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nadia
08-27-2008, 10:49 AM
Hello every 1. I've been getting a lot of queries lately about freelance writing and the starting thereof. There's a lot of material to cover and I remember being lost and confused, so I thought I'd start a thread and add to it.

You are all very welcome to ask specific questions. I will answer them to the best of my ability. Any other (ex-)freelancers drifting in the corners of the ceiling (Nich, bobservo?) can add their own experiences and wind up the key in my back when I start to run down.

Installment the First:

Why Do You Want To Do This Thing?

There are a lot of benefits to being a freelance writer. There are also plenty of negatives. Let's review.

The Good
-You make your own hours. Be warned though: if you have daily obligations (blogs to maintain, for example), it doesn't mean you'll be able to flip off and go to the pub while the rest of your buddies slog off to the office. Unless, of course, you bring your work with you.

-You are your own boss. You still answer to half the world, but if you have a good stable of clients, you can tell a problem client to go screw. YOU HEAR ME, PARISH?...Ahaha. <3.

-No co-worker drama...kind of. I sometimes work alongside other writers whom I don't care for, but at least I can put up an "Away" on AIM or Gmail. Writers are not pack animals.

-It's a good option if you have no edukayshon. Editors are a lot more interested in the quality of your work than your degree. Not to say you should give up school for the glorious life of freelance writing, but if you're a bum like me who never finished college because of bad circumstances, do remember that you are not destined to stand behind a counter for the rest of your life.

-No dress code! No dress at all, if you choose! Just have something handy in case the Fed Ex guy comes by...or don't. Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

-You'll be home a lot, so your pets won't hate you.

-Take in as much or as little work as you want. Granted, if you want to eat, don't count on slacking off too much.

-The economy is currently pretty good for freelancers. Full-time staff is getting replaced more and more with part-timers and freelancers.

-Swag. This depends on what you write about. I do get free games and free manga...but I can't exactly make demands about what I receive. Incidentally, anyone wanna buy a copy of Ninja Reflex DS?

-You produce your own work. This can be enormously satisfying for anyone who's spent too much time on a corporate assembly line. From planning to polish, it's your product that goes out to the Editor. It makes you a happy panda.

And now...

The Bad
-Don't think you're going to be a tycoon. Even building up to a livable income takes ages. I'm assuming most of you are interested in games/media writing. Be aware that it's an over-saturated field and you will not get rich writing about Mario. You will be competing with a lot of fifteen-year-olds who will write for two cents. That said, if you know your stuff, you will come through. There are people out there who will hire Chinese and Indian writers who take one cent a word, but there are still people out there who want solid, comprehensible writing and will pay for it. If you want to make good money as a freelance writer, write about a trade. Trade magazines are desperate for writers. Everyone else will pay you what they paid their freelancers in the '70s.

-No office drama and no co-workers makes for a pretty boring work environment. Coffee shops and libraries fast become a welcome change of pace. I personally have a part-time job I enjoy to get me out the house twice a week, plus the extra pay is not amiss.

-Pay is really feast or famine, especially when you're working on projects rather than daily maintenance. You will get screwed out of a cheque right when your rent is due.

-No insurance, no benefits. This is less of a concern for me since I'm a Canadian with hoity-toity socialised health care, but even I feel the sting of no dental or prescription coverage. If you're an American with dependents, you might want to think hard about going solo. Insurance costs a lot.

-You are responsible for your own taxes. I can't go too far into this since I don't understand a lot of it and the Canadian tax system is different from America's. Best and most obvious advice is to set aside money from each paycheque.

-You are responsible for yourself, period. If you catch a cold, you can call in sick to the office (please do). If you catch a cold as a freelancer, you might be able to wheedle more time for a project out of benevolent clients you're familiar with...but it's not advisable unless you are beyond desperate. Furthermore, if you get paid depending on work output, your job might be safe but your paycheque will take a massive hit. Hence why I kept on working when I had to go down south for my mother-in-law's funeral--oh, and I was staggering with food poisoning.

-The current economy is a good one for freelancers, but don't count on always being employed. One day I suddenly lost a vital daily job because of budget cuts. No warning; I was just gone, despite having been doing the job daily for almost a year.

-You never really wind down. My work days stretch pretty far and I always feel like I'm "on." Like I should be doing something.

That covers the basic goods and bads. Next episode, we'll talk about what kind of writing you want to do and the options available to you. For now, I...have to work.

Sprite
08-27-2008, 11:33 AM
Cool! What a great idea. I was thinking of dabbling in some freelance stuff since I'm only working part-time and need something to keep my writing fresh before grad school. I'm sure I'll have questions as you go along.

Wolfgang
08-27-2008, 12:32 PM
-You never really wind down. My work days stretch pretty far and I always feel like I'm "on." Like I should be doing something.

This is the biggest thing I dislike about working from home. I had friends staying over for a few days, and I was constantly checking Skype for fear I'd be missing something important - if I was at Barnes & Noble I would have just taken the week off and forgotten about it.

Oh, and the taxes thing sucks royal ass as well. Also I should mention that if you're a male freelancer, you're going to want to make sure your personal hygeine doesn't collapse into a pile of unshaven smelly laundry. Make an effort to shower daily! This advice is something you need.

Sanagi
08-27-2008, 12:32 PM
I've always wanted to do this but never been dedicated or confident enough.

Write or starve? You decide

Loki
08-27-2008, 12:43 PM
So freelancers can get work even though they write things like "every 1?"

shivam
08-27-2008, 12:50 PM
Nadia fails to mention that you need the gift of being able to come up with amazing features that people want to buy. She has this gift in spades, though.

mopinks
08-27-2008, 12:50 PM
I got nailed on taxes last year because I didn't know how self-employment worked. now I know better! except now I don't have the money to pay this year's taxes, because of the huge loan I still need to pay off thanks to last year's taxes. oops!

even with all the headaches, though, freelancing rulz.

nadia
08-27-2008, 12:53 PM
So freelancers can get work even though they write things like "every 1?"

I hope you don't think I was serious so much as I was trying (and failing) to be cute.

Nadia fails to mention that you need the gift of being able to come up with amazing features that people want to buy. She has this gift in spades, though.

Oh, you. Honestly though I'm a terrible idea person. I work best when someone says, "I want you to write about _______" or when I bounce ideas off LBD.

Loki
08-27-2008, 01:09 PM
Yeah, I was just kiddin. I assume you're the same Nadia who writes for 61 Frames Per Second, which I really enjoy reading and has become my primary source for gaming news since Error Macro closed down again. Kuddos on a super blog.

If you're not the same lady, we'll then fuck off I guess?

Kishi
08-27-2008, 01:18 PM
Entertainment "4" Every "1" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne0RrK5qJ-k)

nadia
08-27-2008, 02:05 PM
Yeah, I was just kiddin. I assume you're the same Nadia who writes for 61 Frames Per Second, which I really enjoy reading and has become my primary source for gaming news since Error Macro closed down again. Kuddos on a super blog.

If you're not the same lady, we'll then fuck off I guess?

I'm told there's another Nadia Oxford who is an anal porn star. I can't say I've looked too hard to find her, but I don't think she writes about games. Yet.

PS: I am happy you enjoy 61 FPS. =D bobservo's on there, too.

shivam
08-27-2008, 02:06 PM
I love having people give me assignments that i can then write about. It's HARD to come up with features and stuff on my own.

I need to get back into the freelancing game.

mr_bungle700
08-27-2008, 02:57 PM
Great idea for a thread, Nadia. I don't think I'm going to do non-fiction writing in a professional capacity ever again, but I know that a lot of people are interested in it and need all the advice you can give.

Also I should mention that if you're a male freelancer, you're going to want to make sure your personal hygeine doesn't collapse into a pile of unshaven smelly laundry. Make an effort to shower daily! This advice is something you need.

This is very important! Freelancer or no, if you're a guy who works from home you've got to stay on top of that stuff. I've had periods where I let my hair grow to dwarf-like extremes and it was not pretty. Plus, the shower is a good place to think about your work and plan your day.

reibeatall
08-27-2008, 03:01 PM
This thread reminds me that I need to get my shit into gear and start writing.

Octopus Prime
08-27-2008, 03:18 PM
This thread managed to simultaniously scare me away from freelance writery, and teach me of the existence of 61 FPS.

This is the duality of the universe at work.

ArugulaZ
08-27-2008, 03:21 PM
I think you've covered pretty much all the bases, Nadia. It's agonizing to get all of your money at once but have to hold onto some of it for taxes. You eventually have to spend it anyway, then are forced to pay it all back with your April check. If you get an April check, I mean.

AJR
08-27-2008, 06:12 PM
I wouldn't mind doing freelance work in my spare time. I just need that thing... what's it called? Oh yeah.

Talent.

reibeatall
08-27-2008, 07:15 PM
I wouldn't mind doing freelance work in my spare time. I just need that thing... what's it called? Oh yeah.

Talent.

You'd be surprised how little of this you need to get your foot in the door. I've (barely) written for 1up (RIP RETRO ROUNDUP) and I also write for a local newspaper, and I really don't think my writing's anything fantastic.

Odin
08-27-2008, 07:39 PM
Even though I have no talent for writing and no plans to freelance in any field... (INSURANCE COSTS!)

I enjoy reading behind the scenes stuff, even if it's just "Day in the life of a freelance games writer."

`Hrist
08-27-2008, 08:47 PM
Thanks for this. ;) Honestly, I'm still breaking into freelancing myself, but I feel like I've made a few decent contacts (still working on diversifying as much as possible though, I wouldn't mind trying my hand at travel writing).

Looking forward to more tips, Nadia. Always nice to get a little free advice from somebody who knows what they're talking about.

