What’s on the iPod: Peaceful, Easy Feeling by the Eagles
Great day yesterday. I managed to get a ton of project work done on top of organizing a graduation party for my youngest. I can take one area of my life being stressed, but not two at the same time. But I’ve made enough progress everywhere to be content.
I scored two assignments from a semi-regular client, so I contacted the interview sources to get things rolling there. I did a bit of marketing and I hope to have a few more projects within a week.
I had some time to poke around the blogs and forums, too. And I’m seeing a lot of writers spouting advice and blanket statements that simply aren’t true. Not from my chair, anyway. See if you agree:
1. Trade magazines always pay less. Nonsense. Some of the highest-paid gigs I’ve had were trade pubs. If you go into negotiations thinking this, you’re already handicapping yourself. It’s true some pubs don’t have the large freelance budgets of other pubs, but isn’t that equally true of the consumer pub market?
2. Writers don’t need resumes. Writers need to show their experience and career progression just like any other professional. Your resume isn’t going to look like the resume of say an operations manager or accountant, but it’s still going to show your areas of expertise, your specialties (if any), the publications/clients that have used your services, and how long you’ve been working in the field.
3. Starting with content mills is the best place for newbies to get clips. Sure, if you plan to stay there. Think of these cheapo jobs as black holes – they suck you in and, unless you’re able to defy gravity and dig your way out, you’re going to be there a long time. Plus those clips – including that one about how to pull ticks off your dog – are going to look amateurish to your next clients, who may be looking for someone to do a high-level expose on say the meat packing industry. Guess who they probably won’t hire?
4. Charging hourly is always a bad idea. Yes and no. We’ve hashed this one out before, but it bears repeating. I charge hourly. However, I’ve stopped telling my clients that I’m doing so (and thanks to those of you who convinced me to stop quoting hourly across the board). Instead, I calculate how many hours a project will take and quote a flat rate. For one or two clients, I do charge hourly, but only after I’ve worked with them a bit and determine if they’re nickel counters.
What misconceptions are you hearing these days?