Gads, if I receive one more query letter from a writer on how writers can survive a bad economy, I’m going to scream. I believe a lot of what is happening is caused by panic. What better way to incite panic than to help the rest of the yell-fire-in-the-theater journalists by publishing yet another article on the bad economy?
We live in Bangor, Maine, where the economy isn’t great anyway, no matter how good the national economy is. However, we’ve noticed, while running errands every week over the past several months, that the mall parking lot is always full on the weekends and that you can’t get into a good restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights without a long wait. The strip malls appear to be doing pretty well, too. If the economy is tanking, we can’t see it, on the surface at least. While the unemployment rate may be around 8%, that means 92% of people are employed. And, they sure are out shopping at the mall and eating at restaurants! We recently drove down to Virginia and back and commerce was hopping in every place we stopped on the way there and back, too. One hostess at a restaurant even laughed at me when I tried to make reservations one hour ahead of our planned dinnertime one night, telling me they were booked for the entire night.
And, that brings me to today’s topic. Freelance Jobs. We have a database we use to find freelance jobs online for WritersWeekly.com. We call it our “jobscraper.” Each week, it “scrapes” specific sites, looking for jobs that feature keywords I choose (like freelance), and gives me the results. I then review all of them, pull the best jobs, and post links to them on WritersWeekly.com. Lately, there seems to be a larger number of freelance jobs to choose from. You may have even noticed we’ve been posting more jobs each week. Maybe employers are more willing to hire freelancers right now (to save on employment taxes and benefits) in an attempt to have a better bottom line. I don’t know but there seems to be plenty of good jobs to choose from, if you’re willing to pound the virtual pavement.
So, folks, while CNN and Fox News may be scaring the bejeebers out of you each night (that does result in ratings, after all!), I suggest turning off the TV and turning on your PC. Crank out those query letters and resumes (for the corporate writing jobs). Things are looking pretty good in the freelance writing industry right now! Just be sure to Google the name of any company you plan to work with before signing a contract (in case they’re a jerk or a deadbeat) and, if it’s a large, ongoing project, request a percentage of the fees up front.
Please also see Cons and Scams. Oh Me, Oh My! by Karen Carver in today’s issue.
Angela Hoy is the co-owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker. WritersWeekly.com is the free marketing ezine for writers that features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is one of the top-rated POD publishers in the industry.