This is a guest post by Cory Lewis.
There is no doubt that the U.S. economy faces serious challenges and uncertainties. The unemployment rate stood at a staggeringly high 7.7 percent in Nov. 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Americans are also on the brink of feeling the impacts of the nation falling off the “fiscal cliff”—tax increases for the employed and termination of benefits for the jobless are just two of the serious consequences Americans face.
In these difficult and trying times, it’s more important now than ever before to consider creating multiple streams of income. If you’re a skilled researcher and writer, all you need is a computer and Internet access to start freelance writing. Once you become established, you can gain and inspiration and market yourself through Pinterest, the hottest social networking site today. Let’s take a closer look at all this.
Take Advantage of Online Freelance Platforms
Over the course of recent years, America has become a nation of freelancers—according to the Freelancers Union, one in three workers are now “freelancers, temps, permalancers, perma-temps, contractors, contingent workers, etc.” This amounts to some 42 million freelancers in the U.S. Whether or not you currently have full-time employment, freelancing can serve as an excellent income source and a method to develop and sharpen your writing skills.
Two of the most popular and widely used freelance platforms online today include oDesk and Elance. It’s easy to create a profile that includes a recent photo of you, your skills, your objective, your work experience, and your academic credentials. You’d work as an independent contractor and have the opportunity to place bids on various writing assignments posted by job posters. Once you win a few bids, you can produce quality content, create a strong portfolio, receive great feedback, and increase the rate you charge. Of course, all this takes some time to achieve.
Use Pinterest to Market Yourself
Pinterest is the hottest social networking site in the online sphere today—it’s the fastest growing website of all time, according to Fortune Magazine, quite an impressive feat when you consider that it’s outpacing the likes of Facebook and Twitter at similar phases in development.
If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest, it’s a photo sharing tool that allows its users to create virtual pinboards that can be organized by various categories, which may include beauty, fashion, home décor, arts and crafts, food, fitness, and inspirational items. Users can “pin” relevant images on their own to their boards or “repin” images they find on other users’ boards. Pinterest users can follow these boards, which gives the site a truly community feel.
Now, how can freelance writers take advantage of Pinterest? The photo sharing tool is loaded with new writing topics you can discover. As a former freelance writer, I discovered fresh, new ideas on Pinterest in such areas as exercise ideas, arts and crafts, and exotic recipes. One of the most creative pieces I’ve written for a client has been about homemade cleaning products—I was inspired by ideas I discovered on Pinterest.
In addition to serving as a source of inspiration, Pinterest can drive traffic to your blog, which you should make to market yourself as a freelance writer. Are you an expert writer in the health niche? Do you enjoy writing about new, exotic food items? Are you a passionate writer in the area of home décor? You can create visually appealing pins (or hire an expert digital graphics designer) that can be placed on your Pinterest profile. The pins should be relevant to different themes you specialize in as a freelance writer. This can drive traffic to your website and potentially help you expand your clientele.
Taking advantage of freelance platforms and Pinterest as a marketing vehicle is an excellent way to generate extra income in these challenging economic times.
Cory Lewis is a content contributor and marketing specialist for Baby Changing Station.