Job Listings – November 20, 2007

Creating Your Niche

Good chum Devon Ellington made a comment on yesterday’s blog entry stating she prefers to create a niche with a company she’s hoping to work for. How many of us even consider doing that? And why should you?

Let’s look at it from a few different angles – is there a specific industry you’d love to work in? Let’s assume you enjoy very much the wine industry. You know a little about it maybe, or maybe you’re just itching to become an expert. That’s a reason to approach magazines, trade groups and even vintners themselves with your services.

Another angle – exactly how many job listings have you seen lately for wine expertise? Not so many, eh? Again, there’s another reason for being proactive in your search.

Yet another angle – how much do you suppose someone posting a “wine expert wanted” ad on Craig’s List is going to pay? Chances are not much. Why? The pool of candidates is entirely too deep.

Here’s another angle along those same lines – you’re competing with people who would work for less than minimum wage. While you may be more talented, the employer isn’t looking merely at talent. He’s looking at dollar signs. That’s why his ad went up on a free site, n’est pas?

The most compelling angle – how much do you suppose you might charge someone who isn’t necessarily looking for help, but does need it/want it? By dealing directly with the client (sans any advertisement), you’re able to A) get his full attention, B) convince him he needs your services, and C) charge a fair price for it.

At the risk of speaking for her, I will assume Devon has all this in mind when she opts for direct contact. And Devon, please add whatever other reasons you think folks should know.

Meanwhile, if you’re hell-bent on getting work from online sources, some of these may be worth your time:

Cruise Ship Employment E-Book Writer
Freelance Medical Proofreader (May be onsite in Manhattan)
Freelance Writer/Urban magazine
Writer/Foodservice publication
Female health blogger
Web Copywriter

Magazine Guidelines:
Direct Marketing Association Insider
Planning Magazine
NailPro Magazine
Idea Fitness Magazine

About the author




  • Devon Ellington November 20, 2007 at 6:06 pm


    I look in the phone book, I make notes when I read the paper — any industry that seems interesting to me gets researched and I figure out a way to make myself indispensable at a good wage!

    Also, many of my interests are a little off the beaten path — small historical societies, archery, fencing, tiny marine biology labs, things that don’t get a lot of attention.

    So I get it for them.

    Also, if you’re passionate about a topic, it comes across in your pitch, and the client WANTS someone who’s passionate, and who has fresh eyes.

    It’s the way I ended up breaking into theatre — walking in to a company and saying, “Hi, this is why you need me.” And they did. And I made it to Broadway.

    Thanks for the mention!

  • Devon Ellington November 20, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    PS I thought of something else: Some freelancers justify spending money for job listings by saying “I don’t have time” to look for them myself.”

    Honey, if you were making so much money from your freelance work that you “don’t have time” to look for new work, you wouldn’t NEED to subscribe to a site that lists jobs paying less than minimum wage. The work would be landing on your doorstep, with high-paid gigs leading to other high-paid gigs.

  • Lori November 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Great tips, Devon. Thank you!

    I agree 100 percent. Work is often waiting for us to find it while we’re searching in other, picked-over locations.

  • Sue November 22, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Lori, I may have gotten an assignment from one of your listings. Thanks!

  • Lori November 23, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Excellent, Sue! Congratulations!!

  • Andrew November 24, 2007 at 6:32 am

    Hi Lori,

    I’ve been away too long, but I’m glad to see you’re still as helpful and supportive as ever. Keep it up and the rewards will come back to you … actually I suspect they already have.

    I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a happy holiday season.