Freelance Writing: Nothing is Forever and Why Your Basket Should be Full



Hi Nerds!

I’m finally back with another freelance writing post. This one is important, especially if you are just starting out with freelance writing. I promise you, at least once in your career, you will deal with having so much work you can barely keep up without that third pot of coffee, and then absolutely nothing at all. I mention this briefly on the Pros and Cons of Writing for Content Mills.

Like everything in life, freelance writing and assignments come in waves. Certain times of the year and certain seasons work tends to pick up, and it dies down at other times of the year. I have been doing this for about four years now, and in that time, I have had a lot of work, a lot of clients, and worked for a lot of evil dictators content mills. I have also had days and weeks of nothing, eaten a lot of ramen noodles, and missed a lot of bills. The latter was almost always because of having the “perfect” writing job that was there one day, and gone the next.

Reasons Clients and Mills Cut Back on Work

There are a lot of reasons you might find the unlimited amount of work has suddenly become 50 articles a day and 10 writers fighting tooth and nail for them. Here are the most common ones:

The content mill is changing management.

The client is switching to a new project.

A new Google algorithm (like Penguin and Panda) has dropped and the client’s rank has dropped.

Clients can no longer afford to pay writers (or they outsource to pay less.. sorry folks).

The content mill has realized they have hired far too many writers, and now don’t have enough work to go around.

Just for fun.

Nothing Lasts Forever

I wish it did. I have had some amazing projects over the last few years, but things change and technology changes and you have to move on. You’re a freelancer, so no matter what you do, you need to accept that you’re taking on projects, not jobs. Projects are temporary.

Keep Finding Those Eggs

No matter how much work I have, no matter how many hours I am sitting in front of the computer probably giving myself a brain tumor, I almost never turn down work. I have been burned too many times before, by both clients and mills. It happens and most of the time, you don’t see it coming. Things come up, work goes dry, mills change directions, clients give up on their current project. Don’t underestimate the power of having a back-up plan.

Get Them to Come to You

If your schedule is like mine, you don’t really have the time to look for more work. When this is the case, try to get clients to come to you instead of actively seeking them out. Have a LinkedIn page, start a Facebook fan page for your writing business, or start a blog or website. The more you get your work out there, the greater the chance is that someone will find you.

If you already have so much work you couldn’t possibly find the time to look for more, then you’re already doing great. Just be careful with depending on anything, because in the end, you’re a freelancer and nothing is guaranteed. Keep communicating with your clients and encourage them to let you know if anything is going to change in the future so you can plan for it.

Have fun!