Conference Celebrates International Freelancers Day Sept. 23

International Freelancers Day is a global initiative to celebrate independent workers and the tremendous impact they have on our economic growth. The movement was founded by three long-term freelancers–Steve Slaunwhite, Pete Savage and Ed Gandia–who are experts in the freelance market, making the transition into self-employment, and building a profitable and enjoyable solo business.

International Freelancers Day will be celebrated on Friday, September 23 with a free, online video conference that is expected to connect tens of thousands of independent workers and other viewers from all over the globe. The conference will start at 10 am EST and run through 6:30 pm.

Gandia, Savage, Slaunwhite, and 14 other authors and thought leaders will present sessions on topics such as pricing, attracting clients, working more productively, outsourcing administrative tasks, promoting yourself, and growing your business. The goal of the conference is to offer strategies that can help take your “business of one” to the next level.

“With many economists and thought leaders heralding the arrival of the ‘freelance economy,’ there’s never been a better time to celebrate freelancers and solo professionals the world over,” says Ed Gandia, co-author of “The Wealthy Freelancer.”

A record number of professionals are currently pursuing freelance work — either by necessity or simply because they want to. According U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, one-third of the workforce is now self-employed or freelance. As a growing portion of the labor force continues to shift in this direction (a 10% year-to-date increase, according to SurePayroll’s Small Business Scorecard Review in July) many of these professionals are now seeking better ways to not just survive — but to thrive — in the new “gig economy.”

Register for the free conference at:

2011 Freelance Industry Report

Earlier this month, Ed Gandia released the “2011 Freelance Industry Report: Data and Analysis of Freelancer Demographics, Earnings, Habits, and Attitudes.” The report presents data from more than 1200 freelancers who responded to a survey conducted through Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail during a nine-day period in August, 2011.

Self-employed individuals from 37 different fields responded to Gandia’s survey. The report tabulated statistics and findings from the top 10 fields represented among the respondents:

  • Writer (18% of respondents)
  • Copywriter (12%)
  • Designer (11%)
  • Translator (9%)
  • Web developer (7%)
  • Editor/copy editor (6%)
  • Marketing professional (4%)
  • Business consultant (4%)
  • Software developer (3%)
  • Virtual assistant (2%)

2011 Freelance Industry Report by Ed GandiaOther types of freelancers who responded to the survey included bloggers, illustrators, photographers, video editors, authors, SEO specialists/consultants, fashion designers, videographers, accountants, engineers, bookkeepers, and social-media consultants.

The report includes 70 charts that provide insight such as:

  • The biggest challenges freelancers face and how those challenges differ by profession, location, experience and other factors.
  • Attitudes toward freelancing, the economy’s impact on freelance work, and freelancers’ business outlook for the next 12 months.
  • Income trends, hourly rates, billable time, and how different freelancers price their services.
  • Lifestyle choices, including average hours worked, the importance of free time and flexibility, and attitudes toward re-entering the traditional workforce.
  • How freelancers attract clients today, how much time they spend promoting their services and what marketing strategies they’re planning to implement over the next year.

One major finding is that “Professionals who are freelancing as a result of a layoff or being downsized are more likely to earn less as a freelancer than peers who planned their way to self-employment. However, 80% of these ‘accidental’ freelancers are much happier now than they were as employees.”

Download the free 50-page report  from the International Freelancers Day website.


International Freelancers Day Conference

2011 Freelance Industry Report by Ed Gandia

Book: The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle


Book-Marketing Expert Advises Authors to Develop a Plan

WRITERS. Book marketing strategist Don McCauley has a clear and simple message to authors: Don’t fall prey to using tools and techniques that do not produce real world results – sales.

He urges you to take the time to create a marketing and publicity strategy that can help you determine which tactics make the most sense for your book and specific target audience.

McCauley says it’s natural to want to do what everyone else is doing. But using a “one-size-fits-all” marketing strategy to promote your book is like taking someone else’s medicine—the results will likely not be good.

Just as each and every book is unique, every target market is specific in regards to age, gender, geographic region, wants, needs and preferred approach. Thus, developing a marketing and publicity strategy for your book requires a thorough analysis of all the systems, processes, functions and procedures within the general marketing plan.

