Two or three times a week, struggling freelance writers will email me questions. The messages are usually something along the lines of:
- “I’m having a hard time finding writing gigs now. What am I doing wrong?”
- “I keep sending out queries but nobody’s getting back to me. What else can I do?”
- “Why hasn’t anybody gotten back to me? I sent out a ton of stuff a couple of weeks ago.”
And on and on and on.
How to Use a Down Economy to Your Advantage
There’s just no other way to say it. Right now, many freelance writers are treading water, wondering where their next assignment will come from. Fortunately, I manage to stay pretty busy as a freelance writer. To be fair, I’ve been doing it since 1993, so I’ve weathered the ups and downs of the freelance writing life in most every type of economy.
Luckily, freelance writing is a career that thrives in good economic times and bad. Why? Simply put, we live in the information age. No matter what’s happening in the world, information needs to be disseminated.
When companies cut in-house staff, the “words” still need to get out. Who else are they going to call?
Well, it could be you, if you make an adjustment to your thinking. One thing I think helps freelance writers get more writing jobs is to consider themselves as “information consultants” rather than freelance writers.
When you become an information consultant, your mindset shifts. Then you start looking to capitalize on trends.
How to Spot and Capitalize on Trends
One of the reasons I think I manage to snag writing gigs is that I’m a trend watcher. For example, one of my primary niches is real estate (mortgages). In my past professional lives, I’ve been a real estate agent and a loan officer.
I’ve been able to put this knowledge to use as a real estate writer, primarily focusing on mortgages, even though the industry is in turmoil. What’s hot in the news right now?
The subprime mortgage mess.
Banks are closing, foreclosures are up, and mortgage companies have been going out of business for a couple of years now. I capitalize on this by offering SEO articles to real estate and mortgage website owners, who are more than happy to pay me to help them stay afloat.
This is but one example of how to use the news to spot trends—and jump on them. There are plenty more out there.
The 2008-2009 Freelance Writing Jobs Report
Because so many freelancers seem to have problems finding freelance writing gigs, I pulled together a free industry jobs report (PDF). It’s an in-depth report that highlights “hot” freelance writing niches and sub niches for the next couple of years. It also offers four tips for recession-proofing your freelance writing career. Finally, there are some ideas for creating your own products using your skill as a writer.
At the very least, it will get you to thinking about where the freelance writing jobs are. And more importantly, which niches to focus your energies on.