Upwork raised its fees, and here’s what you can learn from it

UpworkIf you’re looking for a slam on bidding sites or outsourcing services, you’re not going to find it here. No, this is about the news that Upwork raised the fees it charges freelancers from 10% to 20% on projects of $500 or less and created a sliding fee scale based on freelancers’ lifetime billings. (The fees drop to 10% on projects of $500.01-$10,000, and 5% above that.) My interaction with Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is limited to a strange experience with hiring a freelancer whose freelance rates were so low they made me question her talent. [Read more…]

Why it’s time to quit freelancing

quit freelancing(Disclaimer: This was an April Fool’s Day post—there are a couple of clues, but the main one is the acrostic formed by the first letter of each bullet!) This is the most difficult post I’ve ever written, because I’ve decided it’s time to quit freelancing.  I’d need several thousand words to explain exactly why, but what follows is a basic overview of my reasoning. [Read more…]

You need to watch your own tail

watch your tail freelanceOn Halloween night a few years back, a young girl dressed as a lion marched up to my wife on our front patio and said, “My mom says that you shouldn’t have candles in your pumpkin, because my tail is flammable.”

My wife replied, “Well, I guess you’re going to have to watch your own tail.”

This post isn’t about safety around open flames or teaching kids about manners. It is, however, about personal responsibility in freelancing. [Read more…]

Straight into freelancing?

straight freelancingI have Google alerts set for a few variations on the words freelancing and freelance, as a pulse check on what’s happening in the industry. Over the past few months, I’ve seen a trend of opinions that gives me pause: The idea that millennials can and should go straight into freelancing, no traditional job experience required.

I’m as much of a proponent of entrepreneurship and self employment as anyone I know. Having been at it for 16 years as of this month, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do. The underlying fact is, however, that I doubt I would have survived at it without a solid decade of working at small, medium, and large companies before going solo. [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…]