Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diversifying Your Freelance Writing Income

Okay. You're going along with writing the same articles each and every month, taking some solace in the fact that your source of income was secured by fact that it was a repeat customer who seemed content with your work. You don't see any issues with maintaining that single income source, whether it is through a service like Elance or as a member of writing team. You haven't had any trouble getting freelancing work at all.

Then it happens.

Your source dries up. (In this case, my source dried up.) Now, you find that all those months of focusing on that one client, have left you without a back-up plan. You get reassurances that work will come in...eventually. Yet, it doesn't. This is no one's fault. It's just how the freelance writing game gets played every day. You have to remember that being a freelance writer is not a secure profession.

Freelance writing, by definite, is a mobile occupation. If you're not literally moving, you are least traveling from one assignment to another. If you've become used to the idea of having someone else do the legwork of getting your projects for you this can be difficult at first. You may have inadvertantly slipped into a writing rut.

What happens then? Well, you either curl up in a little ball on the floor behind your desk or you get back to doing the work yourself and finding out what it takes to beat out the competition. (Remember, fellow writers, the competition is fierce.) Take the opportunity to really begin a plan to diversify your freelance writing sources.

What Do You Need To Do?

First, you should start looking around for new opportunities. Don't just stick with the same old, same old. Expand yourself. Try for magazine work if you haven't yet. Make the transition from ghostwriting to credited work. Locate new teams to join if that is your preference. The bottom line is that you need to do something. Don't let self-pity keep you from acting.

Second, you may find that you have a lot more interests than you thought when you have the time to consider your next step. If you are on a time crunch because you still have to make ends meet, then narrow down your interests to the top five and then start finding projects that focus on those niches. Again, you have to focus on something or you will end up doing nothing. Seize any good opportunities that come your way. The idea is to keep moving.

Third, whatever you do, don't think that since you've found something to close the gap in your workload that you just exchange it and stay put. No, that's not what you're after. If you lose focus like that you'll likely find yourself in the same position without work a month from now. Once you have an assignment to ease the financial burden a bit, keep looking around for more sources. If you can find reoccuring ones that will allow you to maintain your other obligations, the more secure you will become. The goal is diversification.

In the end, you'll feel better about freelancing writing, if you simply have a good selection of work to keep you fresh. A small group of writing sources will keep you from work lapses if you learn to recognize the limitations of each. Multiple streams of income are far more secure than one, believe me.

Now, get out there and keep writing! Until next time.

No comments: