Freelancing From the Road: Another Round of Lessons Learned

Vinyl-Road-Rage-Record-Storby Joe Wallace

Every year since 2009, I’ve set out on a cross-country road trip lasting from nine to 12 days blogging about independent record stores I find along the way. It’s part of the work I do for my vinyl blog

The blog series is called Vinyl Road Rage, and it’s a collection of the weird and wonderful along America’s highways. But here’s the rub. Even as I’m on this crazy journey, my freelance work does not get put on hold–I’m doing the whole freelance road warrior thing even as I’m in full-blown travel mode, blogging, reviewing, photographing, etc.

And I like to post here about the things I learn about the freelance life on the road–last year I posted a series on FZ during Vinyl Road Rage 2 from Chicago to New York City about the trials and tribulations of writing, editing, posting and promoting in the middle of a hardcore road trip.

This time I will do the same. Even as you read this, I’m already behind the wheel and driving down the road to my first record shop stops. What kinds of experiences will I have earning a buck in the freelance jungle while on the two-lane blacktop? I’ll be sharing them with you here…my journey goes from April 21 (today) to May 1 2011, which should be plenty of time to explore a freelance travel issue or three. Stay tuned for that,  but in the meantime:

One thing I can tell you is that for any extended travel, pre-positioning content for blogs, social media and print is key. In the last three weeks I’ve put in some overtime to write and prepare content that I’d otherwise do on a daily basis so I can have a bit more freedom on the road. The problem with such pre-positioned content is that you can’t be timely, but fortunately for me I have clients who require plenty of “evergreen” material, so that’s what I concentrated on.

Being ahead of the game before you hit the road is a VERY good feeling indeed.

But what happens if you don’t have connectivity where you’re pulling off for lunch and can’t use your laptop to post material to a blog or social media account?

My trick is to pre-load any content into a blog that would be tough to type or cut-and-paste using an iPhone. I save this material as a draft or schedule it to post automatically via WordPress. The material saved as a draft can be posted easily from my iPhone, and the scheduled posts are a no-brainer. I try not to rely on borrowed wi-fi at truck stops and coffee shops without some kind of safety net in case I need it.

That way, the client is happy and my angles are covered until I can get to a hotel with dependable wi-fi to get more work done.