Freelancing is a skill that takes some honing. While someone who has a knack for networking will find it easier than others, there are still challenges that you just have to work through. Much of it, in fact, is a matter of learning the hard way, and we all have our horror stories. Of course, the risks and difficulties become more pronounced when working with people from countries other than our own. All communication is done via email or instant messenger, though some might occasionally ask for Skype. There is no real legal recourse when things go wrong. All in [Read more…]
I don’t think it’s enough. Getting work is wonderful, making it is even better. Writers need to put their creative thinking, experience and skills to work to create new projects.
I’ve chopped off my finger. I’ve betrayed my friend. I’ve pulled the plug. I took the gold and ran.
I bet you’ve done it, too. Maybe you’ve stayed pure in ways that I haven’t, but you’ve compromised your responsibilities. You’ve done something short of your best work. You’ve pandered to an audience, to a client, or to your own writing vanity. You’ve made your deals with devils, even if your devils are incredibly cute and small.
If you haven’t, I bet you will. Someday.
If you’re asking the right questions, you’re opening doors to additional opportunities.
Those five articles may have turned into ten articles, some additional web content, a better squeeze page, a white paper or special report for list building, a regular blogging gig, assistance in constructing additional content for inbound link creation and who-knows-what-else.
Those questions are business multipliers.
It’s no secret I don’t use a pen name. I prefer the “what you see is what you get” approach to writing. Aside from a (very) brief stint writing a sarcastic humor column, I have never written as someone else. I’ve had other people write as me, however – but that’s another post for another time. The reason I don’t use pseudonyms has nothing to do with a right or wrong approach, but more a personal preference. I prefer to know exactly who I’m taking advice from so it would be kind of hypocritical for me to blog under an [Read more…]
Summer is the best time for freelance writing. Freelance writers can work anywhere there’s WiFi and even plenty of places there aren’t. We can also rearrange our schedules for summer vacation or to coincide with outings or pool time. Summer is the time of year when my office working family members and friends don’t wonder if I really have a job, they wish they had MY job. Summer can also be a frustrating time for freelance writers because they can’t always do the activities they like because they have to meet deadlines. So if you’re spending too much time on [Read more…]
No one likes to be fired. If you were recently laid off or let go, you’re probably very angry or upset about losing a client. You may even think your client was unfair in his dismissal. Your first reaction might be to fire off an angry missive or trash your former client on a public forum, but this isn’t the best recourse. Before you act in a matter you might possibly regret Consider these do’s and don’t. Don’t Send off an angry email: Always let your first, angry reaction pass. If you have to fire off a nasty missive, do [Read more…]
I’ve been working on redesigning my workflow lately in an effort to improve my efficiency, boost my bottom line, maintain something approximating sanity and to provide ample opportunity to catch a number of weekday afternoon Royals games this summer. Following some good advice, I’ve been more conscious of what I do every day and I’ve made a discovery: I spend too much time on the marketing and promotion side of things.
So, I’ll dump it in your laps… What do you think about it? Do these public attacks on frustrating clients serve a greater good that justifies the potential downside? Are there particular standards that writers should follow when calling out a bad apple from their client barrel?
In this economy, it doesn’t matter if you work as a freelancer or if you’re a full time employee, there’s no such thing as job security. Even though we have regular clients, they can suffer from budget cuts and that can mean the end of our gig. The trick is to make it so your client can’t function without you. The trick is to be indispensable. Be someone your clients can rely on When it’s time to trim the fat, the first people to go are the ones who provide lackluster service. If your client feels you’re giving something of [Read more…]
I use the word employer when I really mean client. I mostly do this because I’ve been rocking the thesaurus and I don’t want to use “client” every other word. There’s a difference, though. Clients and employers are two separate entities and each treat the people who work for them differently. Before we get into that, I want to disclose my inspiration for this piece. Yesterday on Twitter, an angry content writer was looking for other writers to sign a position against a certain content site because it doesn’t offer job security. My response to her was that no freelance [Read more…]
A common misconception is that freelance writing means typing a lot of words in exchange for money. Most of us know this isn’t the case at all. The majority of people who hire us, do so because they expect something of value in return for their payment. Our clients want us to sell or promote with our words. They’re not looking for sentences as much as they want bang for their buck. Our clients want results. All writing has a purpose If you’re going through the motions with your writing, you’re producing an article or a bit of copy, but [Read more…]
Last week I was in the supermarket when my friend’s husband stopped me to ask some questions regarding his blog. A couple of weeks before that, a neighbor stopped me at a school function to ask me about helping with a social media project. I offered to help them all. Though most offer, I don’t accept payment half the time. It’s not that I don’t need the money, it’s that personal projects aren’t usually that deep or in depth. I consider it as leaving behind a sample of my work. Why do I help my friends? One works for Johnson [Read more…]
Regardless of how you feel about low pay vs. high pay, you can’t deny there are plenty of “easy” writing gigs out there. I call them “easy” because they’re easy to land, easy to write and they pay like clockwork. After time, we have to make a decision: Do we stick with the easy gigs or try and branch out to gigs that are a little tougher to land but pay much better money. Perhaps a mixture of both? The choice is up to each individual writer. However, if you’re considering a move away from the easy gigs to more [Read more…]
The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally called Black Friday. It’s called this because merchants all over the country significantly lower prices to bring in customers looking to save money on their holiday shopping. The purpose is for the shops to sell so much merchandise, merchants will be “in the black” as they approach the holiday season. I worked in a mall during my teen years, and though I haven’t quite erased the Black Friday mall trauma from my mind, for me “Black Friday” represented the bleakness of the day for mall workers. Though it’s been more than 25 years since [Read more…]
Last week we discussed the importance of freelance writers using social media tools to build online relationships. While the benefits abound, it’s important to note offline relationships are also important. In fact, taking your online relationships offline, can further solidify a working association. Don’t be afraid to join a local networking group or reach out to people in the real world. Offline relationships are just important. No ,they’re more important than the bonds you form online. Why Are Offline Relationships Important for Freelance Writers 1. Because everyone is a potential client It doesn’t matter if it’s your neighbor, the Cub [Read more…]
Things have changed so much for the freelance writing world, even in the last five years or so. Advances in technology naturally led to advances in communication. This is especially apparent in how we deal with our clients. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t even consider talking to a client after regular “business hours.” Now, everyone is online all the time. Freelancers wouldn’t even think of contacting clients at home, now we have all sorts of avenues in which to contact clients during their off hours. What I find most interesting is how many relationships have crossed from freelancer/client to a [Read more…]