pregnant when I write this, so in a couple of weeks, I will be out of the running for a few weeks (months?).
  2. In April 2018, I want to earn € 2200 per month with freelance writing and my websites. This will be enough to support our family financially (although we really need to keep track of our expenses and live on a strict budget!). Everything my husband earns, we can put into a savings account.
    I don’t know for sure what the proportion of my income on writing and blogging will be. I still have no clue about the monetization of my websites, but it cannot hurt to put some specific targets on this as well:
  3. In April 2018, I want to earn € 500 per month with my websites. I think this is a realistic target since my websites are all very new. The first steps are – of course – to create useful content, to find readers and to build engagement with them. This will take time, especially since I have 4 websites and I won’t be able to work full time. I expect Samen de Wereld Ontdekken and Digital Nomad with Kids to have the most potential in the next 1,5 year. Huisoppas Europa needs to grow a lot before we can even ask for a membership fee (or all members will immediately leave). Europe Family Camping is on its butt right now and I plan to work on it when we leave with our caravan again. By then, it has some catching up to do.

What do you think of my targets? Is it precise and realistic enough? What are your freelance writing and niche blogging goals?

 

 


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Comments 2

  1. Natalie November 9, 2016
    • Nanouk November 9, 2016

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