EDIT: Count me as another person who just discovered 61 FPS ;) Yay for both Nadia and Bob (love reading you both)

Sarcasmorator
08-27-2008, 10:07 PM
RIP RETRO ROUNDUP

Man, what happened to that? There were like three of them, then ...

Octopus Prime
08-28-2008, 01:24 AM
Man, what happened to that? There were like three of them, then ...

The good die young, and the awesome die instantly.

Think of Retro Round-Up as that really, really sick kid from a sports movie-parody who wants the star to win one for him in the big game, but then he doesn't and the kid dies.

And the audience laughs, for it is written as an amusing scene.

I should really save my metaphors for when I am at least passably awake.

`Hrist
08-28-2008, 02:55 AM
The good die young, and the awesome die instantly.

Think of Retro Round-Up as that really, really sick kid from a sports movie-parody who wants the star to win one for him in the big game, but then he doesn't and the kid dies.

And the audience laughs, for it is written as an amusing scene.

I should really save my metaphors for when I am at least passably awake.

Sounds like you got your metaphors from South Park ;)

Sprite
08-28-2008, 08:00 AM
I wonder how book reviewers do it. Do they just read fast?

Octopus Prime
08-28-2008, 08:01 AM
Sounds like you got your metaphors from South Park ;)

I was thinking of Baseketball when I posted that, so you're not too far off.

Sprite
08-28-2008, 08:28 AM
Matt and Trey love to recycle, don't they?

le geek
08-28-2008, 08:39 AM
I wonder how book reviewers do it. Do they just read fast?

Heh, name a book that takes 35 hours to read...

Also, just a good freelance tip in general. Be prepared for the inevitable dry month of nothingness. When I was a freelance/contract graphic designer, I was frugal and put money in the bank in case there was a dry spell, and there were two dry spells that lasted over a month. You get your goofing off time done in a day or two then you get stir crazy.

So...

1) have a cash hoard to cover bills just in case, and...

2) a part time get out of the house thing as nadia suggests is probably a good idea.

nadia
08-28-2008, 09:43 AM
I am happy for everyone's participation.

I'll get to the next installment later tonight or tomorrow, but first, a little clean-up!

About talent--Everything creative is 5% talent and 95% getting off your ass. I remember reading some mystical quote somewhere about how the greatest stories have died with the Irish pub-dwellers who never wrote them down. As you might imagine, practise counts for a hell of a lot, too. It's been a long road since I wrote my first Archie fanfiction* as a six-year-old idiot, and I can't see myself ever saying, "Wow, I am wholly satisfied with the quality of my writing."

*Not a lie.

Hygene--YES.

Reviews--Big Chief Nich speak um truth. I don't mind writing manga reviews because reading a manga takes up maybe an hour or two of my time. I'm also okay with reviewing action games because there's not too much time investment. But RPGs are a nightmare: I've only reviewed one and I'm not eager to do it again. You don't always get to keep the product, either. I've had to send games back to the publisher. Reviews also pay pretty low compared to feature articles. You are indeed better off penning the latter.

Dry Spells--These are inevitable. Like I said, it's feast or famine. It's also why I'm pretty big on sticking with sites who want continual output from me and pay monthly. In other words, spend wisely. Don't go blowing your entire paycheque on hookers and blow.

Dry spells can also really wear down your confidence and make you feel like you'll never work again. Of course they usually clear up just fine, but when the next one comes some mind-gremlin makes you feel hopeless all over again. Be ready for that.

Traumadore
08-28-2008, 10:15 AM
If you're self employed in the U.S. you should stow 30% of your income for taxes. Gross!

nadia
08-28-2008, 10:41 AM
This will be my first year doing taxes for my freelancing. I only take 15% off my cheques (at the suggestion of another self-employed person), but I'm not living too far above the poverty line so I'm not going to owe very much. Plus, I have tonnes of deductions.

Even if I owe more money, it won't be enough to destroy me.

BodhiTraveller
08-29-2008, 01:31 AM
1. Do you recommend joining any of the writing trade associations like STC (http://www.stc.org/)? I have heard that some places post directly to local chapters, but ended up landing a different gig before I investigated. Have you had any experience with groups like these?

2. Is it best to write for places which post specific needs, or to submit articles to publications with open submission standards? How does the pay of solicited versus unsolicited work compare?

3. Do you have any recommendations for building your portfolio? I have been told that writing for blogs and open source projects can be a good start - do you have any thoughts?

nadia
08-30-2008, 10:03 PM
1. Do you recommend joining any of the writing trade associations like STC (http://www.stc.org/)? I have heard that some places post directly to local chapters, but ended up landing a different gig before I investigated. Have you had any experience with groups like these?

Hmmm, can't say as I have. I'm not part of any organisation or union, though I always mean to look them up. I sometimes wonder if games writers would benefit from forming a union, but I think games writing is also the Wal-Mart grade employer of journalism.

2. Is it best to write for places which post specific needs, or to submit articles to publications with open submission standards? How does the pay of solicited versus unsolicited work compare?

I personally never write an article unless my pitch has been accepted by an editor. I've known too many writers who put together an article and then complain about how they can't find a buyer. That's not much of a surprise: every magazine and website has a different "voice" that must be adapted to. What's more, editors rarely tell you "go ahead" once they accept a pitch. More often than not, they want to mould it to their publication and include stuff you hadn't thought of.

3. Do you have any recommendations for building your portfolio? I have been told that writing for blogs and open source projects can be a good start - do you have any thoughts?

Writing for free is an excellent way to build a portfolio. Editors want to see your work; they're not interested in how much you got paid for it. Blogs are great writing practise, but for a portfolio I'd recommend balancing out blog posts with features, reviews and opinion columns.

Some freelancers throw a hyper spaz over the "work for free" advice, claiming that it cheapens the profession for everyone if editors know they can get free writing. But as I said earlier, there are plenty of editors who will pay for quality. Not everyone wants to read an article about how "OMG HALO IS SOOOO COOL, I TEABAGGED THIS ONE NOOB LOL". In fact, there's a push to make games writing more, er, sophisticated? Sort of.

nadia
08-30-2008, 10:33 PM
Chapter II:

What Should You Write About?

Well, the most basic answer to that is, "Whaddaya wanna do?"

Or, what can you do?

Do you have knowledge on a topic that's worth sharing? Money-saving tips? Toenail-strengthening formulas? Do you at least know enough to start you on some research?

I write primarily about games and pop culture, but I also have a strong background in animal care, so I've written my share of dog articles. For example, I am an expert at clipping dog toenails, which is a skill every pet owner wants to learn. Competent How-To articles are in higher demand than yet another Assassin's Creed rant.

I've even taken on jobs that weren't part of my background, but I knew enough to produce something worth reading. I've written about braces and security camera systems (that was a mild disaster, but at least I tried something different).

So we all love games here, but I would advise expanding your horizons to include other topics. As I said before, trade magazines are desperate for writers and will pay top dollar.

Articles vs Everything Else--Freelance writing isn't just about querying and pitching article ideas and writing up said articles. I'll be honest: I hate querying. I hate pitching. There's a certain amount of aggression involved that I just don't have, plus you'll be slinging a lot of pitches down a black hole because editors are insanely busy people.

It's not to say you should avoid article writing, but it's only part of my monthly input. I also maintain a video site and several blogs. The articles I do write are for publications that I have worked with before and have established a relationship with the editors. That is a long, drawn-out process. Don't quit your day job until a few websites/magazines know who you are and are happy with the quality of your work.

In other words, pitching articles is the most tedious part of freelance writing, but it can't be avoided because it's also where you'll get a good deal of your money. The aforementioned blogging and video jobs bring in monthly salaries of sorts, but they're lower-paying. I personally prefer steady jobs over sporadic article submissions, but YMMV.

About Blogging--Finding a paying blogging job is not easy...at least a blogging job that pays a fair rate. "Oh, you get part of the ad revenue" doesn't exactly cut it, unless you're just looking to build up your portfolio. Ideally, you want to be paid a monthly flat rate plus a traffic bonus.

But again, blogging jobs can be a bit tricky to land because a bunch of the major companies are saying, "Oops, we hired too many bloggers, hur hur hur!" One of the companies I work for has decided "to change the pay scale to better reflect blah blah blah" God only knows what that's going to entail, but it probably means I'll be getting less money. The instability of freelancing raises its head to glare at me once again!

tl;dr, think hard about what you want to write. You might think the answer is gaming, but don't put all your eggs in one basket: you have the inner power to write cool shit outside of Super Mario 3 nostalgia.

Coming up next: "Oh God, where do I even start?"

Torgo
08-30-2008, 10:44 PM
Is a college newsletter or paper a good place to start? One of my teachers in culinary is always looking for students to write food articles. Not a paying task, but it not only gives me some writing practice, but also forces me to hone my culinary book smarts a little.

nadia
09-01-2008, 10:42 PM
College newspapers are great places to start...so long as they aren't trainwrecks like my college newspaper was/is.

Either way, culinary writers are God's chosen.

`Hrist
09-01-2008, 11:11 PM
Is a college newsletter or paper a good place to start? One of my teachers in culinary is always looking for students to write food articles. Not a paying task, but it not only gives me some writing practice, but also forces me to hone my culinary book smarts a little.

Any clips are good clips. Well, as long as they are good clips, if you catch my drift. You write wherever you can.

reibeatall
09-08-2008, 07:45 AM
I demand Chapter III. These are good reads, and they're informative!

Sprite
09-08-2008, 09:28 AM
Indeed. Between this and begging my aunt for advice I just may get off the ground this year.

nadia
09-08-2008, 11:20 AM
I demand Chapter III. These are good reads, and they're informative!

