Well, it finally happened.
After 18 months of talking, planning, recording and editing, I launched Write Earn Thrive – my online course in July.
As you’ll see in this post, it’s been an enormous month, not only because of the launch but also because I was still pitching and writing articles for magazines, newspapers, online outlets and corporate clients.
But as I write this, another lockdown seems imminent where I live.
I’m now preparing to re-enter the world of home schooling/remote learning and to significantly reduce my working hours.
So I think July will be the last decent month for a while ….
I hope that wherever you are reading this you’re healthy and safe.
Please let me know if there are topics that you’d like me to cover in upcoming posts.
I’ve still got a few articles based on suggestions from readers that are coming up, but I’m always keen to hear from you about what would be useful.
July 2020 – The month in review
In terms of feature articles for magazines and newspapers, this month I:
Pitched: 5 (this includes re-pitching ideas that have been rejected)
Commissions from pitches or query letters: 1
Offers: 6 (where the editor approached me with a commission)
In terms of feature articles for corporate, B2B clients and sponsored content (I don’t usually pitch these – the clients come to me)
Despite the global pandemic, my work load in July seemed to be getting back to pre-pandemic levels.
This month quite a few editors and past contacts came to me with offers of work, which is always fantastic.
I put everything on hold for the week of my launch (and several days before and after) because I wasn’t sure how it would all go.
I still had a few article ideas (mostly travel related) that I pitched, but only one got picked up.
With Victoria’s looming lockdown, more than one editor told me they wouldn’t be running any Victorian content for a while.
Because of timing issues, I ended up knocking back a lot of work for one of my regular clients.
I asked if they could move the deadline and they couldn’t, so I had to say no.
So it was a bit of a fractured month, pitch and commission-wise, with all my pitching and commissions allocated to the beginning and the end of July, but I’m pleased with how it all unfolded.
Highlights of July
Without a doubt, the best part about July was launching my online course – Write. Earn.Thrive.
The aim of the course is to help freelance writers earn a great living from their writing by landing high-paying clients.
I was thrilled by the positive response and number of enrolments I had.
But you know the absolute best bit?
When students email me or post in our private course community to tell me about the wins they’ve had a result of the strategies I teach in the course.
Like this one … ↘︎
That’s the best thing.
It’s an amazing privilege getting to help writers achieve their goals.
Enrolments are currently closed and lots of you have emailed to ask when the next launch will be and at this stage, it looks like it’ll be October, so stay tuned.
Lowlights of July
It probably goes without saying, but the weeks before my course launch were really stressful.
This was mostly because I kept finding issues with all the moving pieces involved in running an online course (automating emails, landing pages not working and so on).
At one point, just a few days before the launch was scheduled, I was going to pull the pin on it all.
I was stressed out of my mind and the person I had engaged to help me set up my email automation and a few other tech things had dropped the ball.
I took a lot of deep breaths, went for some very huffy walks and then pulled myself together.
Then I took control and finished off the work myself.
And I’m so glad I did.
I know we’re often told to outsource whatever we can, but I think the potential problem with that is we don’t learn how to do the things ourselves.
And so rather than feeling empowered that I didn’t have my fingers in every single pie, I ended up feeling lost because I knew things were wrong, but I had no idea how to fix them.
That experience really changed my opinion about a few things…
The upside from a downside
First, however much I may dislike it, I need to know the backend of my business systems.
Because no matter how good your VA (virtual assistant) may be (not that I have one at the moment), they don’t have the same level of investment in your business as you.
And second, it’s good to learn new things. (Just not when your launch is about to start and you’ve realised that a whole chain of things has been stuffed up).
But when I talk about my course and all the moving parts to people outside the ‘digital product’ industry, their eyes start to glaze over.
That’s when I realise how much I have learnt in these past couple of years and what an exciting area it is to be in.
So I’m now going backwards (sort of) and making sure I understand the ins and outs of the systems I’m using.
A resource I’d recommend
I have been loving the resources from Mary Adkins lately.
Mary and I ‘met’ through an online community and even though her focus is not on freelance writing – she’s an author who helps aspiring and established authors finish their books by finding a creative process that works for them and their lives – I instantly appreciated her weekly newsletter and her warmth, enthusiasm and expertise.
Like me, she’s juggling motherhood with her career and it’s hard not to be impressed that she’s managed to write two novels (When You Read This which was voted “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping and Privilege (the New York Post Best Book of the Week) while also looking after a toddler. Her next novel is due to be published in 2021.
AND Mary has a weekly podcast that has great writing tips and fabulous free guides about finding an agent and “breaking the rules to finish your book more joyfully” on her website (just scroll down!).
Even though I’m not an aspiring novelist, I do have a nearly finished non-fiction book languishing on my hard drive. Mary’s practical and no-nonsense strategies have been a great discovery for me.
My income for July
I kept my income target for my writing work at $5K for July, thinking that I wouldn’t get anywhere near it because of the launch of Write Earn Thrive.
But I was so surprised.
I was commissioned $8248 worth of writing work.
Like June, it was a pretty big month invoice-wise and I ended up invoicing for $10,932.
After I shared my income (and how much I spent on professional development) last month, a few of you got in touch to ask about what my typical monthly expenses are.
This is something that I’m going to start sharing because I think it’s important to know that the figures I share are revenue, but they don’t take into account my expenses.
Looking back at August 2019, I had nearly $20K worth of work commissioned.
Somehow I don’t think it’ll be a repeat performance this year!
How was your July? How’s your August looking?