Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Policy Notes

I received an email from a reader today who said he would like to make a donation but wouldn’t because of my decision to include “adult” writing leads in Freelance Daily. He also raised concerns about the lack of response from some of the people who post ads on Craig’s List.

My response to him might make my policies and how I select leads for FD a bit clearer, so I’m including it here:

Thanks for voicing your concerns. Freelance Daily is very much a work in progress, so input is always appreciated.

My goal is to screen close to 200 sites that provide freelance writing job leads each day for PAYING positions. I try to do this as objectively as possible and try to include any position that would be a PAYING position -- even if I find the content personally offensive.

As an aside, I do not include full-time, permanent positions, as this newsletter is targeted at writers and editors who make all or a significant portion of their income from freelance and contract work.

The purpose of Freelance Daily is to free freelance writers from having to search these sites themselves so they can focus on what is important: writing, responding to leads, and growing their business. For that reason -- and believe me, I have struggled with this issue before your email -- I will continue to include ALL ads which are clearly (and even not so clearly) paying job leads.

As for job posters who do not respond to your inquires, I unfortunately cannot accept responsibility for their actions. And, with roughly 40 leads per day, it would be unrealistic for me to screen each ad (although I do occasionally check leads that look too-good-to-be true or need clarification).

On the up side, I'm happy to hear you found a job through Freelance Daily. I respect your decision to not donate because of the adult-oriented ads, but I do hope you will continue to subscribe.

- DC

Freelance Job of the Day

Political book summaries: CapitolReader.com is a service that publishes 10-page, 4,000-word summaries of today's most popular political books. We're looking for writers interested in a continuous position of doing approx. one summary per month. Please see our site at http://www.capitolreader.com for an online sample and more information on our service. Writers will receive $100 per summary plus the retail cost of the book summarized. Please email us with information on your past experience. Capitol Reader is owned and operated by Shamrock New Media, Inc. info@capitolreader.com
(Posted 11/29/04)

This is one of 29 job leads subscribers to Freelance Daily received this morning. Want more freelance job leads, delivered to your email inbox every morning? Subscribe to our free, daily newsletter by sending an email to freelancedaily-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Avoiding Audits

by Rachel Goldstein Owner, Allfreelancenetwork.com

You probably aren't too concerned about being selected for an audit. Well, if you're a freelancer, avoiding an audit should always be on your mind as you file your taxes. Why? Because, no matter how straight you play it, freelancers get audited much more than salaried employees do. No - the United States IRS doesn't have it in for independents, but the numerous deductions that we file set us apart from other taxpayers.

So what can you do to keep the IRS from noticing your return? Below find hints and suggestions to keep the IRS away! These tips are particularly relevant to those in the US, though other tax systems may be similar -- check with your accountant for details. And please note that the information provided here should by no means be used as a guide to filing your taxes! These are merely suggested tips and hints. Be sure to seek professional advice in taxation, as in all business matters.

Six Steps to an Audit-Free Tax Return

1. Be Careful With Deductions

The IRS's favorite target is the home office deduction. In order to qualify for a home office deduction, your office needs to be your "principal place of business" and used "regularly and exclusively" for business. In plain language, this means that your home office needs to be the place where you spend most of your time and make the majority of your income.

You'll also need to keep your personal life out of your home office. For example: a trick that I heard the IRS sometimes uses is to ask the taxpayer being audited "Do you use your computer for 50% personal and 50% business or 5% personal and 95% business?" If you answer 95% business, you have flunked the test -- the answer needs to be 100% business. This example demonstrates the strict enforcement of the guidelines for the home office deduction. We'll talked about this more in Home Office Deductions for Freelancers.

You also need to keep other deductions that you want to take to a reasonable level. Keep a receipt for all deductible expenses, especially food, entertainment, travel, and automobile costs. These are often the deductibles that are most scrutinized by the IRS. You should also keep expenses in a log, along the following information:

1. The name and location of the expense
2. Amount paid
3. Date and time
4. Company the expense was incurred for
5. If an entertainment or food expense: the person you entertained or dined
6. If an entertainment or food expense: the discussion you had

2. Where You Live Vs. Your Income
If you live in a very high-income area, but you only claimed that you earned $15,000 that year, this is a red flag for an audit. The IRS will want to know how you spread $15,000 out to pay all your bills. Unless you live with your mother who pays the mortgage or rent, there's no way that you could survive in Aspen on this income... and the IRS knows it!
Also, if your income is much lower than last year's taxable income, this IRS will wonder where you're hiding the money, and will want to investigate.

3. Avoid Inconsistencies
If there are inconsistencies, the IRS will catch them. Be sure to file the same information on your federal taxes that you filed on your state returns.

4. Don't Make Mathematical Mistakes
If the IRS's computer system catches mathematical mistakes on your forms, a person will take a look at your returns personally. This is more attention than anyone wants spent on their tax forms, so make sure your math is correct before you file.

5. File a Neat Return
I recommend typing up or "efiling" your returns. If your returns are hard to read, you might have to translate your returns over the phone or in person.

6. Report All Your Income
It sounds like common sense, but some people are tempted to be dishonest. Your clients must issue you and the IRS a 1099 when you are paid over $600. This means that the government knows what you were paid on each job. Report the right amount on your taxes to avoid an audit.

http://www.Allfreelancework.com - 1000s of freelance jobs, articles, and resources.

Quote for Tuesday

A writer’s eyes, to be clear, must be dry.

- George Darien

Monday, November 29, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

$1,000 for writer that comes up with new name for a company: A group of four partners, which I am one of, is beginning a company and we need a creative name. Our business will be sending business students to the Europe and Asia to study how to do business in those geographies. We will also send European students to the US and Asia, and Asian students to Europe and the US - all studying how to do business in those geographies. Our courses will last any where from two weeks to a semester. We need a creative, memorable name that are both witty and clearly convey the purpose of our business.
(Posted 11/27/04)

This is one of 41 leads subscribers received today. Want more freelance job leads, delivered to your email inbox every morning? Subscribe to our free, daily newsletter by sending an email to freelancedaily-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Market Monday

Market Monday is a weekly feature that looks at markets for you to pitch your work. The idea being that, while the daily job leads we send are good for paying the bills, these markets will give you an opportunity to work on projects that truly interest you. Each week we’ll be focusing on two to five high-quality markets. We’re looking to showcase lesser known markets that still offer rates of 50 cents a word or more and have immediate needs for freelancers’ work.

Chicago Dispatcher
Target audience: Taxicab and passengers industry newspaper
Frequency: Monthly.
Circulation: 10,000
Rates: $5-$250 for assigned articles, $5-$50 for unsolicited articles, $5-$25 for filler.
Terms: Pays on publication
Rights: Not specified.
Address article queries to: info@chicagodispatcher.com (George Lufallah)
Mailing address: Chicago Dispatcher, Inc., P.O. Box 2153, Des Plaines, IL 60017-2153
Phone: (847)297-8300
Fax: (847)655-2865
Web site: www.chicagodispatcher.com
Writer’s guidelines: http://www.chicagodispatcher.com/writers
In the editor’s words: "We look for items that would be of interest to taxi drivers and/or their passengers. For items specifically related to the taxicab or limousine industry, pieces must be well balanced. Articles that specifically relate to the taxicab industry that would also be of interest to passengers are highly desired."
Market notes: Needs Exposé, Features, Fiction, General Interest, Historical/Nostalgic, How-To, Humor, Interview/Profile, New Product, Photo Feature, Travel. Filler needs include Anecdotes, Gags to be illustrated by cartoonist, Short Humor.
(via Writer’s Market)

Quote for Monday

You know, for God’s sake, fellas, let’s get out and look at something for a change, and stop breathing the same ideas! Literary politics in this country has the whiff of people who work in these sealed buildings, where on Thursday you breathe the same air that went through all the lungs on Monday. It’s really tiresome. That’s where you get pernicious diseases, you know? Get out there! Take a look! Get involved in something!

- Tom Wolfe

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

Freelance Daily will not be published tomorrow or Friday. Normal publication will resume on Monday, November 29.

Have a healthy and happy holiday, and please be safe if your plans call for travel.

Freelance Job of the Day

Part-time magazine reporter/writer (Dallas): For the past 14 years, Advocate Publishing has distributed 80,000 glossy, urban living magazines monthly to three targeted neighborhoods in Dallas, Texas. We have a full- time staff of two editor/writers, and we need a part-time reporter/writer to handle feature writing and research duties. This is definitely a permanent part-time position (about 10 hours per week; $500 per month) that is unlikely, at least at this time, to lead to a full-time position. Ideally, you will live in Dallas, preferably in the Preston Hollow, North Dallas and/or North Dallas neighborhoods, because these are the neighborhoods where most of your work will be done. Please send your clips and resume to freelancer@advocatemag.com or fax to 214-823-8866. You're welcome to check out our website for additional information about our magazines and company. No telephone calls, please.
(Posted 11/23/04)

Interview: "Write Industry Reports" author JENNIE S. BEV

by Brian Konradt

JENNIE S. BEV is a successful industry researcher, author, publicist, management consultant and instructional designer with several published book-length manuscripts and reports, three books and 800 articles under her belt. Her bylines have appeared in tens of regional, national and international publications in the United States, Canada and Southeast Asia. She is the author of the highly praised FabJob.com Guide to Become a Management Consultant. She also manages an online book review club, BookReviewClub.com, to advocate the love of reading to all ages.

[ BK ]: You've written two e-books so far. Tell us the process of writing an e-book, and why you decided to write your material in e-book format? What have been the advantages?

JENNIE S. BEV: Writing an e-book is just like writing any other books. Tenacity, ability to focus and stamina to convey compelling messages from start to finish determine the quality of the finished book (or e-book).

I personally don't have any preference over the format of books, because it is not as important as the value of information contained therein. Since the writing process is the same in both formats, e-books should receive increased acceptance in the literary world, which, fortunately, is already happening.

My forthcoming book, which is an industry report, will be paper-based. As soon as I complete it in a few more weeks, I'll be writing another e-book and a paper-based book. You can see how varied the formats of my books are.

Both electronic and print formats have their own advantages and disadvantages, of course. And one is better than the other.

E-books, for instance, allow the author to include direct hyperlinks to the referencing sources, which can be extremely valuable for books that "teach," such as how-to books. This way, the readers will be directly referred to Web sites for more in-depth information without having to spend countless hours searching for additional information that support the information contained in the e-book.

However, since e-books must be viewed on a computer screen (or other e-book reader device), it is less handy than print books. Unless the reader uses a handheld e-book device, it would be impossible to read in a bathtub, for instance.

[ BK ]: You recently were named a finalist in the Non-Fiction How-To Category of the 2003 Eppie Awards for excellence in electronic publishing. Did you know your e-book, "Guide Become a Management Consultant" was going to become a big success? What do you think contributed to this e-book's success? Is it the writing, publishing, or marketing?

JENNIE S. BEV: You made me blush. Honestly, I was not expecting any award or official recognition for "FabJob.com Guide to Become a Management Consultant." I simply tried my best to write the most comprehensive reference for people who are looking for ways to break into and succeed in management consultant. I

n that e-book, I also interviewed 15 experienced management consultants, some of whom are best-selling authors and renowned well-respected professionals. This effort alone demonstrates my passion, which is very important in birthing a valuable book.

I honestly think no writer should write for an award because it would distract him or her from the ultimate goal: writing a book of distinctive quality. As a Zen master said, "live for the moment." When you're eating, eat. When you're sleeping, sleep. When you are writing, write.

Ah, I've been talking as if I had won already. The winners will be announced in March 2003, so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. (Updates will be posted on www.WritingGigs.com.)

All the three factors (the writing, publishing and marketing) play important roles in creating a successful book (or e-book). An author can write the best book in the world, but without proper publishing package (the formatting and final touches) and publicity/marketing efforts, nobody would buy it.

[ BK ]: Can you describe your typical workday?

JENNIE S. BEV: In my ideal day, I read one book and write at least 1,000 words. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I wake up at around 7 and go to bed at midnight. I go to my neighborhood gym every other day or at anytime when writer's block strikes.

[ BK ]: You have over 800 articles published. How do you stay so prolific?

JENNIE S. BEV: As a full-time writer, I write for at least 4 hours per day. I use the other half working day to perform some research (if needed) and to take care of my balance with exercising and having a social life. Mental and physical balance are very important to keep my writing flows. When I'm stressed out, I usually cannot perform well.

[ BK ]: Can you share some of your strategies on how you successfully sell your writing to editors and publishers? Any secrets? JENNIE S. BEV: No secrets. Just keep persisting and be prepared for rejections. A professional writer handles rejections professionally. It's never about you; it's about different needs. Make it a part of life, don't sweat it. [ BK ]: Your newest e-book, "Write Industry Reports" helps writers write industry reports for research firms and earn big bucks. How did you first hear about this type of writing? What are the advantages to writing for research firms?

JENNIE S. BEV: As a business writer, I often search for specific data, such as statistics or other business intelligence information. One day I "bumped" into industry reports and was astonished by the ridiculously high price. Many of them are more than $3,000 a piece. "That's way too expensive for my research," I thought.

This incident sparked my curiosity about writing industry reports. I wanted to know more about this high-priced publications: what they really are, who writes them and, of course, if I can write one. My search revealed that many research firms do hire freelance writers to write such reports, although most likely they also employ full-time researchers.

The advantages to writing for research firms?

First, you will learn as you go along. You will find new methodologies to search for specific information. You will become more proficient in the research and writing vocations.

Second, the PAY is incredibly high. From my experience, research firms pay up to 25 percent of the retail price in royalties. If your report is priced at $3,000, it translates to $750 in royalties PER SALE for you.

More importantly, since the payment is in residual income, you'll keep getting paid without putting forth extra work as long as your report is still being sold. Naturally $5,000 in royalties per month is highly feasible.

[ BK ]: How did you first get started as a writer? What keeps you motivated and disciplined?

JENNIE S. BEV: I started writing when I was in college. The more I was proficient with research skills, the more articles I wrote. When I graduated with my Bachelor's, I already had a strong passion to write. Motivated? Disciplined? That's a tough question. Perhaps my love for writing more than anything else keeps me positive despite all of the ups and downs of the profession. Other than that, I have voices to be heard, bills to pay, and bylines to show.

[ BK ]: How has the Internet contributed to the success of your career?

JENNIE S. BEV: During the dot-com explosion years, I wrote for many Web sites and served as managing editor, contributor and channel manager, which gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to publish over 700 articles within a short period of time. Today, my e-books are my babies. Whenever a copy is sold (on the Internet), I feel reinforced to write even better and more e-books!

[ BK ]: What's the best advice you ever received from another writer? What advice would you give a writer who wants to be successful?

JENNIE S. BEV: The best advice? "Everybody has a story tell, so tell yours in a compelling way and be proud of it." Advice for other writers? "Set your mind and heart for success, you deserve it. If some skeptics say you can't write and you can't make a living out of it, don't let their opinions get in the way of your success."

[ BK ]: What's one piece of advice you can give to help a writer boost his/her sales this year?

JENNIE S. BEV: The best way to earn a living as a writer is by earning residual income (royalties). This way, as long as your writing -- most likely in the form of a book or an e-book -- is still being sold, you can still earn without having to put forth extra work. Use your time to write for more royalty-earning books (or e-books) to create a snowballing effect.

My latest e-book entitled "Write Industry Reports: Work at Home and Start Earning $5,000 in Royalties per Month" clearly shows how to earn thousands of dollars from one book alone. Unlike in publishing other types of books, which only pay a few dollars per sold book, industry report authors enjoy much higher royalties per book. Why? Because the books help companies to see a clearer picture of their industry.

"Write Industry Reports: Work at Home and Start Earning $5,000 in Royalties per Month" covers everything from the A to Z of industry report writing so you can start earning more this year. I've included access to over 450 research firms for you to begin with.

Have more questions? Ask me directly via industrywriter@writinggigs.com.
Jennie's latest ebook, "Write Industry Reports: Work at Home and Start Earning $5,000 in Royalties per Month" reveals her quietly-whispered secrets to earn residual income from your writing and research skills. Jennie's ebook is sold online at WritingCareer.com (http://www.writingcareer.com/bev001.shtml), an online ebook store.

Elsewhere today:
Former Salon suitor to start poker mag (N.Y. Daily News)

Scam Alert

I regrettably posted a data-entry job yesterday that is a scam. I hesitated on including it, went against my gut and, after checking it out myself and receiving several emails from readers, I now feel like a knucklehead.

Please disregard this job listing from this yesterday’s edition of Freelance Daily:

Data entry
At home Data Entry Position, great opportunity for stay at home moms or anyone who wants to work in the comfort of your own home.Requirements: You will need a computer with Internet access, valid email address, good typing skills and basic Internet knowledge. You will be processing orders from your computer. How much you earn is up to you. The average salary is $300 - $500 per week depending on if you are working part or full time. If you would like more information, please contact dataprocessing@optonline.net instead of sending a resume. Also good for entry-level. dataprocessing@optonline.net
(Posted 11/22/04)

Essentially, they tell you to send $15 for your training materials. After you fork over the money, they send you information labeled as “training materials” that tell you how to set up your own “data entry” scam.

While it would be impossible for me to investigate the legitimacy of every job posted, please accept my apologies and my promise to make every effort to avoid such postings in the future.

Quote for Wednesday

Writing is one of the few professions left where you take all the responsibility for what you do. It’s really dangerous and ultimately destroys you as a writer if you start thinking about responses to your work or what your audience needs.

- Erica Jong

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Ghostwriter: I'm looking for a ghostwriter experienced with memoirs who is interested in writing another :) We will discuss pay, but please send your rates for a 250 pg book(approximate). I would write this myself, but I don't have time with class. Please send complete references. Cheers! mcole@fas.harvard.edu
(Posted 11/21/04)

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Home Office Deductions For Freelancers

by Rachel Goldstein Owner

Home office deductions are one of the perks of working from home, however, there are clear drawbacks too. If you meet the IRS guidelines for deducting your home office, you can expect to get a hefty tax break. On the other hand, deducting your home office can increase your chances of getting audited. Additionally, by claiming your home office you can get taxed when selling your home. This article will cover the ins and outs of home office deductions.


Is your home office your "principal place of business"? Is your office used "regularly and exclusively" for business? All of the above questions must be answered with a "yes" if you want to meet IRS guidelines for deducting your home office.


How do you know if your office can be determined as your principal place of business? Well, do you spend most of your time and make the most of your money from your home office? If you work onsite at a client's office the majority of the time, then you probably aren't eligible. On the other hand, if you perform all of your daily tasks from your home office, you probably are eligible. However, if you are offsite a majority of the day, but come home and perform substantially administrative activities from your home office, you may still be eligible. You cannot perform these administrative activities anywhere else but from your home office.


You must use your home office regularly and exclusively. Your office doesn't need to be a separate room, but it does need to be used "regularly and exclusively" for business. This means that you need to keep all family activities and items away from your office. Keep your children off of your computer and your personal mail off of your desk, amongst other things. Additionally, if you have more than one business, you cannot use your home office for your other business. For example, if you are a salaried web designer, you cannot work on projects from your salaried job in your home office.

You have decided that you are eligible for a home office deduction. Now what? I would contact an accountant and make sure that you have made the right decision. Then:

a. Measure square footage of your entire home

b. Measure square footage of your home office

c. Divide office's square footage by your home office's square footage

d. This number is your percentage….Apply this percentage to indirect expenses, like your mortgage taxes, utility bills, real estate taxes, and upkeep. So, you can deduct a percentage of home-related expenses based on the percentage of space in your home that your home office takes up. So if your house is 5,000 square feet and your office is 500 square feet, you can deduct 10% off indirect expenses and home cost. Don't worry, direct expenses are still deducted in full. For example, don't use the percentage on things such as a business phone line.

e. Find out home purchase price and add to that all home improvements

f. Find out the value of land

g. Find out the market value of your home.


Yes, taking a home office deduction sounds like a great idea, but remember there is a downside too. If you deduct your home office, your office may be considered business property. This means that you will need to pay taxes on the amount the business depreciated when you sell your house. Because of this, a home office deduction might not be profitable for you. You might save a few hundred dollars every year with the home office deduction, but have to pay thousands of dollars when you sell the house. Because of this, I recommend visiting a tax accountant before deducting a home office.

Another reason not to take the home office deduction is because the IRS might decide to audit your business when they see your home office deduction. Taking this deduction is like throwing a red flag in front of the IRS, so it is up to you whether you want to take the risk and deduct your home office.

Elsewhere today:
10 upcoming trends in publishing (WSJ)

Computers as Authors? Literary Luddites Unite! (NYT)

Utne’s latest project (The Rake)

Blogs To Riches Stories (Wired)

Quote for Tuesday

“Write short dramatic leads to your stories,” [James] Thurber’s editor told him during his early days as a newspaper reporter. Soon after, he turned in a murder story that began:

Dead. That’s what the man was when they found him with a knife in his back at 4 p.m. in front of Riley’s saloon at the corner of 52nd and 12th Streets.

- Robert Hendrickson

HO HO HO Holiday Special - FundsforWriters and author C. Hope Clark have teamed up for a holiday offer that will jingle your bells. Purchase the new book THE SHY WRITER, An Introvert's Guide to Writing Success and receive an annual subscription to TOTAL FundsforWriters - at no charge. This $12 value provides serious writers with 90+ markets, contests, grants, and jobs that bring real money into your writing coffers. See both websites today and see what you've been missing! www.fundsforwriters.com / www.theshywriter.com

Monday, November 22, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Guidebook – Coastal Carolinas: This is an amazing opportunity for a qualified writer. Avalon Travel Publishing is seeking an author for Moon Handbooks Coastal Carolinas. This book will be an update of the book Coastal Carolinas currently in bookstores. We are looking for a writer based in the Carolinas to compose and update the previous material according to new Moon Handbooks series guidelines in addition to supplying relevant photography. The current edition is 320 pages. Moon Handbooks are comprehensive travel guidebooks covering food, culture, sights, and accommodations for general audiences. THIS IS A CONTRACT POSTION, NOT A FULL TIME OFFICE JOB. The ideal candidate would be great to work with, flexible and professional (ABLE TO MEET A DEADLINE), have excellent research and writing skills, and be an expert on the destination (in touch with dining and nightlife, active in the outdoors, knows how to have fun). The writer should have strong ties to the region and be well connected. We’re looking for an author who is going to make a commitment to the project and let his or her passion for the destination shine through the revisions. Payment will be a flat fee, approximately $7000-8000, and the manuscript will be due in the first week of September 2005. Visit www.travelmatters.com/acquisitions for more information. If you would like to be considered for this project, please contact us at acquisitions@avalonpub.com for writer’s guidelines and more information on submitting a proposal, reference Moon Handbook Coastal Carolinas as the subject of your message. Please forward the information to those you think might be interested and qualified and experts on these destinations.
(Posted 11/19/04)

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Quote for Monday

Ask how to live? Write, write, write anything. The world’s a fine believing world, write news.

- John Fletcher (1614)

No Market Monday today

I have jury duty and time is tight. Sorry for the inconvenience. Market Monday will return next week, or maybe later this week. I’m including a short article on business concerns for freelance writers in its place.

Legal Considerations For Freelancers

by Rachel Goldstein Owner, Allfreelancenetwork.com

So you are ready to set up your freelance business in your home? There are a few legal regulations that you should keep in mind.

There are millions of businesses being run from a home office in violation of local zoning regulations. You might want to check with your local county office or zoning department to find out what the zoning laws are in your area. Only then will you know for sure if it is legal to run your business from your home. If your business is going to be run in a residentially zone area, you will need to follow strict guidelines. Some of these guidelines might be where the home business is allowed, type of business, and the amount of space. These guidelines may not inhibit the running of your business at all, but you should find out what these regulations are. And, if you are renting an apartment, check your lease to make sure that you are allowed to run a business from it.

Are you planning to buy goods for resale or purchasing materials used in creating a product? Then you require a sales tax number. You will be collecting tax from the buyer and then sending it to the government tax office. An example of this is an artist selling his art. Contact your state or provincial tax office for more details.

You will need to register your business name ... Find out more here.

Whether you are renting or own your own living establishment, you most likely have insurance. With a standard homeowner policy, your home business will not be covered. This means that your homeowner's policy won't cover you for accidents involving your business. To cover your business, you should look into extending your liability insurance. You should also look into a policy endorsement, which will increase your business-related coverage and liability protection.

