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International Freelancers Day Free Online Conference This Friday September 23rd!

posted by marybabysteps on September 20, 2011 6:17 am

Last year was the first annual International Freelancers Day, a day to recognize freelancers with a fantastic FREE online conference. Yes, I said free. Totally and completely. And this conference offers big names providing some extremely informative sessions. Did I mention it's free?

About International Freelancers Day and Its Founder

International Freelancers Day is a day to celebrate freelancers and independent professionals.  The event was founded by Ed Gandia, my own personal freelancing guru. Ed is a super nice guy with a tremendous amount of practical knowledge on the subject of freelancing. He's the co-author of The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle, and he knows his stuff when it comes to transitionaling to the world of freelancing. I first "met" Ed online when starting this blog, and he has always been a source of support and motivation to me in my freelance career.

The Online Conference

The free online conference takes place throughout the day on September 23rd, from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm EST. You can watch sessions on all kinds of information relevant to freelancers like what to charge, being productive, keys to self-promotion, outsourcing and attracting clients. Well-known professionals including Peter Bowerman, Michael Martine, Mike Steizner and Chris Garret will be presenting. Check out the full line-up at the International Freelancers Day website.

Free Professional Development

This event is a once in a lifetime chance to receive quality professional development specifically for freelancers. And all this information is free from the comfort of your own home. No conference registration fee, no travel costs. You absolutely cannot go wrong. Though the conference is free, you do have to register. Just stop by the website and fill out the registration, then you're in. It's that simple!

I hope you can attend because I need you to take good notes for me. I was recently asked to take part in a charity event that has me really excited. There's not much I would've missed this for, but the chance to give to Habitat for Humanity is one of thos things. So be sure to let me know what I miss. I'm counting on you!



Funny Videos Depicting Adventures in Freelancing

posted by marybabysteps on December 18, 2010 8:53 am

No, these videos aren't talking about my blog. I came across them when i received a Google Alert for the phrase "adventures in freelancing." They're so funny and relatable that I just had to share. Take a look at Adventures in Freelancing, Part 1: The Trend Story and Adventures in Freelancing, Part 2: The Public Relations Professional.

While they're obvious exaggerations for humor's sake, these videos are both based on truth. I've seen such real life examples personally and can definitey relate. What do you think? Have you come across unreasonable editors or PR folks you want you to work for peanuts? Let's hear your story!

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A Quick Update

posted by marybabysteps on November 2, 2010 4:52 am

It's been a very long time since I've posted here at Adventures in Freelancing. While I love writing about writing, I realized I had to get some focus in my life. So for the last several months, I've been putting my energies into my family, my personal blog and paid writing projects. I've had various projects, from professional blogging gigs to writing for private clients, and the work has been enjoyable.

I'm still not making a full-time living as a writer, but that's okay. What I've come to realize is that I'm happiest when I feel like I have a balance. I know that so many people are chasing that seemingly unattainable balance, but as a freelancer with a husband who works full-time, I've realized that I have the luxury of coming close. I do need to work in order for us to get by financially, but I no longer feel the need to match my previous income.

I'm still taking steps toward doing the kinds of work that most fulfills me. I've finally set up my professional website, and I'm enjoying networking and marketing with this tool in hand. Having a website makes it all so much easier. How did I ever do without it? When I apply for jobs, I simply provide potential employers with my website URL, and they've got my writing samples and a snapshot of who I am right at their fingertips.

So that's what I've been up to lately. How about you? What kinds of things are you working on? Are you happy with your balance?

An Unfulfilled Freelancer

posted by marybabysteps on March 13, 2010 6:17 pm

Are you happy with your writing career and where it's going? Even if you're not exactly where you want to be right now, do you feel like you're on your way? There were times that I felt this kind of satisfaction and hope along my writing journey. Unfortunately, lately has not been one of those times.

The freelancing waters are murky for me right now. I won't repeat a long story that I've already told once. But because writing is what I do, it just makes sense to try to sort things out a bit here, with other writers who likely understand. I thought I was doing well and that everything was going along smoothly. Things really seemed to be good.

But then something started tugging at me. That nagging feeling I so often get that things aren't how they should be. Yes, I was writing. For money. Isn't that what I wanted to do? When my main gig fell out from under me, I realized that simply writing wasn't enough. I'm an idealist, a romantic, and do-gooder. When I do something, I have to feel it. I have to know that it's meaningful, that it's what I'm meant to do. Even in traditional jobs that were less than fulfilling, I could usually carry on for a while if I believe that what I was doing had meaning, that I was doing something good. Writing SEO for corporations that would end up making tons of money from my work while only paying me peanuts was not giving me the warm fuzzies. Do you know what I mean?

