Have you ever taken the time to look back at your former client list and think about the question, “How much does losing a client cost a freelance writer?” If you are looking at only the lost income that you will need to replace, you are missing the point. There are also hidden costs associated with losing a client that have an impact on your business.
In a perfect world, your personal and business lives would run smoothly and completely independently from each other. One of the benefits of working as a freelance writer is that you get to make your own schedule for the most part. As long as you turn in your assignments on time, your clients don’t really know (or care) whether you do your best work at the starting at crack of dawn or you like to tackle it in the small hours of the night. What happens when a personal crisis crops up? How do you deal with it in a professional manner and keep your freelance writing clients?
There are several ways to find freelance writing gigs. Answering ads posted on job boards is one method, and you probably want to try more than one approach in your search for gigs. Another way to find work (and one that may lead to a steady gig in some cases) is to approach websites that freelance writers for contributions for guest posts.
[UPDATED AUGUST 2017]
One of the benefits of working as a freelance writer is that your workplace is not limited to a specific location. As long as you have your Android phone charged, there are plenty of work-related functions you can perform while you are away from your usual desk. Use it to work on projects, track projects, create characters and more.
Freelance Writing Jobs
1. Content Writer (CA/Freelance)
Technical Writing Jobs
Plan/Proposal/Grant Writing Jobs
Resume Writing Jobs
1. Freelance resume writer (NY)
General/Misc. Freelance Writing Jobs
1. German/English Translators (NY)
2. Freelance marketing writer (NY)
3. Freelance writer (CA)
4. U.S. Congress/Public Policy Writer (Telecommute)
5. Finance writer (Telecommute)
6. Bilingual translators (NY)
7. Writers for movie and TV reviews (Telecommute)
Freelance writing is now one of the sources of income for many moms dads and others alike. As a freelance worker, they are free to serve as many clients as they can. They build reputation by submitting works on time and providing high-quality work. The reputation built will then result into new job offers or job referrals from satisfied clients and writers will have increased income.
As a writer, you can collect positive reviews from your satisfied clients. However, many potential clients today, go beyond profile reviews. They have now started to dig for more information about you. Below are the tools you can use to monitor your online reputation as a writer. [Read more…]
When a person is working for a brick and mortar job, it’s not uncommon for the employer to request that the candidate undergo some type of testing. People who are interested in working in law enforcement or as firefighters are required to complete physical and personality tests as part of the screening process. Applicants for administrative positions could expect to be asked to do a typing test at some point in their job search.
Freelancers are in a different category, since they are not applying for a job. I’ve been asked to do a personality test as part of a screening process twice and while I have complied both times, it did feel a bit uncomfortable to do so.
Why did I hesitate about sharing the results of the test? It seemed a bit intrusive at the time. I was of the mindset that I should be able to answer the client’s questions about my experience, provide samples and a resume and that should be enough information for the person to make a decision about whether to hire me. What difference would it make if the client found out what kind of person I am?
I now realize that it matters a great deal. The work that freelance writers do isn’t just about stringing words together. It has everything to do with establishing relationships with clients. For the relationship to succeed, the freelancer and the client need to be able to work together well. If their personality styles don’t mesh, then the professional relationship will flounder.
Part of the reason that I agreed to do the personality test was that I was curious about what it would reveal. The Myers-Briggs test that I took was very accurate, right down to my consistently messy desk.
I suppose it’s not possible to fail a personality test. There are some people who I probably wouldn’t be able to work well with, and it’s probably just as well to establish whether this is the case before the project begins. Whether you call it a personality conflict or creative differences, having to abandon a project after starting the work isn’t a good situation for either party.
Have you ever been asked to do a personality test for a freelance writing job? How did you feel about it?
Were you glued to the television last night checking out the Oscars? Were you more interested in what people were wearing than who actually took home one of the golden statues, or was it all about seeing people rewarded for their work?
I watched a little bit of the show last night, but didn’t stay tuned for the whole thing. It just doesn’t capture my interest the way it used to a number of years ago. The bit of the show I did watch got me thinking about what freelancers can learn from the Academy Awards.
1. You can get all dressed up for the show and still not win.
How often have we made a pitch or applied for a freelance writing gig and not heard anything back? It comes with the territory in this type of work and most of us have come to accept it.
It’s more disappointing when we have heard back from the potential client, have had detailed discussions about the project and have discussed payment and other terms and we don’t get the gig. The client may have decided to work with someone else, funding for the project may have dried up or it may have been abandoned for a different reason.
Sometimes you can do all the right things to get the gig and still not get the nod. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t talented or hardworking.
