Yesterday my cable was out for most of the day. Fortunately for me, I only had one freelance writing deadline and I was able to contact my editor using my Droid to tell her my assignment was forthcoming. Yesterday reminded me I’m only as good as my cable connection. Though I’m busy, there wasn’t anything that couldn’t wait. However, if I had major deadlines and obligations I would have taken my laptop to the library or Starbucks and worked there.
What’s YOUR back up plan?
Back Up Plans for Freelance Writing Jobs
I know if my cable or power goes out, I have several options. I head to the library, Starbucks, Panera or any other place with a free WiFi connection. I can also go to my sister in law’s house to work. If I’m sick or can’t post to this blog for some reason, I know I can count on any number of people to guest post or help with leads. If, for some rare reason, I can’t complete a deadline, I can outsource to a trusted writer – with my client’s permission, of course.
I take deadlines seriously and feel professionalism is essential for freelance writing success. However, if I can’t fulfill my obligations I know the first, most important step is to contact my client and explain the situation. Clients are very understanding people and may be OK receiving work later in the day or even tomorrow.
This leads me to my most important freelance writing back up plan tip: When possible, complete all work ahead of time. Giving yourself a day or a couple of days leeway will prevent you from missing deadlines when the unavoidable happens.
There’s another type of backup plan I’d like to talk about today.
Back Up Plans for Freelance Writing Careers
I read a comment this morning from a writer who writes full time for a content site and is concerned she’ll be out of a job if they close shop. Speaking from experience this has happened before. I can’t tell you how many promising content sites and blogging networks don’t exist today. However, it’s not only content sites. Nothing in freelancing is a sure thing. Clients come and go. The only way to avoid a famine period is to spread your eggs around to different baskets. Try mixing content site work with magazine writing. Find private clients or look into blogging and other forms of passive income. Having more than one option mean you won’t find yourself scrambling for work if the unthinkable happens.
Freelance writing takes planning. Take some time to list out some goals. Sketch a plan of action for if you lose power, the cable goes out and other emergencies.
I’m going to throw out one more scenario for you.
What happens if your laptop or computer breaks, is lost or stolen?
- Back up your work often. Keep current projects on a flash drive or two in case you need to work on someone else’s machine.
- Keep passwords, important log in details and personal information on a couple of flash drives kept in different places in your home..
- Leave important information with a trusted friend.
- Keep email addresses and phone numbers where you can find them offline as well as online.
Stuff happens to everyone. Both clients and writers understand there are situations out of our control. Still, there are steps you can take to ensure smooth sailing, even during tough weather. Take some time to formulate a backup plan for a variety of situations. You may not need it, but it may save your career.