Last week there weren’t enough hours in the day to complete your never-ending to-do list. This week, time is dragging, you haven’t had the slightest bit of work come in and you’re wondering if you’re going to be able to pay your bills at the end of the month.

Sound familiar? I’m not surprised.

Every experienced freelance writer knows that there are busy spells in this business. But there are also spells where you’re sat at your work-desk twiddling your thumbs waiting for client work to roll in and you wonder how on earth you’re going to fill an eight-hour (plus) day.

Whether you’re waiting for a potential client to get back to you or you’ve hit a particularly quiet period, don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Here’s how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing.

How to Stay Productive When You're Not Freelance Writing

1. Work on Your Blog

How to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing 101: create new content for your website’s blog. We all know that the little ol’ blog can get neglected during especially hectic spells.

Sure, you promised yourself that you would post once a week WITHOUT FAIL. However, if this is actually more like once a month in the beginning – don’t sweat it.

After all, it’s more important to take the paid work and build your portfolio as a new freelance writer.

Don’t have a blog in your freelance writing niches? Start one. I mean, it’s only going to help your cause when clients come a-knocking on your freelance writer website door (so-to-speak).

As well as demonstrating your expertise in your niche(s), having your own blog also helps to develop your technical writing and blogging skills.

And if you fall in love with it and deliver engaging posts that offer immense value to the reader consistently? You might just be able to make a living from it one day. It really is a no-brainer.

2. Search for Freelance Writing Gigs

If you can’t see where your next paycheque is coming from, you might want to go searching for new clients in terms of how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing.

We all find it rather unnerving when client numbers are sparse, especially if we’ve recently come out of a bad situation where we’ve been ghosted or had to fire a client (hey, it happens to the best of us).

That said, you can remedy this by hunting down some new freelance writing gigs. Whether this involves sending out applications via freelance writing job boards or cold pitching to relevant companies, you’ve got to put yourself out there.

Why? Well, essentially, you’re never going to survive this business if you’re not willing to work for the work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always just land in your lap, especially at the beginning of your freelance writing career.

3. Step Up Your Social Media Game

Another tip in terms of how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing is through social media. It’s easy to set up your accounts, start getting into a routine when it comes to publishing posts and then completely forget to optimise your profiles.

Whether you’re on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, there’s ALWAYS work that you can do to strengthen your online presence.

For instance, you could perform your very own social media audit of each channel, change your profile photos so that they’re more up to date or publish more regular content.

If you do end up producing new posts on your blog, you could create social media content to promote them and grow your readership.

You could also work on your social media marketing strategy to expand your reach, engage your target audience and ultimately increase your following. The amount of work to do is LIMITLESS!

Freelance Writing Clients

4. Revamp Your Freelance Writer Website

As well as performing your very own social media audit, you could go over the pages of your freelance writer website with a critical eye.

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to the design, function and content.

Perhaps your situation has changed recently and you’re now offering a new service that you need to add to your website? Or maybe you’ve completely changed your niche? Either way, your freelance writer website needs to be kept as up to date as possible.

I mean, you just never know when potential clients might be lurking around!

(If you’d like some assistance when it comes to performing your social media or freelance writer website audits, let me know! I currently offer this as a service.)

5. Get Involved in Social Media Communities

Another suggestion in terms of how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing is: be more active on social media.

Find new freelance writing communities via Twitter and connect with networking groups in your area through LinkedIn.

Why? Well, word of mouth works WONDERS in the freelancing industries. In fact, I’ve been offered some incredible freelance writing opportunities in the past just through referrals. 

And a bonus? You get to meet fellow freelance writers who might actually become your friends one day!

6. Write Guest Posts

Want to build the Domain Authority of your freelance writer website and establish yourself as an expert in your niche? Why not write guest posts during your freelance writing lull that can be published on other blogs and websites?

Alongside building your credibility, guest posting allows you to network with other businesses or bloggers in your niche. Plus, the backlink that would be included at the end of your post is great for your website’s SEO. #Winning

Just make sure that the websites that you’re collaborating with are high in quality and authority and RELEVANT to your niche. Otherwise, it might hinder your reputation rather than help it.

7. Learn a New Skill

Finally, you can also be productive when you’re not freelance writing by expanding your skillset.

Whether you choose to invest in an offline course or utilise the MANY free resources online, trying to better yourself as a freelance writer is nothing short of admirable.

Let’s face it: you’re never going to know everything. But knowledge is power in the freelancing world.

If you advance your knowledge or skills to perform a particular service, you can then start charging more for it. And that’s how you can successfully grow your business.

Be Productive When You're Not Freelance Writing 2

Bossing How to Stay Productive When You’re Not Freelance Writing

It can be tempting to turn on Netflix or take a very long nap when you’re short on freelance writing clients. (Yes, we’ve all been there.)

However, try to resist this urge.

As a freelance writer, working when you’re not being paid is just as important as working when you are being paid, especially in the beginning stages of your career.

If you utilise the spare time and energy that you’ve got and be productive in these other ways, it’ll be worth it in the end. I mean, who’s going to have the last laugh when you generate further leads, have to increase your rates due to demand and your business won’t stop blooming? Exactly. It’ll be you, my friend.

(Cue maniacal laughter.)

What do you think in terms of how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing? Do you do any of the above tips? Let me know in the comments!