When you are looking for new opportunities to advance your freelance writing career, there are two tracks you should keep in mind. The good news is that you can (and should) be working on both of them at once.
Work Available Now
Cash flow is what keeps a freelance writer’s business afloat. When you are starting out, you need to land paying clients who have projects available now. As you develop your business, you may look to content sites or answer job ads to keep you busy and keep money coming in.
The second type of opportunity that you should be working in is one where you are looking for work that may not necessarily start right away. You could be spending part of your time pitching ideas to magazines, for example. Chances are that there will be a lag time between the editor receiving your idea and a decision to accept it or not. Once your idea is accepted, there will probably be a further delay from the time you submit it to when you get paid, especially if the magazine pays on publication.
Future opportunities also include making a pitch to clients, whether you know they are currently looking for a freelance writer or not. You may happen to find someone who is looking to hire right away, but chances are that it may take some time before a new client gets back to you with a project.
A third way you can find future opportunities is by promoting yourself and your business. Get a web site and submit it to search engines so that potential clients can find you. Ask your current clients and contacts you make for referrals. Set up a profile on LinkedIn. Use Twitter to build relationships and share what you do. Visit discussion boards where your target market is likely to hang out and start participating.
All of these strategies will help you land assignments down the road. In the meantime, you can fill in your time and gain experience by looking for gigs that will put some cash in your pocket now.
Where do you focus your efforts when looking for freelance writing work – on gigs that pay money now or ones that may take time to develop but could be more lucrative?