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Avoid Revision Stress with These Tips

After spending hours and hours perfecting your latest story, it can be devastating to see what you thought was surely a masterpiece come back drenched in red ink. Instead of resenting a rewrite, there are a number of ways to deal with the process while keeping your reputation (and sanity) intact.

When your article comes back with vague instructions, get clarification so your updated draft doesn’t warrant even more rewrites.

For Meryl Davids Landau, an author and writer featured in PreventionMore and others, that means following up to any revision requests on the phone. She asks what the editor wants the reader to come away with and if the publication has covered the topic before but wants a fresh angle. ”I try never to revise anything until I have a clear sense of where the editor thinks my version went off the rails; otherwise the next version is just as likely crash,” she explained.

Get more strategies in 6 Ways to Make the Revision Process Stress Free.

Andrea Hackett

ag_logo_medium.gifThis article is one of several mediabistro.com features exclusively available to AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, you can register for as little as $55 a year and get access to these articles, discounts on seminars and workshops, and more.

Get a Job as a Social Media Manager

alternategigs1.jpgWhether you are looking for a total career revamp or just to earn a few extra bucks on the side, there are a number of unique job opportunities for freelance journalists, including some that you may not think you’re qualified for. For example, social media jobs are a great fit for news hounds.

“Journalists have an even bigger opportunity to get into social media now, because there is always something new and more hands are always needed,” said Douglas Marshall, a journalist turned social media manager for Saks Fifth Avenue. “I know a lot of journalists who write freelance for larger retail company’s blogs, or they are hired on a consulting basis to be ‘experts.’ Journalists are currency in the social media world, probably more than they think they are.”

Find out how to get the job in Mediabistro’s latest AvantGuild article, Great Side Gigs for Journalists and Writers. [subscription required]

Andrea Hackett

Find great social media jobs on our job board. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

L.A. Weekly‘s Sarah Fenske on Finding (and Keeping) Digital Journos

SarahFenske.jpgSarah Fenske has come a long way since she began her career as a reporter in the Midwest. Now the editor-in-chief of L.A. Weekly, Fenske handles new responsibilities, overseeing both the print and online versions of the pub.

In Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do? interview, the award-winning writer and editor talked about the key to landing reporters who truly get the Web.

“Frankly, I think part of it is giving them a chance to take a break from online,” she said.  “The L.A. Weekly has a few perks that online-only sites don’t have: We can give you the chance to write about music or art if that’s your thing. And, hopefully, we can help you find the time to mix it up and write a 4,000-word cover story, too.”

She continued, “But it is tough. I have no idea how most bloggers can sustain that pace. I used to fill in for our news blogger in St. Louis when he was on vacation (the perils of leading a small staff!), and it just about killed me. I have the utmost respect for anyone writing multiple posts per day.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Sarah Fenske?

Andrea Hackett

Skyrocket to the Top with These SEO Tips

seo.jpgIf Google were high school, the top of the search results page would be the popular kids’ table. With everyone wanting to take a seat, it is essential for writers to distinguish themselves from the competition and improve their article’s SEO, which can be done in five simple steps:

1. Know Your Keywords
When it comes to optimizing your article for search, keywords are key. These are the words or phrases that best and most specifically identify the focus of your piece. Your two to three primary keywords should match the words or phrases potential readers would be plugging into a search engine to find just such an article.

But knowing your keywords is only half the battle — where and how often you place them into your article is crucial. For more tips, read 5 Ways to Improve Your Article’s SEO. [subscription required]

Andrea Hackett

How Freelancers Should Prepare for Full-Time

Freelance to Fulltime2.jpgWhen times are tough, even the most independent of freelancers may be lured by the steady paychecks and 401k of a full-time job. Before taking the plunge and accepting that 9-5, however, it is important to consider all of the potential changes, and even risks, that come with quitting the freelance life.

For example, does taking a full-time job mean giving up your side gigs? Possibly.

“Some employers will require that any contract work be approved first,” said HR exec Rose Reterstoff. “Even if this isn’t the case, the employee should look for contract or policy language such as ‘conflict of interest’ or ‘ethical behavior.’”

So, if you’ve made a living freelancing for Magazine X and are brought on as a staff writer for the competition, you’re going to need to look more closely at your arrangements with both. Check old and new contracts, non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements and employee handbooks. Then, tread carefully.

Get more tips in Mediabistro’s latest AvantGuild article, Back to the Cube: What to Do Before Ditching the Freelance Life. [subscription required]

Andrea Hackett

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