According to MediaBistro, the National Writers Union, together with the Newspaper Guild, has decided to end its boycott of the Huffington Post — a boycott which stemmed from the sale of the Huffington Post and the unhappiness of its unpaid writers. According to the article:
The Newspaper Guild has also stopped the boycott, writing: ???We have asked, from the beginning, that Arianna Huffington and her staff meet with us to discuss the need for a model that compensates journalists for their efforts. Such meetings have now taken place, and the company has publicly pledged to work with us to resolve our differences. We are pleased to see HuffPost leaders stating so clearly the importance of paid journalism, not only to our society as a whole, but to their own business model.???
A new online service called Contently is offering to provide a way for freelance journalists and bloggers to manage their careers by letting them to promote their work. Those looking to hire can also use the site to find the writers and journalists they need. Contently is currently in open beta.
According to Emma Hutchings, who wrote about Contently on the site psfk:
The ???anti-content-farm??? is optimized for brands and forward-thinking agencies who want to commission magazine-quality writing. Contently???s network offers writers a place to showcase their work.
Jane Finkle, a writer for Abingon Patch, has written a short but useful article on freelancing for beginners. She suggests check out the Freelancers Union and a local (to her) resource, MyPartTimePRO, which posts freelance, temporary jobs and part time jobs in the Philadelphia area.
The series of Patch sites may be something worth checking out for freelance writers. It assigns “editors” to the locality in which they live, and they publish all the local news and events of interest there. I don’t know what the rate of pay is, but if you’re looking for some general freelance writing work, it may be worthwhile tocheck out their openings.
Content farms such as Demand Media’s eHow.com sometimes seem to have an unending appetite for fast, cheap (to them) articles — so a hungry writer might who can crank out articles on a steady basis might see them as reliable sources of at least some income. But it looks like even a large farm may have its limit — or, at least, may be affected by the stalled economy.
According to Noah Davis, a writer for Business Insider, Demand Media sent a letter to its freelance writers — who, according to Davis, number in the thousands — basically saying (in business speak) that it will be cutting down on its assignments.
Looking ahead, as we continue to publish articles for eHow and our other sites, we want to be sure we are building on what already exists, not replicating it. This is not to say we will stop assigning standard titles in How to and Topic View format for eHow.com. But it does mean that we will have fewer eHow.com assignments for the foreseeable future.
Freelancer Tamara Oberholster offers five tips on staying sane if you’re a freelancer. They’re pretty basic, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t make sense. These include: keep office hours, get out more often, get support, take on jobs you love (not always practical when you’re freelancing, but never mind), and my favorite, understand the true meaning of the word “urgent”:
Freelancers who enjoy their sanity need to learn to manage client expectations by not agreeing to take on totally ridiculous deadlines and by not letting the client???s stress and sense of urgency take over their lives.
One of the biggest problems that many freelancers have — besides finding work — is figuring out how much to charge. This entry at the All Freelance Writing site may help; it is a freelance writing rate calculator that takes into consideration desired income, billable hours, etc. If your situation is more complicated than that, there is also an “Advanced Freelance Rate Calculator” that could help.