Format change

Partly because of complaints from Craig’s List and partly because the amount of time Freelance Daily is starting to occupy, effective with today’s issue I will be changing the format. Craig’s List ads which are labeled “not okay to repost” will still be included, but only with a headline and a link to the ad at the end of their category. If this is a major pain or if anyone has any better suggestions, please let me know.

On the upside, I’ve stepped up efforts to get more ads that are exclusive to Freelance Daily, and hope the fruits of those labors blossom in the near future.

If you have an ad you want to run, it’s FREE to do so. Our first exclusive advertiser sent this email last week: “Just wanted to let you know that I got a half dozen inquiries from the ad you posted for me in Freelance Daily. It was a diverse group, including writers from Canada, the UK, Chicago and somewhere down South. All seem to be well-qualified, and I've responded to all of them. I've offered to buy stories from a couple of them already based on what they sent...All in all, that was a successful start.”

Just send me the content of your ad.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Why place a free ad in Freelance Daily?

From an advertiser:

Just wanted to let you know that I got a half dozen inquiries from the ad you posted for me in Freelance Daily. It was a diverse group, including writers from Canada, the UK, Chicago and somewhere down South. All seem to be well-qualified, and I've responded to all of them. I've offered to buy stories from a couple of them already based on what they sent...All in all, that was a successful start.

For more information on placing a FREE ad, click here.

Freelance Job of the Day

Columnist for Business Traveler magazine: Business Traveler magazine seeks an experienced freelance journalist to write a monthly column on frequent traveler loyalty programs. Must have in-depth knowledge of business travel industry and airline, hotel and credit card reward programs. E-mail resume and clips to editor@businesstravelerusa.com
Business Traveler, published in the U.S. and internationally, with seven editions, is the industry-leading magazine devoted to the business travel market and is owned by Euromoney/Institutional Investor. Each month BT gives business travelers insightful articles to aid and update them while traveling overseas and domestically. BT focuses on up-to-the-minute business travel developments, travel savings, airline and hotel surveys and features investigative and service-oriented articles. Business Traveler surveys, such as the annual Business Class Survey, provide a comprehensive reference for business travelers, as do supplements such as the annual Four-Hour Guide Book.
(Posted 11/18/04)

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Get Your Money

by Rachel Goldstein Owner, Allfreelancenetwork.com

Great! Wow! Hooray! You just finished your first project ever! Hey, when are you getting the dough you were promised? Getting paid is the single most important aspect of being a freelancer, so make sure that you take your time and do things right. If you don’t, you might land up getting screwed in the end. Just because you have completed a huge profile job and you are looking to receive big dough in return, doesn’t mean that the client is going to pay on time or even pay at all. There are many strategies to deal with delinquent clients, but there are also many precautionary measures that you should take when initiating a relationship with your client.

1. CHECK CREDIT REPORTS – If you are taking on a substantial project that is going to occupy a big chunk of your schedule, you should spend the money on a credit report. The most reliable website to find this sort of information is Experian. Their reports include credit status, legal filings, collection agency filings, payment behaviors and trends, and company background information.

Experian - Searching the database is free. When comprehensive information is available, Experian will provide a full Snapshot report, including a credit risk category, for $14.95. When little information is available, a limited report without the risk category costs $5. Of course, if Experian has no information about a business there is no charge.

2. CONTRACT / LEGAL AGREEMENT – A legal agreement is the most important step in the whole process of getting paid. Make sure on your contract to specify the time schedule, price for your service, and terms that were agreed upon mutually between you and the client. I was screwed out of getting paid on my first freelance gig because I didn’t insist on a contract. If for some reason a client won’t sign the contract, then they aren’t a trustworthy company to work for. So learn from my mistakes and find a contract to use in your freelance business. MAKE SURE THE CLIENT SIGNS AND SENDS TO YOU A COPY!!!

On AllFreelance.com there is an entire section devoted to contracts, which can be found at http://allfreelance.com/contract.html .

Get Ideas for Your Client Contracts from a Contract Swipe - http://provider.com/contracts.htm - This swipe file is filled with example contracts that you can use. My suggestion is to take a little from one and add to another until you have a perfect contract. These contracts are meant for web developers but can be used for any profession with a little change on your part. Remember, it is always a good idea to have a lawyer look over your contract.

3. DOWN PAYMENT / RETAINER – I always have clients pay $100 - $200 up front to show they are good for the money. Also, this enables me to have at least some money in case they back out of the contract early. Don’t forget to take the retainer amount out of the last invoice amount. I know that one of my associates ask for a 20% retainer to help pay for the upfront costs that he pays to printers and other vendors. This is a wise system to follow for you if you also have many out-of-pocket purchases.

4. TERMS – Make sure to use net 30 on your contracts. What this means is that your client has 30 days to pay up the money that they owe you. Since many companies routinely pay 30-90 days late on all invoices, I would never make your terms net 60 or net 90. You might also want to consider implementing a late fee, but I would suggest instead raising your fee a little bit and then offering a 5% discount if your client pays on time.

5. SCHEDULED PAYMENTS – It is easier for a client to remember to pay if you have a schedule for his payments. Also, if you break up the payments into smaller invoices, you can always refuse to continue if you aren’t receiving the money that you are owed. Most clients won’t risk falling behind schedule and they will pay up. Think of it this way … your clients won’t have very much to lose if you ask for all of your money at the completion of the project, because they already received the completed work.

But, Rachel, I have implemented these measures and STILL my low-life client isn’t coughing up the money. What is a poor freelancer like myself to do?

1. SEND OVERDUE NOTICES IN WRITING – You should always send something first to the client in writing stating their delinquent status. I find it helpful to both email and snail mail overdue notices.

2. CALL / EMAIL REGULARLY – Call regularly and make an annoyance of yourself. Make sure not to use vulgarity, curse words, or threaten violence to express yourself – this is illegal. Keep things professional, but DO make a huge fuss over the matter. Email works well too.

3. MAKE IT PERSONAL – Tell your client how much this payment means to you. You rely on this payment to pay your bills, to pay for medical care, to feed your children. Tell your client that you are a real person, and that you can’t make ends meet and feed your children if you don’t get your “paycheck”. This might put a face on the bills that have been sitting on your client’s desk.

4. USE EMBARRASMENT TO WORK FOR YOU – Draw phone calls out to embarrass the client, making sure to bring up previous conversations that negate his or her comments. There is nothing more embarrassing than being called a liar.

5. COLLECTIONS – If your collection efforts have all but failed, you can try to hire out a collections agency. You don’t have to pay collection agencies out of pocket. The way it works is they take a percentage of whatever they win back for you. It usually is about 20%, but I have seen it as high as 45%. Shop around and find a collector that doesn’t charge too much.

6. SMALL-CLAIMS COURT – If you have a signed contract like I recommend, winning your case should be quite easy. File a complaint with your local small claims clerk. Unfortunately it isn't easy. Form after form is awaiting you. But if you want to get that money, or even if you are suing out of anger, it will be worth it to you. The best part of small-claims court is that there is NO LAWYER NECESSARY. In addition, usually once a client sees that they are being sued, they pay up. It is easy as that…you don’t need a lawyer in small claims court. For more advice on small claims court, check out this article.

Quote for Friday

To understand social reality, one must be inside it, participate in its movement and its struggles.

- Ignazio Silone

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thanksgiving week publication notice

Freelance Daily will not be published on Thursday, November 25 or Friday, November 26. Normal publication will resume on Monday, November 29.

Have a healthy and happy holiday, and please be safe if your plans call for travel.