So when that job ended (after the initial panic), I realized that it's probably time to make a change. A change for the better. For me and for them.

They need a mama who is content with what she's doing, or at least who is satisfied with what she's contributing financially to her family. I'm not naive enough to think that all jobs are going to be perfect. But recent events have been a wake-up call that the path I was on was not the right one for me or for my family. Though I'm feeling kind of low and a bit defeated, I am resolved to moving forward and working toward a career that fits.

I've begun reading or re-reading books on freelancing, and I'm working to regain my focus. I'm taking notes and really trying to pull the information from the material that I think will be most relevant and helpful for me, and it's been a beneficial process. I'm feeling hopeful about where my writing is going and am beginning to see a glimpse of just where it might take me. I can't wait to get there.

What do you do when you get into a writing rut? How do you pull yourself out to the point that you're excited about moving forward?

The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle

posted by marybabysteps on March 10, 2010 11:31 am

My colleagues Ed Gandia, Pete Savage and Steve Slaunwhite at TheWealthyFreelancer.com have just written an excellent book titled The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle (Penguin/Alpha).
Getting great clients and well-paying work is something that eludes many freelancers — especially in this economy. But this book is packed with the practical, hard-earned strategies Ed, Pete and Steve have used to consistently attract good-paying clients, earn high incomes and enjoy a great quality of life.
It’s is essential reading for any freelancer or solo professional who wants to enjoy a business and lifestyle that are “wealthy” in every sense of the word.
Here’s the best part. The book will only set you back 11 bucks and change. And as part of their launch effort, Steve, Pete and Ed are giving away $321 in fr*e instructional materials.
These aren’t “leftover” bonuses or junk items no one wants. They’re products for which people normally pay $39 – $97 because they’re designed to help you improve very specific areas of your freelance business.

The catch? You have to grab a copy of The Wealthy Freelancer by midnight on Friday (March 12).
To learn more about the book or the bonus materials Ed, Pete and Steve are giving away this week, visit www.TheWealthyFreelancer.com/amazon.

Ed is also offering readers of Adventures in Freelancing a special unadvertised bonus. It’s an e-book titled The Smart Mompreneur: A Step-by-Step Guide to Converting a Skill Into a Lucrative and Flexible Business, which he co-authored with Noelle Abarelli, a successful mompreneur and mother of two.
This e-book is an excellent and “meaty” (184 pages) guide that will help take you from where you are today to becoming a well-paid mompreneur…with more time and flexibility to be the mom you want to be.

If you’re currently employed, Noelle and Ed will show you how to make the transition without having to risk your paycheck. And if you’re currently a stay-at-home mom, they’ll show you how to get there as quickly and safely as possible.
The Smart Mompreneur sells for $39. But Noelle and Ed are throwing it in as part of the bonus package when you grab a copy of The Wealthy Freelancer.
Again, this is something they’re offering us “under the table.” You won’t see it listed in the list of bonuses. So, to claim your free copy, email your name and Amazon.com receipt number to mompreneur@thewealthyfreelancer.com once you’ve purchased your copy of The Wealthy Freelancer. They’ll email you back with a link to download your copy of the e-book.

UPDATE - In only its first week of launch, the book has already made Amazon's top 25 list of business books and are likely to sell out by Friday. While you may have to wait a few weeks for your book to arrive, the bonus materials can be downloaded right away. You definitely want to get in on this great deal that so many others have taken advantage of already!

Communication Is Crucial In Freelancing

posted by marybabysteps on January 8, 2010 5:46 pm

Whew, I have not had a minute to breathe since the holidays. Between sick kids, sick me, oldest son's birthday, Christmas, New Year, and the countless other things life throws at us, I feel like I haven't had a minute to breathe. But we still have to work and meet deadlines, even among life's craziness.

I have to admit that I've slipped a bit on the deadline meeting during this hectic period. I've been assigned a large health writing project that has really consumed me. In fact, it kind of overwhelmed me, among all of the other things I had going on. This project is a good one, and I didn't want to risk losing it or any future work with the company who assigned it, so I knew what I had to do. I fessed up to my editor that I was having difficulty with the assignment and was honest about my situation.

Fortunately, my editor was sympathetic. In fact, she's assured me that she understands and that the deadlines may have been a bit "aggressive." What a relief it was to hear that! An even bigger relief was to learn that there is a new assignment waiting for me when this one is complete. Again, whew. I truly am appreciative of the fact that my editor is flexible and know that this is not always something freelancers can depend on.

