by Rachel Smith
13 December 2017
We’ve now reached the end of our third year of Ask Us Wednesday questions – it’s great to hear that many of you love this post and look forward to it. Here’s a recap of what we covered, and don’t forget to contact us if you have a question you’d like answered in 2018.
Freelancers tend to hit January feeling one of three things: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, completely jaded, or just freaked out by the lack of work on the horizon. So we weren’t surprised our first question of 2017 was about how to pull yourself out of a freelance funk. Next up, we tackled WordPress mistakes to avoid (a great topic to revisit if you’re building a site this year, as I know many of you are). Also in January 2017, freelance bidding sites came under fire on AUW, and for good reason. In our last post for that month, Leo answered a common question about why you really need a contract.
In February, we covered where to find a virtual assistant, how to break up with a problem client and upskilling when you’re time and money-poor. We also answered a question on why, if you’re good at what you do, you don’t get more work. In March, we covered whether social media is a good income stream, how to mitigate that stress freelancers often feel working in isolation, and what to do to make yourself more employable in the current marketplace. Leo also fielded a question on how to know you’re ‘qualified enough’ to apply for jobs on Rachel’s List – while I answered one on whether Instagram is worth it for journalists.
April saw us cover questions on beverages other than coffee (a topic close to coffee-addict Leo’s heart), how to get pdfs of your magazine work, and ways to sidestep a creative rut with a long-term client. In May, we looked at how to deal when you miss a deadline, practical tips on organising multiple projects and why you should be batching. We also answered queries about using FB messenger as a freelancer, and writing comedy when you’re mentally exhausted!
We hit halfway on 2017 fielding questions on costing large projects, how to nail the in-person meeting with a client or editor and back-up and data storage options. We also looked at whether journos should charge extra for photos. In July, we answered a curly question on etiquette and posting RL jobs in Facebook groups, systems for keeping track of interviewees and how to deal with a client who wants unpaid revisions (once the job is done and dusted). We also snuck in a question on juggling a day job AND freelancing on the side (which we know applies to many of you).
In August, we considered the chicken-or-the-egg question for a freelancer who asked what comes first – the source or the story pitch. We also answered a question from a reader on when to invoice when a client is dragging his or her feet, and another on how to become better at dealing with feedback when you’re kind of an anxious person. In September, we looked at working during paid parental leave, what to do when you dread asking for testimonials and how to deal with an editor or client who won’t pay you. We also reveal what you can and can’t claim during tax time.
October brought questions on social media comment strategy, what to do when you have too many ideas and not enough time, planning for a Christmas slow patch, and the apps we love that’ll help you switch off the Internet noise and focus. In November, we talked recording devices, how to afford a family break, breaking into memoir writing, what we do to combat roles with low salaries being posted, and tactics for negotiating. We’ve finished off the year with a little advice on celebrating the silly season when you’re freelance and lonely – although we know many freelancers who also LOVE not having to attend parties. Different strokes for different folks!
We hope you enjoyed AUW this year. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share all your burning questions with us in 2018.