Sorry about the delay! Last week was a hell of a thing; my mother ended up in the hospital for nearly a week because of a cat bite. Every day, someone learns the hard way that those things are dangerous. There were also deadline creatures to slay. That's why I've been in and out of the forum in general.

But this week looks to be better.

reibeatall
09-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Sorry about the delay! Last week was a hell of a thing; my mother ended up in the hospital for nearly a week because of a cat bite. Every day, someone learns the hard way that those things are dangerous. There were also deadline creatures to slay. That's why I've been in and out of the forum in general.

But this week looks to be better.

How dare you have a life outside the forum? That's unacceptable.


By that I mean take your time. I just realized we hadn't gotten a new update and was hoping you hadn't stopped caring about it.

TheSL
09-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Last week was a hell of a thing; my mother ended up in the hospital for nearly a week because of a cat bite.

Some kind of big cat like a cougar or something? Or a feral stray? I know its really none of my business on the details, but the thought of a housecat hospitalizing someone is driving me crazy.

Kolbe
09-08-2008, 12:15 PM
My very personal question: How do I do to write for US gaming sites other than GameSpite? Is there a problem if I write from here?

I've been writing for a gaming magazine here in Mexico for almost a year, and though I really like it, is just not enough. I write a lot. Really. Just in the last issue I wrote 12 pieces (previews, reviews, articles, interviews, etc) and I barely get $200 a month. As some of you know, I just got a job as a co-editor in a newspaper where I'll be getting aprox. $900 a month, which is, as far as I know, almost the same money my editor in chief makes in the gaming magazine.

So, as much as I like writing about games, there isn't really a market for people like me here, which isn't to say there isn't any oportunities (a co-worker recently landed a job at Blizzard!), but is definitely not a way to make a living in Mexico.

I also recently opened a comics site, with solid 700 to 900 hits a day, but no one there (as I have some other wirters there too) is making any money with it right now.

I like writing about games, movies, comics, anything narrative-related, really, but I don't want to stop because of money issues, so what can I do to get out of here?

Egarwaen
09-08-2008, 12:55 PM
My very personal question: How do I do to write for US gaming sites other than GameSpite? Is there a problem if I write from here?

In terms of work permits? Check the relevant laws yourself, but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure you only need a work authorization if you're actually physically inside the US, particularly for freelance work.

Excitemike
09-08-2008, 01:13 PM
I also recently opened a comics site

I'd like to know more.

reibeatall
09-08-2008, 01:15 PM
It's all in Spanish and thus very hard for me to read.

Kolbe
09-08-2008, 01:56 PM
I'd like to know more.

Yep, it's all in Spanish, but hey! What a wonderful way to learn a language!

www.operacionmandril.com

nadia
09-11-2008, 10:12 PM
Well! This week also turned out to be an adventure. I missed everyone.

Some kind of big cat like a cougar or something? Or a feral stray? I know its really none of my business on the details, but the thought of a housecat hospitalizing someone is driving me crazy.

Pet cat, vaccinated and everything. The good news is that cats usually don't resort to biting unless they're super-pissed. The bad news is, if they bite you, it really can be dangerous. Cat mouths are filthy, plus the shape of their teeth injects the germs right into the bloodstream; it really is a lot like a snake bite.

My mother picked him up even though he was upset and clearly showing signs of not wanting to be picked up. Within a few hours of being bit, she had to go to the hospital. At first she was going in daily for intravenous antibiotics, but it was an especially bad bite and they weren't effective enough. She became sick enough to be hospitalised for five days.

But she's out now and doing much better! Makes me feel good about my own part-time job, which happens to include grooming pissed-off cats.

My very personal question: How do I do to write for US gaming sites other than GameSpite? Is there a problem if I write from here?

I've been writing for a gaming magazine here in Mexico for almost a year, and though I really like it, is just not enough. I write a lot. Really. Just in the last issue I wrote 12 pieces (previews, reviews, articles, interviews, etc) and I barely get $200 a month. As some of you know, I just got a job as a co-editor in a newspaper where I'll be getting aprox. $900 a month, which is, as far as I know, almost the same money my editor in chief makes in the gaming magazine.

So, as much as I like writing about games, there isn't really a market for people like me here, which isn't to say there isn't any oportunities (a co-worker recently landed a job at Blizzard!), but is definitely not a way to make a living in Mexico.

I also recently opened a comics site, with solid 700 to 900 hits a day, but no one there (as I have some other wirters there too) is making any money with it right now.

I like writing about games, movies, comics, anything narrative-related, really, but I don't want to stop because of money issues, so what can I do to get out of here?

Making money with games writing, wherever you are, is a real bitch. I work my ass off and barely make a living wage.

It's made worse by the fact you're not in the States. I'm overlooked all the time for things like reviews because nobody wants to ship things across the border to me.

I think I mentioned earlier that I've landed writing jobs outside of the games industry. How? Just by applying for them and using my game pieces as samples. If the client doesn't want to take you seriously, they can take a flying leap. But I've honestly had more than one person tell me they liked my samples and were willing to hire me.

BIG HINT-O-ROONEY: I'm also honest. I tell people that I've never written an article about electric toilet plungers, but I'm a flexible writer and willing to write for a cut rate.

The good news is that work permits, etc, are mostly irrelevant if you're freelancing. I've written for Canada, America, and the UK without any problem. Strange thing is that even Canadian and UK publications have paid me in the American dollar, which kind of sucks in this day and age, but when I first started freelancing, it was pretty goddamn sweet.

Sometimes accounting departments for certain magazines and websites get on me about a W-9 form. I just explain I'm a Canadian citizen and that ends it. They send me a cheque; what I do with it is my own business and not their responsibility. I'm a contractor, not an employee. I've only lost one job because the person didn't want to risk me not filling out a W-9 form, and that pissed me of mightily because it was a ghost writing job. I've always wanted to ghost write and nobody's accepted me since.

If you're talking about full-time employment outside your home country, though...that's another story that involves muck like work permits and I can't help you with. :(

I'll have a real entry tomorrow. :D

Sprite
09-11-2008, 10:53 PM
I want to try and get in the Wittenburg Door but I don't have any good ideas :(

I'll have a real entry tomorrow. :D

Hooray!

AJR
09-11-2008, 10:54 PM
I also recently opened a comics site, with solid 700 to 900 hits a day, but no one there (as I have some other wirters there too) is making any money with it right now.

I don’t know how many hits a site has to get daily to really be profitable, but wouldn’t there be an opportunity there to make at least a little money from advertisements/sponsors?

Wolfgang
09-11-2008, 11:17 PM
On Taxes: What do you guys use as write-offs? I'm planning on writing my internet bills off (as the internet is my job - if I didn't have a connection I couldn't work). I'm also assuming that when I get my next laptop that'll be 100% write-offable? Any other little things you guys are able to fudge when the taxman comes?

Lakupo
09-12-2008, 01:47 AM
I don’t know how many hits a site has to get daily to really be profitable, but wouldn’t there be an opportunity there to make at least a little money from advertisements/sponsors?
Well, when it comes to advertising, while I don't know the current rates, I imagine video game related keyword ads either don't pay a lot, or they pay well but nerds are notorious for ignoring ads. Maybe if you start mentioning mesothelioma a lot, you might get some heftier rates from adsense...!

widdershins
09-12-2008, 09:09 AM
Wow, I'm really enjoying this thread, Nadia! (Hope mom's okay -- my mom had a run-in with the local stray when she was visiting -- not fun)

I'm particularly excited for the "where do I begin?!" post, as that's pretty much what's been running through my mind of late. It's been a crazy year of job changing, and not even READING blogs let alone writing anything... so the first half of the battle is stretching my mental muscles, as it were, and working off some of that atrophy.

Dizzy
09-12-2008, 02:43 PM
I think this editor writing about rejection letters (http://www.kenyonreview.org/issues/spring08/doyle.php) needs to shorten his "dark and inky" years a bit. Yeesh.

nadia
09-13-2008, 09:00 PM
Chapter III:

The Trial of the Hero

Or,

Oh God, Where Do I Even START?

One thing you're going to encounter a lot of in this field---indeed, in life in general--are people who want to make it very clear that there's a right and a wrong way to go about doing this thing.

I say, those people are twats. Do you feel like you're getting somewhere? Are you learning stuff? Have you not killed any old women on your journey? Congratulations, Soldier, You're going places. If you follow my directions and get somewhere, I'll be very happy. If you print them out to burn them, defecate on them or follow them backwards, I'm fine with that too. You must go at your own pace. Don't let naysayers intimidate you with, "Oh, but you should--"

Portfolio -- How's your portfolio coming? Do you have a nice range of samples? Features, reviews, columns, etc? Blogs? Websites, print magazines? Hint: Print magazine samples look really good in this day and age.

Of course, you'll want samples relevant to your topic of interest, but there's nothing wrong with variety at all.

Now, there are two ways to solicit work. One is to answer a direct ad or call for help. This is my very favourite method because, as I've already moaned over, I hate querying.

Querying entails -- Convincing an editor that you have a topic to write about, and they want an article on it. Dagnabit.

Querying kind of sucks (have I mentioned that?) but if you're starting out, it's the greatest way to add some professional clips to your portfolio. It's also a good way to get you familiar with the process of rejection. Quite frankly, you're going to have to learn what it means to let your ego take it up the bum.

But...

You'll never know unless you ask -- What's the best way to get an editor's attention? Send an email, amigo. Most websites have editors' emails right there for your perusal, bright and shining like a newborn child.

