ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Maintain a Successful Freelance Career in the Unpredictable Web Writing Industry

Updated on September 24, 2014
Source

Freelance web content writers are living in something of a Golden Age at present. Indeed, the fact that search engine algorithms are currently optimised to respond favourably to unique, keyword-friendly content means there is plenty of work around for versatile wordsmiths who are able to produce consistently engaging SEO-friendly blogs and articles.


However, it is fair to say that freelance web writing – like most other forms of self-employed work – is a very fluid industry to work in. To be sure, the fact that clients are in no-way obliged (contractually or otherwise) to stay loyal to the freelancers they use means self-employed commercial writers have no way of knowing what the demand for their services will be tomorrow, next week or next month. Even writers who earn their income creating blogs and articles for established content curation companies are not immune to the highly unpredictable nature of this industry as freelancers are typically the first to feel the effects of even the most subtle changes in supply and demand.


Simply put, freelance writing can be a very precarious industry to make a living from. Despite this though, there are a some simple things which freelancers can do to mitigate the effects of unpredictable workflow issues, before and after they become serious concerns. From personal experience (I have been a freelance writer for more than five years), I have learned that there are two strategies which are perhaps more important to be aware of than most in this respect: spreading the load and making contingency plans.

Spreading the Load

Source

When you find a project or ongoing contract which provides you with plenty of steady and/or lucrative work, it is tempting to focus all of your attention on it and ignore other work opportunities which appear less appealing. The danger of this is that, whilst concentrating on a decent income source is likely to yield immediate results, it encourages you to put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. I did exactly this when I first became a freelancer, investing all of my time and effort with a client who provided me with lots of assignments whenever I asked for them. However, when the work coming in from that client dried up very suddenly, I quickly realised I had nothing left to fall back on as I hadn't made the effort to cultivate other sources of income. The lesson I learnt was a very important one – spread the load; that way you can always go directly to another job and keep money coming in while you search for another chief source of income.

Making contingency plans

Source

Even if you are sensible and proactive enough to ensure you always have several different sources of income, you need to adopt the mindset that 'the perfect storm' is forever loitering on the horizon. In essence, this means that there is always the possibility that your many different assignments, projects and/or contracts will all come to an end around about the same time, thereby leaving you without a single dependable form of income to rely on at all. Whilst this may sound unlikely, it can and does happen (it happened to me quite recently and I wouldn't wish it on anyone). The best way to deal with this stressful situation is to set up contingency plans that will help you to deal with your perfect storm as soon as it hits.


This basically involves having a non-commercial source of income to fall back on and/or being able to apply for financial assistance until you get back on your feet. While personal savings are of course the best solution, it seems to be the case that no-one under the age of fifty stows money away for a rainy day any more. Having a decent overdraft which doesn't charge you for using it can be a great stop-gap option, as can a 0% on purchases for 12+ months credit card (ideal for buying groceries and petrol). Some self-employed people (in the UK) can get financial assistance from the Government in the form of Job Seekers Allowance and/or Working Tax Credits, depending on their circumstances, so it is worth looking into these options to see what you're entitled to. As well as enabling you to respond quickly to any perfect storm that crops up, having decent contingency plans in place will stop you from going down avenues that are likely to do nothing but waste your precious time.

Summary

To many, the unpredictable nature of freelance web writing is a large part of its appeal. Without doubt, that feeling of 'living on the edge' a little, walking an occupational tightrope if you will, provides a buzz which normal salaried jobs just cannot match.


Let's be honest though, maintaining a successful career is what its all about in the end and having a safety net of some kind will certainly help you to achieve that end. After all, every freelancer is liable to fall in this unpredictable industry at some time or another...

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)