• Advice

How to use every spare 15 minutes to grow your business

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Have you sent a ton of pitches to editors recently and been twiddling your thumbs waiting for them to respond? While it feels nerve-wracking, even a 15-minute time slot in your calendar can boost your freelance business, so use it!

Time is a commodity that’s precious to all of us, but freelancers in particular feel the “time is money” concerns daily. But, what I’ve come to learn is that setting aside time to market yourself and build relationships — particularly with editors and brands — and sharing on social media is essential.

I challenge you to try any of these tips at least once a day for a week. It’ll help sustain your freelance business when you’ve turned in all of your assignments, and don’t have additional work on the horizon. Here’s how:

Time management

  • Wake up 15 minutes earlier.

  • Check email less frequently.

  • Take a 15- to 20-minute break after turning in an assignment.

  • Schedule social media posts for the next day, two, or week.


  • Find new writers to follow on Twitter or join a writers’ Facebook group.

  • Look up the editors you worked with a few months ago or last year and reach out to say hello, see how the year is going so far, and ask if there are any content needs you can address. I just did this and landed a few assignments.

  • Find new connections on LinkedIn and connect with them. While you're there, take another few minutes to endorse friends, colleagues, editors, and associates for skills.

  • Share an article from another site, writer, or news outlet that you admire on social media and tag them.

  • Read the message threads on one of your Facebook Group pages to see what’s trending, discussions people are having, and if there’s a solution you can offer to a user who posted a question.

Boost your brand

  • Update your website, or a portfolio on a content marketing writing site, like Contently, ClearVoice, or Skyword.

  • ”Pin” some of your recent articles on Pinterest.

  • Share your latest published articles with the sources you interviewed.

  • Scan published print articles into PDFs for future sharing with sources and upload them to your site.


  • See which hashtags are trending on Twitter and Instagram and see if you have an article or post that could include that tag.

  • Watch a YouTube video, TED Talk, or listen to a podcast of someone who’s an expert in your industry or someone has valuable entrepreneurial information.

  • Read an article that’s in your “to read later” folder.


  • Update your expenses and tax write off documents if you keep track of them throughout the year. (I do in an Excel doc and find this helps!)

  • Take care of some of the business side of freelancing, like following up on pitches, invoices, articles sent to an editor, and paying bills. (Some freelancers find it helpful to block out a set time for these things weekly, or use an accounting program that tracks invoices like Quickbooks.)

What do you do to keep you business momentum going and growing, even when you’re super busy?

Diana Kelly Levey is a freelance writer and editor. Check out her website and follow her on Twitter.