10 Things Every Freelancer Should Try at Least Once

Do you have a freelancer bucket list?

Now, you might be wondering what a bucket list is. Simply put, it’s a list of things you’d like to try, but never got a chance to do. It takes its name from the 2007 movie, The Bucket List, in which two aging and terminally ill men set out to do things they always wanted to do before they die.

So, a freelancer bucket list is a list of things that you’ve wanted to try as a freelancer, but haven’t taken the time to do. In this post, I list some things that I think every freelancer should try at least once, but that most freelancers don’t actually try.

10 Things Freelancers Should Try Doing

If you’re like me, you have a long to-do list for your freelancing business. At the bottom of the list are a bunch of freelancing to-do’s that you really wish you could do, but never seem to find the time for.

Here’s a list of some things that you really should make time for at least once during your freelancing career:

  1. Write an eBook. I’ve already written one eBook, but I’ve got several in progress that I haven’t finished–so this item is still on my freelancing bucket list. An eBook doesn’t have to be textbook length, so most freelancers can tackle this. Possible benefits to the freelancer: establishes expertise, possible income stream.
  2. Get a Guest Post Published. While I’m not a huge fan of some of the low quality guest posting that’s out there, getting a quality post published on the right blog can bolster your freelancing career. Possible benefits to the freelancer: establishes expertise, draws traffic to your own site.
  3. Give a Presentation. Getting up in front of a group and talking about your freelancing profession may seem daunting, but many freelancers find that they actually enjoy it. Don’t let a fear of public speaking hold you back. Possible benefits to the freelancer: establishes expertise.
  4. Get Interviewed. If you get the chance to be interviewed by an established publication or blog, seriously consider saying “yes.” An interview gets your information in front of more eyes. Possible benefits to the freelancer: establishes expertise, draws traffic to your own site.
  5. Attend a Tradeshow. Many people find tradeshows to be fun and educational. They are also a great way to meet colleagues and potential clients. Possible benefits to the freelancer: learning, networking.
  6. Develop Your Own Product. Do you dream of creating a product that you can sell, but you’ve never created one? Why not do it now? Possible benefits to the freelancer: stimulates creativity, possible income stream.
  7. Become an Affiliate for Something You Believe In. An affiliate is someone who recommends other products and is paid when a product is purchased. Usually this is done through a link on your site. Possible benefits to the freelancer: learn about marketing, possible income stream.
  8. Contact Your Dream Client. Do you have a client that you dream of working for, but haven’t dared to contact? Well, stop putting off that initial contact. Go ahead and take the first step. Write or email them. Possible benefits to the freelancer: possible work, networking.
  9. Create Something Just for the Fun of It. There’s no doubt that freelancing is real work. Sometimes, though, the work aspect takes the pleasure from what we do. If you dream of creating great art or writing a novel, let yourself do it. Possible benefits to the freelancer: stimulates creativity.
  10. Do a podcast. Have you tried podcasting yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Podcasts can be a great addition to your freelancing website. Possible benefits to the freelancer: establishes expertise, draws traffic to your own site.

As you notice, I’ve picked bucket list tasks that freelancers usually put off because they don’t immediately increase the cash flow or because they require extra time. However, each task does have potential benefits for the freelancer.

Pick one item, or several, and get started today.

Who knows? You might even find that you enjoy one of the items on my freelancing bucket list so much that you want to shift your freelancing business in that direction.

Your Turn

I’ve shared my list, now it’s your turn. What’s on your freelancing bucket list, and why?

Share your answers in the comments.

Image by erix!


  1. says

    What an array of good ideas for anyone looking to (re)energize their freelance/business life! I’d consider this as a TO-DO list, however, rather than a Bucket List since these are definitely things one would try while actively cranking on business and life. (Calling it a bucket list makes it sounds a little too “I’ve got to do this before I die.” Just my take on things. I know a lot of people love the term Bucket List.)

  2. says

    Really interesting list and surprisingly (or not!) quite a few of them are on my list too! I have a growing sense about writing a eBook, and I lOVE doing presentations and have just begun to consider setting up teaching sessions with a social media expert for some of my clients and anyone else. Afterall, lots of other people do it so why can’t I. Whilst some of these things might not generate money quickly, they will certainly add to one’s networking and “Trust” within that network – both valuable items!

