Tag Archives: Facebook

My Top Five Freelance Resources

by Joe Wallace

Top Five Freelance ResourcesIn my daily freelance work, I write on a variety of topics–everything from finance to music. To get all this done, I need a range of information, images, and research material, and I thought I’d share my top five resources here.

It’s not that I think these specific resources will help all freelancers, far from it, but I am hoping the sheer diversity of them will inspire other to share their own resources and consider looking in places they had not thought of using in their daily work before. I’ve learned that the most unlikely sources can often be of great value.

That’s why Portland, Oregon PR agency North is in my top five list. The insights about digital culture are thought-provoking and inform my work in social media for my clients. I don’t get a ton of writing ideas from reading this site, but it does inform how I market those ideas.

For royalty-free digital images, I’m a huge fan of Stock Xchng, which is where the image you see in my post today comes from. I use them every day.

HootSuite is a major time-saver for me. I run social media accounts for six different websites, plus posts on my personal accounts about my auctions on eBay and my Etsy store, so Hootsuite is a real lifesaver for me. I manage all my social media via HootSuite, and it sure beats running back and forth between accounts, with one big exception; Continue reading My Top Five Freelance Resources

Tasks Every Writer Should Do

Catherine L. Tullyby Catherine L. Tully

If you write for a living you are already aware of the fact that not all of your time is spent writing. Marketing, paperwork and upkeep are all a part of the gig. There are certain tasks you should be spending time on regularly to make sure you keep up. Here’s my own personal short-list:

+ Marketing- marketing these days for me is mostly social media related. I spend time cultivating relationships (and having fun!) on Twitter and Facebook. I also keep my LinkedIn profile up-to-date and periodically ask people for recommendations.

+ Computer stuff- This is crucial. You have to de-fragment your computer, back up your data and make sure your virus scan and updates are all current. If your machine goes down, you’re in big trouble. Set up a maintenance schedule and stick to it!

+ Filing and organizing paper- If you get behind here it can turn into a nightmare of confusion. Keep your contracts on file, make sure your business bank statements are in order and pitch the junk.

+ Deal with your e-mail- Again, this can get messy if you don’t deal. If you use Outlook, create folders for e-mails so you can find them. I do mine by client. Use sub-folders so you can find things quickly. Don’t let too much stack up in your inbox.

+ Check your online presence- Google yourself periodically and see what comes up. Keep an eye out for places that have used your writing without your permission. Save links to articles you have online before they are hard to find. See what’s out there with your name on it. Your reputation is at stake.

These are a few of the things I do on a weekly (or daily)  basis. Do you have any to share? Drop us a comment…

What I Learn About Social Media…By Teaching Social Media

Paisley Babylon Blogby Joe Wallace

By way of introduction, let me share with our our newest readers a bit about what I do. In addition to writing freelance articles on finance, music, cinema and many other topics, I also am very active in social media. I have several clients that ask me to manage, write, develop audiences, find friends/followers, etc. And somehow I find the time to teach social media to people who want to know just what this Facebook thing is all about and how it can grow someone’s business.

Little did I know when I started teaching social media how much I could learn by doing it.

For example, I learned that many people have no understanding whatsoever about things I take completely for granted. Privacy issues, how to present a business or product on social media in a way that doesn’t turn people off in the first ten seconds, how to make friends and network online…it’s amazing how much I take for granted each and every day.

To respect the short attention spans of everyone (including myself), I’ll just share one little anecdote. One class I taught on social media had a student who was very concerned about privacy online. This person was very concerned about providing any personal information at all–very reluctant to share much of anything. I figured perhaps this was a very casual user who didn’t have big plans for Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Imagine my surprise when this person told me they wanted to promote their business on Facebook. Someone who wants to use a tool they basically viewed as a threat to them would seem to be a contradiction in terms, but after a bit of discussion I think I was able to make a convincing argument for developing an online presence and not being as worried about privacy as the lack of press they currently had compared to the exposure social media could provide. After all, businesses live or die by their visibility in the community. Online, it’s no different. Continue reading What I Learn About Social Media…By Teaching Social Media

5 Social Media Tips For Freelancers

Twitter Social Media dos and donts
By Joe Wallace

It’s funny how history repeats itself. Ten years ago, freelancers and business owners were wondering if they should start websites to promote the business. It wasn’t quite mandatory yet back then. Today people have the same issues with social media. “Should I get more involved with Twitter and Facebook?”

