3 Downloadable Tools to Track Your Smutlancer Income
There was a time when I didn’t like spreadsheets, and I really didn’t understand why anyone would ever use them. Every time I looked at them, I just saw blocks and lines. And all the different functions made me break out into a sweat. Give me an empty Word Doc!
Oh, how times have changed.
Back in 2015, I came across an article for freelance writers that talked about tracking your work by spreadsheet, and I was hooked. Of the three tools I’m sharing today, one is something I’ve used every single day for three years. One is something I tried, but didn’t work for me (but not because I hate spreadsheets). The third is something I’m trying for 2019, so I thought I’d share it with you, too.
Ready to get organized for the year ahead and actually see your work and your progress? Here are three spreadsheet trackers I’ve found and modified or created completely — and now you can use them, too.
I call this a freelance tracker for client work but in reality, anything that I get paid to do goes in this spreadsheet. That includes sponsored sex blog posts and pitched articles. Basically, it’s a multi-purpose spreadsheet that also functions as a giant to-do list. It’s definitely geared towards writers, but if you’re freelancing in a different way, I think it could be modified to suit your needs.
Each month gets its own sheet so you can keep up with everything in a smaller time frame. This also lets you see everything you need to get done in a given month — which helps me plan my schedule each week.
- A sheet for each month of the year
- Company/Brand/Website the content is for
- Article Headline — can also be topic if you don’t know the headline yet
- Topic/Niche — I use this to differentiate between sex and vanilla, so I can easily see what I’m writing
- Deadline or when you’d like to have it finished
- Payment Amount
- Completed — yes or no
- Total word count — I use this to track my word count by month and by the end of the year. The geek in me loves knowing this number.
- Notes or reference links
The pitch tracker is something I’ve used in the past, but I don’t pitch a lot of websites anymore. Basically I have it, but I’m not actively using it. But that doesn’t mean it should be wasting away in my files.
If you’re pitching other publications — for written articles or other forms of content — this may help you stay organized. Plus, at the end of the year, you can look back and see everything you’ve done.
And if you’re looking for places to pitch, check out the Writing Opportunities section of the website.
- One sheet to last the year. Feel free to create new sheets for every month if that works best for you.
- Topic: What the content is about — great for seeing how much of your work focuses on a specific topic
- Publication: Who you’re creating content for
- Editor name — if you know it
- Email address
- Pitch submitted
- Follow Up date
- Accepted — yes or no
I’ve also included a (very real) example so you can see this in action.
Blog Income Tracker
This one will be new for me in 2019 — a blog income tracker. I already keep a monthly income report, and that’s a great snapshot. But what I really want to see is progress over time.
I freely admit this tracker is probably a little over the top. The first sheet is pretty basic and covers the entire year. The rest of the sheets break down the specifics of each revenue stream I have.
Of course, if you use this, you can modify it as much as you need to so it fits your goals and your revenue streams.
- Sheet one is the total for each type of income and month
- The other sheets are broken down by income stream and are specific to each one. They let you keep up with the brands that contact you or the products you sell.
- Banner Ads — these are often in conjunction with affiliate sales or sponsorships but can be purchased by themselves (though its rare)
- Affiliate Sales
- Blog Sponsorship
- Podcast Sponsorship
- Ebook Sales
- Product Sales
- Donations — this could be random PayPal donations or a Buy Me a Coffee (if you haven’t been shut down already)
If I ever build and sell an online course, I’ll add that as a column as well.