Top 10 Ways For Hubbers & Bloggers To Thrive In The Recession
I don't know about you, but I just got my Adsense payment and it will pay for a dinner out if I don't go anywhere expensive and keep the Golden Arches in plain sight. Yes, I'd like fries with that, damn it! I can afford those at least!
In some of my other Hubs I've outlined how my 600+ Hubs and hundreds of thousands of page views don't equate to clicks as I write for the reader, not for the marketing. So I'm certainly not going to be buying that new Bentley Continental GT with my Google checks.
However, the recession is biting hard and some of my long term reliable and loyal writing clients have lately been stretching their payments out, if not outright stiffing me. In most cases, it's really not their fault: In their lives it's come down to a case of paying Hal or paying the rent, and the fact that it's 25 below zero outside has pretty well made that decision for them.
The days of checking my email inbox and picking and choosing what writing job offers I felt like taking on are long gone. Hubbers and Bloggers need to shift gears in their careers and realize that various steps need to be taken to ensure that the cash keeps flowing in.
- First of all, it's important to keep a positive attitude. Yes, the civilized world may be coming down around our ears, but until we're back to living in caves and trading turnips for chickens, there will still be a demand for writing services online. We won't go back to stone chisels anytime soon. In order to succeed, however, you need to be quite a bit sharper in 2009 than you were in previous years. That means you have to be bright eyed and bushy tailed. Look forward to your day of work as an opportunity to succeed, profit and thrive. Not just another day of hapless struggling.
- Network on and off line. Many authors like to retire to their lonely writer's garret and expect to crank out valuable words in virtual hermitage. Although that might have worked when the economy was booming, we all now need to interact with people, in both electronic fashion and (gasp) in the flesh. Yes, I know. It's been three years since you spoke to anyone but the supermarket checkout clerk. It's time to change that. Talk to people. Tell them about your work. See who they know who might need your services on their website or maybe in their bricks and mortar business in the way of brochures, pamphlets, business plans...
- Become newsworthy. There are millions of bloggers out there and most of them are read by no one but their cousins. What can you think of that is going to zoom to the top of Slashdot and Digg? What will be irresistible to Stumbleupon? What is surefire front page material for Wired, or better yet the New York Times? No, you don't have to commit multiple murders to get into the news. Analyze your niche and see what could make news, whether it be an outrageous comparison test, or a controversial interview, or a way of looking at something in your industry from a completely "out of left field" perspective. You'll be amazed at the worldwide reaction when you "hit pay dirt."
- Expand your visibility. There are endless ways to promote your work, whether it be by electronic or print press releases, setting up a newsletter, writing articles for other sites or publications, or even giving lectures and seminars. Get off your duff and go after these opportunities!
- Stay relevant. Has your blog gotten into a rut? Would only the most rabid enthusiast of ElectroTechnoHyperWidgets give a good damn about the fact that their engineers have maximized the BIOS settings to allow for a 0.00001% increase in processing speed? Maybe it's time to broaden your horizons to something that real mortals care about... or can even comprehend.
- Educate yourself. Just because the stock market is dwindling down to insignificance, that doesn't mean that knowledge is as well. The world of information is continuing to grow at an exponential rate, and if you don't keep up with what is happening all around you, you'll soon be a dinosaur. Take the time to bone up on the latest occurrences and realize that not all the world's knowledge is on the web. You might even have to read a newspaper or journal. Can you believe that? Reading from actual paper! What a concept!
- Take care of your current clients. They're likely just as panicked as you are about the economic situation and they might be seriously considering the possibility that their business is going down the tubes. This is the time to throw in the occasional free tidbit, be very understanding when they can't pay on time, work out a reasonable payment schedule over time, or even rip up an invoice or two in exchange for the commitment to future work. Don't you dare compromise on quality, though. At times like this, your product must be even better than before. And don't forget to always exceed your client's expectations in volume as well. Extra words are usually much appreciated by the client who pays for 500 but receives 650. If you're Hubbing, now may be the time to explore that mysterious writing universe beyond 501 words!
- Pitch your previous clients. This might be a good time to re-introduce your services to customers you haven't dealt with in a while. If you had a good mutual business experience they might be willing to throw some more projects your way. While you're at it, why not go through your inbox to dig up the hundreds or thousands of leads that you never followed up on?
- Eliminate extra expenses. Guess what? You really don't need three Venti Mocha Frappucinos at $4 a pop to get through your day. That same four bucks will buy you a big can of coffee at the supermarket that will provide enough caffeine to fuel you most of the way through your entire month. Analyze all your spending and cut out all the useless waste that likely constitutes a big chunk of your budget.
- Cut up your credit cards. Enter into debt at your own peril. Sure, it's easy to go out and make yourself feel better by buying a Wii. You can even justify that you can get fit on the Wii board. Nonsense. Keep your money for essentials and essentials only. This is not the time to rack up your bills. If you don't have the cash for it, you don't need it!
The recession is not going to be easy on online writers regardless of what type of work they do or what platform they do it on. However, if you're pro-active and organized, you stand a good chance of thriving through what will likely be a very prolonged and painful recession.