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The Writers’ Co-op
30 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
Q&A: Ask Us Anything
Welcome to the new year! We’re back from our holiday break and getting ready to dive into all that 2022 has to offer. Today we are focusing on answering audience questions! We do a Q&A episode each season, and the questions get better each time. This episode, we’re digging into: Why agencies can be helpful for jumpstarting your career as a new freelancer, and some red flags you might encounter related to agency work How to incorporate your values and standards into your website and social media presence, so the clients who reach out to you are more likely to be aligned with your boundaries How to talk about freelancing with people who might not take it seriously, or who think freelancing is scary/ unstable Dealing with sexism and other barriers in freelancing due to your race, sexual orientation or identity The amount of time to wait after pitching an idea to an editor Advice we used to give but no longer buy into If you haven’t yet checked out our Patreon program, consider giving it a look this January. We’re offering small-group coaching (Pod Squads) and drop-in office hours with Wudan. Plus, our All-Access membership includes event and resource discounts, access to the TWC Slack channel, and more. We’re also excited to launch a bunch of events in 2022, and welcome your feedback on topics we haven’t yet addressed! Our first event of the year will focus on finding new clients; we promise you’ll walk away with dozens of ideas from seasoned pros Jen A. Miller and Matt Villano. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-year-new-clients-tickets-220341556527 If you’re feeling those back-to-school vibes, check out our resource store and grab webinars and worksheets on business planning, retirement planning, passive revenue, working in content marketing, and so much more. Today's episode is sponsored by Meteor, a podcast for science journalists who want to impact the world in a positive way. Listen wherever you podcast!
35 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Creating a Sustainable Business Structure
In this episode, we address a topic that freelancers don’t talk about enough: getting to a place of neutrality and sustainability in your business. Many of you who follow the podcast may remember Wudan talking (a lot!) about burnout earlier this year. Suddenly, she felt like there wasn’t much more space for her to grow as a freelancer. She was already writing for the publishers who could get her stories to a broader audience. She was already earning six figures. Publishers believed in the big stories she wanted to pursue. She panicked: there wasn’t an obvious next, so where should she even go? Wudan's therapist challenged her to stay in this space. And honestly, she's been here since summer - and her business has felt much more sane since. She's still working on projects she cares about, and with good people. She's still more or less hitting her financial goals. She's here, feeling the space, and getting in tune and enjoying what she's created for herself. Freelancers rarely talk about sustainability, maybe because it can feel like the antithesis of growth. At the same time, we can grow into a place of sustainability which means we get both sides of the coin. That’s what this episode is about. How do you think about sustainability in your freelance business? What boundaries have you set to make it sustainable? Email or tweet at us, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our business planning course here: https://the-writers-co-op-academy.teachable.com/p/business-basics-for-freelance-writers Today’s episode is sponsored by OutVoice, which has a mission we can get behind. Too often, freelancers have to spend months tracking down overdue, unpaid invoices. OutVoice fixes that. It’s the only freelance management system built for publishing, by freelancers. If you’re interested in joining them on their mission to fix these industry-wide payment problems for good, follow them on Twitter at @OutVoicePay.
28 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
The Six-Figure Freelance Obsession
You asked and we're giving it to you: Today, we're finally digging into the obsession with being a six-figure freelancer. The bottom line for us is that the only people who truly care about our finances are the families we’re supporting... and our accountants! But when someone talks about 5-figure months or 6-figure years on Twitter, everything seems to light on fire. There are obsessors, doubters, and everything in between. Why the heavy emotions? And more importantly: What is the context behind those numbers? Making 6 figures can be incredible, but it's also only one version of success. In this episode, we talk about why it’s worth letting go of beliefs of how much you *should* be making (as Jenni likes to say, should is ‘could’ with shame attached to it) and defining your own metrics of success instead. And if you do decide that success for you looks like earning more, we’ve got some ideas within the episode to help you to achieve that, too. If you haven't already, check out our business planning course: https://the-writers-co-op-academy.teachable.com/p/business-basics-for-freelance-writers Today’s episode is sponsored by OutVoice, which has a mission we can get behind. Too often, freelancers have to spend months tracking down overdue, unpaid invoices. OutVoice fixes that. It’s the only freelance management system built for publishing, by freelancers. If you’re interested in joining them on their mission to fix these industry-wide payment problems for good, follow them on Twitter at @OutVoicePay.
