3 Insider Tips to Turn a One-Off Job Into Recurring Side Hustle Jobs

Is writing all you need to land some side hustle jobs?

For a lot of people, that’s what they focus on when they try to land a writing job. If they can get A’s in school, then surely they can be a freelance writer.

But, they soon wonder why they aren’t landing consistent work.

3 Insider Tips to Turn a One-Off Job Into Recurring Side Hustle Jobs

Sure, they can land a project, write the piece, but after they get paid, they don’t hear from the client ever again. This is a one off job.

If that has happened to you, doubt probably set in, right?

You wonder if you really are cut out to be a freelance writer and land one off jobs. If only you knew what editors or business owners really wanted in a freelance writer.

Well, guess what? I’ve been freelance writing for years, and in that time, I’ve worked with editors, solopreneurs and small business owners.

I asked some of my clients a while back what non-writing skills they look for when deciding on a freelance writer.

Because if you didn’t already know, there’s so much more to being a freelance writer than being able to write.

This is a whole business, not a hobby; you are replacing your job (hopefully) so think of side hustle jobs more as a business than just writing about your passions.

There are skills, tools, and strategies you must learn to succeed as a freelance writer online. I’ve said this before, but the majority of freelance writers never make it past the first year. They give up, quit, or no longer want to do this.

It’s sad really. These freelance writers probably struggled, had no idea where to find lucrative side hustle jobs, and once they did land a gig, it was either low-paying, ghostwritten or a one-off piece.

New freelance writers may also be under the impression that this is normal – one-off jobs, ad hoc basis, and bulk writing projects.

This is not what freelance writing is about.

There are a lot of successful writers (particularly students in my course) that have a goal to quit their full-time job and make a living as a writer. Many are already living that dream.

So, if you haven’t landed a some side hustle jobs, here are three insider tips to help you out!

1. You Need Industry Knowledge

Do you have a niche and are you an expert in it? This one thing can turn a one-off project into a consistent project.

Industry knowledge is a huge factor in editors’ and business owners’ hiring decision. Just think about it:

Freelance writer A’s niches are relationships, health, parenting and home decor. Freelance writer B’s niche is financial intimacy for newly married people.

The editor of a new publication, Love Amore, is looking for a writer that understands the nuances of marriage and how forming a bond can make other roles harder like the division of labor, financial harmony, and parenting cohesiveness.

Looking at the two candidates, which writer will the editor lean towards? Ding, ding ding!! Freelancer B come on down!

This freelance writer only writes about financial intimacy for newly married people. This writer understands how there’s a lack of communication between partners and a lot of confusion about their money.

The editor wants articles for married couples, and this fits the bill.


So, as a freelance writer, have you looked at your niche and niched down? When I first started, I had three niches – parenting, health, and education. This helped me figure out what I liked writing about and surprisingly it was about digital marketing.

It’s okay to have several niches when you’re new, but if you’ve been freelancing for a year and write on a variety of topics, it’s time to niche down.

2. You Can Work On Your Own

Can you work independently on your freelance writing projects, or do you constantly email the client questions?

One thing many of my clients told me that they liked about my work was the fact that I didn’t have to email the client numerous times about the project details.

Once the topic was given, I wrote the piece and submitted it. Of course, there were times when I submitted an outline first to make sure I was on track with what the client wanted, but other than that, it was my job to do the rest.

Remember, a client not only hired you for their content but to make their lives easier.

Work towards being more independent with your projects. Do your own research instead of asking the client. If you have a question about the company, look at their website and see if you can find the answer that way.

You can also look on LinkedIn profile or even at their Facebook page to get more help.

Another way to minimize questions is to scope the project out before you take it on. Ask questions during the interview (but not too many!) and do your research on the company or person.

3. You Have Connections in Your Niche

Let me ask you this:

Have you connected with at least five other freelance writers and are on social media sharing posts and interacting with influencers and potential clients?

If you haven’t, now is the time to connect with the right people to boost your freelance writing biz. This might mean going out of your comfort zone and attending a Twitter chat or looking on MeetUp and attending a local event.

You can start small though, and connect with other freelance writers and comment on some blogs that you would like to write for.

Be consistent and grow your network. I know that a lot of clients hire me because they know I’m connected with influencers, certain native digital companies and certain platforms like Huffington Post.

Because of my connections and my social presence, most of my work comes to me or through referrals. I don’t have to pitch much, if at all, and I can pick and choose with whom I want to collaborate with.

