Free ebook: The Smooth-Sailing Freelancer

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The Smooth-Sailing FreelancerI’m pleased to announce the launch of the newest Dr. Freelance Guide: The Smooth-Sailing Freelancer—How To Find, Sell, and Retain More Freelance Business. For a limited time, I’m offering it as a free ebook…simply go to this page to download your copy. (It’s a 40-page pdf, no e-reader required. There’s also a Kindle version, if you prefer.)

Rest assured, you don’t have to know a bow from a stern or port from starboard to understand the strategies inside. [Read more…]

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Fear of overcommitting

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overcommitting freelanceDear Dr. Freelance: I have a freelance client that I’ll describe as a “phantom client”—I’d had some challenges with him, but he recently paid me for everything he owed. He’d been a steady source of work, so I was reluctant to just sever the relationship. While I was waiting, I was contacted about another project, but I had a fear of overcommitting: If the phantom client came back, I was going to be stuck without enough time to do either job right. I ended up sending the polished, customized resume and letter very late, and it was pretty much moot since the potential #2 client had already submitted a bid to the end user. How do I strike the balance between getting good projects, ensuring quality, and not driving myself crazy?—Rachel

Rachel, I look at occasionally being “too busy” as part of the reason I’ve succeeded in my freelance business—in fact, I have a chapter titled “Why I Love Emergency Clients” in The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid[Read more…]

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The best way to run a freelance business

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jake poinier keynote speakerI was honored to be the keynote speaker at Communication Central in Rochester, N.Y., in late September, and I was struck, as I networked with the assembled writers, editors, designers, and publishing experts, by the myriad ways people successfully operate a freelance business. (If you’re interested in attending next year, there are roundups of the event here and here, with lots of good tips from various presenters in the links.)

So, yep, that headline is intentionally misleading, because the truth is: There’s no best way to run a freelance business. [Read more…]

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WordPerfect and other blasts from the freelance past

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WordPerfectI met up with my friend, Chuck, at a local watering hole the other night, and he sarcastically called me Mr. WordPerfect. (He’s a finance guy, so I wish I’d had the mental agility to have called him Mr. Lotus, but that’s how l’esprit de l’escalier works, doesn’t it?) As I’m notching my 15th anniversary in the freelance writing business this month, it made me think back on some of the software, hardware, and tech gadgets that have plugged in and out of my life over the years. Here’s my highlight list—please share some of your oldies-but-goodies in the comments! [Read more…]

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Freelance pricing guide from Dr. Freelance

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Science Art Voodoo of Getting PaidOver the course of the years I’ve been writing this Dr. Freelance blog, I’ve received countless questions about freelance pricing for writing, editing, ghostwriting, and other freelance jobs. By its nature, the 300-400 word blog format isn’t ideal for dealing with such a complex and important part of your freelance business. So, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just published The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid. [Read more…]

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My first freelance work

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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…]

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