Each and every month of the year offers new opportunities and challenges to making more money as a freelance writer. Here is a simple guide to help you prepare for and navigate each month prosperously.
First, let me preface by saying that on a grander scale, writers may find the first six months of the year more profitable than the last six, as the current year’s editorial calendar is more fully assigned out by mid-year. Plan for this by getting and doing as much work as you can handle the first part of the year. Even if you stretch yourself to do it, you might have the money for that much needed vacation during the lean time of the second half of the year, like August if you like, when many editors take off, as well.
How to Grow Cash Heavy During the Leanest Months of All
January, August and December are months during which writers may expect fewer responses to article pitches. During the holiday and post holiday months of December and January, editors are off, just coming back, and/or have assigned out work for both months ahead of time–to deal with the fact that so many writers, sources and others are on vacation or just coming back, as well. August is also often a vacation time for editors, who simply can’t be reached. Many of them need the time off, having just put to bed next year’s editorial calendar. Again, prepare for these months by saving ahead.
January is not too soon to pitch Holiday ideas, which may be put on hold until needed. You can also begin to compile current year editorial calendars during the first month, use them to determine what next year’s editorial calendar needs may be, and write up a bunch of great calendar queries that you can update and submit in February or March.
By a bunch, I mean several dozen to a hundred or more. If you’ve saved your $$$ as you ought, you can afford to take the time to select well-targeted ideas that will still be viable (evergreens perhaps) for those soon to be created editorial calendars. This is the time to start preparing so you can get a lot of work lined up for next year.
You can and should still pitch in August and December, as well. You can also let editors know if you will be available part of the holidays for rush jobs or copyediting for pieces that fall through or fall short.
The First Half of the Year, When the Real Cash Comes In
In February, the work year begins in earnest and the time to pitch for the current year is most optimal (other than having pitched the year before). By March, it is not too soon to start pitching next year’s editorial calendar and this year’s holiday issues. The Ides tell us that spring is coming and it’s a great time for everything new–new markets, new kinds of writing such as books, poetry, songs, corporate writing, you name it, you try it.
The more income streams you can get going, the wealthier and happier you will soon be. For those editorial calendars, pitch about holidays appearing in any month next year as well as events and topical updates that tend to come at certain times, things that seem to be covered by certain publications year after year, and so on.
In April and May, editorial calendar pitches should be in full swing. Make sure you have plenty of work this year as well to keep you busy through July and August and to cushion the remaining months. And, don’t let the nice weather tempt to you play too much, work too little, or go out without proper dress so that you end up sick and unable to work–or at least work well–and lose income.
During June and July, keep in touch about those editorial calendar pitches and keep busy. Keep resisting the temptation to play outside, at least until plenty of work is completed (and ahead of schedule at that if you want to really impress). Beat the heat by writing at night, perhaps in front of the TV with a cool drink (if you can multitask and get something accomplished).
September through November, keep hope alive and keep pitching. You will get some new work then, and the more you pitch and broaden your contacts, abilities and horizons, the more you will be able to stay close to your income the previous quarters.
I get new work every month, including August, December and January. You should be able to add to these tips every year based on your own experiences and increase their effectiveness. Good luck and happy hunting!
David Geer is the author of How to Make More Money as a Freelance Writer, available at Booklocker and at Geer Communications.