That question is like, soooo last century.

Of COURSE you should be. But for the right reasons and with the right strategies.

Gang of Four founder and social web contrarian Dave Allen is fond of saying that simply having a Facebook and Twitter account does not equal having a digital strategy, and I have to agree. So many people DO believe that, though–that using social media IS the strategy as opposed to simply having another tool in the box to use.

The first place I start when telling people how to use Twitter and Facebook? Make a plan and decide what you want to DO with these tools. It’s not enough to post things and hope people pay attention.

Once you have a strategy and know what you want to accomplish with your social media accounts, then you are ready to really take advantage of the following advice:

  1. Don’t be content to post an endless stream of quotations and self-promotion. People want to know YOU’RE there.
  2. Opinions vary, but I’m of the mind that posting links in every post isn’t the best way to use social media. Sometimes we all fall into a rut here–myself included, but refer to #1. People want to know YOU are there…not just your agenda.
  3. Following the right people is an art–don’t just populate your friends and following lists for the sake of the numbers like we ALL did when we first got our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Be selective. Target your audience and go after THEM.
  4. Don’t ignore your DM, inbox, and other tw0-way communication tools associated with your social media account. Sometimes you learn a lot about how NOT to use the social web by weeding out the spam and useless messages you’re going to get.
  5. It’s very tempting for freelancers to lean in favor of potential clients or colleagues when friending and following. Don’t be so self-conscious about your friends and follows–add the people who are relevant to what you’re doing on the web and let the chips fall where they may.

Social Media For Writers

This post is sponsored by FiledBy – where authors can claim their free website and build their online marketing platform

donnanoseby Catherine L. Tully

I stumbled across a real gem of a site in Social Media for Writers and thought I’d share it with you today. It was great to see something specifically devoted to writers out there, and this site has a little something for everyone…

If you are a rank beginner when it comes to social media sites, the author (Donna Talarico) provides a good overview of two of the best out there–Twitter and Facebook. More advanced users will appreciate things such as information about promoting your blog on Twitter or information on how to use Twitter lists.


One of the most refreshing things about this site is the easy tone that Talarico uses. She communicates good information without talking down to writers, but it isn’t so basic that you’ll be bored. Take a few minutes to check this site out and see what you can learn about making social media work for you.

And if you haven’t already joined us on Twitter or Facebook, please drop by and sign on. We should all be connected!

This post was sponsored by FiledBy – where authors can claim their free website and build their online marketing platform

Social Media ist das Opium des Volkes

iStock_000009250299XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Okay, so maybe Karl Marx was talking about religion instead of social media when he tagged an institution as “the opiate of the people.” But if Karl were alive today, I don’t think he’d argue with calling social media an opiate. Speaking for myself, I swore off television years ago only to end up spending those newfound hours in front of the computer every day. Sucked in again!

How much time do you spend on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Classmates, YouTube, Flickr, Google Buzz, Bebo, Flixster, MyLife, etc., etc.? And I’m not even talking about the time you spend checking your e-mail accounts, blogs, bank/brokerage accounts, shopping, travel, and all that other “essential” stuff. Talk about a huge time suck.

To be clear, social media is pretty amazing. You have hundreds — sometimes thousands — of personal and business connections at your fingertips. This simply was not possible ten years ago. Old college friends were just that…old college friends. Maybe you saw them at your 10th or 20th or 50th reunion. Now you can see them every day. Perhaps all you learn is that they spend oodles of time fertilizing eggplant in FarmVille. But hey, you’ll have something to talk about at the next reunion, right? (“Hey, Greg…how’d that degree in library science turn out? Oh. Sorry. Nice eggplant farm though.”)

I started to say that social media is pretty amazing. And that it has its place. It’s helped me spread the word about my new book publishing business faster and cheaper and to a broader audience than I could have done with traditional PR or marketing. And I’ve made some new friends along the way. It’s been great. But I really did get sucked in. Here’s what happened: I was spending LOTS of time each day trying to keep up with all of my social media accounts, and then staying up very late at night doing all the other things that are traditionally associated with book publishing. That had to stop. My job is editing and publishing. My job is not social media gadfly — no matter how entertaining, compelling or (dare I say it) ADDICTING social media might be.

Here is a longer version of the famous Karl Marx quote. Again, I have substituted “social media” for “religion”:
[Social media] is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

It’s your life. Don’t live it all virtually.

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, an independent book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics.