So many people have the dream of being able to work from home. The freedom of doing what you want and when you want to do it is appealing to almost everyone. When times are good, it seems like everyone wants to become a freelancer writer.
Unfortunately, the moment things get a bit tough people head back to the safety net of the dreaded day-job just for the stability of a regular pay check.
The reasons for this are many - but the main reason I've seen people run back to a job they hate is lack of planning. The second biggest reason is fear.
In times of financial difficulty, like our recent credit crisis, it's natural to be a little worried about lack of work, lower levels of freelance work available, bigger competition etc.
But there are things you can do to benefit - and even profit - from the current recession.
1. - Multiple Income Avenues
If you've set up your freelance business correctly in the first place, you'll always have more than one income coming into your business each week. Just because one publisher or web company goes broke doesn't mean your business will suffer because you have other income avenues to support your business while you're finding a replacement client.
If you didn't set up more than one income avenue, then search for alternative ways to bring income into your business immediately. It makes no difference what you choose - after all, it's your business.
You could try paid blogging, paid forum posting, SEO article writing, copywriting, ghost-writing, ebook writing, paid review writing - whatever works for you.
I don't think anyone really likes the term 'marketing', but it's necessary if you're going to succeed as a freelancer. Clients need to know who you are. They need to know what you offer and they'll want to know why you're the right person for the job instead of your competitor.
This means getting your name out into the public eye. Promote yourself every chance you get. Meet other writers and create a co-op for potential clients to find you.
Just make sure they DO find you!
3. - Work the Database
If you've already had some freelance assignments awarded to you, then you should also have contact details of the editor or publication/website that hired you. Each time you do any writing work for anyone, add that name and publication to a database.
This database is your most valuable freelancing tool.
Keep in contact with those editors or webmasters. Check out their websites and see if you can find any topics they may not have covered. Then write to them and offer to write an article on that topic for them. Keep your name fresh in their minds.
They will begin contacting you directly the next time they need an article written!
4.- Re-Hash and Re-Slant
Go back through any old articles you've written. If you're smart, you've kept copies of absolutely everything you've written in a separate folder and listed the date it was published on it somewhere.
Find some old pieces and go back through the information. Then completely re-write the article. Could it be written from another perspective? Could you break it into two articles if you extended some of the information? Maybe there's room to expand on the subject.
NEVER NEVER NEVER use the same words twice. You've already sold that article to someone else. Re-write it. Same information - different words.
When you've re-hashed, re-written and re-slanted, see Step 3 and repeat as necessary.
5. - Research Higher Paying Markets
Don't allow your freelance business to sit in the low-paying article markets forever. They might be a nice way to start, but you'll burn out and earn pittance this way if you stay there.
I've already written a post on Finding High Paying Writing Markets . Read that and do some research on markets that suit you.
6.- Lack of Competition
That's right - everyone else is panicking and taking those low-paying menial jobs they hate instead of sticking to their freelance business. This means there's less competition. Get out there and grab those writing assignments. Hunt out those high paying markets. Do it now while everyone else has run away in fear and your business will be the one that thrives!
7. - Submit
This one never ceases to amaze me. Writers will write fabulous articles and features and then submit them to penny-paying revenue-sharing sites instead of submitting to a high-paying magazine publisher!
Writers who do this may well have cost their freelance business several hundred dollars per article.
Never be afraid to submit to bigger magazines and publications. They need you. Without writers, they'd go broke!
So... now you know how to make your freelance writing business thrive during a recession, what's stopping you?