Monthly Archives: August 2010

Philadelphia???s ???Blogging Tax??? – continued

Wired has published a very informative and not-a-little snarky (well, it is Wired, after all) explanation of exactly what Philadelphia's blogging tax is, whom it applies to (almost everyone, it turns out), and why New York City does it so much better (which is, quite frankly, the first time in a long time that I've heard that my hometown actually gets something right).

5 Myths About Philadelphia???s ???Blogging Tax??? | Epicenter??| Wired.com

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Philadelphia’s $300 blogging fee

The latest issue to go viral is actually one that is pertinent to freelancers. Philadelphia apparent has a??$300 business privilege license fee that it assesses on any small business — including blogs that either make money, or are trying to make money. Yes, that includes Google ads. ??Philadelphia City Paper intern??Valerie Rubinsky wrote it up, and the story took off from there.

There have been some exaggerations in the retelling — for example, the $300 fee is apparently not an annual fee, but the cost of a lifetime license — but it still seems excessive to me to ask any fee of somebody who may be making about $20 a year, tops, off of the small income that Google ads produces.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that it's wise to find out what the tax structure in your home town is in order to avoid nasty surprises.

Pay Up

Philly???s ???blogger fee??? goes viral (also, some clarifications)

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How a blogger makes ends meet

Trent Hamm, a guest blogger for The Christian Science Monitor, has written a frank column about how he makes his money: a combination of advertising on his blog, sales of his own books, and freelancing work. He also talks about how he markets himself. He doesn't go into great detail, but it is a good account of how freelancers are balancing several sources of income in order to make ends meet.

How "The Simple Dollar' works – CSMonitor.com

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Getting past computer distractions

On the whole, as a freelancer I was grateful when I could replace my typewriter (If you're not sure what a typewriter is, just don't tell me about it…) with a computer. For one thing, I had spend way too many long nights literally cutting and pasting parts of an article, and then retyping the entire thing so it would look neat for a new editor.

But one thing you have to say about a typewriter: the only thing it does, is type. It doesn't let you check your email, or tweet, or surf, or do any of the things that can pull you away from your main purpose: to get that article done by your deadline.

It's become so bad for some freelancers and other writers that there are now applications available that try to prevent you from straying from your appointed task. I found this article, which lists some of those available.

6 Ways to Avoid Letting Your Computer Distract You – ProfHacker – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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A NY state bill from the Freelancers Union

The Freelancers Union is currently pushing a bill in New York State that, according to their site, will allow independent contractors to file a claim through the state department of labor when they are not paid by their clients (rather than having to pursue it through the small claims court system).
According to the Freelancers Union, their proposed legislation:

  • Grants freelancers the same wage protection as traditional employees.
  • Requires the Department of Labor to pursue freelancers' unpaid wages.
  • Holds deadbeat executives personally liable for up to $20,000 and jail time.

They're currently asking NY freelancers to send letters to their legislators promoting the bill. If you're interested, you can find information on the Freelancers Union site.

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Article describes five hottest media and communications careers

A site called CareerFAQs has run an article called Five hottest media and communications careers — and, by some coincidence, all of these career paths require strong writing skills. Worth a look:

Five hottest media and communications careers – Resource centre – Employment news & views – Career FAQs

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Freelancer of the Fortnight

I just had to post this because, besides the fact that it's interesting to read, I really love the idea of a column called "Freelancer of the Fortnight." It sounds like the title of a 1940s mystery novel.

Freelancer of the Fortnight: Matthew Brown, UK | journalism.co.uk

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