Freelance Round-up: This month in writing

Stuck for content ideas?

Websites are hungry little beasts and they demand constant feeding with fresh and tasty content. You can sometimes feel as if you have already covered everything in your area or just be clean out of ideas for where to go next.

This great article - 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue - over on Copyblogger should help you generate ideas on content types, formats, angles and topics, and will hopefully reinvigorate your imagination and your website.

There’s no way anyone who reads it can come away still drawing a blank.

Unpaid intern fights back…and wins

A 21-year-old woman who worked as an unpaid journalist intern has won her right to be paid the minimum wage. It is the NUJ’s first win in its Cashback campaign.

An employment tribunal has awarded Keri Hudson £913.22 in national minimum wage back pay and £111.76 in holiday payafter she worked unpaid for over two months at TPG Web Publishing’s My Village website last year. The Press Gazette reports that Hudson worked at the website from 10am to 6pm and was personally responsible for a team of writers.

The tribunal found she was a worker in law, even though she didn't have a written contract, and was therefore entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay.

The NUJ has now warned media employers to “pay interns or face the consequences".

Could the tide be turning on this widespread practice? The issue is certainly a hot topic at the moment but opinions are split.

TPG web publishing denied exploiting its employees and says it may appeal against the judgment. However, the company also commented: "We welcome [the] ruling as we believe it will lead to further debate and much-needed clarification on the issue. We do feel that unpaid internships should not be abolished as interns will suffer as a result.”

Tips for tackling late payers

Late payment and non-payment are problems most freelancers experience at some point and they can be financially crippling. This article published by the Telegraph - Ten Tips to Help Business Owners Tackle Late Payers - gives some good advice on the steps small businesses can take to make sure that they get paid on time and keep their cash flow healthy.

Some are more relevant for larger businesses, but many are just as relevant for freelancers. Got any tips of your own for encouraging clients to cough up on time? We’d love you to share them on the forum.

You might also find this blog post over on Guerrilla Freelancing handy – 19 Invoicing Apps - it details nifty apps you can use to help you send out and track invoices and receive payments.

Landing work through Twitter

You do sometimes hear about people landing work through Twitter but when you haven’t actually managed it yourself you may wonder whether it’s just an urban myth. The Guardian challenged a few jobseekers to look for work through Twitter, with some interesting results.

The tactics ranged from a lonely-hearts-style ad to pretty much begging. Although no actual job offers were reported by the Guardian, plenty of people reported getting emails, responses and leads, so some tips and lessons learned about Twitter job-hunting are worth taking away, and most are as applicable for freelancers as those looking for permanent employment.

All work and no bank holiday for freelancers!

Recent research from Brookson Accountancy Services revealed that as many as 250,000 self-employed freelancers and contractors were planning to work on the last bank holiday weekend in April. Many were using to time to catch up on admin whilst clients were not in contact.

With another bank holiday just around the corner, will you be taking it off to be with friends and loved ones, or do you prefer to work when the masses are off and take your days off when it’s quiet? Perhaps you simply have too much on to take any time off at all at the moment? Tell us on the forum.

Sarah Wray


Jun 2, 2011
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