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.