Site Reorganization Update

The site has been up and down quite a lot in the last month due to upgrades, changes, bugs, troubleshooting, and much more. It’s great to report that we are finally getting close to being 100% up and running on a 24/7 basis! Our first official posts will be coming very soon. Thank you very much for your interest and if you have found this website because you are in search of writers or editors for a project you need help with, please feel free to get in touch via email:

editor@freelance-zone.com

We are accepting new projects for our writing team including online content writing, editing (books and other publications), articles, social media management and much more. A full list of our services and writers is coming very soon.

Thanks for reading!

Joe Wallace
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Freelance-Zone.com Site Reorganization In Progress

The old website cliche “pardon our dust” definitely applies to this space. The site is being overhauled and updated and in the meantime now that we are back online after a lengthy absence, there is plenty to clean up around here! Apologies in the interim for sections badly in need of an update such as Writers Groups By State and Writing Programs.

Updates as they occur. Thank you for your interest!

Joe Wallace
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Freelance-Zone.com

Making Use Of The Holiday Slump

picture-6by Catherine L. Tully

This time of year is notorious for being slow. Editors go on vacation, people plan ahead for the holidays–and writers often find themselves with little to do from now until after the New Year.

Don’t let this get you down. Use the holiday season to re-vamp your online presence and get organized for 2014. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Re-tool your website/blog. (This is one I need to take my own advice on!) It’s easy to let your online resume lapse. The holidays are the perfect time to update your accomplishments.
  • Update LinkedIn. LinkedIn is like an online resume. Make sure it’s current going into the NY.
  • Touch base with contacts. Send out holiday cards. Make phone calls. Have lunch with people. You have time–get to that networking you are always putting off during the year!
  • Plan. Have a plan of attack for the NY so you can hit the ground running when people get back to their desks. Brainstorm article ideas. Gather publications you want to submit to and study them. And so on.
  • Get organized. Set up a spreadsheet for expenses in the NY. File old stuff. Clean off that desk, tidy up your computer and tend to all those housekeeping tasks that get shoved to the back burner. It’s now or never! 🙂
  • Relax. Take a little down time too–it’s OK! Resting and re-charging is part of the cycle–just make sure you don’t ignore the things above!

Do you have any tips for writers to make use of that down time during the holiday season? If so, leave them below!

Freelancing In Crowded Markets

Joe Wallace Freelance Social MediaWhere I live in Chicago, there are record stores in practically every neighborhood. I can count ten that I go to on a regular basis from my local shop (the venerable Laurie’s Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square) to places wayyyyy out in the western suburbs. You might think this makes for a very tough market for record sellers to thrive in, and you’d be right. I myself sell vinyl records, but taking one look at the already-crowded landscape several years ago, I decided a storefront was a scary and probably ill-advised investment.

Instead I sell online and at conventions. My choices on where and when to market myself have kept me in business, however part-time, for many years. And that’s something I learned from being a freelance writer. Choosing where, when, and how to offer things in a crowded market isn’t something I was born with, I had to learn over the course of my career. And sometimes that learning was painful.

For a while, I struggled as a freelancer to make ends meet, and found a “secret” place to land gigs and pay the bills–creative temp agencies. But while the money was very good and the people I worked for equally so, I learned that I wasn’t that happy temping, even as a writer. Long-term clients and short term gigs are what I’m all about, but a good number of the creative temp jobs offered to me required on-site work, often out in those far-flung Chicago burbs where some of my favorite record shops are.

I found myself fretting over wasted time spent in traffic–time I easily could have spent actually working instead of driving–and dreading those rush hour commutes every bit as much as I dreaded not paying the bills. In the end, I ditched the temp work and found more long-term clients on my own. I work for plenty of people I have never met face-to-face, and the entire process is far more efficient when I’m not wasting two hours or more of my day behind the wheel waiting for the lights to change.

Finding the work in crowded markets isn’t easy–I’ve had to get very creative about the types of writing and social media work I can do. I realized I had areas of interest that hadn’t been mined to death in the freelance world and I started moving toward writing about them. I also found there are some topics that I have a unique perspective on due to experience and am very qualified to write about, and a great deal of my work lately is informed by those experiences and skill sets.

Mining my own experiences for freelance opportunities is one of the best things I ever did–looking inward to find my own expertise instead of trying to find editors willing to publish my work in other areas, hoping I might be able to tap into something I’m less experienced with has worked better for me over the long haul. For some, the opposite winds up being true. Which one are you?

–Joe Wallace

Chicago-based content writing, editing, and social media.