Sunday, December 4, 2011

Freelance Success Tools

Winnowing through the chaff to find genuine, viable freelance projects that pay a living wage sometimes takes longer than writing the articles themselves. Finding projects on a single site has taken me up to three hours. Doing that on multiple sites easily consumes an entire writing day, leaving the coffers empty while invoices to sketchy clients moulder on someone's desk. Kenneth Crawford's newsletter, "Freelancer Today" sifts leads from multiple sites into a digestible package that cuts through the barrage of "you must be on crack" project descriptions to the offers from reliable, sincere clients.

My time is worth, at the very minimum, $25 per hour, if I'm working on something fun that fits my interests. If I have to research, conduct on-site interviews or purchase items to finish the project, that per-hour cost rises fast. The first time I cruised Crawford's website, I saw that he had gone through many of the same sites that I had checked, with a twist. He sifted out everything but the viable offers and posted them in one convenient message, as a daily to-do list. It took just 15 minutes to click through the links and read the project descriptions, a savings for me of about $18, or just a dollar less than he was charging for a whole month of leads. Then he sweetened the pot.

Crawford is no stranger to the joys and heartbreaks of freelance writing. As a veteran of the Panda war and the devastating blows handed to content providers, Crawford understands very well that work can dry up overnight, leaving the freelance writer twisting in the wind. His decision to drop his already low price of $19.95 per month down to $9.95 per month had my jaw on the floor. But it pays to have a generous heart, especially right now. Basically, he's charging the price of a box of generic mac and cheese a day for a ready-made to-do list of jobs that will pay for anywhere from three months to an entire year's subscription to his service the very first time you snag a project. It doesn't get any better than that without putting himself out of business.

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