Tag Archives: freelance

Wanna Be Headhunted?

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

I’ve got a super-busy schedule these days; my writing gigs have increased exponentially, I’m enrolled in the Recording Arts program at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Academy here in Chicago, and I’m working the post-production end of my short film, 45 RPM.

So naturally, I have absolutely no time whatsoever to consider the gig that was offered to me today via e-mail; a digital managing editor slot for a startup near me.

I didn’t apply for this gig–far from it–it came to me in my inbox today from a creative placement agency. I didn’t have to wonder how they found me, as I’ve got a little strategy to help me track where my random e-mails come from and how I’ve been discovered on the Internet.

My resume site for my work in multi-media has a site-specific e-mail address. So does my writing-specific resume site. Ditto for my vinyl blog Turntabling.net and my filmmaking blog Now-Sound.com.

The headhunter found me, oddly enough, via my multimedia resume page. So it’s likely the headhunter did a keyword search for a set of specific terms and my site wound up in the page one or page two results.

If you want to be discovered this way, there are plenty of ways to do it–mine includes having a resume page that’s been online at the same address for a very long time, using SEO-optimized resume writing techniques, along with plenty of images also with SEO optimized filenames. But none of this is my point, really.

If you really want to open up some additional freelance options for yourself, I strongly suggest you check out the creative temp agencies in your market. They can be an important source of income for a creative freelancer. Some of my highest profile and best-paying work has come from agencies, and I did some good work for these household name-type companies.

If you’re frustrated with a lack of work, a creative temp agency might just open up some new income potential for you. I have no time whatsoever to consider the position e-mailed to me today, but maybe YOU do.

Joe Wallace is a writer, editor, indie filmmaker, multi-media artist and time management fanatic. He has many projects going at once, and has finally realized he’s not truly happy unless he’s beating deadlines, rushing for trains, calculating the amount of remaining natural light, editing video, and planning his next recording session all within the same day. He blogs about filmmaking at Now-Sound.com.

Can You Reach the Right People via Social Media?

by Helen Gallagher

You might think being on blogs, Facebook and Twitter gives you enough exposure for your professional profile. But what if your desired reader or client isn’t out there?


Numerous studies show that men and women have differing online habits. While this may seem obvious, it is important if you’re counting on people finding you online and hiring you to work with/for them.

Examples from recent news items in The Atlantic and Christian Science Monitor:

— Fewer men use social media, and they are dramatically less likely to log on everyday.
— Men spend 28 percent less of their online time on social networks than women.
— Males don’t “Like” brands, update their status, or comment on others’ pictures as frequently as women.
— Women view social networks as a way to connect with family, friends, and co-workers. Men do not.

So, before wasting time on social media, hoping to reach the right contacts, consider spending more time reading up on sites that share meaningful industry-specific content. In other words, go where your clients are. Ideas include:

CNet.com, and wsj.com for business contacts
LinkedIn.com industry-specific groups
MediaBistro.com for journalists and media industry news

And, don’t overlook traditional trade magazines. (See tradepub.com).  Whether your client works in insurance, housewares or transportation, you’ll keep up with industry news, and be ready to talk business the next time the client contacts you for a freelance assignment.

Helen Gallagher blogs at Freelance-Zone.com to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes about, coaches and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through www.releaseyourwriting.com.

Making Money as a Book Reviewer

by Helen Gallagher


By its nature, the life of a freelancer requires adaptation to changes circumstances, markets, and the

all-important bank balance. Like most freelancers, my list of services is often expanding. It grows to meet the needs of clients who request services I’ve never offered before.

One field that is apparently lucrative for freelancers is writing book reviews. Some of us write reviews without pay to stay current with the literary marketplace, grow our library with all the free books sent by publicists, and of course, to expand our visibility and popularity. Reviews can be posted on blogs, review sites, even national newspaper and magazines.

A recent Sunday New York Times article might enlighten you further — writing book reviews can be lucrative. The article, The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy, covers the growing landscape of reviews for the explosive amount of new books published.

“For decades a largely stagnant industry controlled from New York, book publishing is fragmenting and changing at high speed. Twenty percent of Amazon’s top-selling e-books are self-published. They do not get to the top without adulation, lots and lots of it.”

With self-publishing increasing, it creates more opportunities for good reviews to spread the word about a new title.