29 minutes | Nov 22, 2021
Leveling Up in Your Freelance Business
As the holiday season approaches, you might be anticipating a bit of a lull in your freelance business. Perhaps you're planning to take time off, or perhaps you're excited to work on your own stuff while your inbox quiets down. Whatever your approach, we're using the next few episodes of season 4 to talk about ways to shift and grow your business in 2022. Today's episode is about leveling up, taking your business to the next level, and refining strategies that may no longer work for you. First, we want to say that leveling up is not a requirement. Capitalism may make it seem like a requirement, but sometimes what serves you best is staying the course and maintaining your current pace. So if that’s where you’re at, tuck this episode away for a moment when you’re craving growth. But if you’re itching for more, this episode will hopefully inspire you to challenge yourself. We'll dig into level-up strategies like growing new skills, making more money, changing the pace of your business, hiring help, and so much more. If you haven't already, check out our season 3 episode on inflection points, which is a great accompaniment to this episode. How have you leveled up in your business so far? Where could you level up in 2022? We’d love to hear your ideas -- hit us up on Twitter or email. You can join our Patreon membership program at any time at patreon.com/twcpod.
25 minutes | Nov 8, 2021
Limiting Beliefs: Removing Mindset Barriers
We're back, this time digging into limiting beliefs. These are beliefs that get in the way of you achieving what you want to achieve; usually, they come from people other than ourselves. They can be stereotype-based ("starving artists don't make money!"), fear-based ("there's not enough work out there for all of us") and can come from our upbringing or culture (ie: freelancing isn't a "real" job). We all live with dozens of limiting beliefs, but when they start to get in the way of our goals it can be frustrating. This episode is focused on practical tools and questions you can ask to get yourself out of a limiting belief's grasp. How? By looking for evidence to support and challenge the belief, just like how we, as curious writers, address much of our work. You can challenge yourself in this way while journaling, in conversation with a friend, or in a coaching relationship. It’s a powerful process, and we’ll walk you through it in today’s episode. Patreon listeners get access to episodes two weeks early this season, plus they'll get a list of questions to ask when you encounter limiting beliefs. Join now: https://www.patreon.com/twcpod Our online courses on business planning can be a great place to start this mindset work. Dig into your values, consider your ideal vision for your business, and walk away with practical tools to implement. Register here: https://the-writers-co-op-academy.teachable.com/
30 minutes | Oct 25, 2021
Value: A New Pricing Consideration for Freelancers
Welcome to the 4th season of TWC, where Jenni and Wudan will dig into persistent themes and issues that we haven't had time to cover in seasons past. During this season, anything goes! We’re kicking off this string of episodes with a conversation about value. Writers and creatives often grow up in a world where their work isn’t valued. See: the journalism industry, where we’re persistently told by publishers that it’s somehow okay to spend weeks on a story and get paid a few hundred bucks for your reporting, research, writing, and other labor. So the big question is: How do we break out of that mindset and see ourselves as valuable? And how do we use the value we provide for our clients in a practical context when it comes to negotiating prices? During this season, our Patreon members get access to every episode 2 weeks early. Join here: https://www.patreon.com/twcpod You can also check out our pricing webinar with Melanie Padgett Powers and Jennifer Duann Fultz here: https://www.thewriterscooppod.com/resources/p/webinar-how-to-price-freelance-writing-projects Want access to a checklist of questions to go through as you negotiate pricing? Join our Patreon All Access membership and you'll get that + more (Slack! Event discounts!). For questions or comments: @TWC_pod or firstname.lastname@example.org
39 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Fund Your Passions
We're wrapping up season 3 with a chat about balancing your passion projects with work that pays the bill. Wudan digs in with freelancer Joshua Eaton. Joshua is an investigative reporter based in Washington DC. Prior to freelancing, he was on investigative teams at CQ Roll Call and Think Progress. His work has also appeared at NBC News, The Washington Post, ProPublica, The Boston Globe and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @joshua_eaton. Joshua and Wudan talked about journalism and ethics, setting boundaries with ourselves, confronting scarcity mindset, and more. We think freelance investigative journalists are in an especially tough space when it comes to finding anchor clients that help pay the bills while also chasing stories that can take seemingly infinite time. So in this episode, you'll hear about a wide range of services and possibilities for possible anchor clients Joshua could bring on, which will help him free up brain space and provide stability -- and also help him (and all of us!) break out of instinct to say yes to whatever opportunity comes our way. More importantly, it’s empowering to see that more work comes if we say no to projects that don’t meet our rates. More work comes when we have to fire a client. This abundance mindset builds confidence and resilience in our freelance businesses, no matter what! Along with this episode, our Patreon members received a worksheet to help them balance pay and passion visually. You can snag that worksheet here.
