with the el paso guide done and sent, i thought i would have plenty of time to sit around, watch alias reruns and drink margaritas. turns out, having two guidebooks under your belt means there is no shortage of freelance work available. currently, i’m writing another article for unearthing asia‘s second issue. i’m also penning a series of 3k word city guides for a danish travel agency’s website and i’m handling the blog for uk hotel map. i’m also working on a new study abroad ebook for a client that hired me via elance, which is due at the beginning of may, and i’m trying to keep up with my examiner gig, as well as exploring the worlds of demand studios, seed.com and textbroker and, of course, my daily blog column for students in europe. oh, and i’m supposed to be working on developing irishjaunt, too, but there just hasn’t been time for my projects!
the other day my uncle was teasing me, wondering what it is exactly that i do, outside of writing guidebooks. these types of small daily gigs are a travel writer’s bread and butter. let’s be honest, even the most prolific guidebook writers don’t write more than about 1 (maybe 2 max) books a year. there just isn’t enough information or work out there to facilitate it, especially considering most guidebooks aren’t updated with new editions more than once every two years. online gigs are the way of the future and writers are now having to take on a whole new skill set and vocabulary to encompass the needs of the market.
for instance, i’m not just a writer. i am also a wordpress guru and i know how to optimize my articles for search engine keywords so that they are easier to find and appear at the top of google searches and the like. this drives more traffic to my clients’ websites, thus, hopefully, garnering them some ad revenue, which was the point of hiring me in the first place. [tweetmeme]
one of the toughest things i find about being a freelance writer is that no one thinks i have a real job. at best, in many people’s minds, it is something that i could be doing in the evenings after getting home from my real job, but to be quite honest, i’m probably making more money at this (at the moment) than i would be at starbucks anyway. beyond that, my years of freelancing and floating around writing articles are not at the top of most managers’ hiring lists, meaning it will probably be tough for me to get an office job ever again (not that i’d want one?!). at least i have carved out a niche for myself, and a damn good one at that – i think.