By Alexandria Ingham
Taking a long absence makes it harder to come back.
After having my daughter, I decided to take some time off writing and focus on helping her during the first couple of months.
I loved the time that I got to spend with her, but eventually maternity leave ran out and I needed to get back to writing for a living.
I know many people struggle to come back after a long period away – I took nine months off! I’d read of many people going back to freelancing and having to accept a lower wage – or being worried about asking for more after the break.
I needed extra pay to cover all the extra costs I’d have with my daughter.
Here are the steps I took to get ready for my comeback:
Update Your Website (Or Create One!)
A couple of months before coming back, I made sure that the Internet was ready for me. Maternity leave in the UK allows you 10 “keeping in touch days” where you can come into work, so I used them.
I updated my photo, improved the testimonials and updated my samples. I’d stopped promoting my website while off and let many of my blogs disappear into obscurity but it didn’t take long to put a plan together to update them.
Focusing on sprucing up your site beforehand means you can focus on trying to write to make a living once you’re back. You have the admin out of the way and can make sure that clients find you.
Find and subscribe to interesting blogs
I tried to stay on top of changes while away, but it didn’t work too well. I needed to catch up on the changes and quickly!
I started looking for blogs that covered my interests, such as this one, and spent two months before my start date finding other writing blogs, technology blogs (my main niche) and those covering Internet marketing.
Subscribe to a few of the interesting blogs that offer something useful and look over past posts. I spent evenings looking through posts and making notes and to-do lists.
Inform previous clients you’re back
Instead of finding all new clients, I contacted previous ones to let them know I was back. I wanted to know if they still needed content.
Once clients said they did still need content and were happy to see me back, then I let them know about the increase in rates.
Raise your rates
I was cheeky and doubled the rates I’d previously written at, which some clients were happy to accept.
Not all clients agreed to it. Some negotiations were needed. Some clients wanted a little more work for the extra rate (not double, just an author bio or for me to find images).
Then I got myself out there and marketed with the new rates in mind.
Don’t worry, start marketing
Don’t sit at home worrying about making a comeback. It doesn’t matter why you took a break or how long it was for.
Fear gets you nowhere. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Alexandria Ingham loves to write and learn new things. When she’s not writing, she’s learning about history, law, and anything new that comes her way. Learn more about her at alexandria-ingham.com.