Before you do that though, check to see if the publication has any formal "Contact Info" links. There will usually be an email there--often the editor's, but not always--that tells you were to send queries. It might also give you submission guidelines for query letters. USE THEM. If you're okay with the idea, it might also invite you to send unsolicited articles. In such cases, submission guidelines (word count, paragraph spacing) are almost always included. Again, USE THEM. Do not be a motorcycle rebel with your greaser hair and vroom vroom.

Email queries vs Snail mail--Most corners of the print world have caught up to the Now Century and accept email queries. But some, if you can believe it, dast to solicit snail mail queries.

I haven't sent a query via snail mail yet and I doubt I ever will. If you do, add about six to eight weeks to the response time. Speaking of...

How Long Will An Editor Take To Get Back To Me?--Oh dear Mother of God in Heaven, don't even think about it or you'll drive yourself bananas. Every single freelancer I've spoken to has one story about the query that was accepted in half an hour and one story about the query that was accepted (or rejected) in a year. I will say I've had some very pleasant surprises in my short, chaotic career, but don't count on them. Just keep plugging away.

Some people send the same query to several magazines/websites. I personally never do this, but I'm an idiot. You can go ahead, but keep in mind that if two magazines accept your idea, you'll have to choose one. Magazines aren't good about sharing creative content.

Other things I will cover in the very near future (I mean it this time):

--A good query letter (one-syllable advice: Short, to the point.)

--Some great links to get you started because I can't hold on to a thought for more than ten minutes

--Whatever else you think to ask me.

Calorie Mate
05-26-2009, 12:02 PM
So I've been wondering: how do people that do this for a living feel about, say, thing like that hot website Gamespite.net, where people write stuff for free? And what about people that aren't serious freelancers, but might write, say, an article or two a year? Is there a problem with that happening a lot, and possibly stealing theb read from your table, so to speak? C'mon, we want the juicey stuff.

Other things I will cover in the very near future (I mean it this time)

lololol

`Hrist
05-26-2009, 12:51 PM
If I were that concerned about it, I wouldn't be writing for GameSpite. =) We're all hobbyists writing about what we love here.

Calorie Mate
05-26-2009, 01:29 PM
I didn't mean specifically here, of course. I'm just wondering if there's a sort of professional snobbery or resentment when actual money is involved (since that kind of thing tends to crop up).

ASandoval
05-26-2009, 05:04 PM
First, I really just want to thank Nadia for this series, as freelancing has been something I've been curious about, and it's working as a good confidence booster that I'm not completely screwed outside of college.

At the moment I'm one of the founding members of a new game developer; finished out first game, in fact! But we've already dead ended with a particular publisher who shall go unnamed. Now our future is in jeopardy, and I'm going back to revitalizing my blog that no one reads to back to the back up plan of entertainment journalism. The plan is to try and build some good content on the site that I can show to my college newspaper and hopefully convince them to increase media coverage... or, at the very least, get some real estate on the official website.

To wrap up, this has been inspiring that I'm not just walking into a dead end. Thanks again.

Pombar
05-26-2009, 05:07 PM
I'm taking an adults' evening course in Freelance Writing at the moment, taught by the surprisingly reputable theatre critic Carole Woddis. It's good and stuff. But she also said never to work for free which I just had to put down as journalistic snobbery, or perhaps not understanding the modern face of journalism - or even just not understanding that sometimes people write freelance for reasons other than monetary ones. Occasionally.

ASandoval
05-26-2009, 05:13 PM
I'm taking an adults' evening course in Freelance Writing at the moment, taught by the surprisingly reputable theatre critic Carole Woddis. It's good and stuff. But she also said never to work for free which I just had to put down as journalistic snobbery, or perhaps not understanding the modern face of journalism - or even just not understanding that sometimes people write freelance for reasons other than monetary ones. Occasionally.

I did a brief stint as a news guy for gamesarefun.com. (EBwiz if you happen to go to the back logs to find me) I was not paid for it at all. I was fresh out of High school at the time and still young. Eventually the work with that, game design class and my over night job at Rite-Aid all got to me, and I completely stopped working with GAF. Didn't say anything to staff when I left, just stopped.

Biggest mistake of my life. Now that I'm older, a lot more responsible and have some experience as a leader for a team, burning a bridge like that sickens my stomach any time I think about it.

Your teacher? Slap them next time you see them. For me.

Pombar
05-26-2009, 05:18 PM
She's like 80. I'd be arrested for manslaughter. Disclaimer: She's probably like 50 but whatever

Egarwaen
05-27-2009, 09:01 AM
I didn't mean specifically here, of course. I'm just wondering if there's a sort of professional snobbery or resentment when actual money is involved (since that kind of thing tends to crop up).

Yes, actually. You never heard about the incident with the SF Writer's Guild head making a comment about "pixel-stained technopeasants"?

Calorie Mate
05-27-2009, 11:23 AM
I have not, in fact. Care to elaborate?

Egarwaen
05-27-2009, 06:27 PM
I have not, in fact. Care to elaborate?

Cory Doctorow explains (http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/15/april-23-is-internat.html).

nadia
05-29-2009, 04:55 PM
I say, no more writing for free! See this post? Ten cents per word, from all of you!

Wait, let me rephrase that.

See this informative and well thought-out message board post? I require ten shiny cents per word from every single member!

Also, candy candy candy candy horse ball car cat dog can comic book video game stuffed animal.

Desk.

Um, people have been requesting I revive this. As it so happens, I have a couple of ready-made posts!

Besides, I have more time now that my gig at 61 Frames Per Second (http://blogs.nerve.com/61fps/) is over. Sigh.

(Hint: I might be doing more work for Nerve in the future.)

Sanagi
05-29-2009, 07:54 PM
Aw man. 61FPS was great.

Googleshng
01-09-2011, 07:51 PM
Yeah, this brings up a point that really deserves mentioning in this thread if it's getting revived. Let's introduce it with a skit that totally isn't based on my real life, honest!

I'm a busy starving would-be writer! Between all the personal projects I work on to keep from getting rusty, pestering people for money and extensions on bills, feeding my horde of cats, and drowning my sorrows in 20 year old videogames and ramen noodles, I don't have the time or the money to work out which magazines and/or websites have been firing enough of my peers to be desperate for freelancers! Much less actually read them and learn what sort of content and writing style each one wants! Is there any sort of cheat sheet, or top 20 list to make it easier to tell who might want this feature on what a travesty it is that nobody ever played System's Twilight, or this in-depth review of the short lived TV series Van-Pires?

Merus
01-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Yes, actually. You never heard about the incident with the SF Writer's Guild head making a comment about "pixel-stained technopeasants"?
This is the first I've heard of this - although I do know that the current head of the SF Writers Guild, John Scalzi, is a bit more amenable to giving away work for free on the Internet, because that's how he sold his first two novels. He hastens to point out, when he mentions this, that this is not something you should expect to repeat; he got lucky. Still!

(His book on writing, entitled You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop To A Coffee Shop, is pretty good.)

Wolfgang
01-09-2011, 10:28 PM
I'm currently making a full-time living doing freelance SEO writing for various websites, and I take my laptop to a coffee shop a couple times a week to work (which is writing). It airs out my clothes, essentially.

ProTip: Look into doing SEO writing!!! Yes, it's hacky, but it keeps your skills in fighting (writing!) trim while building up a huge portfolio of paid freelance work. Since I started doing it in the fall I have several hundred 200 to 1,000-word pieces to show off the next time I'm looking for work.

Dizzy
01-09-2011, 10:50 PM
what the fuck is SEO writing

Wolfgang
01-09-2011, 11:11 PM
what the fuck is SEO writing

THAT'S why you're not getting anywhere.

Loki
01-09-2011, 11:17 PM
Search Engine Optimization copywriting. Basically, using keywords to attract search engines to websites.

Googleshng
01-09-2011, 11:43 PM
Search Engine Optimization copywriting. Basically, using hot sexy keywords to attract new free search engines to websites about nude Meagan Fox pictures.

So what? Taking other people's articles and rewriting them to include frequently searched for terms?

Wolfgang
01-10-2011, 08:19 AM
So what? Taking other people's articles and rewriting them to include frequently searched for terms?

I've done that a couple times, but normally it's collecting a list of most-searched-for terms on a subject and inserting them into an article about said subject.

Ample Vigour
01-10-2011, 08:22 AM
You use a software package for that? I've seen some pretty sophisticated SEO setups, but I don't know if they're worth the trouble.

Wolfgang
01-10-2011, 09:08 AM
You use a software package for that? I've seen some pretty sophisticated SEO setups, but I don't know if they're worth the trouble.

Nope, it's just writing. Obviously it helps that the keywords relate to whatever I'm writing about, so shoehorning them in isn't difficult.

You guys are thinking about BAD SEO practices that are scammy. People are learning that those don't work. I do the good kind, where you do actual research and writing to create genuinely useful content that contains frequently searched-for words related to said content.

And even then that's only something I do part of the time. The past few weeks have been spent writing brand descriptions for a popular Australian appliances website, with no keywords. The only stipulation is that the description has to be 500 to 700 words, so I do a lot of research into company histories, corporate greening procedures and product descriptions. This job pays about $600 for 20 articles a week.

Willm
01-10-2011, 09:24 AM
Since you've piqued my interest in this whole SEO writing thing, how do you get in started in that field, anyway?

Wolfgang
01-10-2011, 09:27 AM
Since you've piqued my interest in this whole SEO writing thing, how do you get in started in that field, anyway?

I got started by partnering up with a friend who has contacts in the field, and because of my SEO experience with Wikia. But I know a lot of temp companies like Aquent look for writers as well.

nadia
01-14-2011, 11:39 PM
ITT, Nadia tries to redeem her long years of neglect with a crash-course on implementing SEO into articles, etc

SEO = Search Engine Optimization. Basically, tailoring your article so that it'll be picked up easily by search engines.

