Evelyn Tipacti's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti PR Advice from the Media: Your Questions Answered Our monthly Spotlight series focuses on journalists and opens the door into their lives as members of the media in their respective newsrooms.

Since the year began, we’ve gotten some great advice regarding how to best pitch them so we’ve decided to do a midyear roundup of the best responses we’ve received to the questions we’ve asked in 2015.

The journalists featured are:

  • George Putic, Science and technology Reporter, Voice of America

What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you?

Think about why your story would interest the general public. Are you sending out a release because it’s your job or because you really have a story to tell? Some press releases that come across my desk would only be of interest to a specialist niche.  Repeated emails from the same company that are of no interest eventually get spam filtered or deleted without reading. (Chris O’ Donnell)

If you want to pitch a story idea, you should make sure that I’m in charge of writing about that particular subject. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Give me stuff that moves the science and technology forward and looks visually interesting. (George Putic)

If someone’s pitching you, what should they always do and never do?

If it’s got a local tie, tell us that in the subject line of your email (we love local). Creative ideas that spin off of current events are always welcome. Do some quick research on the writer before sending your pitch. Resist putting the “urgent” status on email. Keep the initial message short and on-topic (bullet points highlighting the details are extraordinary)…Please, please, please do not sign your email XOXO. (I see this more often than you would imagine). (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

They should always read their pitch and check for grammar mistakes…They shouldn’t call me unless we’ve arranged an interview. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Never pitch as if you’re trying to sell a product…Keep in mind that VOA’s audience is very international and that something interesting for the US audience may be less interesting for viewers in Africa or South-East Asia. (George Putic)

Keep a press release short and to the point. Remember we’re in the news game so put what is new or important in the title or high up in the release. Editors go gaga over nutgrafs that include the words “biggest,” “first,” “fastest,” “only,” so figure out what is unique or different about your company, product or event and tell me that. (Chris O’Donnell)

How can someone reach out to you to start a good working relationship?

Someone in PR can get to know me and develop a relationship by reaching out to me via email. Letting me know what types of experts they can put me in touch with is also very helpful. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

A phone call is usually best as I receive hundreds of emails every day. But do some research in advance. I’m a city hall reporter so don’t make me feel bad by having to tell you I have no interest whatsoever in your virtual education conference. (Chris O’Donnell)

Social media connections are invaluable. Follow writers and editors on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Establish a professional relationship outside of the pitch. That way, when you do propose a topic, your name/company is familiar. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Do you have advice for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

I know it’s hard but please try not to use jargon in interviews. If I’ve done my research, I can usually keep up but I’m also looking for quotes I can use in my story.  The best sources are those who can talk in lay terms. Avoid pseudo talk and terms like “synergistic.” Please. (Chris O’Donnell)

Offer a sentence, or three, giving the reporter an idea of your client’s position on the topic. Just saying so-and-so is a psychologist with 20 years experience doesn’t show much. But, if you say all that and add a short paragraph outlining where the expert stands on the subject the reporter is covering, the writer can better decide if the expert may be a good fit. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Members who reach out to me should provide me with their background information, and why they are experts in that particular field. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

If you can, invest in a good web camera and find a place with a nice backdrop where you can sit at your laptop. As many of the interviews are done via Skype you’d want to look good on screen. (George Putic)

What type of experts do you prefer to work with?

I prefer to work with experts who are patient and who can explain complex topics in layman’s terms. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Not too verbose. TV is a fast-paced medium so two-minute answers to questions create a lot of headache for reporters. (George Putic)

University professors tend to be good sources. They typically have a genuine interest in the subject and are honest when asked a question they are capable of answering.  Consultants or authors can be excellent sources but sometimes give the impression they just want to get their company name out there. (Chris O’Donnell)

I’ve yet to find any group of experts off-putting. It’s less about the type of expert, and more about the person. Some experts approach their pitches better than others (ex: reaching out when you aren’t well versed on the topic doesn’t really benefit you, or the writer). (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Do you use social media at work?

