Bloggers use social networking sites like MySpace for self-promotion all the time. But how can a struggling freelance writer take advantage of the same type of strategies bloggers use? It’s easy. Here’s the breakdown in five easy steps:
1. Cultivate lots of “friends”. The law of averages says the more MySpace friends you have, the higher the response rate will be when you post a link to your material or send a bulletin saying “Hey, look at this!” The extra eyeballs on your work means the greater likelihood that your article will get comments and feedback. The more activity on a given article, the better you look in the eyes of an editor who has to decide whether to use you again.
2. Add “targeted” friends. Got somebody else in the biz you want to make friends with? Maybe an editor or a publication you want to get published has a MySpace site. Add them as friends and start up a casual “relationship” with them by sending the occasional message or posting a nice comment. This is standard MySpace behavior, but when it comes time to strike up a conversation with someone at that publication you won’t be such an unknown quantity at a medium-sized or smaller operation. The key here is to be a semi-regular MySpacer, posting and commenting without mentioning your own work–until you need to.
Continue reading Five Ways To Use MySpace to Advance Your Writing
There isn’t a ton of writer-specific fashion out there, so when one does pop on our radar, we pass it along. This design from Snorg Tees hits the nail right on the head. The beauty of being a stay-at-home type freelancer is that you don’t need to wear a blazer over this shirt, but if you’re working a steady gig, you’d get laughed out of the office for being such a writer geek. They do make great gifts, workout shirts, or layering tees for the cold dead end of winter.
Buy for $16.95
Ever get a sudden idea for a great story, article, or plot device at the exact moment you can’t write anything down or e-mail it to yourself? This 1-gig MP3 watch from Skullcandy is the answer to that problem. The built-in voice recorder lets you dictate your ideas and save them for later in .wav format, compatible with all audio editors and playback software like Cubase, Vegas, Pro Tools, and iTunes. The watch stores a full gigabyte of MP3s and you can transfer music via USB just like any Zune or iPod.
Buy for $169.95
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
If you want one good book on freelancing and you are just starting out, Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer by Jenna Glatzer is definitely it. Jenna walks through the query process, tells some juicy insider secrets and teaches those who are just starting out a ton about the business of writing. She has penned many an article including credits in Woman’s World, Woman’s Own, and Prevention. Glatzer is a contributing editor at Writer’s Digest and has written several books including an authorized biography of Celine Dion.
There is a lot of information out there for the new freelancer, but you have to dig around in writing forums, magazine articles and books to find it–and it’s very time consuming. It can be difficult at first to tell the good advice from the bad. Glatzer’s book is a good starter resource that can help answer those “newbie” questions all in one place. Jenna has eaned herself the moniker “The Writer’s Writer,” and one of her specialties is helping other writers learn the business. This book is the perfect example.
See Jenna Glatzer’s blog or take a look at her impressive list of titles at her official site
When you’re writing for a living, diversity is the name of the game. If you can add photography to the mix, you’re instantly more marketable in more ways than one. Since one of my main strengths is music and culture writing, I’d be a fool NOT to be a writer/photographer.
When I first started taking pictures for my pieces, I used any old bag for the gear, but after getting the Quantaray Pro as a gift, I am completely sold on a dedicated bag for all my gear. I carry my Zoom H4 recorder, mics, camera and lenses, plus my laptop in the Quantaray Pro and have used the same one for years without so much as a broken zipper. We do a lot of different types of gear reviews at Freelance-Zone, but this one ain’t based on specs alone–I am a huge fan of this backpack and will definitely buy another one just like it when I finally kill it years from now after one location shoot too many.
Buy the Quantaray Pro camera/laptop backpack for $79.00