How To Move Your Business Forward in 30 Minutes a Day
At the beginning of my copywriting career, I realized if I didn’t do something every day, I would never succeed. Because I had a full-time job, it was too easy to come home and crash on the couch if I didn’t have a solid day-by-day plan.
Freelance writers face a lot of hurdles, and sometimes it can feel like they’re too high to jump over. By doing something every day to move your business forward, you’re gradually knocking a few inches off your hurdles at a time.
Eventually, they’ll be short enough to just step over so you can move on to the next level in your copywriting career.
The toughest part is knowing where to start. There are so many things to do. The answer is to just start somewhere. Anywhere will do because when you’re taking action daily, things fall in place faster than you would think.
When I started, I made a commitment to spend at least 30 minutes a day on my business. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but in the beginning, it was all I could manage. Little by little, it paid off.
Based on what I did and how it worked out, I think there are three essential things a copywriter needs to do on a regular basis:
- Take Action
- Stay Motivated
Here are some ideas of where you can start and how you can do something every day in 30 minutes or less.
1. Learn – Each day, you should spend a little time learning more about copywriting and marketing. You could use your daily time to read a chapter in a program. The next day practice what you learned. If you have more than 10 minutes for learning, read the chapter and practice in the same day.
Here is a list of things you might do in your 10 minutes (put several of these on your schedule for next week and see how much you can get done):
- Review or read a chapter of a book or the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
- Read and analyze an email autoresponder you received from opting in at a website. (You should be receiving emails from potential clients as well as companies that give advice to move your business forward.)
- Do a practice activity in a course or learning program.
- Take a headline from something you got in the mail and write 10 different versions of it.
- Copy a sales letter from an A-level copywriter by hand.
2. Take Action – Learning something every day is great, but I hear interviews all the time where successful people say the reason for their success is they took action.
If your goal is to live the writer’s life, you’ll have to take action – there’s no getting around that. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.
Here are some things you can do in 10 minutes to move your business forward (again, put several of these on your schedule for next week and see how much you can get done):
- Touch base with a potential client. This doesn’t have to be stressful. If you need a reason to connect, tell them about an article you think they might enjoy.
- Outline a blog post or guest blog post for your website.
- Record a video for your website of yourself giving some advice to potential clients.
- Outline or work on your one-page self-promotion letter.
- Address and stamp 25 self-promotion letters.
- Apply to a job posting or two.
- Research some potential clients and add them to your list.
- Pick up the phone and call a few potential clients.
- Call a few companies you’d like to work for and ask if they hire freelance copywriters.
- Follow up with a client who has hired you before. Ask if they have any current needs or can give you a referral.
3. Stay Motivated – This is the first thing I do every day, but it’s last on my list here because some people like to focus all their time and energy on the easy stuff and leave the hard stuff (like action) for later.
Be careful how much time you spend on motivation and mindset. It is easy to get sucked into a personal development program and believe that you can’t do anything actionable until you have finished the program.
This happens because often there is this belief (or hope) that by going through the program, you will be “ready” at the end. But personal development is a journey that should be done daily. Use it to improve yourself, not hold you back from taking action.
Now, on to staying motivated … Lately, my favorite method of working on motivation is to practice meditation. I have found it helps me focus and keeps me from getting stressed.
Here are some suggestions for how you can use your 10 minutes of motivation time:
- Start a gratitude journal and write in it daily.
- Read a Wall of Fame story here.
- Start a goal poster or dream board.
- Add something to your goal poster or dream board.
- Talk to your accountability partner.
- Review your reasons for wanting to live the writer’s life. What will your life be like when you achieve your goals?
- Review any compliments you’ve received about your writing.
As you can see, learning, taking action, and staying motivated don’t have to be time-consuming. By doing something every day in each area, you’ll move your business forward in ways you wouldn’t believe.
And, of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to only 30 minutes a day. But smaller chunks of time are much more manageable for a lot of people who are just getting started.
Thirty minutes is so short, you could easily squeeze it into your day. You could get up 30 minutes early, cut your TV time by 30 minutes, or work 10 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch, and 10 before bed. It may take some creativity, but if you’re committed, you can make changes in your life that will allow you to live the writer’s life.
What about you? What changes have you made?
If you’re ready to make a commitment to moving your business forward every day, comment below and let us know. I look forward to seeing you on the Wall of Fame soon.
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Christina, this is a GREAT article! I particularly like the list of concrete actions in each area that can be done in 10 minutes.
You're right: it's easy to crash on the couch or continually wait until you're "ready." (And of course, we never feel completely ready...)
But anyone -- even me -- can spend 10 minutes a day doing 1 or more of the steps you listed.
Thanks for listing them out!
Robin R –
Christina, you were preaching to the choir girl! Here I was lamenting the same thing after a long day at work and checked my mail and saw this article. Thank you, I needed this "gentle nudge" to stop whining and take action.
Guest (Tasia) –
Christina, thanks for the prod in the right direction. While I already have my website up and running, I especially needed these reminders to get out of stuck mode and use 30 minutes a day to further promote my book and my writing services.
Susan M Sparks –
It is interesting that you have mentioned meditation.
My life has changed dramatically due to meditation. However, meditation involves making a decision and putting it into practice. You have to apply your learning.
Meditation can be a valuable part of your personal growth and development program. Meditation can help to find the center of your being. Meditation can help you tap into and release a reservoir of creativity you never knew you possessed. Thank you for a nice article.
Archan Mehta –
I recently started using WorkFlowy as my To Do list. I put all of your ideas in a section to make sure they are handy every day. Thank you!
Liane F –
I needed this. This is great stuff. Keeping me sane. :-)
You've got to be able to find the best time that works for you.
And that is based on individual needs, so pull away from the herd mentality.
Instead of judging your self based on what everyone else is doing, you have got to have the confidence to find out what works out best for you.
If you are a morning person, for example, write first thing in the morning or focus on high priority tasks during the early part of the day.
The latter part can be reserved for chores and errands.
Archan Mehta –
Just found this post Christina, and I definitely feel more motivated, so thanks!
My question for you: I'm almost copywriting full time, but I need to remember to keep the education coming in at all times; do you set a daily schedule for yourself to make sure you're working on your own business as well as your clients'?
Hi everyone, Thank you for the compliments!
Hi Kelvin, To answer your question, I usually work on client projects in the morning and my own business in the afternoon (including furthering my education and keeping up with the industry).
I have to adjust often based on my workload, but I try to work on my business every week day.
I hope this helps!
Christina Gillick –
Great post. It's important that you do something at least once a day to move your business forward, regardless of how big or small it is. Thanks for sharing this with us on bizsugar.com.
Guest (Ti Roberts) –
Thanks for reminding us that it takes a step forward everyday to make progress!
Guest (yourvirtualtemp) –
All these comments are from over a year ago. I do hope there are people that have recently been on this site. Learning, taking action, and staying motivated are the basics of any successful endeavor. So, here's to the beginning of my new excursion into the world of writing. I can't wait to see where it leads me!
Russ Daniels –