Freelance Job of the Day

Stringers in convention cities: Small trade newsletter house in Washington, DC needs stringers in convention towns to *occasionally* report on or record conferences, luncheons or specific panels and speakers (see cities below). This could mean zero to several or more paying jobs/year, depending on numerous factors. Topics include utility competition and broadband. We pay per inch or per hour depending on whether story written or digital recording sent. Writing samples and tests may be used to determine which format we will pay you for. Seasoned reporters welcome, novices may apply. Note to novices: business dress and demeanor required -- not fancy but not sloppy. We do not supply digital recording gear (we recommend Sony ICD-ST10 w/ data cable, bundled software plus a computer). We supply large file transfer website. Other costs negotiable. Cities include Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Phoenix, Houston, Boston, New York, Washington DC and other conference destinations. Potential for advancement may exist for qualified writers. Send CV and letter to cv@ghinews.com.
(Posted 11/17/04)

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Interview with NANCY HENDRICKSON, author of "Secrets of a Successful Freelancer"

by Brian Konradt

Since becoming a freelancer, NANCY HENDRICKSON has published more than one thousand features, shorts and newsletter columns in national and regional magazines and on the Web. Nancy is a full-time freelancer, living in San Diego. She specializes in computer, genealogy and history writing.

[ BK ]: What kind of job/s (or career) did you do before you became a full-time writer? Did any of these jobs contribute to your success as a freelance writer?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: I've worked at a variety of jobs, including supervising in a tree nursery, driving a school bus, working in retail and medical insurance. However, for the last several years before I went full-time as a freelancer, I transcribed medical reports. The jobs, themselves, didn't contribute directly to my freelance success, however they helped me realize what a diversity of interests I have--and how much I'd enjoy writing about many, many topics. Also, because I was self-employed during my medical-job related years, it taught me to discipline myself, to set a work structure and work goals--it also helped me develop a solid business background, which is invaluable as a freelancer.

[ BK ]: Many aspiring writers dream about freelancing full-time. You're living this dream. What are some myths and truths about freelancing full-time? Is it as glorious and rewarding as it may seem?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: Yes, absolutely! I get up in the morning and (unless I have an early interview scheduled), I walk to one of my neighborhood coffee houses for an unhurried morning brew. I then work solidly til about noon, and then take a couple of hours off for lunch, then work til later in the afternoon. Recently, I packed up my laptop (with wireless modem) and drove from San Diego to Port Townsend, Washington--up on the Olympic Peninsula, working all the way. The greatest thing about being a freelancer, for me, is to set my own schedule and to be free to travel anywhere, as long as I can get an Internet connection. These days, even if I'm in an area where my wireless modem doesn't work, I can always find an Internet cafe and work there, or a local library. Then downside, of course, is that you are always hustling to get assignments. However even that has gotten better, because editors now call me with jobs. I wouldn't trade this life for anything!

[ BK ]: Your e-book advises writers to become a niche writer -- specializing in an area. Why is this so beneficial in today's economy? How has specializing helped you?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: As I wrote in the book, you can write about many, many topics (which I do), however I market myself as a specialist because editors want to know that you're really savvy in their area. For example, I've been writing for a computer magazine and they don't care one bit that I'm also a genealogy specialist--they just want to make sure I know how to research, interview analysts and write good tech stories. As the world expands, I've found publications actually becoming more narrowly focused. Most of us have fairly specialized interests, and we want a magazine that focuses on that. As a reader, for example, I want to read about PDAs (personal digital assistants) which run on the Palm OS. I'm not so interested in Pocket PCs. My obvious reading choice is the magazine which really focuses on the Palm OS devices. Of course, I have to confess, as a writer, that I still buy the Pocket PC magazines, just to keep up on the industry.

[ BK ]: How do you market yourself to garner assignments? For the beginning freelance writer, what marketing would work best to land first and repeat work?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: I think a beginner has the best chance by finding a market that covers a subject they know inside and out. Then, when querying, play up their expertise. Although they can certainly find experts to interview (and editors love this), it makes the editor more comfortable knowing the writer has that solid background in their field. As far as getting future assignments--I *never* turn in an assignment without including a list of query topics. The best time to get that additional work is when you turn in a completed assignment. It works a huge percentage of the time.

[ BK ]: As you made the transition from a part-time writer to a full-time freelance writer, what fears did you have? Did you think about failure or worrying where your next paycheck would come from? How did you overcome your fears?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: You know, this was an area that didn't bother me. I had been working as a part-time freelancer for quite awhile, so I had a good sense of how much income I could generate. I also devised a spreadsheet (which I didn't mention in the book, and need to put in as an additional suggestion). The spreadsheet listed all of my clients at the time. In another cell, I wrote the approximate amount of money I would get from a single assignment. I then did this for each client. Next, I guessed at how many jobs I could do for each client in a year. Then, I let the spreadsheet calculate what my year's income would be. If it wasn't enough, I went back to see who I needed to write more for, or how many new clients I needed to add.

[ BK ]: In your e-book you advise writers to join Internet mailing list/s as a way to connect with prospects. Can you explain how this works, and how this can lead to getting work?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: I actually wrote an article for The Writer about this topic. Joining mailing lists (in your subject field) can help in a few ways: 1. You can find wonderful sources to quote or interview. 2. You can position yourself as an expert in the field--and believe it or not, editors do cruise through mailing lists in their genre. 3. You can use them to begin establishing your reputation. For instance, what if someone on the mailing list published a short newsletter - - offer to give them a free short article for it. Not only will that help build your clips, if you're just starting, it will start getting your name out in the field.

[ BK ]: Besides writing for magazines, do you do any other types of writing to supplement your income?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: I sell my Secrets of a Successful Freelancer book, I just finished an Internet genealogy book for a traditional publisher, and it will be out in the spring. I also sell some great e-books on the topic of writing e-books through a site at http://www.thehowtopublisher.com. Additionally, I have a local corporate client who hires me to write their newsletter, Web content, ads, etc. This is a new area for me and I really love it. I love the business side of writing, so spreading out to these other fields is a natural for me.

[ BK ]: You have your own web site that provides prospective clients with information about yourself, your skills, and samples of your work. How has your web site helped your writing business? Do you recommend writers have their own web sites as well?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: My site has definitely helped me get new clients. When I query an editor who doesn't know my work, it's just so easy to refer them to my site--they can see which publications I've written for, and my writing style. If you want to be a successful freelancer, I think you really have to have a Web site. And, one that is easy to navigate and not filled with annoying graphics. Editors just want to get in, see who you are and get out. I also *strongly* recommend that you get your own domain name and pay for a hosting company. It looks so much more professional.

[ BK ]: With more than 1,500 shorts and feature articles to your portfolio, you're a very prolific writer. How do you keep yourself going from day to day and avoid laziness and boredom over the long term?

NANCY HENDRICKSON: Good question. I write about a variety of subjects, so that keeps my brain occupied and interested. Even when I write for the same market, there are many, many topics to research, and I like that very much. For example, in my work for my current computer clients, I may write a hands-on review of 10 software programs and then the next week do a roundup, and the next week a piece on how to get the most from a specific program. Another thing that keeps me busy and interested is my www.thehowtopublisher.com work. I like creating the business, writing the newsletter for it, and finding fun ways to market it. I'm never bored with my work.

Nancy’s ebook, “Secrets of a Successful Freelancer,” is a detailed blueprint which will help any serious writer jump-start their freelance writing career. Her ebook sells for $16.95 and is sold at WritingCareer.com, an online ebook store, located at http://www.writingcareer.com/nhb001.shtml

Brian Konradt is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in South Carolina.

Quote for Thursday

Nothing I wrote saved a single Jew from being gassed…it’s perfectly all right to be an engage write as long as you don’t think you’re changing things. Art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.

