2022 Freelance Year in Review

This is my second annual “Freelance Year in Review” post. I write these posts to offer my clients a peak behind the curtain — and insight on the direction I’m aiming for in the new year.

Need writing or editorial support? Check out my services and reach out. I’m currently lining up projects for early 2023.

Highlights of 2022

  • Landed my first feature package with 5280 Health, which came out in early 2023. It’s all about climate change and health.
  • Wrote about the environment and climate change, both journalistically and for eco-friendly startups (for-profit and nonprofit).
  • Contributed to two new publications: BarBend and The Colorado Magazine.
  • Built on existing client relationships to gain more work, including feature stories for brand publications and SEO blogs.
  • Nearly doubled my (modest) income from last year, thanks to good ongoing relationships with consistent clients.

The Narrative

This year went by in a blur.

The first few months, I kept busy rewriting webpages about state standardized testing and editing blogs, email newsletters, and other pieces of content for various clients. I also picked up a few storytelling assignments with BarBend, Regis University Magazine, and The Physiologist Magazine.

Then, in May, I was sick for a solid week and a half and, afterward — though I met my deadlines and didn’t lose work — I felt like I couldn’t keep up with time. In July, my brain was still in May. In September, I was still in August. I’m still in shock that 2022 is basically over.

2022 was different from every other year I’ve freelanced, in that the work seemed to come much easier. This may be the nature of being five years into this journey: One of my core clients over the summer came to me on a past client’s referral. Most of my other clients I’d worked with before in some capacity. I landed the rare freelance assignment with History Colorado because an editor I worked with at 5280 was on History Colorado’s staff for a hot second.

Toward the middle of this year, it seemed like I was on a path toward doing more storytelling work, but from September to now, stories have been minimal. Most of my work this year has been writing blogs for companies and organizations. I was hopeful at the end of last year that I would write more reports or white papers in 2022, but that didn’t happen.

One of the struggles (and my personal frustration) with freelancing is if you haven’t done exactly the kind of work a potential client is looking for, many are hesitant to hire you. But I thrive on variety. Working on different kinds of content — ad copy, email newsletters, press releases, program descriptions, etc. — keeps me sharp.

All this to say: If you or someone you know needs a freelance writer or editor to work on email newsletters, web copy, case studies, reports, branded content, stories, or some other type of written content, please reach out. I currently have bandwidth for 2-4 new retainer clients and am eager for more creative challenges.

In the new year, I’m planning to experiment with ghostwriting, work on a newsletter or two, and do more writing and editing for university magazines. I’m hoping to engage more of my strategic and project management skills, which come in handy for freelancing but can also be useful to my clients.

One Free Tip for Fellow Freelancers

This past spring, I started making a project list for each month. In my work journal, at the start of each month, I’d fill a page with client assignments due that month in the top half and the personal projects I wanted to focus on in the bottom half. Each project got a check box and I often included deadlines and steps.

This is just an example, not a real list of my January 2023 assignments.

This helped me see, at a glance, what I needed to do each month and how much bandwidth I had for additional projects. It also helped me prioritize my own projects.

2022 Projects I’m Proud Of

Stories

Blogs and other content

Goals for 2023

  • Diversify incoming marketing content work: case studies, reports, ad copy, brand messaging, web copy, email newsletters, etc. Idea: Land a newsletter gig with a mission-driven nonprofit or genuinely eco-friendly business.
  • Try ghostwriting longer-form content.
  • Start my own newsletter. Ideas: About my various hobbies and/or women, exercise, and body image.
  • Lean into environmental writing for content clients.
  • Pitch article ideas early and often.

Published by meredithsell

Freelance writer and editor. Nerding out over health & fitness, women's history, and untold stories.

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