Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Writing Question of the Week: Goals

Recent events have forced me to take a look at my goals for next year, and let's just say I have a new perspective on the fragility of life.

In light of these recent events, I'd like to ask you: What are your goals for next year? Are you finding that you have to reevaluate what you planned, or are you content with what you want to accomplish?

I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thank you!



Friday, December 07, 2007

Link Love Friday

Good morning, fellow freelancers. I'm currently running on about 5 hours of sleep (in the past two days, I mean). I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm finding that I just can't get to bed!

In any case, I apologize in advance for typos, grammatical errors or anything else that detracts from this post. Onward!

Latoya from Writer's Brew wrote an excellent post about how to ask your clients for a raise. If you've been struggling with deciding how to go about this, you don't want to miss it!

Check out the gift list over at Freelance Switch for all the latest gadgets any freelancer would love to get this year. It's worth a look, I think.

I'm exhausted, or I'd post more. Have a great weekend!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Increase your Chances of Getting the Job

When applying for any writing job, it's important to read the advertisement very carefully. If you don't, you might miss pertinent information about the position or application process.

Only apply to the jobs that you are qualified for. If the job lists very specific requirements that you do not possess, there's no sense in applying. Your application will be summarily rejected without another glance.

If, on the other hand, the job listing is vague about the specific requirements the client is looking for, there may be no harm in applying. If it's a subject you're interested or well-versed in, tailor your resume and writing samples to reflect that.

Unless the advertisement specifically requests your response be created to showcase your personality, treat the application as you would any application for an off-line job.

Personal details or an informal tone usually have no place in a job application. Ensure your response is professional while showing the client why you would be the perfect candidate for the position.

Most importantly, before you hint the send button PROOFREAD! When you're applying for a professional writing position, one of the worst things you can do is send that e-mail off without double checking your spelling and grammar.

While I can't guarantee you'll get the job by following these tips, I do know that these are requirements that simply must be met before you think about applying for a freelance writing position.

Do you have any helpful tips or information to increase a writer's chances of getting the job? Leave them in the comments!


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do you REALLY Get What you Pay for?

A recent post at a forum I belong to happened to catch my attention earlier this morning. I want to write about it not only to voice my opinion, but to get your feedback on the matter as well.

A writer was accused of plagiarism, and the webmaster who hired this particular writer was very unhappy. The rates were fair, he said, and the writer blatantly copied and pasted in an attempt to pass off the articles as her own (a very poor attempt, I might add.)

Now, according to the details of this post, the writer was contracted to write approximately 100 articles for this client. The rate he paid her to write these articles amounts to just about .02/word.

On one side of the coin, I have to throw in the over-used phrase, "You get what you pay for." It sounds to me as if the writer, forced to write over 100 articles for peanuts, probably burned out and ripped off other content to turn in the project on time, get paid and be done with it.

Does that make plagiarism right? No, of course not. Not only is that illegal, it's unprofessional, stupid, and honestly... this writer accepted the project on those terms. If the writer was unhappy with the pay rate, she should have negotiated or turned it down. Anything other than plagiarism, please!

Now, on the other hand - knowing the rates this client paid, does he really have a right to complain about the quality of his content? Forget the fact that it was plagiarized. What if it was original content, but poorly written? Did he really think he could get over 100, professionally written articles for .02/word?

Let me know what you think!

Labels: ,

Monday, December 03, 2007

Writing Question of the Week: Working from Home

I hope all of you had a terrific weekend, fellow writers! :)

This week's question: How do you manage to stay sane while working from home? While working at home offers a number of benefits, oftentimes it can be just as stressful - if not more so - than a standard 9-5.

So, allow me inside your head, writers! What secrets, tips or tricks do you employ in order to not go postal on your friends and family members? Perhaps you don't find any drawbacks to working from home, and are perfectly content. If so, tell me about it!

I'm very interested to hear your feedback.




Friday, November 30, 2007

Link Love Friday

Good morning, fellow freelancers! Catch up on your weekend reading and take a look at some of these great posts from fellow writers in the blogosphere.

This great post from HR World details 100 resources for web workers. Scroll down to the section specifically for writers and bloggers. They seem to have some pretty nifty things worth a look.

Deb Ng from Freelance Writing Gigs wrote a great post about writing for the web. If you started in a print market or are just breaking into web writing, you don't want to miss this.

Lillie Ammann wrote a very informative article about editing for professionals and non-professionals alike. Check it out!

Finally, Georganna Hancock from A Writer's Edge wrote a short but sweet post about the importance of writers having their own business websites. While my opinion differs slightly, she makes some excellent points.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy these!



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Saying No to a Client

It's not always easy saying no to a client, especially when we don't always know where our rent money will be coming from at the end of the month.

I was very guilty in the beginning of my freelance career of taking on every project that came my way. If a client contacted me, I couldn't say no - not only did I need the money, I was also scared that if I said no this time, I might not get a second chance.

There comes a time in every writer's life, however, where we will need to learn to say NO.

If you already have a steady workload, there's no reason to take on more than you can handle. If you aren't able to devote your complete attention to the task at hand, then you should definitely pass on the assignment.

Why turn in sub-par work?

I'm not superwoman. I don't know many freelancers who would put themselves in that category, either. We work hard, but we shouldn't overwork ourselves to the point where we run ourselves ragged.

Oftentimes, it's a lot easier to just say no.