Fending Off the Holiday Blues
Any freelance business writers who have been working for clients and on the internet for at least a year will have noticed that there are seasonal ebbs and flows to client demand. Anticipating this seasonal slowdown with offsetting work and alternative sources of revenue can soften the seasonal hit, especially for those freelance writers who depend on their work for primary income support.
The number one problem many freelance business writers have is relying too much on just one or two work providers. Online writers are particularly susceptible to this exposure because it’s very easy to get comfortable with one source of online work service, especially when the work comes in regularly and there’s plenty of it.
Diversifying ahead of time can offset seasonal drops by creating multiple revenue streams that come in regardless of one area dying off temporarily. This can mean picking up work from foreign clients that don’t have the same holidays in their countries, picking up local work from face-to-face clients, and bidding for long-term regular work rather than just one-task jobs all the time. By varying work demand schedules more and more, the seasonal revenue damage of one provider type becomes less and less.
Try Opening up a Second Line of Business
Along the same lines of getting pigeon-holed in just freelance writing, having a second type of freelance income can be a significant help. This can be anything from an online selling business to a weekend part-time job or doing manual, handyman work for neighbors. Many writers cross-over into providing technical work or research work that goes beyond writing for clients as well. This may involve stepping into the design area, trying a hand into opening work in visual graphics, or even being a middleman, selling other people’s writing to clients. Whatever the choice, it provides work in a different market area that doesn’t necessarily follow the same seasonal cycle as that of basic freelance business writing for online providers.
Anticipate the Season with Forward Work
Some people may be quite happy with just staying in one niche, but they still need work. A quick approach is to start securing work that may be due two or three weeks out rather than right away. Where possible, the immediate projects can continue to be handled, but when they die off, the longer-term work can then be taken up and completed, keeping the revenue flow coming in during the holiday weeks when everything else ends up disappearing. By overlapping multiple provider accounts and creative work with a calendar program or app, this strategy becomes quite possible. However, it takes good planning. When a writer misses one deadline, it can cause a cascading effect with other tasks, as well as pileup of deadlines that all have to be met simultaneously.
Freelance business writing even during dry times can continue to bring in a reliable revenue stream, but it takes creativity and flexibility on the part of the writer. Good revenue production also takes planning ahead well before the drought occurs.
Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.