by Rachel Smith
15 December 2017
The round-up is still one of my favourite posts to write, simply because I forget all the stuff we cover throughout the year – AND I love looking back on the posts which were super popular. This year, Nigel Bartlett’s So You Think You Can Sub? racked up so many shares and social media comments it’s easily our most popular posts of all time, but there were others by Nigel Bowen, Pip Harry and John Burfitt which also got a lot of people talking! Here’s a run-down of 2017 on the blog so you can check out those you’ve missed…
January always starts with something Leo and I are a bit obsessed by: organisation. These unsexy but necessary tasks are a great reminder of how to get your home office sorted for the new year. We also wrote about 5 ways to love your workspace, school holiday strategies for working parents – and regular John Burfitt shared his cautionary tale and red flags to note before taking an overseas job.
In February, I wrote about my new interviewing and transcribing system, which got readers talking! Leo wrote about the love-hate relationship many of us have with our freelance career, and I followed that up with a post on how NOT to do it all. Leo ended the month with a post about online health checks and how important it is to Google yourself. In March, we covered why you should offer social media to clients (and how to do it), how blitzing your home office could boost productivity, and we ran tips on combating back pain here and here. I also wrote about why having an editor ‘red pen’ your work when you’re starting out is a gift (and I loved the comments on this one!)
April was a slow blog month due to Easter, but Leo shared some great tips about productivity, I wrote about why you should view freelancing like a garden (yes, really) and we ran a post about funny stuff freelancers should check out, with links to items in The New Yorker, The Oatmeal and more. In May, I wrote about working while on holiday, coping with migraines as a freelancer, and the five Sydney libraries I love to work in. John Burfitt also returned with another great post – a round-up with five industry movers’n’shakers about where the work is right NOW. Still a relevant read, so don’t miss it.
We kicked off June interviewing podcaster and writer Clare Testoni (a great read if you’re thinking about starting a podcast yourself). Common money mistakes freelancers make came next, followed up by Leo’s 10 freelance commandments, and a post about tools for generating content ideas. In July, we ran an anonymous post by an editor about why paying for good writing always, well, pays off. We also covered how to negotiate for a better rate as a freelancer, I shared my rules for renovating a home office and List member Lilani Goonesena wrote her first post for us, on why freelancers really need a Facebook page. (It inspired me to launch my own.)
August kicked off with a great post from List member Becky Barker about how to move interstate, away from all your networks, and score more freelance work. We launched the new site in August, too, and we dedicated a post to the new site and all its bells and whistles, including the best of our new-look Toolkit. In September, we ran another great post from List member Nigel Bowen on the 5 things it took him 5 years to figure out as a freelancer plus a post on how to use our new pitch-tracker. List member Pip Harry penned a super-popular post about whether you have a book in you (or not), I wrote about the love-hate relationship with interviewing, and then came Nigel Bartlett’s So You Think You Can Sub. We loved Nigel Bartlett’s post so much and it seems many of you did as well, so it’ll be the first in a series we do next year, covering a range of industry jobs.
In October, we covered how to be proactive when a long-standing client or editor has left the building, the bullet journal craze and why I love it, and all the outrageous things that shouldn’t happen in job interviews, but often do. We went into November with another very popular post: our first Freelancer Q&A with Lindy Alexander (a must-read). Next up was our Xmas gift guide for the year, with all local brands and businesses (and heaps of discount codes for you guys), a post on why freelancers need a contract, and a great post by Leo about the false economy of penny-pinching when you’re freelance.
We ended the year with a single parent’s guide to surviving the silly season, hilarious out-of-office messages to inspire you this Xmas break (which, incidentally, was picked up by the fab Collective Hub blog), and our annual round-up of the best of Ask Us Wednesday from the past year. Whew! We’re pooped, and more than ready for a blog break over the festive season, but we’ve got some great stuff planned for next year – so stay tuned.
By the way, if you had a favourite post or something you’d love us to cover in the new year, feel free to pop a comment below!