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 been assigned any jobs and you’re worrying you won’t be able to pay your next lot of bills.

Sound familiar? If so, 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 desk twiddling your thumbs waiting for client work and wondering how on earth you’re going to fill an eight-hour day.


Whether you’re waiting for a potential client to get back to you or your main client just disappeared without a trace, not to worry. Here’s how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing to generate more client leads. Pronto.

How to Stay Productive When You're Not Freelance Writing

1. How to Stay Productive When You’re Not Freelance Writing 101: Work on Your Blog

If you’ve got some spare time, you could always create new content for your blog. After all, it’s no secret that the little old blog can get neglected during those especially hectic spells.

Maybe you promised yourself that you would post once a week in the beginning. However, if this quickly turned into more like once a month, don’t sweat it.

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 niche(s)? 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 consistently deliver engaging posts that offer immense value to your reader? It might even become another viable income stream one day.

Two words: no-brainer.

2. Search for Freelance Writing Gigs

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).

In this case, you might want to use your spare time to search for new clients.

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 top tip in terms of how to stay productive when you’re not freelance writing? Use social media to your advantage.

In the early stages of your career, it’s easy to set up your accounts, get busy and then completely forget to post on 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, update your profile with fresh information and/or publish more valuable content.

And if you do end up producing new posts on your blog, you could also create social posts to promote them and grow your readership.

Either way, work on your social media marketing strategy to expand your reach, engage your target audience and ultimately establish new leads.

How to Stay Productive When You're Not Freelance Writing

4. Revamp Your Freelance Writer Website

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

How come? Well, I find that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to its 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. Regardless, 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? 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 (DA) of your freelance writer website and establish yourself as an expert in your niche? If so, 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 published at the end of your guest post is great for your website’s SEO. Win-win.

Just make sure that the websites that you’re collaborating with are high-quality, authoritative and relevant to your niche. Otherwise, it might hinder your SEO 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 freelance writing world.

If you advance your knowledge or skills to perform a particular service, you can then start charging more for it. And that’s exactly how you start making the big bucks!

How to Stay Productive When You're Not Freelance Writing

For instance, you could learn SEO blog writing if you want a slice of this action. The “Superstar Your Blog Post SEO” eBook will teach you how to write and optimise blog posts for search engines.

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 client leads, have to increase your rates due to demand and your business just won’t stop booming? 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!