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Freelance Journos: Would You Do A Little Content Marketing?

CONTENTRUNNER LOGOThe one thing every journalist knows (apart from how to get a source to return a call just before a deadline) is that we also have to be experts in something besides getting a good story. Business news. Sports. Tech. National security.

That’s why Content Runner’s new “Offerings” feature caught my eye. Content Runner specializes in matching writers up with people who need content. Yes, when I hear “content marketing,” I cringe a little bit, too. It can feel like making a deal with the devil. Unless that devil is paying you some extra cash. There’s no reason why working journos — especially freelancers — shouldn’t be able to make a little on the side.

It’s not just pennies per word either. Co-founder Chad Fisher explained to me that when they launched seven months ago, they attracted a lot of “users” looking for writers, but paying just pennies. “It was a race to the bottom, price wise. Read more

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Pitch Parents, Parents.com With the Modern-Day Mom in Mind

Parents-ArticleParents, which focuses on millennial moms, is on the hunt for fresh new writers. The monthly mag offers plenty of opportunities for freelancers — it’s 70 percent freelance written, after all — who can write from personal experience in a friendly, nonjudgmental tone about everything from potty training to breastfeeding.

And if you’ve got experience writing for the Web (and can turn copy around quickly), you shouldn’t hesitate to send your pitches to the pub’s online counterpart, Parents.com:

A majority of the site’s readers are pregnant or moms with babies, so pregnancy and infant coverage are of particular interest. Deputy editor Diane Debrovner advises freelancers to clearly define which section of the website they see their piece fitting into when they pitch: “Getting Pregnant,” “Pregnancy,” “Babies,” “Toddlers & Preschoolers,” “Big Kids,” “Parenting,” “Food,” “Health” or “Fun.”

For more on what editors want, read: How To Pitch: Parents.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

How to Make Your Editor’s Job Easier

editors-want_articleFreelancers are always looking for ways to score recurring gigs. Creating a lasting relationship with your editor is a great way to keep the assignments rolling in.

There are a few basic things you can do right off the bat: be timely, courteous and professional. Be honest and open if you can’t make a deadline. And most importantly: make sure that your article is thoroughly fact checked:

Chandra Turner, executive editor of Parents magazine, says that nothing drives an editor crazier than reading a wonderful piece and having it fall apart in fact checking. “[Writers] should source all their content. Have your backup for everything that you’ve written.” [Elena Mauer, deputy editor of The Bump, print and online] emphasizes the importance of fact checking too. “Make sure you talk to an expert, or you’ve looked up a study or you have some sort of a credible resource that says this is true.”

For more freelancer advice, including how to create a killer pitch, read: What Editors Really Want From Writers. 

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

5 Ways For Freelancers to Increase Productivity

productiveThere’s no doubt about it; the freelance life is hard. And if the freelance writers in your life tell you otherwise, shoot me their emails because they are in the one percent, and I need to pick their brains. Of course, waiting on checks when your bills pile up is difficult, but if you’re like me and have transitioned from a highly structured full-time gig in an office environment to freelancing from the couch, operating at your maximum productivity level can be a tough nut to crack.

Here are a few simple ways I’ve been able to increase output and hone in on my various projects:

1. Get out of the house Read more

How to Maximize Your Social Media Experience

Ongoing-Education-ArticleFor a freelance writer, maintaining and updating your social media accounts is vital to your career. But it can be easy to neglect, what with the daily grind of chasing editors, finding new gigs and writing, writing, writing. Freelancing can be exhausting and finding the time to choose a new profile picture can easily become a last priority.

When one writer realized her social media accounts were collecting digital dust, she sprang into action, setting manageable goals for herself (like tweeting once a day). In our latest Journalism Advice column, the author shares her advice for using social media effectively:

All rules that apply in person should apply online. Conduct yourself with integrity, be witty and interesting, and don’t solicit or spam the people who love and admire you. If you’re a little baffled on how to maximize your social media experience, pick one outlet to focus on, rather than trying to be omnipresent. Google+ is especially relevant for writers with its Authorship function, which links the content you write to your Google+ profile (sign up at plus.google.com/authorship). On LinkedIn, consider joining a group designed for writers like LinkEds & Writers.

For more tips, including how to keep your passion projects alive, read: Crafting Your Ongoing Education as a Writer.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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