It finally happened! After a long search and a whole lot of uncertainty as to where I wanted to take my career, it finally happened. I find a full-time writing job that meets my criteria with a local marketing firm. The job is salaried, so I may or may not be working a full forty hour week and I can work from my house or the office depending on my own personal preference. There is a lot of room for advancement, which is something I feel is majorly lacking in a career as a freelance journalist. Additionally, this job involves a lot of writing for health, fitness and nutrition clients, which makes me happy.
I’m excited to be bringing some more structure to my life, but this does not mean that I will be giving up on freelance writing. I still plan on working for some of my existing clients and if I feel I have a great idea for a magazine/website I will still be pitching that idea!
I am extremely content with the decision I have made and cannot wait to see where this career path takes me. And I start Monday, so I won’t be waiting long to get moving!
P.S.: I am still majorly blog-slacking for the past couple of weeks! I’ve got so much going on it is crazy!
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This year, I am determined to expand my freelance business as you can probably tell by a number of posts recently, including this one. In addition, I’ve recently accepted a marketing job, in which I will be expanding a marketing firm north of Pittsburgh into the city. I’ve been talking to the owner of the firm recently and she is a firm believer in attending networking events to put yourself as well as your services out there. So, I figured I’d give it a try (not to mention, this will be a great opportunity to get away from my computer!).
I’ve actually found a lot of groups related to marketing, journalism, freelancing, etc on Meetup.com. I signed up to attend a meeting at a local coffee shop Thursday. So far, 18 other individuals will be in attendance. From the looks of the guest list, I feel like I’ll be networking with some extremely interesting people.
I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.
What are your experiences with networking?
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Creativity has its ups and downs. Perhaps one of the biggest downfalls to creativity, is that your mind is always, always turning. As a freelance writer, I’m constantly trying to think of new ways to market myself. I’ve been toying around with the idea of starting a second blog for a couple of months now. I’ve been working on it very, very slowly and well I finally have enough on my new blog to premier it to the world (okay, well not really the world, but those of you who are kind enough to read it!).
It still needs some work, but I would ultimately love for clients to be coming to me one day instead of pitching and constantly replying to freelance job ads! One can dream, right?
Feel free to send any potential clients my way
Have a great weekend!
I’m off to enjoy another fish fry — despite the fact I don’t even eat fish. Luckily, this fish fry has plenty of other goods pierogies, mac and cheese, shrimp and desserts! I’ve been eating way to much this week!
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Welcome to another edition of Why I Choose Freelance Journalism! Hopefully I haven’t bored you too much yet! Hopefully, I’ve taught some of your interested in pursuing some freelance work a thing or two or have at least pointed you in the right direction.
The one thing that you need to know before you chose a career in freelance journalism or if you just want to pursue a little freelance work on the side is that you will (unfortunately) experience some negativity.
Negative generally comes in two forms:
- Flat out rejection of your work or writing style.
- Negative comments on published work.
Flat out rejection can be hard to take sometimes, but you just have to realize that it is part of the field. Your writing style or ideas may be great for one magazine, website, etc and just might not fit the style of another organization. As hard as it is to say, you shouldn’t take it personally. There is always going to be negativity (chances are you have even experienced negativity in some way or another at a full-time job). The biggest thing is not to give up; especially when pitching your ideas. You can pitch many ideas; some organizations will say no, others won’t respond and some will make you very happy and say yes.
The other big problem you are likely to have as a freelance journalist is that not everyone is going to like your work. When you write for an online publication that allows commenting, you are bound to see some negativity. It is important to realize that not everyone is going to like your work. You can take the comments and dwell on them or you can use them as a learning experience. Some readers are going to be your biggest critics. Another thing to remember, especially when you right opinion articles, that everyone has different opinions. You are not always going to see eye to eye with everyone who reads your stuff.
You can rise above negativity and become a better journalist!
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Good morning! Yesterday’s run was my longest one since surgery and I am definitely feeling it. Although, I’m feeling it in my hamstrings with absolutely zero pain in these wonderful feet of mine (I’ve had surgery on both in the past year and a half). I guess I will be resorting to my
favorite piece of paper in the world…my PT exercises. I should probably just have these exercises memorized by now, but I don’t!
I went to go get started on What I Ate Wednesday until I realized I had absolutely no pictures of anything I’ve eaten recently, so I’m thinking we will be skipping that one this week. Upon a few comments and requests, I’ve had individuals ask me where I find my freelance work.
The first thing I did was create a resume specific to freelance writing (I currently have two resumes- one for when I look for freelance work and the other for when I get the urge to apply for a 9-5 job). Be sure to make the objective of your resume specific to freelance writing. For me, a majority of my writing is in health/fitness/nutrition, which coincides great with the 2nd master’s degree I am almost finished with (M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion).
Now that you have a fancy, freelance-specific resume, where do you send it? You have some options.
- Pitch your favorite magazines (national or local) or online publications. Just a warning, you may send out a lot of pitches and never hear anything back. Just another warning, start local or online if you are new to the industry. Build up your clips before pitching national magazines.
- Use Craigslist. I’ve found a number of local freelance writing jobs on Craigslist. The best part about local work is that you can actually meet with your client face-to-face.
- Try online job boards specifically designed for freelancing. Freelancewritinggigs.com, ProBlogger, BloggingPro, JournalismJobs.com all have job listings for freelance/part-time/full-time writing/editing gigs. Again, you may do a lot of applying with few responses, but honestly that is just the name of the game.
- Consider a site like Elance.com. Warning: many of the employers on this site are looking to get dirt cheap work as a result they hire individuals from 3rd world countries to completed work at a rate that wouldn’t even feed an American at a fast food restaurant. If you are willing to do some searching, you can find some decent paying jobs. My advice to you is to work with North American employers only. I’ve found gigs that pay $50/hr and even one that landed my $500 for an hours work (that was extremely rare, so don’t get too excited!).
- Include a hire me page on your blog (although, I’m still waiting for this to work for me!).
Once you start writing for one company, chances are they will turn to you again if they enjoy your work. They may even refer you to friends, who own other businesses. If not, you’ll start developing a collection of writing samples that can be used to secure future freelance journalism opportunities.
Once you land a freelance gig, make sure to sign a contract. This way you won’t have to worry about a client disappearing after you hand over the completed work. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a portion of your payment up front.
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If you’ve read edition 1 of why I choose freelance journalism, you probably saw a very positive side of why I choose to pursue freelance journalism. In an effort to give you the honest truth, I want to cover every aspect of freelance journalism including what I don’t like about my job. So here it goes, here is a list of things I am not particularly fond of.
- Buying my own health insurance.
- When you buy individual health insurance, you generally have higher deductibles. This a big downfall when you are accident prone. The only type of health care services you can receive free of deductibles and co-insurance is an annual physical exam.
- Working from home can sometimes get a little boring and there are also days when I just can’t seem to concentrate, which generally means getting nothing done.
- I sometimes (I use the word sometimes very loosely) wish I had coworkers.
- I don’t get to wear the closet full of business casual clothes I own from my previous job.
- Estimated quarterly taxes. Despite the fact I put this money aside, it kills me to write out large checks four times per year.
Overall, I love my job though and find it amazing that I have been able to essentially create my own career.
On a side note, do any of you own Toms? I am highly considering investing in a pair as a comfortable walking shoe for when I don’t want to wear sneakers! What are you thoughts? Yay or nay?
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