Summer has started, and we know it can be an off-season for many freelancers. You don’t have to watch your business slide backward, though. To help you maintain momentum while working with a fresh schedule, we’d like to invite you to enlist in the NAIWE Get It Done 2011 Summer Challenge. Take this summer to learn, grow, and get ready for a busy and successful autumn.
There are three parts to the challenge:
- Read three books that will stretch your mind and inspire your creative spirit.
- Finish one project that’s been nagging at you for longer than you care to admit.
- Brainstorm a new project that will bring you an additional stream of income, then take the first step to make it happen.
If you’re going to take part in the challenge, here’s what to do:
- Post the challenge button on your website or blog (right-click to copy and save it to your hard drive).
- Write a post about what you plan to read and do to meet the challenge.
- Link the button to this post and/or paste the address of this post next to the button so visitors will know how to find the challenge for themselves.
- Leave a comment below with your URL so that others who take the challenge can visit your blog or website.
All of this will help drive traffic to your website during the notoriously slow months of summer, and it will help to keep you motivated. And because the challenge stays up all summer, your ideas will be able to inspire others to jump in and get something done, too.
Of course, we have a few suggestions for books to read and things to do, but we’d also love to hear your recommendations. Some of our book selections aren’t new, but they’re good. If you haven’t read them, grab a lemonade and head for the hammock!
Books to Boost Creativity and Business Skills
- Focus by Leo Babauta
- No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy
- Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers by Shel Horowitz
- The Well-Fed Writer and/or The Well-Fed Self-Publisher by Peter Bowerman
- The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
- Unleashing the Idea Virus or others by Seth Godin
- The Mind Map Book by Tony Buzan
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Books to Strengthen Your Craft
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Putting Your Passion Into Print by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry
- Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins by Theodore M. Bernstein
- The Copyeditor’s Handbook by Amy Einsohn
- The Art of Fiction or On Moral Fiction by John Gardner
Projects You May Want to Tackle
- Claim your name on major social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
- Register at Digg, Stumble, and other sharing sites so that you can easily share interesting blog posts (including your own)
- Update all your social media profiles
- Connect with people in your industry, either on social media or in real life (or both)
- Get a professional headshot for your website and blogs
- Sign up for a free ping.fm account so that you can update all your social media accounts with one click
- Add content to your website and blog (more content equals better search engine rankings)
- List your business on Google Local so you’ll show up at the top of search results for your specialty
- Finish a book or article that’s been on the back burner
- Knock out a few annoying little projects that just need to get done
- Reorganize your office and make it a place where you feel inspired to do your best work
Ideas for Additional Streams of Income
- Put together a class you could teach to introduce others to your area of expertise
- Compile all your notes on your subject of expertise, write a succinct how-to book, and post it on your site as an e-book
- Create a series of short videos containing how-to tips
- Query a new market or potential client
- Add Google AdSense to your personal website and blog
- Create a tips booklet and offer it to prospective clients or sell it on your website (listen to the teleclass by NAIWE Expert Paulette Ensign to learn how to do it).
- How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content by Robert W. Bly
- Multiple streams of income add up to financial stability– create some today!
If you have other ideas, feel free to add them in the comment section. Be sure to sign up for The Edge, NAIWE’s newsletter, for updates on the challenge (sign-up box is in the right column). And in the midst of all, remember to enjoy your family and friends. Summer comes only once a year.