Here are some of the great posts on writing I’ve come across this week. Enjoy!
Archives for July 2009
So you lost a gig. Maybe your client felt you weren’t a good fit. Maybe she ran out of funding or maybe it was you who wasn’t feeling the job. Does that mean you should go openly badmouthing your former employer all over Twitter or the forums? Does that mean you should ignore this former clients emails and questions? No. No, it doesn’t.
You may be unhappy with the present circumstances, but burning bridges doesn’t do anyone any good. Before you start talking smack about the people you used to work for, consider this:
5 Reasons Not to Burn Your Bridges
1. Your Client May Be Back in Business One Day
If your client had to let you go or take a break because his funding ran out, that doesn’t mean he has no intention of using you again in the future. That money may begin flowing again soon. By burning your bridges, you’re erasing the possibility of him contacting you once he’s back in a position to hire your services.
2. Your Client May Want to Recommend You to Others
If you did a good job for your client and parted on good terms, she may want to recommend you to others. If she doesn’t trust you anymore, this won’t happen. Every future client has the ability to recommend you to another client or two and so on, don’t blow it by saying or doing things you may regret.
3. You May Need that Client One Day
What happens when you need a job recommendation or testimonial? If you’re bashing your former clients on your blog and it’s not pretty, they’re not going to want to put in a good word for you.
4. No One Wants to Hang Around with Mr. Grumpy
Self explanatory, really.
5. It May Turn Off a Potential Client
Why would any potential client want to hire someone who is indiscreet or saying unkind things about the people he has worked for before? Before you bash a client, keep in mind that words do stay online forever and they can come back to haunt you.
Bad feelings happen, it’s only natural and writing is a good release. Before you fire off angry missives and hit “enter” or “send”, think about what you’re doing and how it will affect your future.
When you burn bridges you’re not hurting your client as much as you’re hurting yourself.
It’s Friday morning and, you guessed it, it’s raining outside. Isn’t it funny how one section of the country is experiencing extremely wet weather, while another is a serious state of drought? Sort of like how writing can change month after month.We all might think we have job or client security, but that can at any time.
As we get into August I’ll be looking harder for more clients and projects. Though I do have a couple of people keeping me busy, I lightened my load in a big way for the summer. This is the first summer I mostly took off since I was 14, I worked every year since thenn. I can’t tell you what an awesome summer this has been, despite the rain, as took some time off during the summer to spend time with my family and rediscover myself. I hope you all get a chance to do this as well.
Content Writing Jobs
- Content Writers for Freelance Projects – Limelabs
- Web Content Writer Needed – Construction Industry
- Write About Medicinal Marijuana
- Writers Wanted for Online Men’s Entertainment Magazine – $10/article
- Seeking Business & Economics Blogger
- Blogger for Jobacle
- Tech/Small Biz. Blogger at Creative Weblogging
- Freelance Web Writer: Strong Blogging Experience
- Food Bloggers Wanted
Technical Writing Jobs
- Technical Writers/Authors/Bloggers
- Technical Writers for Freelance Projects
- Technical Writer – 7 Month Contract – Chicago
- Technical Write r– Contact – Raleigh
- Technical Writer Wanted – Phoenix
Proofreading and Editing Jobs
- Chief Copyeditor AOL News
- Freelance Copyeditors – Demand Studios
- Freelance Editor – Silver Spring MD
- Looking for a Good Editor
- Book Editor Wanted
- Web Content Editor – San Diego
- Interactive Copywriter – NYC
- Ad Copywriter – Dallas
- Freelance Copywriter – Cleveland
- Copywriter – Bilingual – English/Spanish – Chicago
- Freelance Web Copywriter with Medical Experience – Cleveland
- Senior Copywriter – NYC – $50 – $75/hour
- Copywriter for Web Based Project
Script Writers Wanted
- Freelance Writers – Multiple Positions
- Freelance Television Journalist – Allentown PA
- Freelance Journalist – Pocatello ID
- Hip Hop Journalist – Las Vegas – Flexible – might be freelance or telecommute
- Writers for Darien, CT News Site
Grant, Proposal and Business Plan Writing Jobs
General/Misc. Freelance Writing Jobs
- Writing Teacher Wanted
- Freelance Writer – Multicultural Report
- Freelance Market Research/Report Writer
- Writers and Editors for Freelance Projects – Limelab
- Science Writer for Circulation Research
- Freelance Auction Writer
- Writer and Article Editor – $10/hour
- Food Editor for Cookbook – Montreal
- Write Summaries of Self Help Books – $15 hour
- Writer for Classical Music Program Notes
- Service Observation Writer/Reporter
- Writer Wanted – Psychology Expert
- Writers for Skin Care/Beauty Company – Burbank
- Technology Review Writer – $15/article
- Country Music Writer – .40/word
- Permanent Guest Blogger Wanted – $20/post
- Ghost Writer Wanted
- Freelance Writer for Local Advertising Company – .03/word
- Seeking Article Writers
- Professional Resume Writer
- Web/Newsletter/Brochure – San Diego
- Freelance Writers for San Diego Magazine
- Tech company Needs Compelling Executive Summary
Note: This is a premium (sponsored) job ad and will remain as the top post on this blog for the next week. Please check the Freelance Writing Jobs for Web and Print blog’s homepage to find all the latest jobs and job lists.