If you're writing for a website that loves its ad revenue--so every website, ever--you will learn all about SEO, or you will wake up one morning and find one of your low-ranking articles in bed beside you with a shotgun wound through its abdomen.

Let's lead off with a joke that is also very explanatory:

"How many SEO experts does it take to change a light bulb, lightbulb, light,bulb, lamp, lighting, lightswitch, switch, energy"

Some people think that optimized SEO means repeating the subject of your article as often as possible. That is incorrect: You're just going to end up with an awful article that makes the reader feel as if his or her brain is being dragged over a lot of speed bumps.

Rather, your meta data is what's key to getting your article or blog off the ass-end of Google and somehwere close to the first search results. Meta data includes:

Your article's title and/or meta title - That is, the words that identify what your article's about, and/or the words that show up in, uh, you know, a web page's blue bar thingy at the top. Sorry, you'll have to bear with my jargon.

Ideally, if you're going to repeat yourself like an asshole (and you should), this is where you'll want to do it. Let's say your article is about the positive effect terriers have on the elderly. You'd want to call your article something direct and simple, like "Terriers Are Good With the Aged."

Even better: "Terriers and the the Elderly - Why Terriers Are Good with the Aged."

Next, Your key words - Key words are the words people might use when searching for an article. Now, the internet has a remarkable talent for Googling the strangest fucking things, but as a rule, you don't want to overthink key words. Use whatever is quick, simple, and comes to mind in under a minute. Remember that joke I posted up above?

So, in this case: "terriers, good, aged, elderly, seniors, health, airdale, schnauzer, carin, wirehair, fox, smooth, therapy--"

You get the idea.

You can actually cheat and include popular keywords like "dragon ball z" or "lady gaga's panties," but it's a good way to piss off the reader and expose yourself as a traffic-hoarding hack.

Your article description - Most blogging programs give you the opportunity to describe your article. This description usually shows up in the Google summations underneath each link, so again, a little careful repetition isn't the worst idea:

"TERRIERS AND THE ELDERLY: WHY TERRIERS ARE GOOD WITH THE AGED." (Description follows) "Studies show that old people need to give terriers a chance and do the terrier dance. Here's why the elderly seem to get along so well with this British breed."

Sorry, that was awful, but you get the basic idea. One more key to commanding SEO:

Your first paragraph - Try to mention the topic of your article somewhere in the first paragraph before you go careening off into anecdotes and shit. Don't take forever to get to the point, like I always do.

Entire books have been written on the topic of SEO, so this is just a pitiful summation**. Still, I hope it helps you sort out your thoughts a little!


**Do not count on Nadia™ brand SEO writing advice alone to help you conquer Google. You will die hungry and unfulfilled.

nadia
01-14-2011, 11:45 PM
I'd like to start talking in this topic again, but I'm not much good at doling out organised advice. So let's do this instead: Ask me questions, and I will try to answer them!

Other freelancers out there in Talking Time Town, I would love for you to help me out and contribute your own wisdom.

Wolfgang
01-15-2011, 12:19 AM
Entire books have been written on the topic of SEO, so this is just a pitiful summation

Actually, that's not a bad primer at all. It's pretty much the "training" I received on the subject and is how I approach an article. The only thing I'd suggest differently is rather than solely making up a list of keywords on your own, searching for keywords via Google AdWords' Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS#search.none). It's free and generally shows you what people are looking for when they look for the topic you're talking about. You get junk, but since you're a person with a brain doing the writing rather than an SEO app, you can filter out the junk.

tungwene
01-15-2011, 01:00 AM
I'd like to start talking in this topic again, but I'm not much good at doling out organised advice. So let's do this instead: Ask me questions, and I will try to answer them!

Other freelancers out there in Talking Time Town, I would love for you to help me out and contribute your own wisdom.I'm not looking to start being a freelance writer but I have been (dragging my feet) planning to start a new blog and one of the big questions on my mind had been how I was going get any traffic on it once I started it and your post was a very big help.

You can actually cheat and include popular keywords like "dragon ball z" or "lady gaga's panties," but it's a good way to piss off the reader and expose yourself as a traffic-hoarding hack.I'd always wondered about the preponderance of non-sequiter pop culture references in bad journalism and this clears up my confusion.

Sleepy Seven
01-16-2011, 05:40 PM
I'd like to start talking in this topic again, but I'm not much good at doling out organised advice. So let's do this instead: Ask me questions, and I will try to answer them!

This thread has been really helpful already but I'd love if you could talk a little more about querying editors. For example, is querying gaming publications different than querying other magazines or is it all pretty much the same? What have you found makes a good and efficient query letter? Are there any sites/resources you've found to be helpful? Or anything else about the process you think is important to know that you haven't mentioned already.

For some reason the whole query process spooks me a little and has actually kept me from trying for almost the past year. I'm pretty sure my ego can take the hit if my idea is rejected, but I will probably go crazy if I think I'm sabotoging myself from the outset by not following some form or protocol or something. But maybe I'm just severely overthinking things, too.

I'd always wondered about the preponderance of non-sequiter pop culture references in bad journalism and this clears up my confusion.

Yeah this makes a lot more sense now.

Billy Mays Is AWESOME
01-17-2011, 09:47 PM
So I'm totally not a writer, but I've been thinking about doing some work for ehow.com for a little money on the side. Ehow.com, for those who don't know, are a self-help styled website, offering advice on practical things (painting houses, parenting, Facebook etiquette and all manner of American middle class problems). They don't seem to have incredibly high standards and from everything I've read there, seem to employ a style of writing emphasizing concise, conversational style work over long drawn-out articles. My question at $15 an article, is it worth it? Mind you these seem like articles anyone with a modicum of talent can write.

Sarcasmorator
01-17-2011, 09:49 PM
$15 per article is a pretty shitty rate for anything over 150 words.

Billy Mays Is AWESOME
01-17-2011, 09:56 PM
$15 per article is a pretty shitty rate for anything over 150 words.

Like I said though, I could write these articles on my lunch break at my real job. I saw an article on painting coffee mugs that a kid could've written. Also, keep in mind I'm not looking to write in-depth stuff that takes forever. And, the best part is, you can write at your own pace, pulling from a pool of article topics and, after you've contributed enough, writing and submitting your own.

$15 an article, when you can potentially churn out multiple articles a week doesn't seem too bad to me.

nadia
01-18-2011, 08:04 AM
This thread has been really helpful already but I'd love if you could talk a little more about querying editors. For example, is querying gaming publications different than querying other magazines or is it all pretty much the same? What have you found makes a good and efficient query letter? Are there any sites/resources you've found to be helpful? Or anything else about the process you think is important to know that you haven't mentioned already.

Delighted!!

Everybody has their own way of querying, so you'll probably hear different accounts. I, for one, am rather casual, no matter whom I query--but to be fair, I haven't pitched the New Yorker or anything.

Be that as it may, here's what you should keep in mind:

-A short, friendly introduction. Who are you? What's your title (freelancer)? Where are you based (city)?

-Refer to the editor by name, if you have it (I usually go first name, unless we're talking about, like, God or something).

-Cite some publications you write for, if any. Do not send samples!!--yet!

-Pitch your idea. Don't waste any words, but talk about your idea, how it relates to the publication you're pitching, the angle you'd like to take, and if applicable, some sources you'll try to get in touch with. This bit shouldn't be longer than a paragraph. Editors are busy people, and if anyone subscribes to the principals of tl;dr, it's them.

-Finish by thanking the editor for their time, and offering samples of your work, if they're interested. Leave a contact email and a phone number. Don't send a Resume, or *any* breed of attachment unless specifically asked for.

-Be prepared for a lot of disappointment, rejection, sadness. It really IS terrifying to pitch ideas at first, even over email. But you will triumph if you're persistent! Editors are harried, but generally sweet people. If you approach them cheerfully, they'll respond in kind.

So I'm totally not a writer, but I've been thinking about doing some work for ehow.com for a little money on the side. Ehow.com, for those who don't know, are a self-help styled website, offering advice on practical things (painting houses, parenting, Facebook etiquette and all manner of American middle class problems). They don't seem to have incredibly high standards and from everything I've read there, seem to employ a style of writing emphasizing concise, conversational style work over long drawn-out articles. My question at $15 an article, is it worth it? Mind you these seem like articles anyone with a modicum of talent can write.

Not big into the idea, personally. I will tell people that if they don't have any samples to their name, yeah, go ahead and write for free to build yourself up--but you can just as easily make a blog for yourself, or a nice dude like Parish might allow you to publish an awesome article in an awesome collection like Gamespite.

I'll be blunt: I don't dig the whole "Writing for pocket change" movement. Freelancers are paid shit rates to begin with, especially with the rise of Internet publishing and word farmers in China and India. It's not something that worries me, exactly: There are editors who will pay for quality. But writing a fifteen dollar article is not worth your time, not if you want to better yourself as a writer. A decent article takes research and time to lay out. If you're doing all that for fifteen bucks, you're cheating yourself and the profession. I'd rather see people spend that time and effort pitching editors and producing work to be proud of.

Just my take on the whole matter, though.

Billy Mays Is AWESOME
01-18-2011, 11:44 PM
Not big into the idea, personally. I will tell people that if they don't have any samples to their name, yeah, go ahead and write for free to build yourself up--but you can just as easily make a blog for yourself, or a nice dude like Parish might allow you to publish an awesome article in an awesome collection like Gamespite.

