From an outsider’s perspective, the life of a freelance blogger seems like the ultimate dream. Living like a digital nomad and bouncing from client-to-client working on assignments whenever and wherever does provide a great deal of freedom, but it isn’t always as simple as typing a story while lounging on the beach, cocktail in hand.
Once an assignment wraps up, it can take days – or even weeks – to find the next project, and those in-between times can be quite scary. The uncertainty of not knowing when the next payday will come is the unfortunate reality for many freelancers as they live from project-to-project.
While having a few days (or weeks) off sounds like a dream vacation to most people, the downtime between assignments can be quite boring, especially when money is tight.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to fill in the time between projects with productive activities that will not only give you something to do but also help you earn some cash and become a more attractive freelance blogger for future clients.
Fill Up Your Portfolio
While you may not have a particular client to work for during the in-between phase, chances are you tend to work with a similar group of patrons. Now is an excellent time to fill up your portfolio with new, industry-relevant samples to grow your personal brand.
Hopefully, the general subject of your blog pieces is a topic that you are passionate about (and if it isn’t, it may be time to find one that is). This is a time when you can write about the topics or intricacies of your niche that interest you the most with no limits to creativity, and no length requirements.
Not only will these pieces allow you to express yourself and write about something that you enjoy, but they can also be quite helpful down the road for attracting new clients and making yourself more marketable.
Try Something New (And Lucrative)
Although blogging may be your career, it does not mean that writing is the only way you can make money. The beauty of blogging is that it can be used to supplement just about any job you can think of. There are hundreds of side businesses that are easy to start and write about. This is a great way to expand your skillset and make some extra cash.
Of course, the idea of being a part-time entrepreneur is much easier these days – thanks to businesses like Uber and Lyft who allow people to earn extra income and make their own schedule. If you have a spare bedroom or even a comfortable futon, renting it out through AirBnB could be a way to make extra cash.
Or, maybe you have a hobby like painting, knitting, or jewelry making, and selling some of your items on Etsy, at craft fairs, or at the farmer’s market could be a way to earn some money by doing the things you love.
You may even consider starting your own online business to establish a stream of income while simultaneously gaining valuable experience.
Notice how all of these ideas have loads of potential for blogging. You can even use these blogs to earn passive income with advertising or affiliate marketing.
Improve Your Expertise
Again, chances are, your writing falls into certain categories or topics. Whether it be health and wellness, or business and finance, it never hurts to learn more about your industry of expertise. Check out online courses that are offered through sites like Coursera or Udemy. Some universities and colleges even offer free classes, both online or on campus.
By taking the time and putting in the extra effort to pursue ongoing education, you can provide more value to your clients down the line. Additionally, it can open your mind to new ideas or help you discover other subjects that are of interest to you, which in turn, expands your skills and makes your freelancing resume even more impressive. Remember, investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.
Build Connections with Other Freelancers
The freelancer life can certainly be a lonely one. You don’t go into an office every day and build relationships with coworkers in the same way that others do. Most meetings are held online and communication is generally done via email. While this type of work is extremely freeing and flexible, it can be quite isolating if you are not engaging with other people.
Attending networking events or joining social groups with other bloggers, freelancers, and writers is a great way to meet people who understand the industry. It is also a chance to make friends and build business connections that could help you land the next job. Start by joining relevant Facebook Groups to get in contact with other like-minded individuals. Check out sites like MeetUp to see what events are going on in your area or browse LinkedIn and even Facebook events to see if there are any meetings you can attend.
Share Your Story
If you’ve worked as a freelance blogger for several years and have had some incredible experiences, sharing these stories and mentoring could be beneficial to others and your bank account. Consulting and coaching other writers is an opportunity to share your skills and expertise while helping up-and-comers develop.
The coaching industry is extremely competitive, so having a specific niche skillset, such as writing for B2B or creating original content artwork is advantageous. Of course, consulting, coaching or creating courses is a huge commitment that should be taken very seriously. It will definitely require a great deal of time and effort in building a strong personal brand, but it can be extremely lucrative depending on how many people are interested in your wisdom. This kind of work is certainly not for everyone, but if you know you have the knowledge and the desire to help others succeed, it could be an excellent way to make a difference while making an income.
The time in-between clients and job assignments should never be wasted. While a little rest and relaxation may be necessary here and there, make the most of your “down time” by improving your skills, learning more, and finding ways to earn some cash, too.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Co-Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.