For those freelance writers who are into politics, this is a job offer that may interest you:
We are a company looking for a Freelance Political Writer to join us to help generate exclusive content by writing insights and articles.
What we offer:
* Flexible pay
* Opportunity to make extra money
* Opportunity to work from any location
What we are looking for:
* Candidate with political journalism and freelance experience
Additional skills which would make a candidate more desirable:
*Winner of writing contests and/or has published or
*Candidate blogs about various topics
We are open to discussing how this collaboration should be formed.
How to apply:
Please submit your resume, cover letter, writing samples, and any relevant info for consideration to [email protected]
Let me set the scene for you:
It’s currently 12:48 a.m. I’m sitting in a dark living room with the ‘80s Hits station playing retro music, a sleeping baby on the couch next to me, and I’m hunched over a glowing computer screen working on what had better be my final project of the day.
When I started freelancing, I was excited about all the new possibilities my chosen profession was sure to bring. While I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be glamorous, I somehow didn’t envision listening to The Cutting Crew singing “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” while I balanced my laptop on a Boppy pillow and cringed every time a dog barked for fear my toddler would awake and demand to be nursed back to sleep while my deadlines slipped by.
It’s actually pretty amazing how much parenthood informs my freelance writing business. I was elated when my daughter finally learned to nap without being held, because it meant I could sneak in a couple of extra SEO articles a day. That joy was dashed when she went from two naps a day to only one. I’m still grieving the loss of the morning nap.
Even my work environment is arranged around the baby’s needs. Believe me, I’m not sitting here in the dark as Cher laments her inability to turn back time because it’s part of my “process.” In reality, the music helps keep the little one asleep, and turning on the lights would obviously result in a less-than-productive environment when she started wailing from the inconvenience. Heck, I’m actually a little chilly, but I can’t turn off the air conditioner because it’s providing the oh-so-important white noise that makes this late-night writing possible.
I’m even half afraid to get up at the moment for fear of tripping in the dark over Curios George, a sippy cup, or a copy of Hop on Pop. It’s not my safety I’m taking into consideration, mind you, but the fact that stepping on one rogue peg puzzle piece will cause me to yelp and thereby wake Sleeping Beauty.
Don’t get the idea that I’m complaining, though, because I am definitely not. I chose this career for exactly this reason. I make my own hours (even if they do end up being at one o’clock in the morning sometimes) so that I can be with my sweet girl. I didn’t have to ask a boss for time off to take her to her 18-month well-baby visit today; I just did it. Any time I want to, I can ask her what the rooster says (“er-er”) or to hug me tight.
Like Bobby Brown says: It’s my prerogative.
Just kidding. Actually there are likely plenty of gigs out there, you just won’t be hearing about them from me. I’m totally crazed trying to move (yeah, in two days and so far I’ve got about 5 boxes packed) and trying to post ahead at my own gigs so I can actually move.
That said, I have to bail here for about a week. I’m planning on being back around by the 6th or 7th of August. Until then, you can look for gigs via these helpful links…
I’ll be back in about a week with jobs again three times a week and we’ll get back to our how to score a gig series. Until then stay cool (it topped 100 here in Oregon yesterday), keep writing, and have a great start of August.