So I'm not recommending that you be late with assignments or flake on deadlines. The moral of this post is that, if you are unable to live up to what you've committed to, you should always be upfront and communicate with your editor or client.

What about you? Have you ever run into a situation like this? What did you do about it? Please share your advice in the comments!

Happy Holidays To You and Yours!

posted by marybabysteps on December 21, 2009 4:40 am
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My New Freelance Gigs!

posted by marybabysteps on December 9, 2009 7:51 am

I know it's been forever since I've blogged here at Adventures In Freelancing. I'm so sorry I haven't kept you up to date. You may remember when I wrote about my wonderful experience at a social media conference in Rochester, NY. Well, I've begun one job writing for my friend Ana of Premier Social Media. She hosted the conference, and I've written for her in the past. I'm helping to write blog posts for one of her clients, and I'm enjoying it very much.

What's really got me so busy is a writing job I obtained through an ad at one of the freelance blogs I visit. Before heading to the conference in Rochester, I went on a mad dash of applying for writing jobs that seemed to fit my strengths. You see, I was getting discouraged with the progress I was making on my personal blogs and wanted to at least obtain one paid writing job while I was working to get my own blogs earning. So I applied for a job writing articles on health and education. Little did I know that the ad was for a company that runs a nationally known lending firm. It turns out this firm has many sites. I've written articles on various aspects of home insurance and am working on a couple education articles right now. I also helped to research a series of articles on childhood diseases, and I'll be working on writing those articles from now until the first week of January. I received another job offer through my mad application spree. I'll be blogging for two blogs owned by Killer Aces Media. Look for my upcoming posts at Parenting Squad and Healthy Theory. I'm so excited to begin writing for these blogs, as the topics are ones I'm passionate about and so interested in.

Whew! So do you think I'm busy enough? Life is good now. I'll still be updating my personal blogs, just not as frequently. I feel like I'm on a really good path toward establishing myself as a professional blogger and freelance writer. Thank you to everyone who's supported me along this journey. Please don't hesitate to let me know if there are any questions I can answer for your or help I can provide.

Gotta go get some work done. Happy writing to you!

Emotions of Setting Your Freelance Rates

posted by marybabysteps on November 22, 2009 10:04 am

I've written before about what your writing is worth. It's a real hot button topic for many. People get pretty heated about it. The subject's been on my mind again recently. In fact, I just wrote a post about a blogger's worth at Type-A Mom. Everyone has an opinion about how much writers and bloggers should be paid, as well as the kinds of writing they should do.

My Views

Personally, I kind of cringe at the word "should". I'm very much an advocate for doing what works for you. I've heard the argument over and over that if writers accept extremely low wages, it will cause the market to go down for the rest of us because employer will no longer be willing to pay fair writers' rates. Honestly, that argument truly does make sense to me. I can see that one may be worried about their own future freelancing income and that it can be upsetting to see others accept such low fees. I get that you may want others to do better for themselves and to change for the better. What doesn't make sense to me is cutting others down for their actions, using condescending tones, and making assumptions about people's character in the name of trying to give freelancing advice.

I'm not going to give links or point people out. It's not my style to publicly criticize. And, frankly, I don't wish to give links to those I don't feel deserving of the time it would take. But there are a number of writers who are doling out tons of "advice" on the kinds of jobs not to take and the places writers shouldn't work for rather than giving helpful, encouraging advice on what new writers could do to increase the amount they are paid. I read these folks preach that there are lots of well-paying writing jobs out there, that you have to go beyond the job boards to find them. I get that. And I think we're all smart enough to be able to know that. I don't believe people necessarily want to have their hands held or are too "lazy" to find the good paying jobs. I just really think that they may not know how or that they feel overwhelmed at what's involved in the process. And the writers who are taking this stance are not making things seem any less confusing.

My Advice

I've spent the last year and half sort of floundering. I've found myself struggling between not wanting to accept low-paying gigs and finding it difficult to manage the time and the waiting game of querying. And you know what? I haven't been making much money at all. Again, I don't completely regret the time I've spent learning, What I do regret is allowing myself to be deterred from just going out there and writing because I've been too concerned about whether the pay is enough or whether people will consider me a real writer.

I'm done with that. I've just picked up some regular writing work, and the pay is good enough for me. In fact, I'll be freelancing for a well-known lending site and their subsidiaries. No, I won't be making $100 a post., but when I break it down per hour, it should be about $20 an hour, which is sufficient for me. And it's a start. It's a better rate than I was making earlier this year, so I'm making progress. I intend to be satisfied with that.

