by Rachel Smith
19 December 2018
Four years of great questions on freelancing, writing, running a business, dealing with editors, negotiating with clients and much, much more. Enjoy this recap of our best Ask Us Wednesday posts for 2018, and get in touch if you’ve got a burning question you’d like answered next year. We’re back on deck in early January.
Nothing like diving straight in with a probing question, and the first for the year was all about how to stop your ideas being nicked! We also discussed how to get work in the door, and whether a degree opens more doors in journalism. In Feb, questions ranged from what to do when you’ve taken on TOO much work, to how to cope when an editor complained about your ‘sloppy copy’. Also this month, we covered great smartphone apps and editors who (badly) rewrite your work.
Smartphone camera tricks kicked off March’s Q&As, followed by standard rates for writing, raising fees with long-term clients and what to charge for book editing. In April, questions included how to overcome imposter syndrome, calculating an hourly freelance rate – and whether interviewees should get final approval on copy.
Getting on in-house freelance work lists was a key question for May, along with offering value-in-kind deals to clients and what to do when you’re owed thousands in unpaid invoices. One of our most popular posts, though, was about when editors commission you then ghost you!
In June, the issue of the day was on-selling your writing – should you do it? We also fielded questions on dealing with ongoing payroll issues, whether you should supply video and images for free along with your stories, and the best short editing courses out there. July saw the AUW column cover quoting for tender submissions, taking mat leave as a freelancer – and what to put on your freelancer terms and conditions.
Upskilling came up again in August, with a question about good copywriting courses. We also answered a question about whether you should hire junior writers to help with your workload and how to figure out if it’s time to leave your day job (to go freelance). The last posts for the month proved popular, too, about whether you should charge different rates for smaller clients, and tips and tricks on finding experts and sources.
In September, we wrote about part-time freelancing (is it worth it?); what to do when freelancing leaves you feeling stressed out and uncomfortable, working from different locations and getting enough freelance work to match an in-house salary. Sharing your work when you’re a ghost-writer came up in October, as did questions on monitoring your personal brand, finding jobs via social media platforms, and whether you should take on projects you don’t feel completely experienced to do.
November touched on saving money when you’re freelance, how to cull clients you no longer want to work with, asking clients to move their deadlines for you, and what it takes for a journo to work in PR. We finished off the year fielding questions on what to do when content agencies reject your copy and won’t pay you – and what to do when an editor asks for a re-write on a story you filed months ago!
Thanks again for reading this year’s #AskUsWednesday column. We can’t wait to tackle more of your questions in 2019!