It sounds simple at its core. Do you have writing work? Are you working as a freelance writer full-time? Answering these questions determines how you’ll fill your time. If you don’t have work and you’re a full-time freelance writer—your job is to find freelance writing work. Instead of getting up each day and writing, you’ll be spending your time differently.
First, we’re going to discuss some strategies for ensuring your schedule doesn’t clear.
Strategy #1: Market Yourself
Spending a little time daily marketing yourself is critical. Otherwise, no one knows who you are or what you’re doing. These tasks are also an excellent way of warming up each day. You can start by:
- Posting an update on your blog.
- Cross-posting that update to Medium and (or) LinkedIn for additional exposure.
- Linking these updates to your social media accounts.
- Responding to comments on your blog, as well as on social media.
This strategy looks simple, but it goes a long way for your marketing. Prospective clients will see your writing style, as well as your ability to share content consistently.
Strategy #2: Send Cold Pitches
I know this is scary. Those who are new to the freelance writing industry get a knot in the pit of their stomach when thinking about sending cold pitches. However, these efforts will pay off. You can spend a little time doing this daily. Some freelancers like to block out an entire afternoon or half a day working on this. Why? The key to this strategy is volume.
Here are three excellent articles about how to send a cold pitch:
- Forbes: How To Send Cold Pitches That Actually Convert
- Creative Revolt: 10 Amateur Cold Pitch Email Mistakes Costing You Freelance Writing Clients
- Criminally Prolific: 26 Cold Email Examples Broken Down To Help You Write Your Own
You won’t regret learning how to work this strategy. As soon as you have this down, you’ll begin developing a stable base of clients.
Strategy #3: Join Freelance Writing Groups and Forums
An assortment of freelance writing groups and forums post leads for work daily. These groups are targeted for a variety of writers, including:
- Entry-level writers
- Seasoned journalists
- Content writers
- Part-time freelance writers
- Full-time freelance writers
- Editing jobs
- SEO copywriters
- And more!
You can find these groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. All you have to do is visit these social media sites and use their search bar. You’ll find many groups, including those for Binders where dozens of freelance writing jobs are posted every single day.
Finding forums and websites is as easy as searching using Google or any of the other search engines. Some forums and sites include:
- CraigsList—be sure you’re searching every major city under “writing gigs.”
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Media Bistro
- Writers Weekly
Look at these resources to find leads that match with your qualifications. Like sending cold pitches, here is another example where sending in volume will lend you the best results.
Strategy #4: Be Vigilant
Your schedule is clear. That’s disastrous for a full-time freelance writer. Therefore, it’s your job to be vigilant. Work through the three strategies above daily. Put them into a workable schedule until your calendar begins filling again. Here’s an example of how you could spend your workday:
- Part one [2 hours]: marketing and promotion.
- Part two [2 hours]: cold pitching.
- Lunch break! Don’t forget to take a lunch break!
- Part three [2 hours]: sending queries through leads you find in groups and forums.
- Part four [2 hours]: responding to email and brainstorming blog posts for the next day.
Clear freelance writing schedules don’t have to be a time for panic. Instead, make finding new writing work your job. Develop a strategy for finding this work and be vigilant. Your new schedule should consist of pitching, finding leads, and making contacts. Working through these processes will help you fill your schedule and, if you keep up with these habits daily, your workflows will remain consistent.