I’ve been neglecting my most important client

important clientIt’s confession time: I’ve been neglecting my most important client. True, he doesn’t pay the best, he can be a bit loony under pressure, and I’m pretty sure he’s adult ADHD. But, he’s good at what he does and he’s generally amiable, so I stick with him.

As the cool kids today say: IT ME. [Read more…]

Academic malpractice in freelance pricing

freelance pricing academic malpracticeBusy day, so just enough time for a quick rant. I met with a colleague for coffee yesterday. She’s a lawyer by trade, with plenty of courtroom experience and a solid background in the technical aspects of writing, but happens to be new to the freelance writing and editing business. At one point she mentioned that she’s enrolled in an editing certificate program through a well-known university. And something her professor suggested about freelance pricing, well, let’s just say it qualified as academic malpractice. [Read more…]

Should my freelance writing business be an LLC?

Dr. Freelance, what do you recommend as the basic freelance writing business formation steps? I’ve been successful at getting clients, but am not sure if I should pursue a trademark or LLC first, and so on. I didn’t know if you had any advice or an order that has been more successful.–H.E. Saunders

As I discuss in The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid, I am a big believer in forming a legal entity for your freelance writing business at the outset. [Read more…]

My first freelance work

A few weeks back during tax time, I was cleaning up some old files and came across the check stub from my first opportunity to do paid freelance work.

I was just a lowly assistant editor at a golf magazine when I received a call from someone at Boardroom Reports, publisher of the Bottom Line Personal newsletter, which I’m pleasantly surprised to see still exists 23 years later. The assignment was to put together a quick article about golf gadgets, and I remember being stunned that someone was willing to pay $0.50 a word for writing. (Yes, even way back in 1990, there was no need to take pennies a word — yet at the time, I was pumping out thousands of words a month for just over $18,000 a year. It was a revelation.) [Read more…]

Are freelancers unique?

I’ve been doing the Freelance Forecast for four years now, and in addition to the many thoughtful responses I receive to the survey itself, it’s always interesting when someone takes the time to offer detailed criticism—constructive, nit-picky or otherwise. So, I thought I’d pass along a piece of correspondence I received the other day for your consideration: [Read more…]

Freelance pricing revisited, again

In the past week, I’ve received three different questions about freelance pricing that were essentially the same: new freelancers who want to know “How much should I charge?”

I don’t mean to be dismissive to respond, “It depends.” Pricing is one of the tougher items to figure out when you’re breaking in, but the main thing to remember is that you can always go lower—raising your price after cutting a deal is very difficult. [Read more…]