By Terreece M. Clarke
To get a writing job, you need clips and having easy access to those clips is essential to running an efficient and productive writing career. So, where are your clips hanging out?
Some writers wait until they are applying for a job to look up their online articles. Normally, while not the most productive, they find their articles in time to send them off to a waiting editor. However, there are other times when one goes to find the article and it has been deleted by the web site. Yikes.
When your article goes live on a site the best thing a writer can do is save the file as a PDF file. Saving it as a PDF file maintains the look of the site and you are not at the mercy of the webmaster.
When your article appears in print you need to decide how you are going to maintain your clip file. Many writers make both color and black and white copies and keep the clips in flat folder. Other writers mount their clip copies on a sturdier paper for submission. Others still scan their articles and save them to be printed when needed.
Whatever your style, you need to develop a system. Save time with web articles and keep a list of links and the PDF versions easily accessible to cut down on the amount of time you spend Googling yourself to do to find your clips. Keep your print article clips organized and in good condition – no one wants to look at a rumpled piece of paper in a submission packet.
Have you developed a clip system? Share your tips below!
Thanks, Terreece. Your post jolted me out of my procrastination…I am guilty of doing what you mention – hunting for my clips while applying and adding them in the last minute! I have been working on a website + clip-system for some time now and realize I need to get it done…and fast. It’s waaay beyond my self-imposed deadline already. Will take your tip and get started asap..err..right away. Thanks!
Great post… I have all of my print clips stored in plastic sheets in a binder. I also have scanned PDFs and JPEGs on my computer. Things were a bit of a jumble until I started putting them on my website, much like Rupa is doing. This is one of the main reasons I created Writer’s Residence – to help me and other writers manage their clips.
Thanks Terreece. I have been struggling with this very question lately. The PDF tip is my takeaway.
I have old clips, from my corporate years that are not online. While I have copies, would everyone suggest the scan and save method for those? or?
As a tech savvy writer, i find that saving the clips as a PDF is by far the easiest things to do and it can be done after every job is complete.
Jeanne Grunert says
I keep an Excel spreadsheet with the URLs, date of publication and company. I love the idea of saving items as PDF. There is a good free shareware PDF making program called PDF 995. You simply go to print, and instead of printing to a real printer, click on PDF 995 and it makes a file. It’s really great (no, I don’t make a kickback from them…it’s really free…)
Heather Smith says
I’m putting my Web site together for my freelance business, and some of my medical/health writing clips are nine years old. I’ve worked in so many industries since then. What do you think of posting older clips? It’s still relevant content, but the clips are unfortunately in black and white from DrugEmporium.com, a Web site that shut down in 2001. They’re great clips and I was their only content writer. However, I’ve also included clips to more current projects for Ensure and Similac on the same page…
Terreece Clarke says
I think you should use the clips if they are great clips and they are relevant to your writing field/niche/focus. It doesn’t matter if the clip is old or the site is defunct, what matters is the writing. As long as you have a nice looking copy that will look good online then no worries.
Thank you for the wonderful advice. I really needed to hear this. I am returning to the writing world from a 10 + year hiatus. So your advice means a lot to me! I have amazing clips that showcase my talents. They are just old. I feel more confident submitting them now.