Jodee Redmond wrote some good advice over at Freelance Writing Jobs. She talks about diversifying your work. That's just what I intend to do. I'm going to be happy with the great blogging jobs I've just scored, and I will probably even write for some content and revenue sharing sites as I have time so that I can add to my income. I also intend to continue querying print publications as I have great ideas. I'm a mom. My time is limited and sporadic. Blogging works well for my lifestyle. Writing short pieces is ideal for fitting in during a nap or while waiting for the kids' bus to come. As a mom, I also need to be concerned with bringing in some income and being satisfied with my life, NOT with what others may think or what they would do.

Final Thoughts

I wanted to write this post as a means of encouraging others to pursue writing in a way that works for them. If you're satisfied with your writing, that's what matters. However, if you feel a nagging doubt or worry that you're not working to your potential, don't hesitate to do some research and to learn how you can move forward with your writing career. What do you think? Honestly. If you disagree with me, I welcome conversation and discussion.


A Personal Case Study of Social Media for Freelancers

posted by marybabysteps on November 14, 2009 4:00 am

Whew! It's been awhile since I've updated here at Adventures In Freelancing. My apologies, but the reason I've been absent has primarily been because I was out of town this week at an AMAZING social media conference. Social Media Today was held in Rochester, NY and was organized by Ana Castro of Premier Social Media.

The Back Story

My relationship with Ana is a case study in itself, which began on Twitter as I was preparing to launch this very blog. I wanted to make the launch big, by offering prizes that freelance writers could use. So I put out the word on Twitter, asking folks to reply if they had a product or service they could donate. Ana was one of the first to respond and offered some educational courses from her social networking site for families, Family Eden. After speaking on the phone, we just seemed to click. When Ana was looking for bloggers for the Family Eden blog, she included me.

The Conference

When Ana invited me to the conference, I was excited, but also a bit nervous. The nearly five-hour drive by myself to Rochester was not something I was looking forward to, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to network and to learn more about social media simply because of a little fear. I'm so glad I didn't let my nervousness hold me back! You can check out the conference site for a more in-depth list of speakers, but let me give you just a bit of the highlights.

Chris Brogan was there! Chris is well-known on Twitter as a social media guru. He's all about community and building trust. In fact, he and his co-author Julien Smith, wrote a book on the topic called Trust Agents, which is now a New York Times best seller. After his informative and entertaining speech, Chris took some time to sign our books. Here's a picture of us.

I had the pleasure of introducing Jeffrey Hayzlett, the Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak. What a knowledgeable, fun, and entertaining guy! I also got to connect with other great people from Kodak including Jenny, their Chief Blogger, and Shruti, Kodak's Community Manager. It was wonderful talking to them. I was able to get a view of corporate blogging and to have the opportunity to get involved in future Kodak campaigns, as a blogger. Very cool. Here's a picture of Jeffrey in action. You can see his energy!

There were so many other wonderful, insightful, and creative speakers. There were presentations on the use of social media in corporations, measurement of ROI, legal aspects of social media, and panel discussions giving personal answers to audience questions. Speaking of these panels, I've saved the best for last!

The Surprise

As a panel of bloggers was introducing themselves, I immediately recognized one of the names - Yvonne DiVita. "Wait", I thought to myself, "that's @y2vonne from Twitter!" I wanted to jump up out of my seat and shout to her. Instead, I turned to Ana's husband sitting next to me and tugged on his arm like a little kid, saying,"I KNOW her from Twitter! I talk to her all the time!"

Finally, when it was time for questions, I raised my hand. When I introduced myself to Yvonne as @marybabysteps, she got excited too. You see, Yvonne and I really connected through social media, and it was like seeing an old friend. Actually, she wasn't even supposed to be at the conference that day, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she was able to make it. You know I always say that things happen for a reason. I'm convinced Yvonne and I were meant to meet at the conference, if only for the brief time we had together. I so look forward to getting to know her more and to any future collaborations. Take a look at the marvelous conference recap Yvonne wrote on her blog and the touching things she said about me. Thank you, Yvonne!

The Takeaway

I could go on and on about the conference, but my hands are starting to hurt from typing. I will tell you that I came away with a couple of writing jobs and the opportunity to obtain others in the future. But that's not even the biggest thrill. Having the opportunity to connect with others who get what you do is beyond words. I highly recommend attending a blogging or social media conference if you get the opportunity. If you're unable to travel to a conference, look for local events as a means of networking and meeting people. Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau events are good ones to start with. You'll be surprised at the connections you can make, and you may even end up with some leads on writing gigs.

Do you have any examples of great networking experiences? Do tell; I'd love to hear your story!

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