Facebook and Twitter are now inextricably woven into my day. Elected officials, like anyone else, can’t help but tell the world about their doings and all kinds of news ensues. (Chris O’Donnell)

Social media is excellent for crowdsourcing, understanding what interests readers most and even finding expert sources or story ideas. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Fri, 22 May 2015 10:08:17 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/22/pr_advice_from_the_media:_your_questions_answered http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/22/pr_advice_from_the_media:_your_questions_answered Our monthly Spotlight series focuses on journalists and opens the door into their lives as members of the media in their respective newsrooms.

Since the year began, we’ve gotten some great advice regarding how to best pitch them so we’ve decided to do a midyear roundup of the best responses we’ve received to the questions we’ve asked in 2015.

The journalists featured are:

  • George Putic, Science and technology Reporter, Voice of America

What advice do you have for PR professionals who want to pitch you?

Think about why your story would interest the general public. Are you sending out a release because it’s your job or because you really have a story to tell? Some press releases that come across my desk would only be of interest to a specialist niche.  Repeated emails from the same company that are of no interest eventually get spam filtered or deleted without reading. (Chris O’ Donnell)

If you want to pitch a story idea, you should make sure that I’m in charge of writing about that particular subject. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Give me stuff that moves the science and technology forward and looks visually interesting. (George Putic)

If someone’s pitching you, what should they always do and never do?

If it’s got a local tie, tell us that in the subject line of your email (we love local). Creative ideas that spin off of current events are always welcome. Do some quick research on the writer before sending your pitch. Resist putting the “urgent” status on email. Keep the initial message short and on-topic (bullet points highlighting the details are extraordinary)…Please, please, please do not sign your email XOXO. (I see this more often than you would imagine). (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

They should always read their pitch and check for grammar mistakes…They shouldn’t call me unless we’ve arranged an interview. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Never pitch as if you’re trying to sell a product…Keep in mind that VOA’s audience is very international and that something interesting for the US audience may be less interesting for viewers in Africa or South-East Asia. (George Putic)

Keep a press release short and to the point. Remember we’re in the news game so put what is new or important in the title or high up in the release. Editors go gaga over nutgrafs that include the words “biggest,” “first,” “fastest,” “only,” so figure out what is unique or different about your company, product or event and tell me that. (Chris O’Donnell)

How can someone reach out to you to start a good working relationship?

Someone in PR can get to know me and develop a relationship by reaching out to me via email. Letting me know what types of experts they can put me in touch with is also very helpful. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

A phone call is usually best as I receive hundreds of emails every day. But do some research in advance. I’m a city hall reporter so don’t make me feel bad by having to tell you I have no interest whatsoever in your virtual education conference. (Chris O’Donnell)

Social media connections are invaluable. Follow writers and editors on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Establish a professional relationship outside of the pitch. That way, when you do propose a topic, your name/company is familiar. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Do you have advice for members who respond to ProfNet queries?

I know it’s hard but please try not to use jargon in interviews. If I’ve done my research, I can usually keep up but I’m also looking for quotes I can use in my story.  The best sources are those who can talk in lay terms. Avoid pseudo talk and terms like “synergistic.” Please. (Chris O’Donnell)

Offer a sentence, or three, giving the reporter an idea of your client’s position on the topic. Just saying so-and-so is a psychologist with 20 years experience doesn’t show much. But, if you say all that and add a short paragraph outlining where the expert stands on the subject the reporter is covering, the writer can better decide if the expert may be a good fit. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Members who reach out to me should provide me with their background information, and why they are experts in that particular field. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

If you can, invest in a good web camera and find a place with a nice backdrop where you can sit at your laptop. As many of the interviews are done via Skype you’d want to look good on screen. (George Putic)

What type of experts do you prefer to work with?

I prefer to work with experts who are patient and who can explain complex topics in layman’s terms. (Kasia Fejklowicz)

Not too verbose. TV is a fast-paced medium so two-minute answers to questions create a lot of headache for reporters. (George Putic)

University professors tend to be good sources. They typically have a genuine interest in the subject and are honest when asked a question they are capable of answering.  Consultants or authors can be excellent sources but sometimes give the impression they just want to get their company name out there. (Chris O’Donnell)

I’ve yet to find any group of experts off-putting. It’s less about the type of expert, and more about the person. Some experts approach their pitches better than others (ex: reaching out when you aren’t well versed on the topic doesn’t really benefit you, or the writer). (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Do you use social media at work?

