How do you make money on the side?

by singlemomseeking on February 11, 2009

For the record, I do not pole dance after-hours — although I hear the money is good.

In this economic crisis — more than half of my direct managing editors in publishing have been laid off — I’ve gotten creative. Yes, it’s all legal, and it’s all done on my laptop. I contract for, write for, and have an incoming number of clients for whom I write and edit.

At least once a month, I receive an email from a mother out there asking me for tips about freelancing. Whether you’re freelancing as a writer, a wedding DJ, or a consultant — how do you do it?

That’s why I’ve invited my friend and fellow Seal Press author Michelle Goodman — who has been freelancing since 1992 — here to answer some questions.

Michelle’s second book, My So-Called Freelance Life, (Seal Press), is not only packed with practical tips — it is a great resource about freelancing in a down economy.

Michelle is a great cheerleader, but she also keeps it real.

“Like Rome, your big fat freelance network won’t be built in a day,” writes Michelle. “Besides, it takes a lot more than charming the pants off other indie professionals to fill your freelance dance card.”

While Michelle encourages freelancers to send out resumes blindly “a personal connection or recommendation trumps applying for a gig cold every time.”

So, talk to people. Make new friends. I also asked Michelle what the key to being a successful freelancer is:

“Talk to other freelancers to see what they know about the companies you’re working for,” Michelle says.

“Don’t let any one client dominate more than 30 percent of your schedule. If they go belly up, you still have 70 percent of your workload left.”

“Also, if you’re only offering clients one skill — such as writing, editing, designing, coding, bookkeeping, or business consulting — it’s time to broaden your horizons. Writers who also edit, design, consult, teach, or project manage are infinitely more employable than writers who only write.”


Your turn:

Do any of you freelance? What do you do?

Do you have any questions about freelancing?

If I can’t answer them, I’ll be sure to bring the expert — Michelle Goodman — here to answer them!

Be sure to check out Michelle’s blog Anti 9 to 5 Guide here.

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What you do for a living | Single Mom Seeking
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