- W.H. Auden

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Exclusively on Freelance Daily

Writers for ski Web site: SkiEngine.com, a new web site for skiers in western Pennsylvania, is seeking articles about skiing and snowboarding in the mid-Atlantic region. Topics could include resort features, buying the latest gear, planning ski trips, staying in shape for winter sports, etc. Rates negotiable, but budget is limited to between $100 and $150 a piece. No longer than 750 words. Photos encouraged if appropriate to the article. If interested, send a note to Mark Whittaker, mwhittaker@tribweb.com.
(Posted 11/17/04)

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Freelance Job of the Day

Successful freelance writers to present at conference: Looking for proposals from SUCCESSFUL freelance writers to make one hour presentations or participate in panel discussions at a conference for freelance writers to be held in 2005. This conference will be marketed towards serious freelance writers, not the person who got an A in 8th grade English and now tries to sell columns on his pet to the local weekly newspaper. Potential issues, beyond finding work, can cover business management, taxes, finding health insurance, etc. If you think it would be of interest to people trying to make a living as a freelancer, it's probably of interest to us. You're eligible if you make a decent living as a freelance writer or editor and aren't afraid of a public speaking gig. While we'd naturally love to see presentations from people who routinely see their byline in national magazines, we're also looking for the writers and editors who have carved a niche in boutique and corporate writing. To be considered, your proposal should include: 1) A bio and/or resume that clearly demonstrate your skills and successful track record as a freelancer. 2) A topic and brief outline (no more than one page)of what you'd like to present and why you're the expert on your topic. 3) Your anticipated stipend/speaking fee, beyond overnight accommodations and travel expenses to and from the conference. 4) All of your contact info. NO ATTACHMENTS, PLEASE. Deadline for proposals is Dec. 31, 2004. You can also send an email if you're interested in attending the conference and want to be alerted of the details when it's announced. It will more than likely be held in the northeastern United States next spring or fall (we're leaning towards Washington, D.C. although that is very much up in the air). Thanks for your time. We regret that we cannot respond to all applicants individually.
(Posted 11/16/04)

Quote of the Day

Keep your hands from literary picking and stealin. But if you cannot refrain from this kind of stealth, avoid murdering what you steal.

- Augustus Montague Toplady

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Calendar writer – Illinois history: Menasha Ridge Press is in search of an experienced author who is knowledgeable in the realm of Illinois history. The project will involve creating 365 entries (one per day of the calendar year) for an "On This Day in Illinois History" book. Each entry will run roughly 400 words. The author is also responsible for locating suitable art work (photos usually) to accompany a majority of the entries. Menasha Ridge Press will bear the cost of acquiring the actual images. The author should be able to research and write a complete manuscript by April 1, 2005. An upper level degree in history is preferred. If qualified and interested please contact Russell Helms, acquisitions editor. rhelms@menasharidge.com
(Posted 11/15/04)

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Vacationing Away From Your Freelance Business

by Rachel Goldstein
Owner, Allfreelancenetwork.com

If you are a full-time freelancer then you probably have problems finding time to relax and get away from it all. However, getting away every now and then is essential for the long-term success of your business. Does taking a vacation sound impossible to you? Leaving home and your business doesn't have to be a disaster. Follow these steps and you can make your dream vacation happen.

1. BLOCK OFF CALENDAR - As soon as you decide to take a vacation, mark it off on your calendar. Additionally, make your vacation seem more "real" by booking your trip. This vacation can be your goal to work towards; you can look over at your calendar to cheer yourself up every time things get out of hand.

2. SAVE UP MONEY - Depending on how long you are planning to leave town, this vacation is going to cost you. As a freelancer, every day that you are gone is a day's pay that is lost. This is okay though, you can plan for this. If you have plenty of jobs to choose from, only take jobs that have a high pay rate. Or you can try taking on more work for a few weeks to pay for your vacation. Either way, use your time wisely when saving for your time off.

3. PREPARE CLIENTS FOR DEPARTURE - Prepare your clients early, and make sure that they mark the departure date in their calendars. Make sure not to give more than a month's notice or your clients might stop sending your work early on. A month is the most notice you should give. It is also a good idea to send reminder emails to your clients before you leave and after you return.

4. LINE UP WORK - It is important to line up a few gigs for your return, or you might have an extended vacation. You will need invoices coming in to pay for your vacation, so plan ahead. Ask current clients if they will have any new projects coming in the week you get back. And schedule some of your current projects to be resumed on your return.

5. SCHEDULE WISELY - The week before your vacation will be very hectic. Try to manage your time wisely the month before your vacation so that all of your work doesn't need to be completed the day before departure.

6. WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU - If you can't schedule a complete vacation, what should you take with you? Well, if you need to take some work with you then you will need to set some boundaries. Only work a few hours in the early morning or late evening. You should still vacation with your family in a normal fashion during the day. The entire purpose of your vacation was to relax and this is what you should do.

Almost all freelancers need a laptop if they are working on a vacation. (If you are traveling to another country, don't forget your special adapters). Also, bring your cell phone for emergency contacts only. However, I recommend giving the hotel's phone number instead so you aren't intruded upon your entire vacation.

Try to do most of the legwork for your projects before you leave on vacation. Set "Office Hours" for yourself, and let your family know that this is time when they need to do their own thing.

7. MINI-GETAWAYS - If you are still finding it hard to image being able to escape for a full-vacation, consider taking a 3-day weekend. A 3-day vacation can rejuvenate you and prepare you for another few weeks of grueling work. Plan a fun vacation with NO interruptions. This can be refreshing, especially for a freelancer who isn't used to relaxing.

If you plan ahead, vacationing really isn't such as impossibility. Not only is it relaxing, but it really will increase your productivity when you get home. Happy Vacationing!

http://www.Allfreelancework.com - 1000s of freelance jobs, articles, and resources.

Quote for Tuesday

When you’re writing, you’re trying to find out something which you don’t know. The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know, what you don’t want to find out. But something forces you anyway.

- James Baldwin

Monday, November 15, 2004

Thank You -- Freelance Daily gets its first donation

I received my first donation on Friday; without naming names so this donor can remain anonymous, I would like to publicly thank her for an exceptionally generous, $25 donation. I guess I can no longer refer to this as a “labor of love.”

I don’t want to beg, and, as a freelance writer, I know how tight finances can be for all of us at times. But if you’ve found this newsletter helpful and have the means to do so, please consider making a donation by clicking here.

It’s completely optional, of course, but it is greatly appreciated, and it goes without saying that even the smallest donation helps. Another way to support the publication is to use the links on this site and in the newsletter to by products ranging from books to health insurance.

Freelance Job of the Day

Writer (Lakewood, Colo.): Professional Veterinary association seeking a freelance writer to develop content for marketing campaigns, websites, fundraising brochures and more. Fundraising and non-profit copywriting experience preferred. Need to be available for meetings at our location and quick turnarounds. Please send resume and rates to email address above or to Jennifer Dysert, PO Box 150899, Denver, CO 80215-0899.
(Posted 11/12/04)

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Market Monday -- Focus on online publications

While most online-only magazines and publications are still struggling to generate revenue and pay competitive rates, a quick screen found a few that pay as well as or even better than some of the more established print publications.

Target audience: AllAboutVision.com's mission is to give consumers complete, reliable information on vision-correction options--such as eyeglasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery--and all aspects of eye health.
Frequency: Daily.
Circulation: Averages 187,000 visitors/month
Rates: $200 to $1,000 for articles ranging from 500 to 2,000 words and $200 to $1,000 for 1,700-word columns.
Kill Fee: No.
Terms: Pays on acceptance
Address article queries to: editor@allaboutvision.com
Mailing address: Access Media Group, 11 Campus Blvd., Suite 100, Newtown Square NY 19073
Web site: www.allaboutvision.com
In the editor’s words: "We typically do not accept submissions unless the writer is experienced in writing about/for the ophthalmic/optometric fields."
(via Writer’s Market)
Other markets covered today: Connect For Kids, Entrepreneur.com, NewMusicBox.com

Quote for Monday

There are no good stories. Only the singer really matters, seldom the song. What a writer brings to any story is an attitude, an attitude usually defined by the wound stripes of life.

- John Gregory Dunne

Friday, November 12, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Online pet store: Writer wanted to create website copy for a pet store that offers creative, artistic, and healthy items for pets and their owners. (This store does NOT sell dogs and cats.) What makes the store, and therefore what will make the website special, is the quality of its supplies and especially the boutique items, some of which are unique -- so we want to sell them on a new e-commerce website. (We have an HTML website developer.) You'd visit the store, get a flavor for the several dozens of creative items, the store as a whole, and perhaps also the personality of its owner. We'd like you to start soon.
(Posted 11/11/04)

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Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals

Beginning today and continuing on a regular basis, Freelance Daily will publish articles aimed at helping readers get maximum returns from their freelance business. The articles – which will run between today’s and yesterday’s job leads – will cover a variety of topics, including taxes, lead generation and new sources of potential revenue.

The articles will also be published on the Freelance Daily Web site at
http://freelancewriters.blogspot.com/. No set schedule is set for this reoccurring feature: I’ve found a variety of articles worth sharing, and will publish them until I run out, while continuing to find more sources of articles. My only criteria is that they be well-written and helpful: they shouldn’t be targeted at the “So you want to be a freelance writer” crowd, but instead the professional freelance writers and editors who account for the majority of this newsletter’s subscribers.

