When I first started as a freelance writer, I assumed that I would be hired by folks to write stuff for them. It made sense to me, but I what I’ve learned over the past few years is that (like so many other things) I was wrong about freelance writing just being writing.
A majority of my freelance writing assignments have been strictly writing. Blog articles, magazine articles, and a host of small, writing based assignments have been standard fare in my freelance writing career. What amazes me though is the amount of non-writing assignments that have bloomed from my early writings.
The non-writing freelance work I’ve done can be closely tied to writing, that is true. The assignments have ranged from e-book formatting to web site development to help with self publishing. What I’ve discovered is that a seemingly mundane article written for a blog can turn into a somewhat lucrative showpiece for gaining other freelance work. An article I posted on my blog last year on How to Publish on Amazon still garners comments to this day and I’ve received work from three paying clients after they contacted me about the article.
A recent client wanted to publish his book on Amazon and Smashwords. His book was complete and he asked for a final quick and dirty edit before the book being published. Of course I agreed and in fact the book required very little editing. I charged him a minimal fee to set up the publishing and gave the edit job gratis. Some unscrupulous soul had misinformed him about how complicated publishing to Kindle and Smashwords was. They had quoted him some hefty fee to accomplish what I knew could be done in less than an hour. Who is the hero here? Yep, that would be me. Now, I’m slated to edit his next book and who knows what else could be in our future. Make note: Value added works!
This is a classic example of freelance non-writing. Most freelance writers have web sites and quite a few of those incorporate a blog. If you are one of the folks who have painstakingly built your web site from the ground up, chances are you have a level of expertise in WordPress or a similar system that would make you a good candidate to help a client with a non-writing freelance need. Probably the most frequent need is for a client to “manage” their blog website. Most often, this is a combination of writing blog posts and keeping the site otherwise current.
I was contracted at some point to help a client manage their two coordinated sites. They wanted me to write occasional blog posts. They also wanted me to seek out linking partners and contact those site owners. As well, they often sent me links to articles and such that they wanted to reprint on their site and it was my job to contact the original article owners to seek reprint permission.
The takeaway here is that while you may be primarily a freelance writer, it can be very lucrative for you to keep an eye out for freelance non-writing opportunities.
What is your experience? As a freelance writer have you engaged in non-writing activities? How were those experiences?