“It used to take the same time to produce a book that it does to produce a baby. Now it takes about as long as boiling an egg.”

Consider all the facts, ethical as well as financial, before saying yes to becoming a paid reviewer. But done well, it might be a wonderful late-night sideline that can bring you and the author greater notoriety, in a good way.

BIO: Helen Gallagher’s no-fee book reviews appear at BlogCritics.org, New York Journal of Books and Open Salon. She  blogs at Freelance-Zone.com to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes about, coaches and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through www.releaseyourwriting.com.

Today’s Writing Tip: From Worse to Worse

sig2010I’m surprised at how often I see the phrase “from worse to worse” in print. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a lot like the term “I could care less.” Neither one says what you want them to say.

Let’s reason this out. If I am number 10 in line in the grocery store and I move forward one spot, I become number nine. If I move back one spot, I become number 11. In either case, there is a sense of motion and movement. Something changes.

If I go from worse to worse, nothing much changes. I am still number 10 in line at the grocery store – or maybe I’m 10 1/2. I have to go from worse to worst in order to see a significant change.

An easy way to remember this one is to think of the opening line in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Thus, you want to go from worse to worst. Although of course, you don’t really. That is the outcome that most of us are hoping to avoid.

As a postscript, I will add that the correct way of saying I don’t give a damn is “I couldn’t care less,” because if you could care less it means that you already care. If you couldn’t care less, you care so little that your interest in the matter is currently negligible. Thus, it couldn’t become any more unimportant to you; hence, you couldn’t care less.

Sigrid Macdonald is the author of three books, including Be Your Own Editor http://tinyurl.com/7wnk5se and two erotic short stories, which she wrote under the pen name Tiffanie Good. Silver Publishing just released “The Pink Triangle,” a tale of friendship, lust, and betrayal. You can view her story here: http://tinyurl.com/6v65rgr

Freelance Advice For Newcomers

This YouTube video, posted by the folks behind LockerGnome.com, is not for anyone currently working as a freelancer. But I refer you to it anyway because we ALL get questions from people who want to–or THINK they want to–become one of us. How many times have you wanted to refer someone to a specific resource or link that could answer some of the basic questions that we’ve all answered 100 times or more?

This video is a great reference primer for people on the outside looking into the freelance world. Bookmark this, send it on to your friends who keep asking you about the freelance life, and save yourself some breath. Admittedly, there is a bit too much self-promotion about LockerGnome for some tastes, but the value of this clip for freelance outsiders can’t be underestimated:

Writing about ourselves

Most writers generally love to write, but the introverts among us may need to get a little more outgoing when writing about ourselves.words-laptopWhether sending a query letter, pitching an idea to an editor, or writing our bio for a newsletter, we often use the same old words: “Samantha is a full-time freelance writer.” Or, “Jason writes about music, sports and media.”

Let me suggest you take a little time this week to jazz up your bio, beef up your credentials, and spread a little enthusiasm for your work.

I stress the importance of platform when speaking with writers, especially those trying to attract the attention of an agent and publisher. A strong, polished presence on Facebook, a good blog, and lots of friends on Twitter and the laggard, Google+, seems to be the minimum requirement for the foundation of a solid visible platform.

Editors who want to hire a writer don’t want to take a chance on assigning an article without seeing your work.

In addition to sending clips, usually via web links or PDF, make sure your online presence conveys the right impression of you as a writer for hire.

Recently,  I saw an ad for freelance writer/bloggers for a health/fitness site, and their platform request even required links to two of your social profiles, as well as a three-sentence description of yourself and your work.

Now that’s an exercise worth doing. First, by requiring you to prove your have some sophistication with social media, and that you’re not embarrassed to have them see your profile, and challenging you to write three really great sentences that sum up your value to them as a freelance writer.

Making money online starts with the showing how good you are. If you can bring readers, you’re ahead of other writers who apply. If you’re up for it, write a blurb, no more than 100 words about your work as a freelancer by clicking the “Comments” above, near the title of this post. Okay, I’ll go first…

BIO: Helen Gallagher blogs at Freelance-Zone.com to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through www.releaseyourwriting.com. Helen is a member of ASJA, Small Publishers Artists & Writers Network, and several great Chicago-area writing groups.