If you have reprint rights to an article you’ve written, or want to write one for scratch, you can send it to me at
cope@davecopeland.com. This is still very much a zero-revenue operation, so I can’t pay you, but I’d be more than happy to publish a brief bio and link to your personal Web site.

Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals
by Brian Konradt

Freelance writer STANLEY BURKHARDT has a passion for animals. He loves animals so much, he crafted himself a new career. For the last eight years, Burkhardt has made a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals -- and getting paid for it.

Burkhardt admits, "I am probably the first writer you have met who has written for veterinary hospitals. My opinion is that many writers don’t see the profit or work potential in writing for vet hospitals, and don’t attempt to secure work from this industry. The other reason is that writers try many approaches to secure work in this industry and fail."

Burkhardt has overcome these obstacles, and many more. Now he's ready to spill his secrets. He has penned an ebook, "Profiting on Puppy Love & Cat Care: A Freelance Writer's Guide to Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals & Practices," in which he shows writers how they can craft a career out of writing for local veterinary hospitals, just like he has done.

Burkhardt says, "I think it’s important to know that I had no experience or knowledge writing for the vet industry, when I first started out." If you harbor a deep love for animals and enjoy writing and researching, Burkhardt says you are already “halfway there to breaking into this industry.”

The other skill is selling. “Selling is considered by many beginning freelance writers to be the ‘curse’ of commercial writing because it usually requires you to spend more than half of your time selling yourself to prospective clients — and swallowing many rejections — than spending time writing.” In time, selling becomes easier. “Most of my work now comes from referrals and word-of-mouth,” says Burkhardt.

Burkhardt has perfected the way he secures first-time clients in this industry; he advises to “use locality in your favor.” He says, “Take a trip to your local hospital and see if it presently uses any types of print materials. If not, what kinds of print materials do you think this hospital can benefit from? If it has print materials, how can you improve these existing print materials, or what types of print materials would work better in place of these existing print materials?”

Burkhardt always attempts to arrange a meeting with the owner of the hospital. “I tell the prospective owner I’d like to meet with him for 20 to 30 minutes to discuss, in detail, how I’d be able to boost his profits and productivity, and how he and his clients will both benefit. I’ve never met an owner who’d refused to spend some time to find out how I’d be able to boost his profits.”

After the first meeting, Burkhardt gives himself a few days to work on a proposal in which he outlines how he is going to meet the owner’s needs -- whether it’s solving a problem, boosting sales, or increasing productivity -- through various writing projects. Burkhardt will either mail his proposal to the owner or arrange a second meeting. Nine times out of ten, Burkhardt’s proposal usually nabs him a first assignment from a first-time client. “I always pitch a newsletter as the first project. Once the owner sees how a newsletter contributes to the success of his hospital, I am usually given more writing assignments.”

As a writer for five local veterinary hospitals -- two small in size and three big in size -- Burkhardt prefers to sell his services to the larger veterinary hospitals. “Larger veterinary hospitals have more needs to be fulfilled and more problems for you to solve...They’re more likely to need internal and external materials that will help boost their sales and increase their productivity.”

Burkhardt writes all sorts of copy for vet hospitals, but his favorite and most lucrative is writing newsletters. “Every vet hospital needs them. A newsletter can increase the hospital’s sales by pushing products and services, create rapport and build trustworthiness with pet owners by showcasing the exceptional pet care and treatment the hospital offers, and constantly remind pet owners of the hospital’s existence by writing information that is so useful and timely that pet owners take the newsletter home with them.” Burkhardt charges between $300 and $1,500 per newsletter, depending on its complexity and size.

Burkhardt admits that writing for veterinary hospitals is not a top-paying industry, compared to writing for other industries. But he was never in it for the money. “I often wonder if copywriters who write for tar manufacturers, bottling companies, packaging plants, chip manufacturers, cancer-causing cigarette companies, or shady politicians have any interest in the stuff they write or they do it just for the money. I can’t find interest in any of those things and have stayed away from such manufacturers and industries. I think the same is true if one is to write for vet hospitals. You must have an interest — at least to write for the long term. If you love animals, have a curiosity as to how hospitals treat and care for pets, and a sensitive spot to help people, then you can break into this industry and make a good living.”

Burkhardt’s ebook, "Profiting on Puppy Love & Cat Care: A Freelance Writer's Guide to Writing for Local Veterinary Hospitals & Practices" is a primer to break into this industry. His ebook sells for $9.95 at WritingCareer.com, an online ebook store, found at http://www.writingcareer.com/sbk001.shtml

Brian Konradt is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in South Carolina.

Quote for Friday

No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.

- William Faulkner

Thursday, November 11, 2004

More suggestions for AOL users

First, the bad news, or non-news, from Yahoo!:

Although we cannot offer you an estimate of when the problem you reported will be resolved, please be assured that we are aware of the issue and are investigating its cause. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any further information regarding the issue.

We appreciate your patience and understanding on this matter.

And now the good news, or helpful news, from a reader:

As far as your AOL users go, they can also "whitelist" your address so that it will come through AOL's spam filter. AOL has been cracking down on alot of outside webhosts, so "whitelisting" seems to be the way to go. They may have to create any additional screenname to do this, only because you can either "blacklist" or "whitelist" names on a particular account.

How to whitelist in 9.0. Optimized (Sorry that's the only version I have)

1) Go to the menu item Mail and click on Block Unwanted Mail
2) In the window that pops up there is a section called "Additional Spam Filters." Make sure "Sender Filter" is "On"
3) Click on Edit next to "Sender Filter"
4) In the next window that pops up, select the option "Use a Custom Sender List"
5) Click on "Use a Custom" Sender List"
6) In the final window that Pops up:
a) Select Allow Only The Senders and Domains Listed Below
b) Fill in the exact address for this newsletter (You'll have to provide that and they need to do it exactly or they will open themselves up to all the junk from the Yahoo domain.)
c) Click Add
d) Click Save
7) Close the 3 windows that opened for this process, making sure to click Save if the option is allowed.

Hope this helps.

Me too. The addresses you should add is cope@davecopeland.com.

Freelance Job of the Day

Pilot Getaways magazine: Pilot Getaways is a quarterly magazine dedicated to private pilot travel. Each issue brings readers in-depth articles on exciting fly-in destinations, including information on the best restaurants, lodging and activities, details of flying there, and breathtaking photography. We cover fly-in destinations in the United States, Canada, and Baja; occasionally, we will publish an article on a destination outside of these regions. Our travel articles are tailored to the flying community and their unique needs. For authors that are non-pilots, we are willing to provide support to familiarize you with the specifics of this audience base. For an article to be considered complete and acceptable for publication, it must be formatted to Pilot Getaway's specific style and include photographs (typically gathered from the businesses listed in the article and from a Chamber of Commerce, although we are enthusiastic about authors submitting their own photos in addition to, but not in replacement of, the sources listed above). Please visit our website at www.pilotgetaways.com for examples of our articles. Requests for our writer's guidelines should be submitted to ashley@pilotgetaways.com. Thank you for your interest in writing for Pilot Getaways magazine. It’s an excellent opportunity to combine work and fun!
(Posted 11/11/04)

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Quote for Thursday

The advance for a book should be at least as much as the cost of the lunch at which it was discussed.

- Calvin Trillin

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Attention AOL users

Several America Online subscribers have reported trouble in receiving Freelance Daily in the past several days; Yahoo says the problem is on AOL's end.

All of you are listed as "bouncing members," meaning AOL servers are rejecting Freelance Daily and, more than likely, other messages sent from Yahoo! Groups. I have sent reactivation requests to each of you, but you may have to visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freelancedaily/ to manually reactivate your account.

If this doesn't work, I can try to send copies of Freelance Daily individually. Email me if that's the case.

Another possible solution is to resubscribe using a different, non-AOL address if you have one.

