According to a Freelance Switch survey, only 15% of surveyed freelancers write a blog. To the 85% of you who are not writing blogs, I say a hearty thank you. Thank you for making my quest for more paying gigs that much easier by taking yourselves out of the race. Self-promotion is one of the most important parts of this crazy business of ours, and by not promoting yourself, your expertise, and years of experience in the game you seriously cut down the competition for yours truly. You guys are awesome.
When I read that 15% factoid as reported in Mike Gunderloy’s post at Web Worker Daily, I admit I was fairly surprised. I would assume a much higher figure. Any freelancer who wants to get paid should be taking a serious look at how they market their number one asset–themselves. If you aren’t pushing your skills, you sell yourself short. Doing a blog is not going to drive employers to your virtual doorstep in droves, they won’t be beating down your door just because you have your shingle out. But any time you apply for a new gig, you should use every tool at your disposal, every advantage over that other 85%.
Continue reading Why You Really Need to Start a Blog
I will be the first to point out that there’s a high signal-to-noise ratio on Craigslist, especially for writers. That said, you can sometimes find real opportunities there, and I’d caution new writers against dismissing it out of hand. When I worked as Managing Editor at Gearwire.com, I once put out a call for writers that had almost no effect other than making me laugh. I did manage to hire one good writer, but a good 90% of the responses I got went instantly into the trash. Here’s why:
Continue reading How to Respond to Writing Job Ads on Craigslist
Blackberry owners aren’t the only ones feeling frustrated recently…we’ve had a lovely snafu ourselves and are working hard to correct things behind the scenes here. Don’t worry, we’re on the case!
Any freelancer in the game for longer than say, five seconds, has run into scams specifically designed to lure writers and those who want to be writers. Some of these are direct rip-offs of your time or your work. Others aren’t deliberately out to hurt you but are run by people who are clueless about how the writing business works. Either way, it doesn’t really matter since the bottom line is wasted time, money and resources.
One example of a dubious publishing model is reported by Storycrafters, which ran complaints about a shady-sounding “get published” scheme at a website called ZootyandFlappers.com. Naturally I’d be willing to give both sides the benefit of the doubt, but the publisher of ZootyandFlappers went on an ill-considered written rampage against “writers beware” site Preditors and Editors. Bad move, that. The Bard springs to mind here, the lady doth protest too much.
I’ll try my best not to comment specifically on ZootyandFlappers.com. At publishing time, I don’t know whether it’s a scam site or not. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say it sounds dogdy, but I have reasons I’ll get to in a moment. For me the jury is out because I just don’t know enough, but I know when I smell a rat–and there is a definite rodent bouquet in the air over this particular controversy. With that in mind, here are my own personal warning signs that absolutely scream “STAY AWAY”.
Continue reading Are You Being Scammed? Warning Signs for Writers
Tunnel vision. That mode you go into when you’ve got your head buried in five deadlines at once, money on the line and probably your professional reputation too if you don’t deliver the goods. It happens to all of us in one form or another and for me, it usually takes something awful to snap myself out of it. I got snapped out of mine in a major way by two big news stories this week. One made national headlines, the other is all over the news in Chicago.
The national one you already know; the death of Heath Ledger. Everybody was shocked over the passing of this talented 28-year old who seemed to have everything going for him. So shocked that some in our business couldn’t resist connecting the dots to the worst possible explanations with nothing more than a few scraps of information. No surprise there, really.
Folio blogger Dylan Stableford’s two cents on all this pretty much sum it up for me, and while I normally nod my head, agree quietly and let things go, another blog entry made me passionate enough to blog about the whole thing. Stableford laments the shoddy journalism connected to Ledger’s death, the haste which some in the media took rumor and partial information, tying them together however it seemed to fit best.
Continue reading On Tunnel Vision