So one of my major clients — one worth about 2/3 of my income — is experiencing serious problems of late. This isn’t catastrophic, but only because I have other opportunities I can pursue. It did mean spending much of last week getting more aggressive about pursuing those opportunities. Research on job boards, reaching out to contacts and similar leg work have put me in the middle of a few negotiations — and put my resume in many more dark holes where I’ll never hear from them again.
I applied to probably 50 writing assignments last week. I’ve heard back from about 5. One point of this is that even somebody with a reasonable resume does well to get a 10% callback rate in this market.
But that’s not the only point.
The main point is that I applied only for the jobs I thought I’d enjoy — which was less than half the gigs I found out about. There is an abundance of opportunity out there, even in the middle of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression. Some examples:
- A greeting card company willing to pay $300 a pop for material
- Several websites wanting blog content, at $15 to $75 for a page of material
- A children’s book publisher needing words for a picture book
- Magazines, both print and online, seeking fiction and nonfiction articles
- Companies needing business plans, grant applications, internal documents and advertising copy
- Content mills paying a little money for a little effort. Sure, it’s like working fast food — but it’s real money for writing.
- An insurance agent wanting copy to educate his clients.
- Writing reviews of local strip clubs
- Straight-up journalism for big-name and small-time papers
- Ghostwriting opportunities ranging from online content to full-length manuscripts.
- Resume and cover letter writing.
The work is out there, folks. It’s just a matter of taking the time to find it. For some, the constant job hunt can be a deal-breaker — it’s one of the reasons my wife prefers a “real” job to freelance work. But if you’re willing to do the legwork, freelance writing is a literally bottomless well.
Thanks for listening.