36 minutes | Aug 23, 2021
Burnout may be common for freelancers and small business owners, but you don't have to live with it. If you've listened to TWC episodes before, you know that Wudan and Jenni believe that time off, and the introspection required to combat burnout-related patterns, are key to running a sustainable business. And that's what Jenni is chatting about on this episode Katie Navarra, a freelance writer from Upstate NY. Katie started her career exclusively as an equine journalist and expanded into agriculture, education and leadership. Today she is transitioning to content marketing and life coaching. During this coaching session, it became pretty obvious that Katie was feeling apathetic about her work. She’s found great success in equine journalism but now she’s excited about something else. We loved two things about this conversation: First, Katie was able to identify the opposite of burnout for her -- which was the feeling of being in the ring with her horse. It was a feeling of freedom, and we talked about how to harness that (no pun intended) in future months. Second, we love that Katie and Jenni landed on time off as a good solution. Let's be clear: time off isn’t the only way to cure burnout, nor is it possible for everyone. Usually, burnout is indicative of a systemic issue (sometimes within your control, and sometimes due to factors outside of your control). So even if you take time off, you’ll come back into a situation that will cause that exact same problem all over again. BUT, Katie wanted to take time off -- like, two whole months off! -- to rehash her business plan and figure out what she wants next. Her goal is to come back to an entirely different situation, and she needs time away to figure out how to get herself into what is essentially an entirely new career. When Katie and Jenni caught up a few weeks ago (we recorded this episode at the beginning of the summer of 2021), Katie shared that she’s designated not two, but three whole months off this winter. Who says freelancers can’t step away from their work? With strategic planning, anything is possible. You can download resources for this episode in our banish burnout booster pack which contains journal prompts, a worksheet on signals of burnout, an ideal client mad libs page, and a business audit.
35 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
Retain Your Clients
This week’s episode is sponsored by Lili. Lili is the first online bank account specifically designed for freelancers, where you can manage both your personal and business finances, all from the same place. With Lili, you can organize all your purchases the same way you organize your dating preferences, by swiping left for life and right for work. If you sign up using code thewriterscoop, they’ll add 25 free dollars to your account when you spend $250 within the first 45 days. As freelancers, we don’t get what we don’t ask for. If we don't ask our favorite clients for more work, we probably won't get it. The good news is, there’s a really easy fix for coming back to clients who you want to continue a relationship with: Build that process into your business plan. At the close of every project, decide how you want to continue the relationship. Maybe you want to ditch the client altogether -- that’s completely legit. But if you’ve got the space to continue that relationship, say so! If you’re looking to offer other services to that same client, tell them! This week on the show, Wudan coached Mahima Jain on this very topic. Mahima is an independent journalist based in India who writes about environment, gender, and society. She has published in Indian and global publications such as the Fuller Project, BBC, Earth Island Journal, The Caravan Magazine and others. Her work has been supported by several international grants and fellowships (Earth Journalism Network, International Women’s Media Foundation, and others). You can check out more of her work at: https://mahimajain.in or on Twitter @theplainjain or Instagram @mahima.a.jain. Mahima has done a lot of great work and it makes sense to continue building the relationships she has. But because journalism assignments are often presented in a one-and-done fashion, she finds projects sailing away once they wrap up -- even though she’s eager to work with those same editors again. We can psychoanalyze to no end why freelancers tend to let good clients go. Maybe there’s a part of us that feels like “it’s too soon” to ask for more work. We don’t want to feel like we’re coming on “too strong” to a client. But Wudan's personal philosophy is this: It doesn’t hurt to tell people where you stand. Maybe you want to work together but not immediately, since you’re already booked for the next month or so. Or maybe you’d love to start on another assignment because the experience of working with them was so positive. Say so. You can buy this week’s resources related to client management in our store! (And if you’re a Patreon member, you’ll get them for free!) We have tipsheets on onboarding, offboarding, and reviving inactive clients. We want you to work with people and companies who treat you with respect. If you haven't already, we hope you'll check out our online course on business planning; it'll help you think through what you need and want in your business.