Facebook and Twitter are now inextricably woven into my day. Elected officials, like anyone else, can’t help but tell the world about their doings and all kinds of news ensues. (Chris O’Donnell)

Social media is excellent for crowdsourcing, understanding what interests readers most and even finding expert sources or story ideas. (Kristi Gustafson Barlette)

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Media 411: How to Connect with ProfNet Experts As a Non-Traditional Journalist ProfNet has been connecting journalists with expert sources since 1992, but did you know ProfNet is not limited to mainstream media? Whether you write for a blog, company website or newsletter or are a freelancer, book author or content marketer, ProfNet can be a valuable tool.

PR Newswire Media How-To focuses on making the most of PR Newswire for Journalists’ tools for freelancers. Catch up on previous how-tos and try our free media tools for yourself by signing up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com.

In today’s fast-paced, social media-connected, content-driven world, traditional journalists aren’t the only ones writing for various platforms. Bloggers, authors, content marketers, internal communications pros and other non-traditional journalists are also tasked with providing compelling and engaging content to their audiences. And they often find themselves facing the same challenges identifying credible and reliable sources as a print or broadcast journalist.

Traditional news reporters and editors frequently use ProfNet’s query service to help them find experts for their stories. ProfNet receives approximately 80-100 queries daily, which it then sends out to corporations, small businesses, non-profits, universities and other organizations in search of subject matter experts who will fit the needs of the reporter making the submission.

However, contrary to what you might think, ProfNet is not limited to mainstream media. Whether you write for a blog, company website or newsletter or are a freelancer, book author or content marketer, ProfNet can be a valuable tool.

Bloggers: If you have a blog, ProfNet can connect you with sources so you can write informative and fun entries. From food to kids, we’ve got you covered.

Corporate writers: Traditional writers are not the only ones who can submit queries. If you write for a company’s website and need expert sources, ProfNet is here to find them for you no matter the topic.

Authors: For anyone writing a book, especially non-fiction, expert commentary may be necessary. You can...

To continue reading, please click here.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 21 May 2015 15:17:13 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/21/media_411:_how_to_connect_with_profnet_experts_as_a_non-traditional_journalist http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/21/media_411:_how_to_connect_with_profnet_experts_as_a_non-traditional_journalist ProfNet has been connecting journalists with expert sources since 1992, but did you know ProfNet is not limited to mainstream media? Whether you write for a blog, company website or newsletter or are a freelancer, book author or content marketer, ProfNet can be a valuable tool.

PR Newswire Media How-To focuses on making the most of PR Newswire for Journalists’ tools for freelancers. Catch up on previous how-tos and try our free media tools for yourself by signing up at prnmedia.prnewswire.com.

In today’s fast-paced, social media-connected, content-driven world, traditional journalists aren’t the only ones writing for various platforms. Bloggers, authors, content marketers, internal communications pros and other non-traditional journalists are also tasked with providing compelling and engaging content to their audiences. And they often find themselves facing the same challenges identifying credible and reliable sources as a print or broadcast journalist.

Traditional news reporters and editors frequently use ProfNet’s query service to help them find experts for their stories. ProfNet receives approximately 80-100 queries daily, which it then sends out to corporations, small businesses, non-profits, universities and other organizations in search of subject matter experts who will fit the needs of the reporter making the submission.

However, contrary to what you might think, ProfNet is not limited to mainstream media. Whether you write for a blog, company website or newsletter or are a freelancer, book author or content marketer, ProfNet can be a valuable tool.

Bloggers: If you have a blog, ProfNet can connect you with sources so you can write informative and fun entries. From food to kids, we’ve got you covered.

Corporate writers: Traditional writers are not the only ones who can submit queries. If you write for a company’s website and need expert sources, ProfNet is here to find them for you no matter the topic.

