by Joe Wallace
One question I get asked all the time about freelance jobs goes something like, “How do I know I won’t get ripped off by my client?” Everybody wants protection from wasting precious time working on a project that turns out to be a non-paying dud, but when you’re going out for freelance jobs you do have to accept some level of risk. After all, you don’t actually know your new client…but then again, they don’t know YOU either. The best tactic to use if you are THAT worried about not getting paid? It’s pretty simple, really Continue reading Freelance Jobs, Getting Paid, and Getting Burned
by Joe Wallace
Learning how to find a freelance job isn’t all about knowing how to write a query letter or write a solid article. Part of the game is learning how to think like the person who needs to pay a freelancer to do this work in the first place.
How can you improve your chances of finding freelance work? Simple–think like an editor. There are three factors involved in hiring a freelancer. Editors, project managers and hiring managers all want the same things–they need a reliable person who will turn the work in on deadline, provide clean copy and be responsive when the editor writes back with revisions.
SmartMoney’s SmallBiz.com ran an excellent article on how to evaluate freelance help, aimed at hiring managers. The piece is chock full of advice on what to look for when hiring freelance talent, and how to check out a freelancer to make sure they are a good fit for the company. Background check? You bet. Freelance contracts? Definitely. Here’s a hint–the author encourages hiring types to use Craigslist and MediaBistro.com.
The article isn’t aimed at writers, so why should you spend your time reading it?
Continue reading How to Get a Freelance Job: Think Like an Employer
From the home office in Chicago, Illinois–the top ten excuses you can use to keep your day job and not go freelance:
10. You just purchased the Twin Peaks Gold Edition box set and you want to see Leland Palmer go nuts and chew the scenery.
9. You can’t seem to make up your mind whether to try sending a few queries or work on your writing resume. By not doing either one, you can avoid worrying about them both.
8. You heard somebody say that magazines are dying and that freelance writing is a risky venture in the bad economy. Too bad there are all those brand new mags launching, otherwise this would be the perfect excuse indeed.
7. You’re going to get that promotion at work any day now, you can just feel it. Even though that job is driving you stark raving mad, that promotion would be sweeeeeet.
6. A gorilla broke in and wiped out the last query you were working on. Your hard drive will never be the same.
5. You’re making decent money on the side with your part-time freelancing. Why take the plunge and cut your pay down?
4. All the celebrity deaths lately have you so distracted you can’t concentrate on outlining your article properly. Don’t worry, at press time Don Rickles is still kicking.
3. You can’t quit smoking AND give up your day job at the same time.
2. You’re laboring under the delusion that the word “freelance” means you never get paid.
1. There’s always tomorrow. You can quit your job tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the day after that. Yes sir, one day you WILL take the plunge. Just not today.
Quite frankly, moving sucks. It sucks even more for a freelance writer who–I’m talking about ME here–stupidly schedules a move both in the ass end of winter in Chicago AND before tax time. This guarantees that all my vital paperwork will go missing until I have to file an extension with the IRS.
The upside is, in my case, I get a nicer office, a great place to spend the majority of my day, and a sunny front room where I can go to take a break from it all and take in some sunshine before going back to the salt mines.
Here’s the advice every single writer dispenses once they’ve screwed themselves by moving without thinking ahead: Pack all your vital papers, put them aside and keep them close. Don’t let anyone take them out of your sight. You’ll want to drink a bottle of sulphuric acid later if you lose ’em.
Now here’s the advice you WON’T get–the EXCLUSIVE good insider dirt you come to expect from Freelance-Zone.com. Ready? Continue reading Moving, Taxes, and Freelance Writing
As some of our our readers know, I have a big soft spot for music journalism. I’ve been a muso journo for a very long time, starting as early as 1992 as a self-publisher in the zine craze to my “serious” interviews with Nine Inch Nails, Cheap Trick, and Glen “Once” Hansard.
Normally an event like the Pygmalion Music Festival would be a bit outside the pale of our coverage here at Freelance-Zone.com, but if you are getting your feet wet in freelance music journalism, here is a chance to cover a serious event featuring up-and-coming acts and regional favorites alike. These folks are accessible, they genuinely appreciate good press and the fest is bound to be a lot of fun for any freelancer who goes out to cover it. Pygmalion is located in Champaign-Urbana in Illinois September 17-20th.
Here’s a hint for an eager freelancer–this festival is put on by a partnership between a few different entities including the indie label Polyvinyl. A GREAT hook for covering this festival is that Polyvinyl is a label which issues new music on record albums as well as MP3s and other media. How does such a label manage to do all this–put out vinyl albums, help put on a music festival, etc–in today’s absolutely consumer-unfriendly economy? The bands on this label face the same financial struggles the label does…everybody’s future is at stake. How DO they manage?
Seth Hubbard is the press contact for the festival, drop him a line to get press credential information and to learn more about the event firstname.lastname@example.org