Tag Archives: freelance writing

Generation Y is Tailor Made for Freelancing

Over the past few years traditional businesses have lamented about the hiring difficulties involved with “Generation Y”, the generation just after Douglas Coupland’s famous Generation X’ers.  They want too much money, they do work with Ipod earbuds in their ears and they instant message faster than a Guitar Hero champion can shred the final level.  All this and they tend to do a good job, so they can’t be faulted for these little idiosyncracies without immediately looking for and getting hired at another firm.

Today’s article on msnbc.com about Generation Y getting “hit hard” by the downturn is obviously written from the previous generational standpoint.  What most Gen X’ers don’t get is Generation Y’s inherent capacity to not freak out.  This is why they don’t kiss ass and promptly throw policy and procedure books in the garbage straight from the mailroom.  It isn’t that they don’t care, they just see through corporate bullshit in about two seconds.

If they have the skill, most Gen Y’ers make excellent freelance writers.  They work to deadlines without anxiety and they inherently “get” writing for the web, a skill those used to writing for print need to actually learn.  My advice to those that the writer of this piece marginalizes as hobos on the career highway, probably out of fear that they will snap up his job, is to pick up a book on freelance writing and see if you think you can manage it.  With the proper background, I’m willing to bet that most of you can.

How to Be a Freelance Douche in 5 Easy Steps

1.  Dispense Advice to People With Zero Experience

A lot of people think that the Internet makes them instant experts.  It doesn’t.  Years of working in a profession or studying in a school does.  Don’t call yourself an expert on anything because you’ve read a Wikipedia article on it.  People will find out and they will hate you.

2.  Give Tips on “Getting Around” People

One oft-repeated phrase I heard in the theatre industry was that you met the same people on the way down that you stepped on while you were on your way up.  This is applicable across all professions.  If you are trying to “get around” a person for any other reason but their proven incompetence, you’re pulling a dick move and while karma may not exist, the memories of the people that you screwed are long.

3.  Use Illnesses to Garner Sympathy

Most freelance writers are there for a reason, whether it is through sheer talent, not being able to deal with an office environment, or a serious illness.  People with a serious illness never play that card unless they really have to.  For example, they are in the hospital and are having their family members phone their clients because they are that ill. Chances are good that you bid against a lady with breast cancer on chemo to get that job – don’t use the flu as an excuse for being late.

4.  Get Stale on a Long-Term Gig

Nothing bothers your clients like a quality slide.  We’ve all done this.  You get so used to a job that doing it comes to you like clockwork; the only problem is that it feels this way to your readers after a while as well.  Switch up your stuff now and then by changing your voice, introducing some new twists and generally keeping it real.  The longer term the gig the more effort you should put into it.

5.  Outsource without Telling

Probably the biggest douche move that you could pull as a freelance writer is to outsource your work without telling your clients.  The right answer when you have too much work, always, is to call each of your clients and discuss how you can best schedule your deadlines.  You may find that some of them are not as time-sensitive as you think and will understand if you have one client that needs something done right now.  Just make sure that you go the extra mile for the clients that cut you the necessary slack.

Monday, October 6 2008

Writer Needed – Toronto

Company:  Not Stated
Link:  http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/tor/wrg/866576587.html
Key Requirements:  Reside in downtown Toronto, experience with web content
Compensation:  TBD

Writer With Health/Fitness Background – Vancouver

Company:  Not Stated
Link:  http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/wri/865085565.html
Key Requirements:  Health/Fitness background
Compensation:  TBD

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quite a few leads from the Van area today.  Toronto is looking a bit thin in the past week.

Journalist and Authority in Cosmetic Surgery Wanted To Write an Article

Company:  Fusion Publishing
Link:  http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/wri/851182227.html
Onsite/Telecommute:  Telecommute OK, but must be Canadian
Key Requirements:  Professional Journalist, Authority on Cosmetic Surgery, Canadian
Compensation:  Negotiable
Notes:  October 7 Deadline

Online Copywriter, Vancouver

Company:  Freshtracks.ca
Link:  http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/wri/851142373.html
Onsite/Telecommute:  Onsite, Vancouver
Key Requirements:  History of results-driven online copy
Compensation:  Base Salary plus Bonus
Notes:  No Phone Calls

Pacific Northwest Travel Guide Writer

Company:  Avalon Publishing
Link:  http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/wri/850783664.html
Onsite/Telecommute:  Telecommute
Key Requirements:  Must be familiar with the Pacific Northwest and area attractions.  Must also have a history of writing about the Pacific Northwest.
Compensation:  Advance & Royalties

Montreal Magazine Associate Editor

Company:  montrealmagazine.ca
Link:  http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/wri/850449918.html
Onsite/Telecommute:  OK, but given the magazine subject should probably live in Montreal
Key Requirements:  Must have history of writing and editing, and be web-savvy.
Compensation:  Salary