Today’s economy sucks, and we all know it. The daily news is rife with information about how difficult it is to work in ANY profession, and freelance writing is just one of them. Freelancing as a writer is difficult under the best of circumstances. Situations change on a daily, almost hourly, basis. What can you do to ride the waves?
Two words – flexibility and persistence, my friends. If flexible and persistent aren’t part of the vocabulary, it might be time to think of another profession. Work opportunities will come and go as fast as blinking your eyes. What might be a great paying gig today could be gone tomorrow. The competition is fierce, reliable job opportunities scarce, and staying motivated and focused can seem impossible.
You know more than you think. If you are a competent writer, writing about any subject is possible, but sticking to the things you know best or are most passionate about increases the chances of scoring a job. Your personal experiences, hobbies and outlook have a great impact on the work that’s most comfortable for you. Comfort means a better work ethic and better material produced.
Make a list. Ask yourself these questions:
What are your hobbies? What do you know about these hobbies? For example, say you like to craft origami. There are many people out there that would love to know what you do about origami. There are ins and outs of this hobby you might know that other people don’t. Same goes for anything from crossword puzzles to quilting to making reticello lace.
What jobs have you held? For instance, say you spent a summer as a dancing hamburger. What are the dos and don’ts of a dancing hamburger? What are the pitfalls? Someone out there might be thinking of taking a similar job, what would your advice to them be?
What are you passionate about? The environment, social issues, maybe the love of a certain place?
Have you taken classes of some kind? Were they corporate classes, college courses, lessons on scrapbooking? What was the experience like, and what did you learn (other than the information the class provided?)
These are just three examples of how you know more than you think. The list just produced will come in very handy in your quest for a freelance writing career. Thinking outside the box is a key component in making it work.
Looking for freelance work can be a full-time job in itself. The smart freelancer has more than one egg in their basket, and is looking to generate passive income as well as active projects. What do I mean by that?
Keep your options open. If writing an “audition” article and it’s not accepted, assuming you retain all rights, think of posting it on a site like Helium, Constant Content, or any one of a number of sites that pay something. It might not end up being a huge amount of money, but that’s an egg in your basket. Become the master or mistress of “spin”. You’ve already done the research work and have the sources documented — the information is right there. Spin the article from another point of view, another angle, and make it fresh and original. Switch it up, change it around, and you have another article!
With Helium, write an article and post it. You will earn money according to the views, or impressions, of the articles. They might be pennies, but pennies add up quicker than you think. Of course, volume counts – the more articles, the more impressions. Helium does require a bit of participation – you don’t earn unless you’ve read and rated a certain amount of other articles, but it’s easy to keep up. If a premier writer’s badge for the quality of work is earned (depending on your rating by other Helium users) you are also eligible to audition for Premier Marketplace assignments, and these pay really well. Keep in mind once an article is posted, it’s there for life. You can’t sell that particular article for unique rights, but you can post it on Constant Content for usage rights (meaning your article can be sold over and over again. See below.) Or, you can exercise the Power of the Spin and put together another article. Helium can also serve as an online portfolio of your work. Their payout threshold is $25.00, or donations of earnings to charity are an option. You can also earn from referrals, so if you sign up there, make sure you tell them I sent you.
Constant Content is a website that brokers articles. Write a unique article, and submit it to their editor review for quality. Once listed, you determine which rights and price you wish to sell. Clients then browse and choose the articles they wish to buy. Constant Content takes a commission, but the good thing is you post it, price it, and forget it. No marketing required, and additional money can be earned through special and private requests. Their payout is $50.00.
That’s just two examples of passive income. Think outside the box and squeeze every earning potential from your work as you can. Spin, post, and then write and spin some more. Use your own base of knowledge; use the research; be smart about your assets. Creativity is not limited to what you write – it’s also in how you fill your basket.