Freelancers: Here’s why referrals are way, way better than leads (and what to do about it)

Freelancers: Here’s why referrals are way, way better than leads (and what to do about it)

There are three sources of business for a freelancer: repeat business, referrals, and leads. Repeat business is great, referrals are very good, and leads are problematic. How do you want to spend your time? Here’s a definition of a successful freelance business: Spending your time doing what you do best for people who appreciate it,…

Using Google Docs to collaborate on a book? Learn to use access control.
|

Using Google Docs to collaborate on a book? Learn to use access control.

Google Docs is a pain for book collaboration. That was the general sentiment in a recent discussion I had with a bunch of writers, editors, and ghostwriters. If you’re going to use Google Docs, learn about access control. That’s the key to collaborating without driving each other bonkers. The challenge writers and editors face with…

Avoid legalisms (unless you’re actually writing a contract)

Avoid legalisms (unless you’re actually writing a contract)

Lawyers use some precise terms that sometimes look clunky in actual writing. If you don’t want to sound like a lawyer, don’t write like you’re writing a contract. Here are some legalisms to avoid. And/or Logicians (and ordinary humans) know that “or” doesn’t exclude the possibility of “and.” Examples from actual text I’m editing. (s)…

In writing, flow is everything. Here are 8 ways to get it.

In writing, flow is everything. Here are 8 ways to get it.

Today’s thesis is this: Flow is more important to writing than anything else. So you should do everything legally possible to achieve it. What is flow? Flow is the state in which creation seems effortless. It’s like going downhill: there is challenge but no struggle and you make steady progress. As the psychologist who defined…

Questions to ask as you start a freelance business
|

Questions to ask as you start a freelance business

My friend Merlina McGovern — the smartest copy editor I’ve ever worked with — got laid off from my old company last month. After 16 years working for Forrester, she’s starting a business as a freelancer. She had questions, so we talked. Since any freelancer starting a business might have similar questions, let’s walk through…

When hiring freelancers, beware of hidden assumptions

When hiring freelancers, beware of hidden assumptions

I recently got a call from a woman I’d presented to years ago, since then a senior executive in several technology companies. She wanted me to edit her book. “What’s the book about?” I asked. “It’s about web3; you know, NFTs, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and all that stuff,” she explained. “I can’t help you,” I responded….

How to price and bill for writing and editing projects

How to price and bill for writing and editing projects

After eight years as a freelance writer and editor, I’ve figured out what works and doesn’t work for my business — and for clients. This post includes everything I’ve learned about pricing and billing. One principle drives everything you are about to read: all freelance arrangements should create value for the client and be rewarding…