writing revisionsI ran into a sticky situation with an editor a few months back over writing revisions for a freelance magazine assignment. I’d written a short travel piece featuring three different locations, and received approval for the text. The art director wasn’t able to secure a free photograph of one of them, however, and I got a call asking for a new item to replace what I’d written.

As a businessperson, crafting something completely new goes beyond the definition of “writing revisions.” So, I asked the editor if there was budget to compensate for what I considered to be work and time beyond the original scope. The magazine had selected the locations, and the lack of a free photo was beyond my control—and it was their choice, not mine, to not want to pay for one. [read more...]


WordPerfectI met up with my friend, Chuck, at a local watering hole the other night, and he sarcastically called me Mr. WordPerfect. (He’s a finance guy, so I wish I’d had the mental agility to have called him Mr. Lotus, but that’s how l’esprit de l’escalier works, doesn’t it?) As I’m notching my 15th anniversary in the freelance writing business this month, it made me think back on some of the software, hardware, and tech gadgets that have plugged in and out of my life over the years. Here’s my highlight list—please share some of your oldies-but-goodies in the comments!

WordPerfect. A better word processing program than Word, but in the freelance world you need to communicate with your clients in the programs they use, whether you like it or not. Even though I’m a Mac guy, I can’t bear to deal with Pages, since it would mean having two copies of each file and all the errors and management that would entail. For the record, I think it’s been all downhill for Microsoft since Word 5.1. [read more...]


Freelancer Conference: (Re)Invent Your Business

July 1, 2014

“Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business” is the theme for Communication Central’s ninth annual conference for freelancers, September 26–27, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Rochester, N.Y. (There’s also an Editorial Bootcamp on September 28.) The agenda includes two solid days of drilling down on all aspects of launching, managing and expanding a […]

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Why I’m (finally) using a standing desk

May 14, 2014

You could argue that I’m a few years late to the trend of using a standing desk for my freelance home office. The truth is that I’ve been very happy with my antique architect’s drafting table (bought dirt cheap at a yard sale) for more than ten years. I didn’t want to abandon it, I […]

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Referral sales tip: No such thing as a slam dunk

May 9, 2014

Any time you get a contact from a referral, it’s an exciting moment, but there’s no such thing as a slam dunk. While a warm lead has much better sales prospects than a cold one, freelance sales leads don’t just sell themselves, and they don’t always work out the way you imagined. We’ll get to […]

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What 21 things do designers want from a freelance writer?

April 2, 2014

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that one of the most important working relationships for a freelance writer is with the designers who put their words into action. Today’s guest post comes from the design team of Eileen and Bob Burick of Burick Communication Design, with whom I’ve had the good fortune to partner countless times. […]

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$3.99 deal on The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing

March 28, 2014

NOTE: This Kindle Countdown promotion has ended and the price is $3.99. As a thank you for all of the comments and social media shares for my post earlier this week, “Are your freelance writing rates too low?”, I’m running a Kindle Countdown deal on The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting […]

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Yeah, about that simplified home office deduction in 2014

March 26, 2014

I mentioned the simplified home office deduction for 2014 in a recent “Freelance taxes roundup.” On the surface, it seemed like a great idea and appeared to save a lot of time and record keeping. I’m a freelancer, not an accountant, after all. I was happy, if not necessarily doing the Dougie. Well, it turns out that simplified doesn’t […]

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When your freelance writing business needs emergency resuscitation

March 25, 2014

Today’s guest post comes to us courtesy of Yolander Prinzel, the profit monster behind the Profitable Freelancer website and one of the funniest, sharpest people I know in the freelance writing business. She has written for a number of publications and websites such as American Express, Covestor.com, Advisor Today, Money Smart Radio and the International Travel Insurance […]

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Are your freelance writing rates too low?

March 20, 2014

Among all the questions I receive, the most common revolve around freelance writing rates. Indeed, that was the driving force behind my desire to write The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid (currently available as a $4.99 Kindle Countdown deal on Amazon!) But today, I want to share a quick anecdote about […]

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