    Thanks for an iteresting post!

  3. says

    Deborah Hyatt

    Thanks so much! I hope the list does help some people re-energize their freelancing business. :)


    Glad you liked the post. Congrats to you for starting on some of these items already (and best wishes for your efforts).

  4. says

    I found this list to be quite an interesting read!

    I have 5 of those in my vision going forward:

    – Getting interviewed

    Maybe this would work once I have achieved a certain level of success as a freelance writer going at things for a couple of years.

    – Being an affiliate

    I am using quite a few products at the moment that I have signed up as an affiliate. I think doing a detailed review on each of them once I have fully tested it’s features would be an ideal way to promote them as an affiliate.

    – Contacting my dream client

    I have yet to meet this person!

    – Developing my own product

    I have an idea of a product I’d like to have developed that will help any freelance writer. Can’t say much about it now but the main thing is to get some capital saved up to have it developed.

    – Doing my own podcast

    Most definitely I’d want to get my own show up and running after having established a good name for myself.

    Thanks for the share, it helped me set some renewed goals for myself!

  5. says

    Ruan | FreelanceWritingTactics

    Glad to hear that the post resonated with you. :)

    It’s interesting how you’ve targeted five of these goals for yourself. I think they are reachable–maybe not all five tomorrow–but definitely at some point in your freelancing career you should be able to accomplish all of these goals.

    Good luck with your freelancing!

  6. says

    Here are a few more things that translators should do at least once in their lives (if they are lucky)

    Get paid on time.

    Find a client who doesn’t know anything about TM’s and matches.

    Do a job where the deadline is not yesterday morning.

    Run a long job thru a CAT tool without getting a single error message popping up on the screen.

    Do a job where the source language is perfect, unambiguous and all acronyms are defined the first time they are used.

    Do a job not paid in the translator’s local currency and not see the exchange rate drop like a lead brick one day before payment is due.

    Only joking of course

    Have a nice weekend


  7. Tiffany says

    Really great list….I think I need to print it out. :) It’s true, these are things that I know I put off myself. I’m working on number 7 and number 9 though. Love the blog..keep it up!

  8. says

    To actually give a presentation is also a good way to show your expertise. We’re doing this quite frequently and the feedback has been great so far.

  9. says

    Thanks Tiffany!

    I hope that you get your number 7 and number 9 done.


    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad that giving presentations is working out for you.

  10. says

    I think that can be true, but sometimes doing some offline freelance can give some money, anyway, thanks for this list, I have my own product and it helps – as you said – to developpe credibility.

  11. says

    I have to say that Podcasting is really not something that I have considered doing, there are quite afew on your list that I have or are in the process of doing though.

  12. says

    #Write an eBook #become an Affiliate for Something You Believe In
    Those are perfect for me I will try to create an ebook from my own experience. But the main fact is I have some grammatical issue. But anyway I will suggest everyone try to create an ebook for their blog.

    Afflaite marketing is really a way to earn money. So I also appreciate with this.

    But I want to add one things, which is social connection. They can able to manage an image of their own on their social connection.

    What you think Laura? is my buck list is good or meaningless?

  13. says

    @Showrav, I mean that you can supplement your freelancing income *slowly* through products (an ebook, a SaaS web app, etc.), while also use these products to grow your brand and make you more likely to be interviewed, requested to present at conferences or user groups, and so on. There’s nothing wrong with going through your whole career working an hour and getting paid $X, but if you want to put the “free” back in freelancing, you can literally use your flexibility as an independent to self-fund the creation of products that – over time – start to augment (or entirely replace) your income.

    I would have copied wholesale from my reddit comment my assessment of each of the above points I’ve tried, but I would have lost all the formatting :-)

  14. says

    Giving a presentation could definitely have really good results. I might just jump on this both. Personally, I like to do my work online but offline work might just hit off if my clients get to know my potential during a presentation.

    It is the ultimate form of self advertisement.

  15. says

    I’ve already written an ebook, created a product, and became an affiliate for a product I believe in. I’m looking forward to attending Affiliate Summit and doing a podcast soon. Thanks for the tips!

  16. says

    Great list, Laura! I’ve got a LONG list of to-do’s since I’m in my first year of freelancing. I have to say the immediate list includes: write a guest post, give a presentation (I need to get over my fear of public speaking) and contact my dream client.


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