As you may have read in my previous post, I’m unwinding my freelance writing to just a few clients. Given that, I’ve decided to enter the counting house, creating a spreadsheet of course, to first gain some numerical insight into my freelance writing experience and second to explore further thoughts on working as a freelance writer.
But Who’s Counting?
I am, always. Whether that be in my amateur radio hobbies or in my work, I’m always striving to set and beat benchmarks. You may have caught my earlier post titled Jimmie Locks and Measurement that highlights my drive to measure results in order to drive growth.
With that in mind, I’ve counted up the projects I’ve completed over the past four years with my freelance writing business. The grand total is right at 450 blog posts. Over 150 were right on this blog, building skills and attempting to create a following. Nearly 300 were client blog posts of various lengths covering the topics: nonprofit fundraising, home remodeling, vision care, amateur radio, safety equipment, nonprofit/data journalism, and more.
I also wrote some 30+ whitepapers, ebooks, reports, guides, infographics, and a few other items. Clients ranged from Australia to Austria, Latvia to Sweden, and New York to Seattle along with my longest term client right here in Dallas.
So What Do You Really Think About the Gig Economy?
I’ve written here a few times about the gig economy, most recently in March. As you know, the general benefits are increased flexibility and control as well as working from home. But success demands spending a great deal of time marketing your services. So it is not without a considerable number of challenges apart from the actual work. Of course, my firm belief is that we’re all contractors, it’s just that some of us haven’t yet recognized that fact.
…we’re all contractors, it’s just that some of us haven’t yet reconized that fact.
Even with that, I will note that my preference was working for an organization for the long-term. With an 11 year stint at Heathkit and a 21 year stint at the Boy Scouts of America, I lived that belief in my career. Of course, it helps to work for an organization that you truly feel a part of and where you feel your work is making a difference — both within the organization and in serving customers.
I will also note that the gig economy is, by and large, about getting work accomplished. On that basis, I found it tough in most cases to really connect with my clients’ businesses. First, I wasn’t expected to contribute insight into strategic or even tactical issues.
Second, with that premise it didn’t make sense to invest my time to develop or provide that insight, since in most cases they didn’t want it. For me, that was deeply inhibiting. Perhaps that’s because I was able to provide that level of insight at virtually all my full-time positions throughout my career and in most cases implement that insight as well.
Bottom line, the gig economy is here. It’s a big way to get work accomplished. Plus, there is a full range of possibilities for those who can enter it and master it. I really liked the work and it provided me exactly the flexibility I needed during the “re-wired” phase of my PathForeWord.