Authors: For anyone writing a book, especially non-fiction, expert commentary may be necessary. You can...

To continue reading, please click here.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
Media 411: Protecting Your Work Online

In this era of hacking and online security breaches, journalists are trying to protect their content and sources more than ever.

Chris Ip of The Columbia Journalism Review wrote an article with suggestions for protecting one’s work. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend reading it below. It's worth your time.

**************************************************************

DIGITAL SECURITY POST-SNOWDEN has become a staple of the reporter’s toolkit. If you want extra layers of protection for your work but aren’t sure where to begin, your first move as a Gmail user should probably be with the service’s two-step verification. CJR also spoke with several cybersecurity experts to put together an essential set of tools for journalists, starting with the simplest and ending with the safest. All of them are open source or included with most operating systems.

1. Secure your hard drive
Mac: Filevault
Windows: Bitlocker

Both of these tools encrypt your entire hard drive, making data impossible to access if your computer is stolen. And both are included free with many versions of your operating system.

2. Send safer email
Enigmail with email client Thunderbird

Using PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”) encryption, these tools ensure that only your email recipient will be able to read your message. Anyone who intercepts the message will just see a string of nonsensical characters. Cameran Ashraf, a digital safety trainer for Global Journalist Security, calls it “about as good as it gets for secured electronic communications.”

3. Make it easy for sources to chat…
Cryptocat

CJR heard Cryptocat called “the gateway drug of encryption” when we first covered it in 2013, for its easy-to-use, intuitive interface. It’s a…

To continue reading, please click here.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 14 May 2015 14:57:14 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/14/media_411:_protecting_your_work_online http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/14/media_411:_protecting_your_work_online

In this era of hacking and online security breaches, journalists are trying to protect their content and sources more than ever.

Chris Ip of The Columbia Journalism Review wrote an article with suggestions for protecting one’s work. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend reading it below. It's worth your time.

**************************************************************

DIGITAL SECURITY POST-SNOWDEN has become a staple of the reporter’s toolkit. If you want extra layers of protection for your work but aren’t sure where to begin, your first move as a Gmail user should probably be with the service’s two-step verification. CJR also spoke with several cybersecurity experts to put together an essential set of tools for journalists, starting with the simplest and ending with the safest. All of them are open source or included with most operating systems.

1. Secure your hard drive
Mac: Filevault
Windows: Bitlocker

Both of these tools encrypt your entire hard drive, making data impossible to access if your computer is stolen. And both are included free with many versions of your operating system.

2. Send safer email
Enigmail with email client Thunderbird

Using PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”) encryption, these tools ensure that only your email recipient will be able to read your message. Anyone who intercepts the message will just see a string of nonsensical characters. Cameran Ashraf, a digital safety trainer for Global Journalist Security, calls it “about as good as it gets for secured electronic communications.”

3. Make it easy for sources to chat…
Cryptocat

CJR heard Cryptocat called “the gateway drug of encryption” when we first covered it in 2013, for its easy-to-use, intuitive interface. It’s a…

To continue reading, please click here.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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0
A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer On Tuesday, May 12, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer," with Dawn Papandrea (@DawnPapandrea), a full-time freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

Papandrea, who often uses ProfNet to help her find sources, gave us a rundown of what her workday is like, the importance of not being distracted, taking time off, mistakes to avoid and much more.

If you're a journalist, blogger or content marketer in need of expert sources (or "real people") for your articles, try sending a ProfNet query -- it's easy and free.

Dawn, can you please tell us about yourself and about your work as a full-time freelancer?

I've been a full-time freelancer for about a year. I work mostly w/ online pubs and brand content. I started out as an editor about 15 years ago, and began freelancing on the side about 6 years ago.

What’s the first work-related activity you do to start your day as a writer?

I list out my deadlines, phone call appointments, follow ups I have to do, and from there, I prioritize my to-do list. Each day varies, but the bulk of my writing gets done early in the morning. From there, I do calls, marketing, etc.

How do you balance the several assignments you have to finish, especially if you just write in the morning?

