Many freelance writing niches have particular times of the year when there’s more work available. You need to determine the seasonal rhythms of your niches so you are front and center of your existing clients and potential clients when it’s time to hand out those choice assignments.
Freelance Writing Niche Seasons: Examples
Freelance writers who specialize in writing catalog and website copy for outdoors apparel companies need to know when new lines are typically introduced, usually spring and autumn.
Is the auto industry your focus? Then find out when new cars are first introduced, or when important auto trade shows occur.
Cooking your thing? Get article queries into magazines well ahead of major food holidays. Think Thanksgiving feasts and Fourth of July barbeques.
My Main Niche: Writing College Textbook Supplements
Summer is prime time for winning freelance writing jobs to create supplements and other curriculum materials for textbooks and courses. Here’s why…
Editors Are Scrambling to Get Ancillaries Ready for Fall
Supplements need to be revised with each new edition of a textbook. College textbook publishers time the release of new editions to coincide with the beginning of either the fall or winter term, and fall is fast approaching, in the publishing world anyway.
Of course, many editors have already locked down authors for the updated versions of instructor’s manuals, test banks, student study guides, PowerPoint lecture outlines, and the like, but…
There Are Still Some Choice Assignments Available
#1. Some editors are slow to hire people.
I don’t know why, but I’ve gotten many assignments with due dates of two to four weeks. And often they pay extra because it’s a rush job.
#2. Textbook authors have been slow to complete the manuscript.
Since you usually need to work from page proofs, authors’ delays mean ancillary deadlines get pushed back.
#3. Other writers flake on the editors.
You’d be surprised how often it happens: a lecturer or professor agrees to create an instructor’s manual and then just doesn’t have the time to do it (or just doesn’t manage time well).
I developed a relationship with an editor that’s earned me at least $50,000 because a professor agreed to create the study guide and instructor’s manual/test bank for a new history book and then stopped returning her phone calls and e-mails. I stepped into the breach and cranked them out, and that led to a lot more work.
What to Do Now…
If you’re well established as a textbook supplements writer, then contact all the editors you’ve ever worked for and ask if they have any current projects. If you’re new to the game, consider buying my Writing College Textbook Supplements: Developing Test Questions, Quiz Questions, Instructor Manuals, Lecture Outlines, and Other Curriculum Components. I cover in detail how to find editors and convince them to hire you.
Still Aren’t Specializing?
Haven’t found your best niches yet? See my Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work.
What are the seasons of your specialties? How do you respond to them?