Self editing is an important and often difficult part of writing. Distancing yourself from your own work can be especially tough. Think about it, you’ve poured over the subject, invested time, sweat and even, on occasion, tears into a piece and in the end you have to take a step back and go over ‘your baby’ with a critical eye.
You need time away from your piece to see it with your fresh editor eyes. I like to call this letting an article “marinate.” This marinating time gives you the opportunity to reset your brain and can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. You do need to schedule marinating time in accordance with your deadline. An editor is not going to want to hear about how your piece is late because it’s still in the sauce.
This isn’t the best ecological practice, but printing an article out will go a long way in making sure you catch any errors. It may sound old school, but there is really no substitute for a printed piece and a red pen. I find that longer articles benefit from this style of editing and shorter, blog-style pieces are less likely to need the stroke of the pen.
If the thought of printing out an article just for editing bothers your green sensibilities, simply reuse the paper for something else:
- add it to the shredder and turn it into packing paper for packages or gifts
- keep it on hand for kids drawings and doodles
- use both sides before tossing in the recycle bin
No, I’m not asking you to bust out in your best robot dance routine while editing, though if you do put it on YouTube so I can laugh. I’m actually asking you to leave your emotions at the door. This is vital to editing especially when it comes to hitting your word count. As a writer you can become so attached to your words that you can’t possibly find any place to trim your beautifully crafted work.
It is better for you to do the trimming than your editor because they don’t want to do it. I’ve gotten pretty darn resentful when a writer has sent in 500 words for a 300 word piece and expect me to whittle it down for them. It makes me think that they are either trying to get over, trying to get paid more than I budgeted or they are too lazy to be bothered. In any case I get cranky.
Imagine you’re a woodcarver and you have carved the most beautiful bench for a client. You deliver it proudly and when you see the piece at the homeowner’s housewarming party you’re horrified to find the client has hacked away at the legs with a handsaw because you failed to make the bench within the parameters they gave you. “But the legs were the best part!” you yell in horror. The client shrugs and mentions it just didn’t fit so they cut what they could. Edit to hit your word count so you have more control over what makes the publication.
Self editing requires distance in order to see your words as just words – words that need to be manipulated and perfected to the best of your ability.
How do you distance yourself from your work? Tell us below!
Being a success as a freelance writer isn’t only about being a good writer. It’s about rocking the customer service and being a good communicator. When your clients are happy, they’re less likely to argue over pay increases and more likely to refer you to other potential clients. Here are some tips to help:
5 Rocking Good Business Practices for Freelance Writers
1. Be Flexible:
Good clients are hard to find. I mean, we’ve all had annoying clients and we’ve all had ok clients but model clients are few and far between. Why clients act the way they do is another post for another time, however, it should go without saying that we want our clients to be happy. We especially want our model clients to be happy. This means we have to be a bit flexible.
Being flexible can mean several different things. For instance, we can be flexible with our rates. We don’t want to sell ourselves short but there’s nothing wrong with adjusting our rates to land a desired project or giving a discount on a large project to our good clients.
We can also be flexible with our time now and then by staying up later to talk to an overseas client or meeting a tough deadline. This isn’t to say we should always give in to difficult clients, but being flexible for our good clients is never a bad thing.
2. Say Thank You:
Do you send thank you notes after job interviews? I do. Even if I don’t get the gig I think it’s a good practice. It keeps me on the potential client’s radar as being someone who goes the extra mile.Clients and employers are impressed by good manners and may tuck that thank you away for future reference.
Do you send thank you notes to clients after projects are completed? I do. I thank clients for the opportunity. Again, the good manners stand out. I’m not just someone who takes the money and runs. I thank clients for opportunities and I thank potential clients for their consideration. This is the difference between “save” and “delete”.
3. Follow Up:
Ok. So you finished a project. Now what? Send it in and wait for your check? Well, you could do that. Wouldn’t it be a better practice to send a note to your client to follow up? How did he like the project? Was it to his expectations? Were there any issues? Any tweaks?