I try to stay a day or two ahead on everything so that I have wiggle room if life gets in the way, or a source falls through. It's funny that I'm a "morning writer" now, but I find that it's when I can pound out those word counts. But, of course, on those multiple deadline days, I'm sometimes writing in the wee hours, too.

What do you do when a source falls through?

First off, I always try to have a backup on hand just in case. ProfNet helps with that. But for those last-minute source flake outs, I may resort to begging my friends for help and social media helps, too!

What type of editorial calendar do you use, and how do you decide how many assignments to take on for the week?

I use old school pen/paper for my calendar. I try to figure out how long assignments will take, and go from there.

Do you ever have deadlines for the same day?

Yes, deadlines do seem to travel in packs. Luckily, the bulk of the work is done before I actually sit down to write.

Do you find it hard to take vacations as a full-time freelance writer?

I joke around saying I'm the toughest boss I've ever had. But I do make time for vacations and mental health days.

Where do writers find brand content work?

We're in a time when brands are their own publishers, with editorials staffs and everything. For those interested in brand content, check out @customcouncil. One last brand content resource for writers: www.jennifergregorywriter.com/articles/&...

Do you work every day?

I do at least some work every day, but I *really* work 4-5 days per week. Meaning, I might have to do a quick phoner or write up a blog post over the weekend, but I try not to work Fri-Sun.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?

Fav parts of the job: Flexibility, being my own boss, writing about things that interest me, etc. Least fav part: The constant hustle. Even at your busiest, you should be looking for more work to sustain your business.

I have to ask – have you ever forgotten an assignment or mixed up a deadline?

I’m a stickler for deadlines, but I’ve been guilty of marking the wrong date on my calendar once or twice. It happens.

Where's your most productive place to write? (Some don't like writing at home, because they get too comfortable.)

I do 95% of my work at the desk in my kitchen. It's where I'm most productive. But I do like getting out. 

How long did it take for you to be able to establish yourself as a full-time freelance writer?

I freelanced on the side for about 5 years before going full-time, so I had a good base to help me ramp up. I don't think it needs to take that long, but getting steady work before you take the plunge will make the transition easier.

What are the most common mistakes freelancers make, especially those just starting out?

Common mistake: Not reaching for the stars. Start out with smaller pubs, but keep trying. One great clip can open doors. Also, not picking your battles carefully, and complaining about editors on social media. They will find out!

How can someone with little experience start getting assignments? What do they do first?

Starting out, you have to stand out with a great pitch. Editors are desperate for fresh ideas, packaged in a unique way. To improve your odds, study the publication and tailor the idea for it specifically. So many writers don't do that.

How do you develop your relationships with editors?

First and foremost, by doing consistent good work, plain and simple. Make your editors' jobs easier, and they'll love you. Also, if there’s a chance to connect with editors in person or even on the phone, that goes a long way, too.

In your experience, should you ever call an editor or is email really the best way to start communicating? Social media?

Getting on the phone is appropriate to talk through a complex assignment. But for pitching, making intros, email all the way. I do like social media as well (esp. Twitter/LinkedIn), but be smart about it. Editors don't want to feel stalked.

How does a new freelancer ensure they’re getting paid appropriately? Is there somewhere to go to check for info like this?

I think you have to work for rates that are right for you. Some might say not to take less than $X, but it's all subjective. That's not to say you should give your work away, but if something translates into a good hourly rate, go for it.

How do you deal with distractions?

I truly make a conscious effort to avoid distractions. Being disciplined is key for succeeding at this.

How do you handle working with a child or little ones in the house who aren't old enough for school or aren't in day care?

That's tough. I did it up until my youngest started kindergarten this year. I worked during naps, late at night, etc. If it's truly your business, though, it's important to get help (or pay for help) so you can be productive. Confession: I still do conference calls in my bedroom with the door closed when the kids are home. Boys are noisy!

What should all writers, both new freelancers and those in the biz for a long time be doing every single day?

Marketing. You have to sell yourself every day. Whether it's pitching, blogging, connecting via social, you have to market.