2. Being nominated might be nice, but it’s not as good as winning.
Whether it’s an Oscar or a great freelance writing gig, getting picked is much better than making it to the short list. Just saying.
3. People will remember you for more than your work.
When you think of Cher, you may not immediately remember that she won an Oscar in 1987 for her work in “Moonstruck.” Instead, we are more likely to remember her rather unique fashion sense, including the black showgirl number that she wore to the ceremony in 1986. (The actress reportedly chose that outfit as a way to show her displeasure at not being nominated for her work in “Mask” the previous year.)
Get in the habit of remembering that every comment on a blog, blog post, Facebook update or tweet is something that a potential client can see. Yes, the entire Internet is one big job interview, and if you wouldn’t say something to a potential client directly, then you should think about whether you should be posting it at all.
4. There is something magical about getting paid to do something you love.
We tune in to awards shows for the fashions and to catch a glimpse of our favorite celebrities, to be sure, but part of the reason is that we admire those people who are able to take an idea and bring it to life to entertain (and sometimes educate) us.
As members of the public, we don’t see the amount of thought and work that goes into bringing all the elements together to produce a film of any length. All we know is whether the finished product moves us in some way. If it does, then all the people involved have done their job.
As writers, we get to use our creativity to help our clients reach their goals. We harness our creativity to bring all kinds of ideas to life, and have the opportunity to work our own type of magic while doing so.
Do you feel like a nominee or an Oscar winner in your freelance writing career?
My name is Terreece and I’m addicted to ellipses.
There. I said it. I am free from my shame.
Those three periods…they say so much and I find myself using them way to often. Every writer has a crutch. Some liken it to their ‘writing style,’ but there is a difference between a crutch and a style.
“I can quit anytime.”
One way to tell if your go-to writing technique is a style or a crutch is if a writer can be flexible and not use the item. Whether it’s a particular format or transition, if a writer has trouble adapting to what an article needs rather than what they are comfortable writing – it’s a crutch.
“I don’t think about it.”
Some writers brag they can bang out an article without thinking. That’s not a good thing. Writing without thinking is writing devoid of feeling and deliberation. Who wants to read that? Writers can bring thought back into their pieces through identifying their crutches. Read through old clips. Recognizing patterns is the best way to break a habit.
“I’m not hurting anyone.”
My ellipses aren’t hurting anyone…most people think they add to my conversational style of writing. However, if I’m honest with myself, not addressing them or any other crutch will prevent my growth as a writer. The crutch is more damaging to the writer than it is to anyone else. Why? Burn out.
Writers run out of stuff to write or I should say they run out of motivation to write anything. When writing loses its spark and becomes predictable, odds are the writer will find themselves on the way to the stinky town of Burnout.
Lastly, crutches are supposed to help someone along the way until the way can be made without the crutch. It may be painful, may cause a few hours of eyestrain staring at that blinking cursor while coming up with something else, but in the end the stretch is worth it. The growing pains are worth it!
So dish – what’s your writing crutch? How did you break your habit?
Located within the first few pages of a publication, the masthead lists the important information you need – editor names, assistant editors, departments, contributing writers, etc. It is also helpful to find out the email configuration of the company – a not so secret tip on getting your queries to the right person without the SASE.
When a writer has a fantastic idea and an editor isn’t so sure, they will ask the writer to write the piece on spec or speculation. This means a writer will write the article in its entirety on the hopes that once the editor sees the piece they will buy it. There is usually no contract and writers should carefully consider their options.
When a writer creates a pitch they are trying to sell their idea for an article or project to an editor or client. This is also known as a query.
A specific website or booklet that shows a writer’s body of work. Most portfolios are online so they are easily accessible to editors and clients.
SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelopes)
Way before email when writers use to send queries to editors by mail they would spend thousands of dollars addressing envelopes to themselves and stamping them in the hopes that an editor would send their thumbs up or down or at the very least return that query letter or manuscript using the stamped envelope. That usually never happened. Most editors would write back using company stationary and postage, wasting time, money and trees! Now, most editors shoot a reply via email, however there are still some publications that will only accept queries or manuscripts via snail mail.
Side bars are shorter bits of information that accompany a longer article. They can range in size and they usually are there to highlight or further explain important information.
In modeling, a tear sheet is a copy of the model’s work once published. In writing, a tear sheet works the same way without the pouty stare and 10 hours of hair and makeup. After the publication is printed, editors will often send a tear sheet to the writer as a courtesy for the writer’s clip file.
These are designed to give writers helpful tips and information about submission guidelines and what the publication accepts. While full of great advice and information, they aren’t always gospel. For example, many publication’s guidelines still tout mail in query submissions instead of electronic means.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the freelance glossary!