Freelance gigs are posted and reposted like crazy on your favorite writing sites. Even we have posted jobs here when the mood strikes us. While we enjoy doing it when there’s time, we fully recognize one overriding problem with getting leads from “the usual places”.
If 75 people who are all looking for freelance writing opportunities look at a single job post, the editor is likely to get 75 query letters or resumes. That’s some pretty stiff competition.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t use the freelance writing job boards, just be prepared for a lot of no-reply situations unless you can get on the bandwagon early and beat the rush.
I have a dirty little secret I use for just such purposes, and it involves looking at the freelance writing gig sites, taking a few notes, and then not responding to ANY of the items posted there. My secret? Continue reading The Problem With Job Boards
by Joe Wallace
There are plenty of dirty little secrets in the freelance writing business. The first dirty secret is that most writers won’t tell you their dirty secrets. They find ’em and hang on to them jealously out of fear that their fellow freelancers will act just like zombies–all swarming desperately to get their grubby little undead fingers on another piece of the freelance writing pie.
That’s dirty secret number two–freelancers WILL swarm about like extras in a George Romero movie.
Which leads me to dirty secret number three. Freelance writers only let their dirty little secrets out when they don’t need them anymore. Feeling a bit cynical yet?
It’s all part of the game, and for those who like to play, it’s just something you have to get used to. No worries, we’re all in this together and all that. Here are a few of my own personal dirty little freelance writing secrets that I actually still DO use, but I don’t mind sharing:
- I am a freelance editor as well as a freelance writer. When I need to hire writers for various projects, the first criteria I judge them on is how well their cover letters match their writing samples. Are the writers inarticulate boobs in the cover letter or are those first impression communiques just as finely crafted as their writing samples?
- When a writer tries to pretend they know something they don’t, it seems glaringly obvious to me as an editor. I never work with these people again once I’m sure they are talking out their backsides. Sorry, gang, but if you don’t know your subject matter, don’t try to write as an authority. Appeal to someone else’s authority instead. Write from a more neutral point of view and let your quotes do the talking. Continue reading More Freelance Writing Secrets
by Joe Wallace
The world of freelance blogs is completely saturated with jobs and market listings. But recent developments at Freelance Writing Gigs proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that in spite of the overwhelming amount of job and market info out there, the demand for news about writing jobs and freelance markets is huge.
There was a tempest in a teapot over at Freelance Writing Gigs over Deb Ng’s post on The Freelance Writing Jobs Network titled 50 Places That Hire Freelance Writers. Someone posted a needlessly bitter comment about Deb’s post and a flurry of replies later, it’s clear people want more, more, more market and job info–even with all the sites out there hurling job data and contact info day to day.
At Freelance-Zone.com, we like a challenge. And so we join the fray. Watch this space for information on freelance gigs, markets and much more. We’ll be looking for strong, relevant writing gigs and market information. Not all of the posts will be freelance gigs–some are permanent writing positions, some are contract, some might start off being contract/temporary with the potential to go full time.
One thing I can promise you right now–our information will be much different. We DO NOT use RSS feeds or site scrapers to dig up our job information. Freelance-Zone will present HAND-PICKED JOBS and freelance writing gigs.
In our view it is far too easy to offer up a daily list of Craigslist posts and leave it at that. Will the OCCASIONAL Craigslist freelance writing job make it into these pages? MAYBE. But only if it meets my strict criteria for a quality freelance writing job or project. By and large, there will be no Craigslist ads here. Everybody else is already running them.
Besides, I have my own sources and contacts. Keep watching this space, friends.
Ever get so bogged down with work you feel like your freelance writing game is seriously slipping? Maybe you’re taking on too much at once and spotting the danger signs, or maybe you’re ABOUT to…take a look at this list of bad habits and ask yourself, “Is that ME?” Stop the overwork trainwreck before it begins if you can, or at least get into damage control mode and work on digging yourself out.
Bad Habit #1: Taking on gigs without checking your deadlines on existing work. The fastest way to bury yourself is to accept projects in direct conflict with your already pressing deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll be burning the midnight oil and playing catch up…with important existing editors or clients. Don’t do it!
Bad Habit #2: Giving your existing editors or clients the short shrift in favor of a newcomer. Each of your paid projects deserves your full attention. Are you phoning it in with your favorite source of work so you can impress the new client or editor? You might be able to get away with it for a short time, but in the end you hurt your chances for more work if you can’t give value for the money paid.
Bad Habit #3: Taking on work that’s beneath you. Are you struggling to keep up with good paying, quality gigs because you’re doing too many low-paying blog entries or other writing that eats too much time for not enough pay? Learn to weed out the time wasters and stick to your high-value clients and editors.
Bad Habit #4: Turning in material past deadline or just in the nick of time. Are those timewaster gigs hurting your ability to stay on target with the good gigs? Time for a serious look at the problem and a Dear John letter to your lowest-paying clients.
Bad Habit #5: Working nonstop. Are you getting out of bed, hitting the keyboard, and working until bedtime? That’s a sure sign you’ve taken on far too much. This practice should not become part of your lifestyle. If it does, you miss the whole reason to go freelance in the first place—freedom! You may as well work in an office with a set schedule if you’re going to kill yourself at home. Schedule some YOU time. Your writing will improve as a result.
The reason I know so much about these five bad habits is that I’ve done them all myself. Especially the working around the clock thing. Avoid these pitfalls by any means necessary…at some point in a freelance writing career, everybody will make these mistakes; keep them to a minimum and you’ll live much better regardless of income.