Blog Archives

3 Tip-Offs That Your Dream Writing Job Will Really be a Nightmare

businessman with question maskRecently, I had an interview for what seemed like a dream writing job.

It was in a field I love. The work was right up my alley. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was in a slow period of assignments and getting concerned about cash flow.

After a successful meeting with a mid-level manager, I met with the head of the company.

It was ghastly.

Not only did she slash the hourly rate previously quoted to me, but she was rude. She also made several disparaging comments about my former profession. (I’m a licensed attorney.)

After I weighed the pros and cons of taking the gig, I decided it was a ‘no.’ It was scary to walk away from additional income, but my instincts told me it just wouldn’t be worth it.

Turns out, I made the right decision. A couple of weeks later, I landed a job through idealist.org with a legal nonprofit that needed a writer to blog, produce web content, and write grant proposals. After meeting with their very friendly director, I accepted a long-term, $3,000-a-month gig.

How can you tell if a writing job is a good fit, or has all the makings of a hair-pulling nightmare? Here are the three questions I ask:

Tagged with: , , , ,

How One Writer Turned a Bad Review into Prospecting Gold

photodune-4727189-negative-feedback-xs

I groaned when I read the email subject line, saying a former client had written a bad review of my business on a very popular online site.

This client had been a problem for several weeks, and finally requested a refund. Despite my no-refunds policy, I agreed.

Because of a postal delay, that refund check didn’t arrive by the designated deadline. The client then sent an obnoxious email and posted negative reviews to Yelp and Thumbtack.com — sites where my profiles generate a combined 85 percent of my new client calls. Negative reviews on these important prospecting tools could tank my business.

Plus, the Better Business Bureau contacted me for a written response to his complaint there.

No question — it was a client disaster in the making.

I know clients need to trust professional resume writers like myself, so this was a “do or die” situation.

How can you make a bad review work for you, and not against you? Here’s what I did:

Tagged with: , , , ,

5 Ways to Get Your Flaky Freelance Client to Pay Up

Past Due Blue StampHas this happened to you? You slave away meeting a freelance client’s deadline, send in your invoice, and then…nothing.

Your client is smelling like a deadbeat.

What can you do about it? Plenty.

As it happens, I’ve had my share of clients who drag their heels on payment. Over the years, I’ve developed a system for making sure those checks arrive…more on that below.

First, here are my five best tips for rounding up those stray checks:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Why Some Freelance Writers Earn Big Bucks While Most Slave for Peanuts

Well-paid freelance writer

Do you sometimes feel like an easily replaceable cog in the vast wheel that is the freelance writing marketplace?

If so, you’re not alone.

With all the $5 or $10-a-post writing gigs online, it’s easy to feel writing has simply become a cheap activity — and that clients don’t appreciate the work you do.

Here’s one email I got recently that perfectly sums up the problem many writers face:

“The thing I struggle with is that I am unable to land a gig where the client really values what I do. Since the clients I worked with have a number of writers on the rolls, they always treat each writer as just another disposable commodity. Which is worrying, because it means they will drop me any time they want.

“So how I do go about building a relationship where I’m not just another writer?”–Ryan

Great question! That’s exactly what you want to do if you’re going to become a successful, well-paid freelance writer. Here’s how:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

How One Writer Won Over a Wary Client With Slam Poetry

Slam poetry nightThis past October, I found a new copywriting client. They had already gone through two sub-par writers, so they were wary of hiring another freelance writer.

I did a paid trial piece using the voice I saw on their blog.

It turns out they didn’t like their voice and wanted to go in a different direction. They asked me how I saw myself “fitting in” — a clear sign of doubt.

So I asked for a meeting. Drawing on my background as a slam poet, I paid attention to the way the client spoke and asked questions about their desired voice. The client left the meeting hopeful and satisfied. I won their trust, and I did it using slam poetry.

Here’s how:

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

What’s It Like Writing for Skyword? Writers Tell All

By Jennifer Roland If you’ve been looking for steady freelance writing work, you’ve probably come across Skyword. Maybe you’ve even posted a profile there — and gone back to add more to it with the hope of being selected to

Tagged with: , , ,