Freelance writers always need to be diligent about getting the best rates for their work. After all, we have to pay our own insurance, add to retirement funds, and support our family based on our income. Often times, taking lower paying work is a hard decision for freelancers. On one hand, we want to continue bringing in some money, while on the other hand we need to make sure our limited work time is being spent well.
Getting a Part-Time Job Unrelated to Writing
We talked about part-time jobs here before. I worked part-time while I started up my freelance business. But what about taking on part-time jobs later on?
Some freelancers give up their business during slow times because they can’t support their family on their writing income alone. It may take a few years for a freelancer to get his business running to the point where he can lose a client or two and still have money coming in. For new freelancers, however, getting a part-time job isn’t a bad idea.
There are plenty of reasons why working part-time can actually benefit freelance writers. Among these are change of work location, freeing up the mind by doing something else, and guaranteed income. Writers should still work on getting new clients, but during a slow period, a part-time job is one viable option.
Freelance Writers Can Start Their Own Blogs and Websites for a Steady Stream of Income
Many freelancers find satisfaction in developing their own blog or website, monetizing it with affiliate and ad revenue, and obtaining a steady stream of income that comes in during all hours of the day or night. Starting a new website is a lot of work, and as a result the freelancer may not have time to do it while juggling several clients.
The other thing is, getting money from a blog can take time. I’m not talking about supporting yourself entirely on your blog income (although some writers do), but I’m talking about giving yourself enough of a boost where you can be choosier about the freelance work you take on. During downtime, you can write for your own site. Then, when client works picks up, you have a chance to get income from the site while still working for clients.
Letters of Introduction
When work is slow, keep sending out those letters of introduction! It will help keep steady client work coming in, and also make it easier to do follow up cold calls. Letters can be sent out to any clients, especially those where the writer sees an immediate need for freelance assistance.
Consistently Pitch Article Ideas to Higher Paying Markets
Freelancers should always try and pitch to the highest paying markets around, and there’s no better time than during a slower job period. When faced with the prospect of accepting lower paying work, a freelancer may just find that he has several article ideas ruminating in the back of his mind that he just never had time to do anything with.
I did this when one of the blog networks let go of a couple hundred of their bloggers last year. I took on a few medium paying jobs, but spend the majority of the time pitching new work.
If you actively network with other writers, you will have an easier time finding new clients. That’s just the reality. Writers help each other search for new work, provide recommendations, and exchange ideas on career direction. If you have been keeping to yourself during his busy time, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with other writers when times slow down.
As time goes on, you’ll learn to deal with the ups and downs of the freelance life. When faced with slower work periods, you’ll instinctively know how to keep your writing business strong. No matter what you are going through, know that you are not alone. Rather than throwing in the towel completely, there are plenty of options to keep your freelance writing business going.