43 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Embrace Authentic Marketing
For so many of us, marketing can feel like the trickiest part of being a freelancer. How do you sell your services in a way that feels authentic? How do you even get in touch with what is authentic? How can you make yourself stand out in a sea of people who are offering the same things? In this episode, we dive into those marketing questions with freelancer Emma Diehl. After Jenni and Emma met for their coaching session, Emma totally revamped her bio -- and we love it. Here's the new version: Emma Diehl is a writer and editor specializing in finance, tech, and real estate content. Her specialty is mastering tricky topics (stuff like tax returns, AI, and home inspections) in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand. When she's not combing through technical documents and research, she's fermenting stuff in her kitchen, learning to skateboard, and curating a pop culture recommendation newsletter. You can find her on Twitter and can read more about her work at https://www.emmadiehl.com/. In this episode, Emma and Jenni spent a long time discussing how to bring your authentic self into your business (including your weird quirks). Emma ended up feeling hugely relieved: She didn't have to be anyone else; she was enough. They also talked about the benefits of adding play into our daily lives, so that your inner-child mindset can trickle into your business. If you want to dig into marketing alongside Emma, you can download the market yourself booster pack or join our Patreon program for free worksheets. This week, one worksheet walks you through revamping your website, and another is focused on journaling about why you’re a unique person and worker. The third worksheet is an exercise that comes from the book The Artist’s Way, and it’s focused on making time for play through an artist’s date. You can also sign up for the TWC online course on business planning here; we think it's been useful for just about everyone who's enrolled so far, whether they're new or experienced freelancers.
32 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Building a freelance career can feel directionless; there are no set rules about where to go. But Jenni and Wudan have both built their own careers (and helped other people craft theirs) by pivoting when they hit moments of confusion or frustration. We’re calling these moments inflection points. An inflection is a slight change in tone, and every person will encounter many inflection points in their freelance business (and in their life!) over time. Jenni's biggest inflection points have occurred because of the pandemic and having a child, but she also faced subtle changes when her interests and values changed. Wudan hit a wall when she realized that she couldn't run two businesses during a pandemic and avoid burn out. In all of these cases, an adjustment was necessary. And the adjustments were subtle -- but over time, they add up. In this episode, Jenni and Wudan outline the kinds of inflection points you might face, and they also talk about how to work through them. Of course, coaching is one option for dealing with these moments -- but there are lots of other ways to work through a pivot. Hitting these blocks is normal but the important thing is that you adjust course when they occur -- as they say, what got us here won’t get us there! Sticking with something that isn’t working for you can lead to burnout, too. This week, along with the episode, Patreon members get access to a worksheet that will help them identify the next right thing (which is a whole lot easier than picking a long-term, gigantic career direction), and a second worksheet about planning experiments. You can join our membership program any time. As always, we’d love to hear about your successful and failed experiments on Twitter or in our email inbox. And if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to TWC or leave a review. This week promotional support for the Writers’ Co-op comes from The Creative Nonfiction Podcast. Now in its ninth year and hosted by Brendan O'Meara, CNF Pod brings together the best of narrative journalism, memoir, essay, poetry and documentary film to talk about the art and craft of telling true stories. We love listening to CNF Pod and have both been guests. Brendan is fantastic. Other past CNF Pod guests have included Patrick Radden Keefe, Susan Orlean, Chuck Klosterman and US. You can subscribe wherever you get
42 minutes | Jun 28, 2021
Balance Your Biz
Here's the thing: If you're only offering one service in your freelance business, you're probably on the train to burnout town. What's better? Offering a few (related) services, which helps you pivot when things get wild (hi, pandemic) and allows you to shift when you're feeling low-energy or craving something more vulnerable. This week's coaching session includes a conversation all about balancing your energy in your business. Wudan chats with Maria Paula Rubiano, a freelance journalist based in Colombia. Maria covers environmental justice, and she just graduated from New York University’s Science Health and Reporting Program last winter. She's now an early-career fellow at The Open Notebook. You can check out her work at mariapaularubiano.com and follow her on Twitter: @pau_erre. Wudan and Maria talk about building confidence and business planning, which will feel like familiar ground for those of you tuning into each episode so far this season. (Have we mentioned that so many of us struggle with the same things? You're not alone!) Then they get into bandwidth. For instance, reporting and writing are oftentimes very vulnerable. Creating things is an act of vulnerability, and vulnerability takes a lot of energy out of us! Listen as Wudan helps Maria anchor herself by adding another service to her roster that is not super demanding. If you’re an All-Access member and higher, you’ll get access to several resources along with this episode: a worksheet that helps you evaluate your services based on bandwidth, and a modified confidence log -- a negotiation log -- to track your negotiation wins. If you’re looking to purchase these resources a la carte, we got you: They’re online here. By the way: Listeners of this podcast may also enjoy the podcast Is This Working? Now in its fifth season, Is This Working? is a podcast where two best friends have honest conversations about money, careers and success. Listen wherever you podcast!