I'll be blunt: I don't dig the whole "Writing for pocket change" movement. Freelancers are paid shit rates to begin with, especially with the rise of Internet publishing and word farmers in China and India. It's not something that worries me, exactly: There are editors who will pay for quality. But writing a fifteen dollar article is not worth your time, not if you want to better yourself as a writer. A decent article takes research and time to lay out. If you're doing all that for fifteen bucks, you're cheating yourself and the profession. I'd rather see people spend that time and effort pitching editors and producing work to be proud of.

Just my take on the whole matter, though.

Like I said though, not doing this for a living. I just want some going out money, since my moneys tied up in some investments. If I was trying to make a living, $15 an article wouldn't give me enough money for a big cardboard box to live in. But I don't have to worry about that.

Wolfgang
01-19-2011, 10:58 AM
Like I said though, not doing this for a living. I just want some going out money, since my moneys tied up in some investments. If I was trying to make a living, $15 an article wouldn't give me enough money for a big cardboard box to live in. But I don't have to worry about that.

I'll be honest, this doesn't sound bad to me at all. If you can lock that $15 price in, and the articles are that easy to write, it's not a bad way to pad your weekly paycheck. I have several clients, and one of them is similar: their pay rate is relatively low, but the work is taking pre-existing material and rewriting it so it's either easier to read (it's for a credit report website, written by creditors rather than writers) or just better-written in general. They're really quick to do, typically about 15-20 minutes each. My pay rate for that client works like this:

$15 for articles 400 words or less
$20 for 401-800 words
$25 for 801 words and up

It doesn't seem like a lot but if you figure in the time it takes to do them, it comes out to be pretty reasonable. If I spend one afternoon a week (or an extra hour each night) cranking things out for this client and do 10 articles of varying length, I get about $140-200 a week, which really isn't bad.

Sleepy Seven
01-19-2011, 05:53 PM
Good query advice

I just have one more question since you mentioned starting with a short intro. A bunch of the stuff I've read on the internet has been basically suggesting that if you start by saying who you are, chances are your query won't even be read. Many said to just start pitching the article right away with a "hook," but I did just read that some are moving away from that mentality. Just wondering what your take is on that, is it just a matter of different strokes?

Thanks again for the advice! This thread is basically the reason I've decided to finally give this a shot.

nadia
01-20-2011, 02:33 PM
I'm probably not the person to ask re: freelancing for pocket money. I wholly understand why it's a preferable alternative to flipping burgers or shoveling horse shit as a part-time job. Writing, however, is my livelihood, and rarely a fistful of months goes by where I'm told "Hey, we're slashing the freelance budget, so if you want to stay, you'll be dropped from a sensible $700 an article to $200."

It stinks, frankly. And I don't lay the burden of blame on the worker, but consider that retail jobs were highly-paid and respected before big box markets realised that people are desperate to work for money, any money.

Not asking you to give up your gig by any stretch of the imagination; you have to take care of yourself first, not me. If the profession takes a bad turn, it's my responsibility to rise above it. But I do need to unload my POV. Be warned though, this is a topic that drives a lot of freelancers right out of their cotton-pickin' minds.

I just have one more question since you mentioned starting with a short intro. A bunch of the stuff I've read on the internet has been basically suggesting that if you start by saying who you are, chances are your query won't even be read. Many said to just start pitching the article right away with a "hook," but I did just read that some are moving away from that mentality. Just wondering what your take is on that, is it just a matter of different strokes?

Thanks again for the advice! This thread is basically the reason I've decided to finally give this a shot.

Definitely different strokes. Honestly, I had never heard of the whole "Don't introduce yourself" angle, but I can see why others might advise that you immediately go for a hook. I don't think it's necessary, especially because my openings rarely go beyond, "Hi, I'm Nadia Oxford and I'm a freelance writer based in Toronto." Then I get to the pitch.

In all matters of life, though, it pays to "NEVER GIVE UP!" and to "TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!!"

Good luck!

SilentSnake
01-20-2011, 02:37 PM
"Hey, we're slashing the freelance budget, so if you want to stay, you'll be dropped from a sensible $700 an article to $200."

This is for longer features, right? I still have yet to land a contract that big. My first piece was about 1000 words and paid about $250.

I don't really have a point here. I'm just lamenting randomly. WILL WRITE FOR CASH

nadia
01-20-2011, 02:50 PM
This is for longer features, right? I still have yet to land a contract that big. My first piece was about 1000 words and paid about $250.

I don't really have a point here. I'm just lamenting randomly. WILL WRITE FOR CASH

Yeah, it was for one of my longer magazine-published bits that took a while to research and write. $250 for 1000 words is actually pretty good for a first time assignment--and heck, I'd probably take it now!

SilentSnake
01-20-2011, 03:06 PM
Yeah, it was for one of my longer magazine-published bits that took a while to research and write. $250 for 1000 words is actually pretty good for a first time assignment--and heck, I'd probably take it now!

I mean, it's the current rate that GamePro offers. I guess I was lucky that GamePro was the first outlet to run my work.

Azar
01-20-2011, 03:36 PM
I'm not getting paid too well per word on average, but I've been freelancing since August and I think I'm making about $1500 a month these days. So I'm pretty happy with that.

nadia
01-20-2011, 03:44 PM
I'm not getting paid too well per word on average, but I've been freelancing since August and I think I'm making about $1500 a month these days. So I'm pretty happy with that.

Cool! Who's amongst your regular gigs?

Wolfgang
01-20-2011, 04:03 PM
Question: what's the pay rate for articles in print vs. online? I understand print is a dying medium and online content is still a relatively new frontier with a voracious mouth that will never be full, but the sheer amount of bodies willing to throw themselves into it (ie. this guy) is also staggeringly high.

From what I can see, most blogging - even the really well-known sites - tend to be rewriting press releases in one form or another. How often does a multi-hundred dollar article that needs to be carefully researched come along?

Azar
01-20-2011, 05:47 PM
Cool! Who's amongst your regular gigs?
Just two: Whiskey Media, who I do tech news for daily and feature articles fairly frequently, and HowStuffWorks. The latter isn't nearly as much fun and requires a lot of research on subjects I'm not so interested in, but they pay $450 for a bundle that's probably about 2500 words of work. I can't say no to a chunk of change that big.

Moirae
01-21-2011, 09:44 AM
So, I've been a full-time professional copywriter for 6 years now, specializing in the travel and hospitality industry. About half the work I do is direct to e-mail and half is SEO copy for clients on the web.

Nadia and Shawn make great points about how to develop successful SEO copy, without cheating the reader. The absolute biggest factors in a page ranking are the Title Tag (followed by the Meta Description) and Inbound Links.

The latter isn't really up to you, as a writer. That's the job of marketing analysts and PPC specialists. But it's a HUGE factor.

As far as inserting keywords into whatever it is you're writing, it's not as big of a factor as some think. The adverse user experience that results from doing it in a "clunky" way is actually bad for your website. So my advice is: write naturally, and carefully include keywords and phrases only when it sounds appropriate. Don't perpetuate the stereotypes created by terrible SEO writers.

It's also important to only focus on a few select terms, and for those terms to be similar. In addition, don't always go for the most popular terms or super-generic terms because they'll be incredibly hard to compete for. If you're writing for a travel destination of any kind, focusing on geographical terms is your best bet. It's the most common way for people to narrow down their searches.

I've had this job for six years now and it pays really well. It's a salary with benefits and the chance to work from home. I live an hour and a half outside of the office, which is in DC. I pretty much work from home and go into the office whenever I want. It's great work if you're a writer, and I get to write about all kinds of destinations throughout the world. But it is still copy, not editorial or feature.

My only regret is that I am only just now starting to put myself out there as a freelancer in addition to this job. Writing full time takes a lot out of you, and at the end of my "day" the thought of sitting down and doing more writing is not a fun one. I hope to find some game blogs to write for (for free) and then to find some local freelance work writing about music and movies. I don't plan to make a killing- I just want to broaden the scope of what I can do.

I've always wanted to write for Gamespite, as I've been visiting this site since 2005, but I kinda missed the boat.

I just posted my first article on Bitmob this fall (which was promoted to the front page immediately!)

I might continue to put stuff up there to hone my skills. Anyone here have an opinion about that site? I only wish it would stop crashing.

Merus
01-22-2011, 04:29 PM
I just posted my first article on Bitmob this fall (which was promoted to the front page immediately!)

Super-jealous. Gamespite is literally the only time I've ever had people other than me read my articles.

Azar
01-23-2011, 11:43 AM
I've always wanted to write for Gamespite, as I've been visiting this site since 2005, but I kinda missed the boat.

That boat returns often. You just have to watch out for it (http://www.gamespite.net/verbalspew2/2011/01/23/gsq3-cant-you-hear-me-noqing/).

Moirae
01-23-2011, 07:47 PM
Super-jealous. Gamespite is literally the only time I've ever had people other than me read my articles.

Yeah, but that makes me super-jealous of you. I love the stuff everyone writes here. Plus the audience for Gamespite is a great audience to have reading your stuff.

That boat returns often. You just have to watch out for it (http://www.gamespite.net/verbalspew2/2011/01/23/gsq3-cant-you-hear-me-noqing/).

Yeah, I've actually missed the boat more than once. Maybe sometime!

Karzac
01-23-2011, 07:50 PM
But dude, the boat's still here! Hop on!

I would, except I never owned a Playstation.

Moirae
01-23-2011, 08:54 PM
Neither did I. Maybe if I channel my wife's memories through my writing? She was all over that system.

Karzac
01-24-2011, 08:36 AM
Neither did I. Maybe if I channel my wife's memories through my writing? She was all over that system.

It might make for an interesting article.

Moirae
01-27-2011, 03:30 PM
Wellp, no dice on joining the Gamespite crew this time around. Just found out today. But on the plus side, I also just found out that I snagged a recurring freelance gig as a music writer here in Baltimore. So, I'm really excited.