For more freelance writing tips, pls. check out my recent post: linkd.in/1KJLVwI 

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Wed, 13 May 2015 15:13:23 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/13/a_day_in_the_life_of_a_freelance_writer http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/13/a_day_in_the_life_of_a_freelance_writer On Tuesday, May 12, we hosted our latest #ConnectChat, "A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer," with Dawn Papandrea (@DawnPapandrea), a full-time freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

Papandrea, who often uses ProfNet to help her find sources, gave us a rundown of what her workday is like, the importance of not being distracted, taking time off, mistakes to avoid and much more.

If you're a journalist, blogger or content marketer in need of expert sources (or "real people") for your articles, try sending a ProfNet query -- it's easy and free.

Dawn, can you please tell us about yourself and about your work as a full-time freelancer?

I've been a full-time freelancer for about a year. I work mostly w/ online pubs and brand content. I started out as an editor about 15 years ago, and began freelancing on the side about 6 years ago.

What’s the first work-related activity you do to start your day as a writer?

I list out my deadlines, phone call appointments, follow ups I have to do, and from there, I prioritize my to-do list. Each day varies, but the bulk of my writing gets done early in the morning. From there, I do calls, marketing, etc.

How do you balance the several assignments you have to finish, especially if you just write in the morning?

I try to stay a day or two ahead on everything so that I have wiggle room if life gets in the way, or a source falls through. It's funny that I'm a "morning writer" now, but I find that it's when I can pound out those word counts. But, of course, on those multiple deadline days, I'm sometimes writing in the wee hours, too.

What do you do when a source falls through?

First off, I always try to have a backup on hand just in case. ProfNet helps with that. But for those last-minute source flake outs, I may resort to begging my friends for help and social media helps, too!

What type of editorial calendar do you use, and how do you decide how many assignments to take on for the week?

I use old school pen/paper for my calendar. I try to figure out how long assignments will take, and go from there.

Do you ever have deadlines for the same day?

Yes, deadlines do seem to travel in packs. Luckily, the bulk of the work is done before I actually sit down to write.

Do you find it hard to take vacations as a full-time freelance writer?

I joke around saying I'm the toughest boss I've ever had. But I do make time for vacations and mental health days.

Where do writers find brand content work?

We're in a time when brands are their own publishers, with editorials staffs and everything. For those interested in brand content, check out @customcouncil. One last brand content resource for writers: www.jennifergregorywriter.com/articles/&...

Do you work every day?

I do at least some work every day, but I *really* work 4-5 days per week. Meaning, I might have to do a quick phoner or write up a blog post over the weekend, but I try not to work Fri-Sun.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?

Fav parts of the job: Flexibility, being my own boss, writing about things that interest me, etc. Least fav part: The constant hustle. Even at your busiest, you should be looking for more work to sustain your business.

I have to ask – have you ever forgotten an assignment or mixed up a deadline?

I’m a stickler for deadlines, but I’ve been guilty of marking the wrong date on my calendar once or twice. It happens.

Where's your most productive place to write? (Some don't like writing at home, because they get too comfortable.)

I do 95% of my work at the desk in my kitchen. It's where I'm most productive. But I do like getting out. 

How long did it take for you to be able to establish yourself as a full-time freelance writer?

I freelanced on the side for about 5 years before going full-time, so I had a good base to help me ramp up. I don't think it needs to take that long, but getting steady work before you take the plunge will make the transition easier.

What are the most common mistakes freelancers make, especially those just starting out?

Common mistake: Not reaching for the stars. Start out with smaller pubs, but keep trying. One great clip can open doors. Also, not picking your battles carefully, and complaining about editors on social media. They will find out!

How can someone with little experience start getting assignments? What do they do first?

Starting out, you have to stand out with a great pitch. Editors are desperate for fresh ideas, packaged in a unique way. To improve your odds, study the publication and tailor the idea for it specifically. So many writers don't do that.

How do you develop your relationships with editors?

First and foremost, by doing consistent good work, plain and simple. Make your editors' jobs easier, and they'll love you. Also, if there’s a chance to connect with editors in person or even on the phone, that goes a long way, too.

