If you’re a freelance writer, you know by now that this is a tough way to make a living. But while you’re waiting for your ship to come in, so to speak, there are some good ways to supplement your income with writing gigs. Here are a few you may want to research:
1. Strive for regular income from regular clients. This may seem obvious, but I know lots of writers who are stretched into so many different markets that their income is too sporadic to make ends meet. It’s great to have multiple streams of income, but a couple of those streams should be consistent.
For instance, you could choose to write for the same magazine for a while. By doing so, the editor may ultimately ask you to become an assignment writer for them, where they call you with an idea (imagine that!). Or, you could get to know the magazine well enough that you are known as one of their regular contributing writers, which typically means a monthly paycheck.
Another avenue is to become a columnist for a local or regional magazine or newspaper. To do this, write 3-4 columns and submit them, along with a resume, to papers that do not already have the type of column you want to write. You may also want to have an additional 10 or so ideas ready and stated in your cover letter to the editor. Columns are a great way to gain name recognition and produce steady pay.
2. Provide blog or website content for others. It’s not uncommon for businesses, even other writers, to contract out their blog or website writing, strictly because they don’t have the time to keep up with it. Start with who you know, and offer to write their blog, website, or even electronic newsletter for them. Many small businesses would love to have this taken off their hands!
3. Research publications that do work-for-hire contracts instead of strictly royalty. Children’s writer, Nancy Sanders, just had an interview on a previous blog of mine regarding the benefits of work-for-hire writing. Be sure to check that out if you’re not familiar with work for hire.
To get in the door with these publishers, you’ll need to send writing samples specifically geared to their publication, along with the topics you are interested in writing for. If they believe you’re well suited for their needs, they will call you with assignments.
4. Develop writing courses. If you know how to write, you should have some topics about writing that you can teach to others. You can either develop these courses to sell them online, contract them to other writing companies who do sell online courses, or teach them yourself in person at workshops.
5. Learn about copywriting. Every business, even freelancers, need to have good ad copy written in order to promote their services. Start local or with who you know and offer to develop text for marketing brochures, fliers, websites, sales letters, and more. This is a huge market, and usually quite lucrative.
So there you have it! Five possible ways to make some extra money writing while you’re waiting on your bestseller to get recognized! Be sure to chime in if you have other ways of making money writing that’s worked for you.