47 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Ask For Better
If you’ve ever struggled with asking for more money or better terms from a client, this episode is for you. Jenni sits down with Jennifer Barton, a freelance writer, editor and copywriter from New York City. She currently lives in London and has contributed essays and features to a range of publications including The Telegraph magazines, The Independent, Stylist, HuffPost, Metro, Vogue Business, Parents, Mashable and Insider, among others. When she's not writing, you'll find her cuddling and/ or chasing her four children, rollerskating, hunting for treasure in thrift shops, dreaming of new electric hair colors and piercings and reading. She also pays tribute to her late mother through anecdotes and outfits in a visual grief diary of sorts on Instagram @jenbnyc. And you'll find a (much quieter) version of her on Twitter @jenbnyc. Jennifer is in the midst of what Jenni calls a "radical transformation" in her career. She knows she wants to step up and change her client base. She’s craving asking for more money and better terms, and wants to do work that excites her. But often, even if she knows what she wants, she struggles to ask her clients for it. (Girl, us too.) We talked about what makes that risk worth it (for her: creative challenge and enthusiasm) and what kind of work she’d really like to be doing. Jennifer has a few options for how to move forward. Some of her clients will fit in with her new business plan. But if she keeps them, she’ll probably want to ask them for something better. On the flip side, some of her other clients may not fit with her new direction, and that’s okay. Firing clients isn’t easy but it’s one of the only ways you can create space in your business for new direction and growth. To help Jennifer remember that she’s a badass, Jenni assigned her a confidence log (check out our confidence booster pack to get access to that resource and other confidence-building tools). She also got a worksheet to help her figure out what she needs from current clients, plus a template to use when she decides to send those emails. You can find those resources in our online store as part of the “Ask for Better” Booster pack. Patreon members get those resources for free! Have you had success firing a client, or asking for something new? If so, we want to hear about what worked for you, and how you convinced yourself to take the risk. Send us a DM or tweet @TWC_pod to share your story. Looking for coaching? Both Jenni and Wudan offer coaching through their own businesses and through TWC. You can also take a self-guided look at your business via our online courses. Listeners of this podcast may also enjoy the podcast Is This Working? Now in its fifth season, Is This Working? is the podcast where two best friends have honest conversations about money, careers and success. Listen wherever you podcast!