Freelance Job of the Day

Children’s history magazine seeks submissions: Learning Through History magazine is a bi-monthly publication that provides families with children ages 7-14 and educators with a companion guide of articles, arts and crafts and study/discussion guides that correspond to historical themes or time periods. We are currently looking for submissions for our March/April 2005 issue on European Exploration. Articles should be fun, but factual, and range from 800-1200 words. Arts and crafts projects should be simple and use inexpensive materials. Payment ranges from $25-$75 per submission. editors@homeschoolingcompanion.com. For more information, including topics, deadline, payment terms and other info, please visit our website (please do not email us with general questions - visit our website first) http://www.homeschoolingcompanion.com/freelance_writers.php
(Posted 11/8/04)

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Quote for Wednesday

Breslin’s Rule: Don’t trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover.

- Jimmy Breslin

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A note to advertisers: Place your free ad!

Freelance Daily is primarily a screening service that tracks jobs for freelance writers, editors and other professional freelancers on more than 100 Web sites each day. However, we will gladly accept direct job listings.

Because we want to expose our readers to as many job opportunities as possible, we do not charge advertisers who are seeking to fill a writing, editing or related position. Ads can be run for up to five days, on a space available basis, and will be given a prominent position in the daily newsletter that is sent to subscriber base of freelance professionals.

To place you ad, simply contact us through our new site at http://www.freelancedaily.net.

Freelance Daily readers are predominantly located in the United States, with small percentages in Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia. All are professional, full- or part-time freelance writers and editors.

Freelance Job of the Day

Write articles on Monrovia, Calif.: Barilla Design is a local start-up company in the process of publishing a magazine centered on the city of Monrovia. We are looking for someone who has the ability to travel to and from Monrovia with ease, and be able to handle all processes of developing a professional article from start to finish with little to no direct supervision. This position is a one-time freelance engagement that may lead to more consistent or permanent work. The candidate will produce 3 articles of 500-750 word length. The articles will be centered on the city of Monrovia and deal with local business, general interest, and city history. The deadline for submission of all of the articles will be Dec. 3rd. This is an excellent opportunity for the right candidate. You will have the opportunity to investigate, interview, write, edit and in the end create 3 articles that will be included in our publication, which will be distributed to 15,000 local residents. Send your cover-letter and resume as a word attachment to Joseph Miranda, JMiranda@BarillaDesign.com for immediate consideration. 45 cents/word
(Posted 11/8/04)

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Quote for Tuesday

Artists, poets, writers, if you keep on copying others, no one will copy you.

- Jaques-Henri Bernardin De Saint-Pierre

Monday, November 08, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Poker writer: We are looking for poker writers for a new poker portal Web site. The pay is not much to start off with but there will be opportunities for more money down the road if we build a good relationship. 700-1,000 word articles. This is a great opportunity for new writers to get their name out there! jeremywww@netzero.com
(Posted 11/7/04)

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Market Monday

Market Monday is a weekly feature that looks at markets for you to pitch your work. The idea being that, while the daily job leads we send are good for paying the bills, these markets will give you an opportunity to work on projects that truly interest you. Each week we’ll be focusing on two to five high-quality markets. We’re looking to showcase lesser known markets that still offer rates of 50 cents a word or more and have immediate needs for freelancers’ work.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Target audience: fundraising, giving and managing non-profit organizations.
Frequency: 24 times/year
Circulation: 45,000
Rates: 65 cents to $1 per word
Kill Fee: 25 percent
Terms: Pays on publication
Address article queries to: editor@philanthropy.com
Mailing address: 1255 23rd St., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 200037
Phone: 202.466.1200
Web site: www.philanthropy.com; www.philanthropycareers.com
In the editor’s words: "We want unbiased reporting, so no connections to any nonprofits."
Market notes: Editor Stacy Palmer says the best place to break in is the career section, which is online only. In recent issues, freelancers for this online section have written about getting the most out of high school and college student volunteers, focusing on the advice of a professor who encourages his students to volunteer. A particularly lengthy piece - nearly 3,000 words written in a day-in-the-life format - is an interview with a music camp founder who uses innovative fundraising tools to keep the camp in the black.

Another, 1,800-word article focuses on a crucial decision made by a regional symphony. They decided to hire a young director whose lack of experience saved the organization significant salary but also created new challenges. A how-to piece in the Aug. 5 issue reports on the blogging trend among advocacy groups.

Freelancers can find opportunities in the print publication, but Palmer says it's harder to break in there.

(via Freelance Success)

Other markets covered in today's edition of Freelance Daily: Field & Stream, Physical

Quote for Monday

The whole duty of a writer is to please and satisfy himself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one.

- E.B. White

Friday, November 05, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Magazine writer (Washington, D.C.): Magazine editor is looking for creative, seasoned writers who have a passion for art and design. He or she must be deadline driven, think intuitively, and know how to deal respectfully with sources. Assignments and projects entail a passion for design that is evident on the page. Topics vary: musuem exhibitions, interior design, art spaces, personality profiles on local designers and many others. Please send 2 writing samples and a pitch letter to the e-mail attached to this query.
(Posted 11/4/04)

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Quote for Friday

That man has no soul…who can read of the death of Little Nell without laughing.

- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Part-time, associate editor: The Green Guide, the premier information source for the green consumer, is a dynamic and growing non-profit print and web publication that translates the latest environmental and medical studies into practical information our health-focussed readers can act on. Qualifications: An idea person with strong writing, reporting and research skills, interest in the environment, health and new green/nontoxic products, a journalism, science or writing degree or equivalent, and at least two years’ working experience in journalism. Data management and sharp proofreading skills are a must. As all Green Guiders work from home offices, we need a highly motivated, organized person, able to work independently while maintaining close contact via phone and email. Editors meet in person in New York City once weekly and full staff meets biweekly. Applicant must have own computer and Internet access and proficiency with or ability to quickly learn html, InDesign, Bbedit, Adobe Dreamweaver and CoMa. Experience in website management/design a plus. Hours, Pay: This part-time, freelance position will, depending on experience, pay $28 -30,000 a year for 3. 5 days (28 hrs) per week. Associate should work a regular schedule during standard business hours, M-Th. Following a 6-month probationary period and review, this job may grow into a full-time staff position with benefits at the Green Guide Institute’s discretion. Starting Date: Available Immediately Supervisor: Reports to Editor and Research Editor. Job Description The Associate Editor will support the Editor and Senior Research Editor in the development of print and web articles, fact-checking and writing for The Green Guide, as well as aiding in print and web production. 1) Fact-checking, Editing and Writing for The Green Guide The Associate Editor will be responsible for updating Product Reports and answering questions to the “Just Ask” column, as well as writing other print and web articles. 2) Updating Website: Associate will share responsibility for uploading articles onto thegreenguide.com every two weeks, and other website management. 3) Assisting Editor by reading widely and developing ideas/research for Green Guide stories and special publications, cultivating new writers, speaking with advisors, doctors and scientists; maintaining editorial calendar. During production, Associate will help input edits, clean up copy, manage copy flow and organize drafts. 4) Assisting Research Editor in organizing and updating Green Guide research files, coordinating fact checkers. 5) Assisting Editor and Publisher with outreach, including the writing of occasional Green Guide columns to be placed in other media, and press releases. 6) Proofreading and Copyediting. Please send letter discussing some aspect of www.thegreenguide.com and how you see yourself contributing; plus resume and three brief writing samples to Paul McRandle, Research Editor; pmcrandle@thegreenguide.com The Green Guide is an equal opportunity employer.
(Posted 11/2/04)

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Quote for Thursday

I would imagine most writers revise, one way or another. Maybe they don’t revise on as extensively on paper, but the process of writing is a process of inner expansion and reduction. It’s like an accordion: You open it and then you bring it back, hoping that additional sound – a new clarity – may come out. It’s all for clarity,
- Jerzy Kosinski

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Freelance Job of the Day

Renaissance reporter: 21st-CENTURY REPORTER - News junkie with well-developed right brain to cover news, culture and lifestyle happenings and trends relevant to readers 18 to 34, for new weekly in growing area near Philadelphia and New York. From politics to pedicures to fine art and craft brews, we're looking for a Renaissance reporter who can order it up and serve it with fresh wit and style. Proven reporting, writing and deadline skills. Hyperactive creativity. Bachelor's degree, at least one year reporting or equivalent experience required. Online and multimedia a plus. Resume and work samples to Linda Matys O'Connell, assistant managing editor/features, P.O. Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105-1260.
(Posted 11/2/04)

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