Freelance Round-up: This month in writing

Should you write for free?

Ah, that old chestnut. Nothing raises most freelancers’ hackles like an “opportunity” to use their skills and time for free. However, there can be moments of madness, weakness or a certain kind of optimism that makes some consider the freebie.

If you need advice, most of your fellow freelancers will deafen you with a resounding “Do not do it!”, so spare yourself and them and consult this pithy flowchart created by Jessica Hische instead.

Most routes through the labyrinth of decisions lead to a resounding ‘no’ but the message on one type of freebie is clear – you should never ever charge your mum!

What every freelance writer should know

Journalist Anne Wollenberg recently moved from a very successful career in freelancing to in-house working, and as a parting gift has blogged on her top tips for succeeding as a freelancer. Tips include not being too snobby about who you write for, finding the guts to chase work and taking tax seriously.

Useful stuff.

There are two posts - Things I learned about freelancing (part 1), and Things I learned about freelancing (part 2)

Tweet tweet

Signed up to Twitter but find yourself aimlessly following Justin Bieber and Jonathan Ross and tweeting about your tea? There are lots of professional benefits to using Twitter and another useful blog post from a journalist – this time, Joanne Mallon – sums up what Twitter can do for freelance writers.

It highlights the good, such as finding work, making contacts and finding case studies, but doesn’t shy away from the possible negatives, such as time-wasting and feelings of inadequacy.

If you’re getting more interested in this social networking lark, this useful article by freelance writer Julia May over on One Extra Pixel provides in-depth step-by-step tips on how Facebook can be beneficial for freelancers. It includes tips on striking the right note with your profile, using all the tools and tricks available and choosing between pages and groups, as well as distinguishing your personal and business profiles.

The article also signposts some useful Facebook groups that freelancers can get involved with.

T-shirt proofreader vacancy?

Speaking of Twitter, fashion brand Wet Seal has upset grammar-loving tweeters recently by selling this grammatically incorrect T-shirt, bearing the slogan “If your single, so am I”.

Oof!

Comments have been numerous and have included: “If anyone buys this I will hit you”, “If my WHAT is single?” and  "The Wet Seal designers need a grammar lesson".

Wet Seal’s Twitter guardian responded (seemingly jokingly): “ It's a fashion statement...I am jealous for you're keen eye for grammatical errors though” and Your Funny!!.Their seems to be a lot of people correcting grammar these days. Am I write?”

Oh Crapp!

We mentioned The Crapps last month. The light-hearted awards aim to honour the ‘special relationship’ that PRs and journalists have. The winners have now been announced so take a look to see who’s been deemed the ‘least twattish Twitterer’ and who is the journalist PRs would most like to take to ‘the dark side’.

Sarah Wray


 

1st February 2011

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