“So many people new to marketing are looking for that elusive idea that works. They all work,” says McCauley. “However, not all of them, or perhaps none of them, will work for a specific book.”

Some authors listen to all the great ideas out there and then try them out, one by one. “This is precisely the wrong approach,” McCauley emphasizes. “Using a ‘try it out’ approach will cost a great deal of money. Not only will money be wasted on experimentation, but there will also be a terrible waste of time.”

“Don’t use a tool or method because someone else said it should be used. Failure usually results from concentrating on tools like Twitter or Facebook, rather than concentrating first on the blueprint – the strategy,” says McCauley. Making a plan can help you focus on those marketing methods that are best for achieving your own very specific goals. In addition to deciding which methods to use, you should plan how, where, and when the chosen methods will be implemented.

Don McCauley is a marketing strategist with over 30 years of experience. He is the co-founder of ‘Book Marketing – The Authors Marketing Powerhouse’, facilitator of the Free Publicity Focus Group, and hosts several of ‘The Authors Show’ radio programs.

He offers book-marketing training to authors and publishers, as well as no-charge, no-obligation marketing and publicity strategy analyses. The strategy analysis reports cover specific topics relevant to marketing and publicizing books in the current Internet marketing environment. McCauley notes that marketing strategies designed to sell books in the past generally do not transfer well to Internet marketing.

On his website, you can find video training, complimentary e-books, and reports with titles such as

  • Using Article Submission as a Marketing Tool
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling
  • Top Ten Reasons Your Internet Marketing Plan May Fail
  • Questions You Really Need to Ask Before Entering the Marketplace
  • The Fine Line Between Becoming Famous and Becoming Invisible
  • Creating Trust: Using Words that Sell


WEBSITE: Free Publicity Focus Group

E-Books from Free Publicity Focus Group

Guide Encourages Writers to Cash in on Kindle Gold Rush

WRITERS. “Kindle Gold Rush: Auto Pilot Income for Writers” is a package of three guides that explain how to write e-books for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The guides were developed by Angela Booth, who has been writing successfully since the 1970s. She offers training in copywriting, blogging, and writing for the Web.

The Kindle Direct Publishing program makes it easy for writers to become self-publishers.

According to Booth, once you understand the Kindle process, you can make money by writing and formatting e-books for others, or publish and sell works of your own. Angela has spoken with several writers who are busy retrieving and revising unpublished books from their desk drawers and uploading them. One writer uploaded eight e-books in a single day

In a recent issue of her Fab Freelance Writing Ezine, Angela made these predictions about Kindle publishing in 2012 and beyond:

  • Most freelance writers will add Kindle publishing services to those writing services they already provide to their clients. Writers will find opportunities in editing, proofreading and converting text to Kindle format.
  • Writers will be going through their archives and repurposing material for the Kindle
  • Writers will find more writing jobs on Kindle-related outsourcing sites. Some businesses are already seeing the promotional benefits of Kindle publishing.
  • Blogging writers will be developing Kindle ebooks from their blogs, as well as creating blogs that live both on the Web and the Kindle.

The “Kindle Gold Rush” package includes the following guides:

  • Publish Your E-Book with Amazon Kindle (PDF, 41 pages)
  • Write Genre Novels for Fun and Profit (PDF, 33 pages)
  • Write and Sell an E-Book: Every Writer’s Quick-Action Guide to Writing E-Books (PDF, 35 pages)

The package also includes a 14-page case study about John Locke, who is making over $100,000 a month writing digital novels. He is the first self-published author to sell a million e-books on Amazon.


Angela Booth’s Writing Genii


The Creative Group Publishes 2011 Salary Guide

DESIGNERS. WRITERS. The Creative Group, the staffing organization that places creative, advertising, marketing, web, and public relations professionals with a variety of firms, has published its 2011 Salary Guide. Designed to guide companies that plan to hire creative professionals this year, the guide features projected starting salaries for the more than 100 creative, interactive, marketing, and PR positions that The Creative Group recruits.

The Creative Group 2011 Salary GuideSome of the titles for which high and low projected starting salaries are listed include: creative director, interactive creative director, senior graphic designer, mobile apps designer, illustrator, technical illustrator, video producer, blogger, podcaster, online editor, web content writer, copywriter, proofreader, social media designer, SEO/SEM specialist, event/trade-show manager, marketing director, and PR agency account executive.