Plus my second article made the front page on Bitmob yesterday and sparked a bunch of comments. So that's at least a little encouragement in the right direction.

Still look forward to many awesome articles from all you Gamespite writers, and maybe when I have more experience I'll catch the next boat.

nadia
01-30-2011, 05:20 PM
Thumbs up!

SilentSnake
01-30-2011, 05:53 PM
Hey, so the new issue of GamePro is out. You all should go out and get it and read about how I reamed Epic Mickey by proxy. Fun times!

I'd link it, but you know, print.

I'm also working on a fun feature that will be my first online-only one over at gamepro.com. It will probably also be my most lucrative one, as it is nearing 2000 words.

Monies!

Wolfgang
02-01-2011, 06:56 PM
Damn. I got some criticism that writing SEO content is hacky, but at least I'm not writing for AOL (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-aol-way). At least SEO work is blatant about being focused on pageviews/profit. AOL writers aren't going to be writing solely for content at all anymore.

Moirae
02-02-2011, 05:58 AM
Anything I've ever written for SEO has been copy, which you absolutely cannot compare to editorial content. You're already selling, so... SEO makes sense. I have yet to encounter anyone who has optimized an actual article or story. I hope people aren't being forced to do that? Ugh.

At the end of the day, we all have to make money. And if you're a writer who wants a substantial enough paycheck to make rent, chances are you're going to have a writing gig at some point that you're not shout-from-the-rooftops proud of. That is a harsh reality.

Anyone who has a paying salary job or semi-regular freelance work writing down words has already accomplished something. It's hard enough just to break that barrier. And if the people you work for aren't letting you write the content you want- well, there is the rest of the Internet for that. An amazing thing we have here in the future.

And beyond that, you just have to work toward where you want to be. No job is perfect

Ample Vigour
02-02-2011, 06:10 AM
Damn. I got some criticism that writing SEO content is hacky, but at least I'm not writing for AOL (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-aol-way). At least SEO work is blatant about being focused on pageviews/profit. AOL writers aren't going to be writing solely for content at all anymore.

Isn't that the exact editorial process that Cracked.com and the gawker sites run on?

e: Looking at their marketing flowcharts, that's actually a pretty comprehensive plan. It'd be fucking brilliant if it wasn't half a decade late.

Azar
02-02-2011, 08:12 AM
I'm curious if that plan applies to everything AOL owns. I guess it does; interesting to me, because I have a friend who works for Engadget. They seem to operate pretty independently and don't flaunt that AOL branding, but they're probably just as susceptible to orders from higher-up as any other AOL site.

Wolfgang
02-02-2011, 11:57 AM
Anything I've ever written for SEO has been copy, which you absolutely cannot compare to editorial content. You're already selling, so... SEO makes sense. I have yet to encounter anyone who has optimized an actual article or story. I hope people aren't being forced to do that? Ugh.

That's exactly what's happening - for every article on every AOL-owned site.

Dizzy
02-02-2011, 12:04 PM
"The AOL Way" looks like the most depressingly mechanical, consumer market-driven model for online journalism ever. I hope this will not be a powerful trend in the future, or else government censorship of the net will be the last of our worries.

Merus
02-03-2011, 04:23 AM
Oh wow, this affects Joystiq doesn't it.

widdershins
02-04-2011, 09:00 PM
So here's a question, for Nadia or whomever has an opinion on the matter.

I've always been interested in freelance writing, and back in the day I made frequent use of my 1up blog and was very involved in the community -- I even got the coveted "blog of the day" mention on the front page once or twice.

In the past 5 years or so, however, my personal output has been next to nil, and before I'd even think about trying to query anyone, be it a for-free blogging gig, or a paying one, I feel like I need to prove to myself that I can write at a consistent pace. This month I'll start living on my own for the first time in a long while, and I'd like to use my impending life changes as an opportunity to start doing just that. However, I'm curious what the smartest place to put all this stuff is.

I have my personal gaming blog, Two Player Co-Op, which Luana and I share, and on which I've historically written on a schedule of "once every solar eclipse" (my last post was in August). At the same time, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a better idea to start writing somewhere similar to my 1up blog roots, like bitmob, which seems to sell itself as a place for unknowns to put their work and potentially get noticed. I suppose I could always crosspost on both, but I'm not sure whether that sort of practice is generally frowned upon.

On the one hand, I like the sense of ownership I get posting on my own blog, but on the other, a community site drastically raises my chances of having people read what I write, and provide constructive feedback if nothing else. Also, I wonder if a piece that receives some notice on a community site looks inherently better when used as writing sample in a portfolio, than one posted on a personal site (assuming of course that writing quality is identical).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

BONUS QUESTION: Does anyone know about publications, online or off, that cater to american ex-pats living in Japan, or to people planning to study abroad? Not only would I love to read such a publication, but there are a couple of stories from my own days abroad that would probably make for great essays if and when I decide to start pitching ideas to people.

SilentSnake
02-04-2011, 09:08 PM
I suppose I could always crosspost on both, but I'm not sure whether that sort of practice is generally frowned upon.

I see people do this all the time and still get promoted.

nadia
02-04-2011, 09:19 PM
I see people do this all the time and still get promoted.

Indeed! If you're not writing a piece that one site/magazine in particular has the rights to, I don't see the harm in cross-posting.

What you might want to do, if you're concerned, is post an article to, say, Bitmob first, and then post to your personal blog maybe a week later--preluded with a bit of additional content. Extra links, maybe some extended opinions courtesy of some feedback you received in that week, etc. I would also point out, "First published at Bitmob on (date)" and provide a link.

widdershins
02-04-2011, 09:24 PM
What you might want to do, if you're concerned, is post an article to, say, Bitmob first, and then post to your personal blog maybe a week later--preluded with a bit of additional content. Extra links, maybe some extended opinions courtesy of some feedback you received in that week, etc. I would also point out, "First published at Bitmob on (date)" and provide a link.

Thanks to both of you, that seems like an exceptional idea!

Azar
02-04-2011, 09:42 PM
I'm not sure how well you can really make a name for yourself/build a following just by blogging--gotta be pretty damn unique for that--but it always helps to build up that body of work that you can reference if and when you decide to apply for any kind of job.

If you're just trying to get your name out there and get some feedback and build interest, I'd crosspost the shit out of stuff. Your own blog, 1Up, Bitmob, Giant Bomb, maybe Game Informer, I don't know how big their online community is for that kind of thing. No harm in it when you're not being paid for the content.

SilentSnake
02-04-2011, 09:53 PM
If you're going to post things on Bitmob and your blog, place a small mention of your personal blog and a link at the bottom of your piece. That way, you get traffic funneled over.

No more than that, though. Obnoxious shilling to a greater degree is frowned upon.

widdershins
02-04-2011, 11:36 PM
I'm always wary of obnoxious shilling, so if anything I'd probably just have a link to my site in a profile page for myself or whatever.

And yeah, Azar, I don't really have any intention of making a name for myself with my personal blogging -- it's mostly just to get myself in the habit of writing, and to evaluate my voice to see if I think it's strong enough to eventually try to market it. Stuff like bitmob only comes up because, hey, if I write something good enough that people take notice anyway, I certainly wouldn't complain. :D

nadia
02-05-2011, 03:09 AM
Oh! Something I should have posted a thousand years ago! Two sites that really helped me get my start:

Absolute Write (http://absolutewrite.com/) -- Has excellent advice and an extremely helpful forum full of awesome writers. I used to frequent it, though admittedly I don't anymore (I was BlueBadger).

Freelance Writing Gigs (http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/) -- Also full of great advice, and posts jobs as well.

Writer's communities are excellent, but make sure to avoid falling into the bullshit trap. In other words, I find said communities have people who spend more time bullshitting about their works in progress (usually endless novels that never see the light of day) rather than, well, writing.

Dizzy
02-11-2011, 08:10 PM
Well isn't this a coincidence: AOL Settled with Unpaid “Volunteers” for $15 Million (http://www.cjr.org/the_news_frontier/aol_settled_with_unpaid_volunt.php?page=all)

[Tim Rutten] likened The Huffington Post’s business model, which emphasizes aggregation and unpaid contributors, to “a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates.”

That sounds about right!

Azar
02-27-2011, 04:28 PM
So I could use some advice here. I've been working on my taxes and based on the ~$6000 I made in 2010, I'm looking at $808 in Federal taxes. I thought this was some kind of comical error until I read that the self-employment tax rate is 15.3%, which comes out to a bit more than TurboTax is saying I owe, actually.

It's also saying a standard deduction I'm eligible for covers everything I made resulting in a "final amount that's taxed = $0", so that $808 is confusing. And also a lot of fucking money. Am I missing something, or just getting reamed here?

Lady
02-27-2011, 04:53 PM
Besides the standard deduction (which is $5700 for a single filer), You should be able to take a deduction for Making Work Pay of ~$370-400 (check out Schedule M)
Also, if you pay for your health insurance, you should be able to take a deduction on that as well, and student loan interest, and half of self employment tax (the way my dad explained it was that they tax you at the full social security rate, but other individuals only pay half of that towards their social security tax, and their employers pay the rest)

Make sure you consider your net income, too: Gross minus working costs. I'm not sure what all counts for that, but you should be able to find some stuff

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant

SilentSnake
02-28-2011, 07:56 AM
Good news! I finally, finally got my first check, which covers my first four invoices. BOOYAKA!!

Kirin
02-28-2011, 09:27 AM
Yeah, that sounds very weird, Azar - most of that amount should be covered by deductions so your amount owed should be much lower. Unless! If someone else is claiming you as a dependent, then you don't get the standard deduction.

