30,000 Words, 700 Jobs, One Year

The real process of freelancing- lots of applications and few responses

Longreads

A few months ago, a friend considering a freelance writing career asked me how much money I make as a writer. I wanted to say, “You mean, what’s the going rate for a human soul?” But I wasn’t close enough to this friend to be certain she’d realize I was mostly kidding. Instead I said, “This month, I made between $25 and $2,000 for individual stories that were about the same length,” to indicate how unpredictable rates are in an industry that is hemorrhaging money while flooded with qualified candidates.

I’ve produced more than 30,000 words of original and highly job-specific material without pay in an effort to prove myself a capable and good sport to the handful of companies that have reached back out to me from the black hole of resume inboxes to give me a chance.

– Prospective employers demand full-time freelancers to produce inordinate amounts of…

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ReBlog Sunday: The One Thing That Can Ruin Your Freelance Writing Career

I generally run very far away from any article that begins with “The One Thing”, but for this one I couldn’t help reading. In this post, freelance writer Elna Cain talks about how she nearly ruined her freelance career with one single mistake… and it has little to do with writing.

I’m sharing this for anyone who’ve ever doubted their ability to freelance.

http://innovativeink.ca/blog/what-can-ruin-your-freelance-writing-career/

Screw Your Job, I’m Going at It Alone

What motivates someone to work as a freelancer? I think that it often isn’t an abundance of confidence or any type of a business plan. No, the decision to freelance can be similar to the inspiration of invention- based on a necessity.

Many freelancers go at it alone because they need to. Perhaps they needed to find a job and one suited to their skills wasn’t available. Maybe they are unable to work in a corporation due to discrimination, lack of access, or personal choice. There are even some people that choose to freelance because their abilities are too unique to fit a traditional job role. Basically, freelancers go at it alone because they have to.

Many times I think about what motivated me to start freelancing. Although my current situation is rather new, technically, freelancing was my second job. I began freelancing at The Charlotte Post as a sales person. It was my second job (while in college) after a 1 year part-time career in telemarketing. It quickly grew into a writing position.

At first I didn’t understand the big deal of having my own route, my own customers, and my own tax liability. It wasn’t strange because my father had lived that way my entire life. It wasn’t until my next job in computers that I realized the difference. While beginning my experience in technology sales, I longed for the emotional reward that I received while freelancing.

Working for one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world had its benefits for sure. I received industry training in computer hardware, everyday people considered me an expert, and there were the benefits of course. But, what that job didn’t offer – one that I’d always received while freelancing for the Post – was emotional gratification. I needed the reward from doing a good job, and while my customers regularly gave it to me, my company never did.

I moved from computer hardware, to cell phones, to software, to online retail- all the while staying close to those who’d validate my efforts (the customers). Though my regular jobs fulfilled a financial need, deep down, I wanted something more. I felt like I had a job- I wanted a career.

So I got back into freelancing- only a little at first, then completely at one point while working in event marketing. I was happy, but society frowned upon my decision. Believing I was a failure because I found no joy in my fortune 500 jobs, I tried it one more time… this time staying 3 years- only to crash harder than I’d ever crashed before.

I now know I was meant to be a freelancer- I was meant to explore and build using all of my talents, not just the ones the job entailed. My career was doing what I was passionate about- whatever that may be- and supporting my family with it. Isn’t that the ideal?

I definitely understand that everyone isn’t designed to be a freelancer- but those that are, should give up trying to fight it. I have.

Now, I no longer work; I finally have a career.

 

Women Go Nude on Twitter, How Are You Going to Compete with That?

Social Media marketing isn’t for the meek. At times, it can be a certified mad house that many small businesses are hesitant to walk into. It’s understandable. I mean, how can you stand out amongst the massive amount of content that is traveling around you 24-7? You can’t on your own.

You don’t have to be a twitter celebrity to have an effective social media presence. The Internet is huge, but it is also diverse. While celebrities try to ‘break the Internet’ with pictures of their bare behind, there are still those online who are interested in what you have to say. So say it.

Competing on twitter is akin to walking into high school as the new kid in town … and you’re a Freshman. In that situation, you have a few options for getting noticed. You can try making some strategic alliances with popular people; you can try doing something drastic that gets you noticed, or you can wait it out and build your popularity slowly. Eventually, you’ll be a senior, right?

Small businesses should focus on making strategic alliances with both other ‘freshmen’, as well as some of the influential ‘upperclassmen’. In Twitter-speak, I’m talking about influencers and followers.

Influencers are a powerful tool for becoming popular on twitter, and popularity on twitter is a sure fire way to grow your online presence. Think you can do it without social media? No; you need to be on twitter. You need to interact with the rest of the world- because somewhere in that world lies your next customer.

If the thought completely terrifies you, hire a social media manager or content specialist. They can help create sharable content that connects your business with potential and current fans. They can manage your brand’s image on social media- and keep you from tweeting things you’ll later regret.

So, don’t let the naked women intimidate you- get on out there and connect. But leave your clothes on, please. It’s not that kind of party.