Can this be you? For sure, if you put the work in, have the type of writing tone for your clients, and you have a strong marketing plan to work from.

Because when you think about it, the best freelance writers are the ones that know how to market their services online.

I Want to Hear From You

Now it’s your turn – what skill do you think you need to land a recurring gig? Are most of your projects recurring or one-off? Let me know in the comments.

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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Hi Elna, I am a newbie freelancer, actually, I am yet to start writing. I am trying to learn as much as I can before starting out. Your ideas are of great help to me. Thank you so much for your in-depth articles.Reply to Brigid
Thanks for friendly guidance as a good teacher. Though I’m a new content writer, yet I have got good ideas you gave for content writing including the difference between copywriting and Content writing.Reply to Shoaib
Thank you for another great blog post, Elna! I’m glad you published this post since I am just starting out on my freelancing career. Luckily, I have clients who all want regular blog posts, though they aren’t as regular as I’d like. Most of them are clients who want posts once a month or maybe once a quarter. I’d like at least bi-weekly or weekly so I know I’ll be using these tips to try getting more blog posts out of my wonderful clients.Reply to Lizzie
Hi Lizzie! That’s great you have some clients! Yes, having more recurring gigs is the best. Keep hustling and pitching!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna Thank you for your post and your awesome tips! I want to begin freelance writing some time later this year, and I always find your posts inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us!Reply to jatin
You’re welcome Jatin! Glad you found this post helpful and that you want to be a freelance writer 🙂Reply to Elna
Great read!! Currently working on my website!! Test driving this Gravatar you suggested in your course.Reply to Brittany
Hi Brittany! Awesome and love the Gravatar 🙂 Now you can comment on blogs and have a friendly face next to your comments 🙂Reply to Elna
Wow! What a detailed post. Thanks for sharing this, Elna.Reply to Tom
Thanks so much Tom! Glad you found the post useful and good luck on getting a recurring job!Reply to Elna
#2 is it for me. Deliver quality work without needing to be babysat and most clients will love you.Reply to Colin
Hey Colin, Thanks for commenting! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Nice post! you have really give so many tips about freelance writing, I am a beginner and your tips are really helpful for me. Thank you so much. Please keep sharing more about freelance writingReply to Somia
Hi Somia, You’re welcome! Glad to help 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, As always a great post, I think I understand a bit better about marketing myself. I am still doing your course and I love it, I still haven’t got regular work, but I am sure that will come in time. Thanks again for your inspirational post. Veronica.Reply to Veronica
Hey Veronica! Thanks so much and that’s great you are still going over the course! If you have any questions just email me!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, These are really some of the beautiful tips for freelancers. It’s applicable for every freelancer, if one aims to provide better customer services. It’s likely that clients will become loyal and come over and over for their freelance services. Also, I have passed this along on my social channels.Reply to Mahesh
Hello Elna, Thanks so much for this post. I just signed up for your course and am enjoying working through it! I’m also a mom of toddler twins, trying to squeeze all I can out of naptime. 😉Reply to Jennifer
Hey Jennifer! Thanks so much and so happy you joined the course and private Facebook group. I love the fact that you are also a twin mommy! 🙂Reply to Elna
I am also a freelance writer, just started and it is really hard to find genuine and good clients, any tips for that?Reply to bob
Hi Bob! Check out my free course if you want to help you find a client 🙂Reply to Elna
Thank you for these tips. Really a great stuff for the one who is looking to setup themselves as a freelancer.Reply to Nivin
You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed the tips.Reply to Elna
Great post, Elna. I’ve especially found some real strength in that second one. I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of feedback around writers who are happy to simply take what is provided and run with it. It demonstrates confidence, too, in one’s ability to provide the final product. Awesome as always. 🙂Reply to Josh
Hi Josh, That’s great to hear. Yeah, there’s been a lot of times when I do want to email the client more than once, but I have to remember that I’m not their only writer and content isn’t on their brain every day! When I’m unsure, I’ll draft an outline and ask for feedback. That seems to answer all my concerns and questions 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna! Thank you for yet more awesome tips! I want to begin freelance writing some time later this year, and I always find your posts inspiring. Thank you for sharing them with us!Reply to Andressa
Hi Andressa! That’s great and thanks so much for following my post 🙂 Good luck with your freelance writing biz!Reply to Elna