b5Media Layoffs Are a Good Reminder to Spread Those Freelance Writing Eggs Around

all your eggs in one basket

If you hung out on Twitter for any amount of time today, you may have learned b5Media had yet another round of layoffs. This time both part time and full time freelance writers for that content site were locked out of their blogs and shown the door.

Some of the laid off writers were with b5Media since its inception about five years ago. It’s a sad day for a company that once held such a great buzz and terrific vibe. I was a blogger for b5Media and the experience was valuable (blogging lessons from Darren Rowse, I mean, does it get any better than that?) and enjoyable. As you can imagine, my heart was heavy when I learned the news. b5Media closed its entertainment portal in order to make way for a brand new portal called Crushable.com

Now many b5media bloggers are looking for freelance writing work. Last year, a couple of  of  writers were hired for full time work at b5Media, after many of smaller blogs where shut down and those bloggers laid off. For the full time writers, today’s discussion regarding the egg/basket thing doesn’t necessarily apply. However. many of b5′s freelancers were also let go. Some of them did nothing but blog for b5. Now, they have to scramble.

As someone who has seen many web content sites and portals close shop leaving writers in the lurch, I have been advising writers not to put their faith in one client and one client only. No client whether it’s a magazine, a business, a private client or a blog network is ever a sure thing. Businesses dry up, magazines cease publication and, yes, content sites close doors. I’ve seen this happen to at least a half dozen sites over the past ten years.

I’ve had clients provide me with enough work to keep me fat and happy for months and then all of a sudden have to put a halt on things when times get tough. I worked for a publishing company where several magazines folded leaving both full time and freelance workers out of steady gigs. I know what it’s like to lose work when a client doesn’t have money for freelancers anymore. However, I always had another client or two (or three) in place so the cash continued to flow.

No job is forever. No client is forever. Spread your eggs around, folks. Now isn’t a good time to be out of work.

Comments

  1. Good lesson for sure. I too was with b5 – part of Shai Coggins network when it got picked up and so did I. Guess I was having lunch during that round of tweets!

    Are we seeing a blog network crash? Maybe.
    .-= Anne Wayman´s last blog ..I Can’t Stand Social Media Either =-.

  2. Yep, I’m also a former b5 blogger. I wrote about business and blogging for nearly a year before the business blogs were reorganized.

    It’s interesting to see how these huge networks operate. I’m note sure what this means either, but I certainly agree with Deb. A freelancer should always have multiple projects going for multiple clients.
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Are You Trapped in the Writing Web? =-.

  3. You can’t over-emphasize that lesson, Deb. During my freelancing career, I’ve had clients who looked rock solid suddenly turn flaky and disappear. Even those who pay regularly and on time can still do this. Freelancers need to have a wide client base. End of.
    .-= Sharon Hurley Hall´s last blog ..The Evolution Of A Freelancer =-.

  4. This is the very reason I recently turned down an offer for a full time writing job with a company that I do part-time work for. While it was very tempting, I realized that if they went under, I’d be in serious trouble, so I opted to stay on as a part-timer and keep my other clients.

    I think it’s also a good idea to have your own products and such going on so you always have that to fall back on, as well. My writing course has helped me through a couple of dry spells already!

  5. I am also a former blogger for b5media as of Tuesday. They issued a generic termination letter, without providing a reason for the firing. Shame on them. It’s a good thing that I’ve got other means of income as a freelance writer and wasn’t solely depending on them for a paycheck. You are so right, Deb, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

  6. FreddieJaye says:

    Here’s my own experience: I was building a good relationship with an editor at a national trade magazine. Suddenly, my editor quit, and her projects were taken over by someone else. Finished my one transitional project and submitted it to him…and never got another assignment. Just couldn’t get any traction with the guy. Ever follow-up got the same response: “we’ll keep you in mind.”

  7. FreddieJaye says:

    Here’s my own experience: I was building a good relationship with an editor at a national trade magazine. Suddenly, my editor quit, and her projects were taken over by someone else. Finished my one transitional project and submitted it to him…and never got another assignment. Just couldn’t get any traction with the guy. Ever follow-up got the same response: “we’ll keep you in mind.”

    Fortunately, I write for other publications, and have picked up a couple more to take that one’s place (thanks to FWJ for those leads!). But the point is valid: don’t rely on anyone but yourself.

  8. Really sorry to hear about this–I always envied the B5 Bloggers. Hope it is not too much of a shock for too many of them.

Speak Your Mind

*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *


CommentLuv badge

Content Freelance Writing Gigs
FWJ is read by many thousand readers every day. We offer a free weekly newsletter with all the top stories - come join the community!