Many writers find it difficult to do more than write. However, it might be time to branch out beyond freelance writing.
While in the process of writing my book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, almost three years ago, I wrote that I focus on writing. I don't do much in terms of branching out into other products, or placing guest posts, or running social media for others.
These days, I think differently. While I still think of myself primarily as a writer, there is more to what I do than freelance writing. Last year I ran a couple of successful blogger campaigns and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I've also completed a little brand ambassador work on a small scale. While I'm not quite to the point of launching a course like my friend Donna, I haven't dismissed the idea out of hand like I would have a year ago.
The fact of the matter is that online freelance writing isn't the only way to make money on the Internet — and it probably shouldn't be your sole source of income.
Diversify Beyond Freelance Writing
I write a lot about the importance of income diversity. I try not to rely too heavily on a single client for most of my freelance writing income because I don't want to be in a position where I can't just walk away if I need to. Even worse, what happens if the client runs into trouble and can no longer hire me?
Over the last couple of years, I've come to realize that diversity in my business income is about more than just spreading the freelance writing work among a suitable number of clients. It means revisiting my business model and offering services beyond writing.
It means getting out of my comfort zone and offering other services that make sense in my position.
Service Offerings Beyond Online Freelance Writing
When you work online as much as I do, you tend to pick up a few things. I can run a blogger campaign, and even do a minor social media push, without too much trouble. Understanding these things — at least at a basic level — comes with the territory.
The fact that I've been around FOR-EV-ER means that I have something of a reputation in my niche, as well as a few contacts. This is why I've been asked to be a brand ambassador and to run blogger campaigns. I know a lot of people in the personal finance space so I have those connections. I'm also sought by companies looking for insight into “how things are done” in the PF world. I've been paid an amount I'm embarrassed to name just to talk with some people for a couple of hours to help them understand and strategize. I don't really see consulting as my “thing,” but apparently there are people out there that actually want to pay me for my insights.
It gives me the warm fuzzies.
If you're mostly doing online freelance writing, there are ways you can branch out, too. Here are some of the additional money-making projects I've seen from fellow bloggers:
- Brand ambassador
- Course development and sales
- Social media campaigns
- Blogging campaigns
- Placing guest posts
- Planning services related to your specialty (like starting a meal planning service if you specialize in frugal recipes)
- Blog editing and management
- Speaking and joining panels
- Offering workshops and seminars
- Video production (you might have noticed that I've started creating online freelance writing videos with low production values)
I've done some of the things on the list and enjoyed them. I've been paid to participate in panels and to offer workshops. I'm fortunate in that I can speak to writing, money and media (particularly trend shifts in online media). These are three things that I can claim expertise in.
Think about natural extensions to your freelance writing and look for ways to diversify your offerings. I spent way too long resisting the idea of doing more than freelance writing. The space is changing, and unless you have more to offer, you might find yourself in trouble down the road.
Yes, I love freelance writing, and I don't want to give it up. But I also know that diversification leads to more opportunities — and a better chance to continue making money online without the need to supplement with a “real” job.