The content of the 2011 Salary Guide is based on thousands of freelance and full-time placements that The Creative Group makes each year. It includes local-market insights from staffing and recruiting teams in different cities, data from surveys of advertising and marketing executives, and an analysis of the 2011 hiring environment and trends.

For example, the report observes that “Although companies are gradually getting the green light to hire, they are still looking to maximize their budget dollars.” So, when hiring for full-time positions, they tend to seek candidates who have a range of skills and experience and can offer expertise outside their specialties.

The guide lists the nine most in-demand positions, average starting salaries nationwide, and methods for calculating and adjusting local salary ranges.

Not surprisingly, salaries have to be adjusted upward in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Salaries tend to be lower than the national averages in cities such as: El Paso, Texas; Sioux City, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Youngstown, Ohio. Cities with salaries right around the national average include: Salt Lake City, Utah; Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH; and St. Louis, MO.

The 2011 Salary Guide also explains “how to turn freelancers into rock stars.” The report notes that “Firms are finding that augmenting full-time staff with freelancers provides protection from staffing mistakes, whether the economy is contracting or expanding.”

The Creative Group is a division of Robert Half International, Inc., the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm.

The Creative Group’s 2011 Salary Guide is just one of several resources available through the Salary Center on The Creative Group’s website. A salary calculator and list of job descriptions are also available.

The resource center of the Robert Half International is another good source of career-development, staffing, and job-search advices. White papers include “Conducting an Online Job Search” and “The 30 Most Common Mistakes Managers Make in an Uncertain Economy.”



Helpful Resources for New Bloggers

Whether you publish a blog to build a following,  attract traffic to your website, earn money, or simply express yourself, blogging involves more than selecting a template and uploading a few posts. Success in blogging requires a commitment to the project and knowledge of tools and techniques that can help you be efficient and productive.

Here are some resources that can help you get started or refine your approach.  If you
have other resources that might be particularly helpful to authors, designers, artists, or photographers, please let us know.

101 Essential Blogging Resources

If you’re assembling a blog on your own, you might be surprised to see how many options are available. A post on currently lists 122 resources, including 5 domain registrars, 6 different hosting services, 7 content management systems, 6 services for competitive analysis, 9 feedreaders for blog-post research, 11 sources for monetization and advertising , and 12 resources for customizing the look of blog. The list
also includes resources that can help you get statistics and promote your blog online. (The post started out as a list of  101 resources, but has been expanded to include resources suggested by readers.)

LINK: 101 Essential Blogging Resources

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

Cover of book of First Week of BLoggingDarren Rowse, who publishes the most popular site about blogging (, has published a new guide for anyone who is either starting their first blog or wants ideas on how their second or third blog can get off to a faster start than their first blog.

In seven practical chapters, he presents 32 achievable tasks that can get your blog moving forward.

Day 1: Set solid foundations.
Day 2: Publish and build presence.
Day 3: Concentrate on content.
Day 4: Understand your blog as a product.
Day 5: Put yourself out there.
Day 6: Define and demonstrate quality.
Day 7: Strategies for success.

The book assumes that you already understand the technicalities of setting up a new blog and focuses on what steps to take after the blog has been set up. He explains systems for planning content, building a social media presence, establishing a workflow, and maintaining quality.

The ebook is one of three that Rowse has written.

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers

The Photography Blog Handbook

PhotoShelter Photography Blog Handbook CoverBlogs can be a terrific way for photographers to their websites, deepen relationships with customers, and build a bigger following. But some photographers wonder if a blog is really worth their time. PhotoShelter’s 35-page Photography Blog Handbook presents strategies and tactics that can make blogging worth your time.

The 35-page e-book demonstrates how to use a blog to attract new visitors to your website and connect with existing clients. It explains elements that can make or break a photography blog, and includes case studies and examples of smart blogging tactics used by photographers from different specialties.  The guide also shares content ideas that will attract more visitors, influence social sharing, and boost search engine optimization.

Also included are tips on choosing the best blogging platform, designing your blog, and outfitting a blog with features that will make photos look outstanding.


Photography Blog Handbook