Chances are, if there were any changes to be your client would have contacted you, but your following up will win points in your favor. Points that can add up to referrals, recommendations and raises.
4. Don’t Ignore Your Email:
If not tended to regularly email can pile up to become the bane of a writers existence. This can be a mistake if a client or potential client’s email is lost in the shuffle. No one likes to feel ignored. If you’re swamped for time, at least send a “I have received your email. I am not able to respond at the moment, but I will look it over in a couple of hours when I have more time to give it the response it deserves.” This lets the client know you did see his email and will respond, even if it’s not right away.
Clients like freelancers who can work independently, but they also like to feel as if they’re in control – or at least that they know what’s going on. Many freelancers have successful relationships with their clients because they send them a daily or weekly status report. This lets the client know where the freelancer is with the project, if there have been any problems, and if the client needs to send the freelancer more information or tools.
Your client may not respond at all, but receiving periodic updates will offer reassurance that he has selected a mature, responsible freelancer for his task.
It’s all about respect
These things aren’t rocket science, in most cases they’re good manners and good business. It used to be second nature to treat our clients with respect, and make them feel important. Somehow though, we’re losing a little of this.
It’s not enough to land the client, what will you do to keep your client?
This has got to be the soggiest summer for as long as I can remember. Torrential rain almost every day, and not enough outside time. The good news is that it gives me time to get stuff done, the bad news is I have a cranky case of cabin fever.
Not a huge batch of leads today, but it’s summer.
Don’t forget, we’re hiring!
Web Content Writing Jobs
- Writers for Golf Website – GolfLink/Demand Studios – $15
- Hiking and Outdoors Writers – Trails.com/Demand Studios – $15
- Temporary Web Writer – University Hospitals – Shaker Heights OH
- Content Creators for Online Shopping and Savings Site
- Writers & Bloggers to Write Content for Parenting Site
Technical Writing Jobs
- Contract Technical Writer w/Mortgage Experience – 6 to 12 month contract – Edison NJ – $35 – $40/hour
Proofreading and Editing Jobs
Travel Writing Jobs
Sports Writing Jobs
Grant Writing Jobs
- Grant Writer for Non Profit Project – San Francisco
Business Plan Writing Jobs
Resume Writing Jobs
General/Misc. Freelance Writing Jobs
- Freelance Writer – Minyanville Media – NYC – Candidates must be able to attend meetings once a week.
- Business Writer Wanted
- Writers for Quirky Quizzes – UK
- Curriculum Development – Newark NJ
- Writers and Editors Wantd – $10/hour
- Medical Science Writer – Ann Arbor
- Get Paid to Write Quizzes About Georgia Tech – $50
- Cheese Expert Wanted
- Earn $50 by Writing Quizzes About Harvard University
- Writers, Bloggers, Editors Needed – Advant Corp
- Seeking Article Writer
- Product Description Writer
- Home Audio/Home Theater Writer Wanted
- Researcher for 3 Week Gig
- Articles for Magazine
- Writers Needed – NY – $20/hour
- Medical Ghost Writer Wanted – Bellevue/Redmond
- Writer/Marketer for Short Term Contract – Seattle
- SEO Projects
- Brochure Writer – Washington DC
The “standard” resume format that most of us are familiar with is the chronological resume. In this style, the job seeker lists his or her previous jobs in reverse chronological order. This may not be the best choice for freelance writers, though.
We may have long-term clients that we work with regularly, a series of short-term projects, or a combination of the two. Using a strict chronological format may not present us in the best way to a potential client, especially if there are gaps in our work history or times that are less busy than others.
Another issue that freelancers can encounter when writing a resume is whether or how to list volunteer writing projects on it. I think that the fact that you worked on the project is what matters, as opposed to whether or how much you were paid for it, but other people feel that work experience should be limited to paid work only.
Enter the functional resume. You can use this style to focus the potential client’s attention on your skills, as opposed to who you have worked for and when you did the work.
You can check out an example of a functional resume here.
When you are writing your own functional resume, you can include sections for the different kinds of writing projects you have done (SEO, web copy, ebooks, ghost writing, press releases, etc.).
Do you use a chronological resume or have you tried a functional style? Do you feel that one is more likely to get you a gig than the other?