Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

I keep my eyes peeled for freelance work on online job boards, through freelance writing newsletters, wherever I can find possible opportunities.

As usual, there are plenty of online writing opps out there—some worthwhile, some frighteningly underpaid and a bit shady. That's the nature of the game.

But I'm also seeing a lot more proofreading jobs than I used to. I wonder if this is partly because of the economy—more companies are handling writing in-house, but farming out proofreading to someone with fresh, experienced eyes.

Regardless of the reason, it reminds me that when writing jobs are tougher to come by and paying less than before, the freelancers who succeed often are the ones who diversify.

What services can you offer beyond your usual print or online article writing?

Proofreading and copy editing are key components of my freelance business. In fact, at certain times I find I do a lot more of this type of work than I do writing.

I realize, of course, that not everyone has the eye for detail and the grammatical skills needed to become a proofreader or copy editor. If you're interested in pursuing that type of work, however, why not take a class to bone up on your editing abilities? Now is a great time to find an online course or enroll in an editing class through community education or a local college.

The same goes for other areas. If you've dabbled in web or print design before, why not take some classes to improve your skill so you can offer basic design services along with writing? Interested in photography? Maybe now's the time to get serious about it.

I know freelancers who supplement their income by becoming prop stylists for photo shoots, creating craft projects that are featured in magazines (and sold on Etsy), and teaching at local colleges.

Get creative. What skills can you put to use?

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