Writing feature magazines articles, press releases and web content for business clients probably accounts for 75 percent of my writing revenue, as I discussed in an earlier blog. But all sorts of ‘odd jobs’ make up the other 25 percent. The work isn’t that odd; they just aren’t the writing projects I specialize in or do every day. I’ve learned how to do them, however, as a break from routine and an easy way to bring in extra money.
What’s interesting about most of these writing jobs, which I list below, is that my clients don’t usually assign them to me. Most of these are my own ideas. I suggest them to my clients. As I have mentioned before, being proactive in pitching project ideas to clients is a great way to expand your revenue stream.
So, here’s a quick list of other projects you should add to your portfolio of freelance writing services:
Award Submissions – Many trade associations and publications have annual award competitions to recognize the projects, products and people of merit in their industries. Believe me, it’s usually not the person, product or project that wins the award – it’s the submission. And someone has to write it and write it well. I’ve helped my clients win lots of awards, and nine times out of 10, I brought the contest to their attention.
Tweets – Guess what? Most business people think they’re too busy to write 280 characters. There’s an art to writing briefly and succinctly, and businesses will pay you to do it for them. Right now, go out and each of your clients if they would like you to write three Tweets a day for them. I bet you’ll find a few takers. Tweest are harder to write than they look. Charge by the hour, not by the word.
Editorials – Most of the executives I work with have very strong opinions about what’s happening in their industries. Once again, they simply don’t have the time, or in many cases, the skills to write a compelling op-ed for their industry trade magazine. But take my word for it, executives love seeing their opinions in print with their names in bold letters. Make it happen. Start asking them what think about various topics and trends, and then offer to help putting their ideas on paper. Here’s my hint – Encourage them to make bold (but not crazy) predictions about the future. Readers only remember the ones that come true.
Video Scripts – The trend right now is to create very short videos for posting on social media, but there is still a need for longer company videos to play on websites and at trade shows. These require carefully written scripts. For my first video assignment, I teamed with an expert who showed me the mechanics of writing a script and working with the production team to make it come together. On the next video project, I was paid $9,000 to write the script and help with production. The next time a client asks how they can liven up their new website or trade show booth, suggest a slick video. And make sure you know a video production house you can team with if the client doesn’t already have one.
As a recap, the bottom line to remember about odd writing jobs is don’t shy away from them just because you haven’t done them before. Give it a try or team with someone who has. Second, don’t be afraid to pitch writing project ideas to your existing clients. They will appreciate your taking a proactive approach to helping them communicate.
Interested in learning more about what it takes to become a successful freelance writer? Watch my free video presentation, “Six-Figure Freelancing – Three Keys to Success.” This class was well received when I presented it to local writers groups, so I set it to music, recorded it and posted it on the web. (Just kidding about the music part).