I dunno, I haven't used TurboTax personally, but I'd say have someone else look over your shoulder and see if they spot any entries or check-boxes that look wrong.

Another disclaimer is I've never actually done the self-employed thing, so I don't know if deductions work differently.

Oh shit, something else just occurred to me - if you're self-employed, you have to cover payroll taxes for social security and so on... maybe that's where the amount is coming from? Anyway, you should verify this with someone else who's done it (which I guess is why you're posting here and I should shut up now).

widdershins
02-28-2011, 09:51 AM
BOOYAKA!!

(It's a lingo I want to spread)

mopinks
02-28-2011, 10:01 AM
Oh shit, something else just occurred to me - if you're self-employed, you have to cover payroll taxes for social security and so on... maybe that's where the amount is coming from?

yep!

RELATED: I am pretty screwed this year!!

Azar
02-28-2011, 10:10 AM
Yeah, that sounds very weird, Azar - most of that amount should be covered by deductions so your amount owed should be much lower. Unless! If someone else is claiming you as a dependent, then you don't get the standard deduction.

I dunno, I haven't used TurboTax personally, but I'd say have someone else look over your shoulder and see if they spot any entries or check-boxes that look wrong.

Another disclaimer is I've never actually done the self-employed thing, so I don't know if deductions work differently.

Oh shit, something else just occurred to me - if you're self-employed, you have to cover payroll taxes for social security and so on... maybe that's where the amount is coming from? Anyway, you should verify this with someone else who's done it (which I guess is why you're posting here and I should shut up now).
Yup, you pretty much hit everything. I am being claimed as a dependent, which disqualifies me for a couple potential deductions like the one Lady mentioned. On the bright side, my dad's going to reimburse me for that amount, which will give me about $400 bucks to lessen the sting of this. It saves him a lot more than that on his taxes, apparently.

Most of that 15% I'm paying goes into social security. I'm pretty sure at this point I haven't entered anything wrong and went back and checked a few things, it's just presented in kind of a confusing way.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/69213/web%20pictures/turbotax.png

It's like come on man don't tell me $0 is taxed when I'm paying $808. I guess without that deduction I'd owe more on top of that amount, but yeah, ouch.

ArugulaZ
02-28-2011, 12:56 PM
Oh! Something I should have posted a thousand years ago! Two sites that really helped me get my start:

Absolute Write (http://absolutewrite.com/) -- Has excellent advice and an extremely helpful forum full of awesome writers. I used to frequent it, though admittedly I don't anymore (I was BlueBadger).

Freelance Writing Gigs (http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/) -- Also full of great advice, and posts jobs as well.


Thanks, that's very helpful!

I don't know how much I should say, since the walls of the internet have ears, but I'm fatigued with my current freelance employer and want to try writing articles for some other sites. How many clients do you freelance for, Nadia? Are you at liberty to say?

nadia
02-28-2011, 08:29 PM
Yo! Let's see here...

For starters, most of my clients are folks that I work for every day, either for a flat monthly fee, or on a "per story/per blog" payment basis. I work for about three of those.


Then there are folks whom I write stories/reviews for on a less regular basis. The number here can vary at the drop of a hat: Depends how many stories I want to pitch, or accept. On average, I'm usually juggling four of those companies/individuals at any one time.

So...seven! Lucky seven!

Warning: That is an average and subject to change at any time.

Oh and Z I got your PM. Sorry I haven't been around AIM or anything lately; been too busy. :(

ArugulaZ
03-01-2011, 01:48 AM
Well, I was wondering about the delay. Thanks for clearing that up.

So, you're working with seven different publishers and you still need to run a pet grooming shop on the side to make ends meet? Man, times really are tough.

I'm wondering if freelance work is right for me... I hate the uncertainty of a paycheck that comes only at the whim of an employer. You can't plan a budget around that.

nadia
03-01-2011, 06:56 PM
Well, I was wondering about the delay. Thanks for clearing that up.

So, you're working with seven different publishers and you still need to run a pet grooming shop on the side to make ends meet? Man, times really are tough.

I'm wondering if freelance work is right for me... I hate the uncertainty of a paycheck that comes only at the whim of an employer. You can't plan a budget around that.

Heh, I don't run the shop. I'd kill myself and a pack of bystanders if that was the case. I do work part-time at a shop two days a week. Even that's starting to wear on me, though. I like the job, but hot damn, I'm tired.

Freelancing can admittedly be super-rough. Some of my clients, like About.com, pay so reliably that you can set a watch to their schedule. Others...well, not so good. I think my record wait time was two years, back when ZD ran 1UP. :I

Generally, you're looking at a wait of one or two months for a cheque.

SilentSnake
03-02-2011, 01:09 PM
I haven't gotten work at more than one pub yet, but I am juggling three different editors at the one currently.

Hey, I'm doin' my best with what I got.

Sleepy Seven
03-08-2011, 04:00 PM
So I sent my first pitch out a couple weeks ago and got a response saying they'd be interested in checking out some clips (!). Is there an ideal amount to send it? Three or so?

nadia
03-08-2011, 06:20 PM
So I sent my first pitch out a couple weeks ago and got a response saying they'd be interested in checking out some clips (!). Is there an ideal amount to send it? Three or so?

Cool beans! Yeah, I generally send three. Are they online links?

Sleepy Seven
03-08-2011, 07:35 PM
Yeah they'll be online links. This feels a little more nerve wracking than having my pitch rejected outright, since I'll probably feel worse if it all falls through after they read samples, but I'm excited! We'll see what happens.

Sleepy Seven
06-27-2011, 08:37 AM
Bumping partly to say that I've gotten (http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/review-lets-go-island-lost-island-tropics) my first two (http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/review-lets-go-island-lost-island-tropics) articles published over at Kill Screen in the last couple months. They said they'd like me to write some more, too.

But mostly I wanted to say thanks for all the advice in here, especially from nadia. It's really good stuff and it does help a lot. This thread basically got me off my butt and pushed me to make an effort!

SilentSnake
06-27-2011, 11:40 AM
Bumping partly to say that I've gotten (http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/review-lets-go-island-lost-island-tropics) my first two (http://killscreendaily.com/articles/reviews/review-lets-go-island-lost-island-tropics) articles published over at Kill Screen in the last couple months. They said they'd like me to write some more, too.

But mostly I wanted to say thanks for all the advice in here, especially from nadia. It's really good stuff and it does help a lot. This thread basically got me off my butt and pushed me to make an effort!

Congrats!

Do they pay you pretty decently over there? And are you working on getting more outlets to write for?

nadia
06-29-2011, 08:04 PM
You're very welcome! Congrats, and good luck with future publications!

Oh, Snake, I got your PM. I'll respond later tonite!

Büge
07-04-2011, 10:37 AM
Someone wants me to write stories for a website and is willing to pay me for it. What's a typical pay scale for fiction writing?

fugu13
07-04-2011, 11:46 AM
Depends on the website, but not much. To give you an idea, professional science fiction/fantasy writing is considered to start at 5 cents per word for short stories (minimum $50 a story).

Many websites pay a fraction of even that, down to less than a cent per word.

Some websites, such as Tor.com, pay considerably more: 25 cents a word (for the first 5k words, then at a decreasing rate for further words).

nadia
07-04-2011, 10:16 PM
Fiction writing is a tricky bastard. The few places I've had fiction published offered nothing, or next to nothing.

What are they offering, if you don't mind me asking?

Büge
07-05-2011, 08:50 AM
Well, that's the thing. He doesn't know how much to offer and I don't know how much to ask for.

:confused:

fugu13
07-05-2011, 08:55 AM
How much traffic does this website get, and what sort of traffic is it?

Evil Dead Junkie
07-26-2011, 02:38 PM
So holy shit people are paying me to write about books.
(http://www.inreads.com/blog/2011/07/26/cult-beat-a-new-inreads-column/)

I've landed two weekly columns, plus reviews and interviews so it's steady work too.

And I found the job through Freelance Writing Gigs. So a big thank you to Nadia for the heads up.

I owe you a Coke.

nadia
08-16-2011, 11:16 AM
(Oh shit, I am late to my own party)

Congrats! Well done! I am happy for you! I wouldn't mind a book review gig myself.

Evil Dead Junkie
08-16-2011, 10:27 PM
Funny I was just about to revive this thread. So I had an author take issue with my review and start kicking sand. Which is a new experience for me.
(http://www.inreads.com/blog/2011/08/15/inside-books-shock-value-by-jason-zinoman/)
I kid he was pretty civil for the most part, it's really only at the end that it gets a bit heated. So I need a judgement call here Tyrants, how did you think I did?

I'm referring mostly to those last two exchanges. He calls me out on being defensive, but he all but accused me out in the post before for printing heresay when I was delivering sourced quotes. Of course I have to be "Ah no." Anyway the editors are all happy with it, it's more curiosity on a personal level. Do you think I overreacted? Or was I just backing up my work? How would you have handled it?

Karzac
08-17-2011, 11:38 AM
While I know nothing about the source material, I'd say you handled that pretty well. Compared to most Comments sections, that was the epitome of civil discussion.

Googleshng
05-07-2015, 03:30 PM
I am currently in kind of a scary place right now, financially and also on the whole self-worth front. Since my only real marketable skill is writing, I figured I might as well revive this old thread to see if anyone knows anyone who is currently looking to throw really any amount of money at anyone to write... eh, pretty much anything.

Dizzy
05-07-2015, 07:21 PM
Questions you need to ask yourself and answer right now:

• What do you like to write about?

• What publications or websites do you ideally see yourself writing for? Why?

• What previous work best represents what you like to write about? Strengths? Weaknesses?