In your experience, should you ever call an editor or is email really the best way to start communicating? Social media?

Getting on the phone is appropriate to talk through a complex assignment. But for pitching, making intros, email all the way. I do like social media as well (esp. Twitter/LinkedIn), but be smart about it. Editors don't want to feel stalked.

How does a new freelancer ensure they’re getting paid appropriately? Is there somewhere to go to check for info like this?

I think you have to work for rates that are right for you. Some might say not to take less than $X, but it's all subjective. That's not to say you should give your work away, but if something translates into a good hourly rate, go for it.

How do you deal with distractions?

I truly make a conscious effort to avoid distractions. Being disciplined is key for succeeding at this.

How do you handle working with a child or little ones in the house who aren't old enough for school or aren't in day care?

That's tough. I did it up until my youngest started kindergarten this year. I worked during naps, late at night, etc. If it's truly your business, though, it's important to get help (or pay for help) so you can be productive. Confession: I still do conference calls in my bedroom with the door closed when the kids are home. Boys are noisy!

What should all writers, both new freelancers and those in the biz for a long time be doing every single day?

Marketing. You have to sell yourself every day. Whether it's pitching, blogging, connecting via social, you have to market.

For more freelance writing tips, pls. check out my recent post: linkd.in/1KJLVwI 

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Upcoming #ConnectChat: A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer Our next #ConnectChat, “A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer" will feature Dawn Papandrea (@DawnPapandrea), a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

If you’ve ever wondered what a freelance writer does, what a typical day is like, then this is the #ConnectChat for you. Dawn will tell us what her day to day responsibilities are as a freelancer, how she books assignments, her tips for getting started in the business and much more.

The chat will take place Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 3-4 p.m, EDT.

To submit questions for Dawn in advance, please email profnetconnect@prnewswire.com or tweet your question to @ProfNet or @editorev.

We'll try to get to as many questions as we can. Of course, you can also ask your question live during the chat. To help you keep track of the conversation, we’ll use the #connectchat hashtag. Please use that hashtag if you are tweeting a question or participating in the chat.

If you can't make it to the chat, don't worry -- a transcript will be provided on ProfNet Connect the next day.

 

About Dawn Papandrea

Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

She also covers the content marketing industry and creates branded content for a number of clients. Her publishing credits include Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, CreditCards.com, University Business magazine, and many more.

Other titles include ASJA member, Oxford comma enthusiast, deadline slayer, and word count warrior.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

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Mon, 11 May 2015 11:00:45 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/11/upcoming_connectchat:_a_day_in_the_life_of_a_freelance_writer http://www.profnetconnect.com/evelyntipacti/blog/2015/05/11/upcoming_connectchat:_a_day_in_the_life_of_a_freelance_writer Our next #ConnectChat, “A Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer" will feature Dawn Papandrea (@DawnPapandrea), a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

If you’ve ever wondered what a freelance writer does, what a typical day is like, then this is the #ConnectChat for you. Dawn will tell us what her day to day responsibilities are as a freelancer, how she books assignments, her tips for getting started in the business and much more.

The chat will take place Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 3-4 p.m, EDT.

To submit questions for Dawn in advance, please email profnetconnect@prnewswire.com or tweet your question to @ProfNet or @editorev.

We'll try to get to as many questions as we can. Of course, you can also ask your question live during the chat. To help you keep track of the conversation, we’ll use the #connectchat hashtag. Please use that hashtag if you are tweeting a question or participating in the chat.

If you can't make it to the chat, don't worry -- a transcript will be provided on ProfNet Connect the next day.

 

About Dawn Papandrea

Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, and family topics.

She also covers the content marketing industry and creates branded content for a number of clients. Her publishing credits include Family Circle, Parents, WomansDay.com, CreditCards.com, University Business magazine, and many more.

Other titles include ASJA member, Oxford comma enthusiast, deadline slayer, and word count warrior.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced writer, ProfNet can help you with your search for expert sources. Send a query to tens of thousands of experts and PR agents to find an expert you can quote on virtually any topic. The best part? It’s free! Start your search now: Send a query

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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