Has your freelance blogging work evaporated since COVID-19 hit and ‘isolation’ became the most-used word of 2020? Blog clients ghosting you, all of a sudden?
If so, don’t sit wringing your hands. Realize that rapid turnover is a hallmark of recession times.
Swing into action to replace your lost blog-writing jobs with these 5 steps. This action plan focuses on the fastest routes to landing clients quickly:
1: Activate your network
If you’ve got some downtime, it’s a great opportunity to build up your network. If you’re on LinkedIn (and you surely should be!), send connection invites.
Meanwhile, contact your existing network and let them know that you have an unexpected opening for new client work. Could they refer you anyone who needs a blogger?
The beauty of this method is asking for referrals sounds less desperate than pitching directly for work. And yet, if any of those contacts need a freelance blogger themselves, they’ll pipe right up and tell you.
You get a lead, and you didn’t have to get all pushy about it. Brilliant!
(Getting incoming referrals rolling can take a bit of time, so do this step first and let it run in the background as you pursue more strategies.)
2: Give stuff away to get paid blogging gigs
Offering useful free resources that show your expertise is a great way to be productive during downtime, and impress prospective new clients. This is the top strategy I’ve been using to attract new people into my network in the past few months.
Think about what you could offer free to prospects to show you care about how they’re struggling in these hard times. Word will spread. Ideas for freebies include:
- Short e-book
- Mini-course via email
- Content-strategy consult
- Live coaching or Q&A
- Headline clinic
- Tools, templates, resource lists
The best freebies of this type provide useful, actionable tips – but don’t give away the store. They should show your knowledge, but lead many prospects to conclude they still want to hire you to blog, rather than trying to do it all themselves.
3: Hold a freelance blogging sale
While I’m not a fan of cutting prices generally – you still need to eat here! – you can build buzz by holding a very focused, small sale.
For instance, I’ve seen writers offer a half-price product-launch email sequence package to the first three takers only. And sell that out, in days, by just talking about it on Facebook.
Sound good? I thought so.
These short-lived offers are great to promote on social media and ask people to share around. Everybody loves a sale, and loves sharing news of bargains.
You get some instant bookings, and a lot of people get exposed to the fact that you’re a freelance writer. Consider the revenue you give up with the price cut a marketing cost. If you promote it enough, you may book some full-price client work off this promo, too.
4: Contact former writing clients
Do you have any former clients? (I don’t care if it was a decade ago – still counts.) If so, now’s a great time to check back in and see if they have current needs. I’m seeing many writers score immediate assignments this way.
Don’t forget to look up any blog editors who’ve moved on from the site where you worked together. Where are they now? Perhaps at another blog that needs a writer. You won’t know unless you ask.
If they don’t have work themselves, remember to ask them to refer you if they hear of anyone else who needs a blogger. You never know who they know.
Don’t have past clients you can hit? You can still do this step. Think about every writing professor and fellow student you knew in school – reach out and see where they are now. Ditto for anywhere you interned or volunteered.
5: Pitch similar prospects for new freelance blogging work
If steps 1-4 don’t bring in the work you need, it’s time to get proactive. The fastest route to new blogging clients is to locate prospects that are highly similar to past clients you’ve had.
If you’re brand-new, think about topics where you know a lot and could easily come up with a lot of great blog post ideas. Ideally, think about industries where you’ve worked that may do online content or blogging. Example: You worked in a bank, and you look for finance blogs.
Staying in the wheelhouse of what you know, or already have clips for, means your success odds are greater.
Be a recession-proof blogger
By working your network and proactively pitching (rather than waiting and hoping on content-mill dashboards), you stay in the driver’s seat of your blogging biz. Actively marketing your services brings you more nibbles – and that means more choices, more ways to stay fully booked and keep your rates up.
Most freelancers have never actively marketed their business. If you take a pro attitude and purposely drum up freelance blogging work instead of waiting for it to come and find you, then you’ll be way ahead of the crowd.
(For more tips, grab a free copy of my new e-book The Recession-Proof Freelancer…)
Joe Gurumendi says
This is a great post! Appreciate the steps, especially for someone who is just starting out as a freelance writer and was concerned about the “what if your client base dries up” issue. Cheers!
Joe Garecht says
Carol, great tips. I’ve definitely found that your best bets for new work are your current and past clients. Reaching out to past clients to see if they have any new projects… as well as talking with current clients to see if they can refer you to new prospects… are the quickest way to find work. Thanks again for these tips!