Tag Archives: pro blogging

I’m not late on this post….

420838710095906257_a873bb3665e9I’ve posted this EXACTLY when I meant to, which is exactly two months later than I should have posted this.

So I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. My apologies. I’m back with a vengeance to share wondrous tales of freelance heroism, hardships and glory!

To begin my tale, I’ve just returned from a trip to New Orleans, whereby I encountered a psychic. Ok, a psychic and a huge amount of booze. But the psychic was the highlight.

As I sat down to have my palm read, the first thing he said to me, while pointing to a little y-shaped crease in my palm, was “I see you are a writer…” Holy telepathy, Batman! Get out of my head!

He followed with “…but you never write for yourself anymore. Only for others. Your writing is out of balance. If you find the time to write for you, the other writing will improve.” Cut to me falling out of my chair. (From shock. Not from booze. I know you were thinking it.)

Of all the things he said to me during my 15-minute palm reading, this stayed with me the most. And whether or not he can see into the future or can read into my soul via my palm, he was onto something. I never write for “me” anymore.

15-year-old me understood the balance: Finish your book report, and then spill your guts to your diary about that “B,” Stephanie, who tried to tell you that your perm looked like fried crap.

20-year-old me understood the balance: Finish your article for the college paper, and then blog about the importance of finding a mini skirt that does double-duty in hiding my new-found pizza gut.

Even 25-year-old me in journalism school understood the balance as I updated my MySpace status with deeply introspective thoughts on the new Rihanna single.

So why doesn’t 3[number deleted] -year-old me understand the balance? All work and no play makes Mandy dull.

So my advice to you, and to myself, is to make as much time for the fun, personal writing as you do for the clients.

Clients are wonderful. They pay the bills, but don’t let them have ALL of your creativity. Reserve some for yourself! Whether you blog beautiful advice to others, or scribble dirty limericks onto Post-it notes, don’t forget why we got into this mess in the first place – because before the clients came along, you simply loved to write. Cheers to that! *hic*


Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional writer/editor for more years than she can remember. You can find her at the bar, where most writers do their best work. 




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

Does Your Hobby Blog Eclipse Your Pro Blog?

dangers of assuming on freelance jobsby Joe Wallace

If your hobby blog is overtaking your professional blog, getting more hits and more attention, ask yourself a couple of important questions. After all, we all want our pro blogs to do well and make money–but some people find their pro blogs lagging behind the ones they do for fun.

And there lies the answer, I suspect.

Hobby blogs are often more informal, more fun to read, and definitely more fun to write than pro blogs. I think pro blogs could take a lesson here–at least the ones that don’t seem to be able to compete. I run Turntabling.net, which is a lot more snarky, informal and goofy than Freelance-Zone.com. While Turntabling isn’t a hobby blog per se–I do try to earn some coin on it–I don’t worry nearly as much about content there because it’s far more opinionated and as such is easier to write. While there are opinions here, I find striking a balance between information and opinion more crucial to the success of FZ in general.

If your hobby blog is outpacing your pro blog, ask a few questions of your work:

  • What makes the hobby blog fun to read? What is it you do there that you DON’T do on the pro blog?
  • Is your pro blogging work too long? Too densely packed with information? Or is it “skimmable”?
  • What is the central idea of your pro blog? Can you sum it up in two sentences or less?
  • Look at the visual presentation of your pro blog. Is it easy on the eyes? Or is it a cluttery mess?
  • Give your blog the Who Cares? test for all your most recent posts. The So What? test is also a good one.

These are only a few of the things you can try, I’ll cover some additional ways to give your pro blog a good, hard look in another post. Continue reading Does Your Hobby Blog Eclipse Your Pro Blog?

The Super Affiliate Handbook

super-affiliate-marketingThere are plenty of guides out there, including this one by Rosalind Gardner, that explain the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and how to make it work for you. Many people get very excited after reading books like The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436, 797 In One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online.

There’s just one teeny little problem–not with Gardner’s book, but with the people who read it and get over-excited. Bloggers who think they can throw up a few posts and a few subsequent affiliate links and turn a profit tend to forget that you have to have an audience in order to get the clicks. And since most affiliate programs don’t pay you by the click, but rather by the purchase, that equation gets a little more challenging.

The key to a successful affiliate program on a blog or website? Focus. Decide what you want to do and stick to it. If you want to supplement a blog with some affiliate income, there are strategies and techniques you can use specific Continue reading The Super Affiliate Handbook

Google AdSense Merges With Google Analytics

Darren Rowse reports Google is combining Goolge Analytics data with Google AdSense stats. This means a great deal to bloggers running AdSense campaigns; you can track ad effectiveness using the power of GA. It’s not happening all at once, Rowse says the rollout is being phased in and publishers who have access the new combination will find an invitation waiting for them in the AdSense admin section. If you are a blogger interested in Google AdSense or are just getting started, this development won’t mean much to you…yet. Once you discover how powerful these two features are when combined, you will learn a great deal.

Pro Blogging: A Few Casual Observations

Ever since I landed my first gig as a paid blogger, I’ve been studying some “hidden” aspects of professional blogging. The one thing pro bloggers should do from the word go is take notice of the ever-shifting nature of the business, watch how it changes, and anticipate the future in order to keep those paychecks coming in. The bloggers who don’t change with the times will get left behind like the most primitive web 1.0 sites. And we all know what we think about THOSE, now, don’t we?

This little collection of observations is by no means representational of the whole industry, these are just my own opinions. They may apply in varying degrees to your situation, and I’m sure there are a few truisms in here. I suspect I’m not alone in observing some of the following:

Continue reading Pro Blogging: A Few Casual Observations