40 minutes | May 31, 2021
Boost Your Confidence
If you've ever felt like an imposter or like you don't deserve to ask for a raise, this episode is for you. Our anonymous guest is a freelancer who identifies as a person of color and has over two decades of experience based in the Deep South. But she struggles with remembering how skilled she is and has a difficult time asking for higher pay. She talks with Wudan about the big moves she wants to make as a freelancer in terms of client base and income goals, and they work through how to get there. Wudan recommends completing a business plan (which you can also do here) and using that plan as a way to bolster your enthusiasm and accountability. It's tough to go somewhere new if you don't have a plan! Once you've worked through a business plan, you'll want to put your ideal rates on a sticky note near your computer or desk. That way, you'll walk into negotiations with a clear focus. When you feel pressured to name a lower rate, you'll have a visual reminder of what you really want. Wudan also assigns our guest a confidence log. Maybe this is where coaching gets a bad rap, and yes, a confidence log sounds like writing positive affirmations on your mirror so you see it every morning. But here's the thing: we're recommending it because it works! We often think about what Melody Wilding said on our secret episode for season one: confidence and bravery are muscles that you continually exercise, and reflection is the fuel that builds a more confident fire. So you tell us: What is the smallest thing you can do today to flex that confidence muscle? Where did that land you with a project or client? If it worked, add it to the log! (We've compiled a bunch of these resources into a Confidence Booster Pack, which you can download here. Patreon members get those resources for free! If you feel like you're not deserving enough, you'll want to check it out.) Jenni and Wudan both offer coaching through their own businesses and through TWC. You can also take a self-guided look at your business via our online courses. Listeners of this podcast may also enjoy the podcast Is This Working? Now in its fifth season, Is This Working? is the podcast where two best friends have honest conversations about money, careers and success. Anna and Tiffany seek to question everything we've ever been taught about work because they believe that the quality of our lives is as strong as the quality of our work. The best friends are often joined by incredible expert guests, so whether it's issues such as productivity, procrastination, burnout or asking for more money, the Is This Working? hosts have got you covered. A better working life is coming your way! You can find Is This Working? on all pod platforms.
43 minutes | May 17, 2021
Clarify Your Career Direction
Today’s episode -- the second of season 3 -- features a conversation with a freelancer named Hanna Merzbach. She’s new to the game; she graduated from college last year, and the pandemic threw all of her plans (which included teaching English in Japan) into chaos. She started freelancing as a way to dip her toe into journalism and she’s already found a lot of success with bylines and landing pitches. But she’s also interested in taking a staff job. In this mini-coaching session, Hanna and Jenni talk about how to use freelancing as a springboard into a full-time job, plus how to make connections. Hanna also wants to try her hand at writing about different topics and taking on various styles of journalism, which makes freelancing a good fit for her right now. They also talk about avoiding burnout, trying to up Hanna's rates, and figuring out who your ideal clients are. Sometimes, there are just too many possibilities in the world of freelancing, so it can help to narrow down what your ideal clients look like, and what they need. You can follow Hanna at @HannaMerzbach on Twitter, and @hannamerzz on Instagram. Patreon members also get access to some of the homework Hanna received, including a worksheet for determining your ideal client! And you can grab that business planning workbook (which we mention in the episode) here, too. Our e-courses will still be quite discounted through the end of May. If you’re looking for support on contract negotiation and/ or business planning, we hope you’ll check them out. If you enjoy this podcast, you may also enjoy Write About Now, hosted by Jonathan Small. Write About Now features in-depth interviews with successful writers of all types and stripes—novelists, journalists, screenwriters, ghostwriters, and more. Each week, Jonathan takes a deep dive into how the most successful writers master their craft, offering tips, inspiration, and laughs for both aspiring and professional writers. You can find it wherever you podcast.
34 minutes | May 3, 2021
Freelance Business Coaching 101
Welcome to season three of The Writers’ Co-op: The Business Edit. Each episode of this season involves a coaching session with a freelancer just like you who struggles with issues common to freelancing like imposter syndrome, saying no, finding new clients, and beyond. But before we jump into all of that, we need to define what coaching is. That’s what this first episode is about: Defining the practice, then we'll show you how it works by coaching each other. You’ll get to hear about why Jenni is walking away from journalism as a long-term career plan, and how Wudan grappling with what it might look like to say no more often, even if a project looks interesting. Typically coaching involves us asking a lot of questions. We want to know: Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How are you getting in your own way? Is this block a matter of logistics (i.e.: better planning, raising your rates, finding new clients), or is it working through a mindset issue? We hope this episode gives you a sense for where we’ll take the rest of the season. In the episode, we talk about giving each other homework. Our Patreon members will receive this homework, too! Jenni’s homework was to revisit her business plan (you can do that yourself with this workbook), now that she has new financial goals. Wudan worked through a decision matrix to help her be pickier about how she makes decisions. This season, we're funded by our Patreon members and revenue from our online courses. Thanks to all who've supported us so far. If you haven't checked out our online courses yet, please do!
6 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Season 3 of The Writers' Co-op: Coming Soon!
It's happening, y'all: Season 3 of The Writers' Co-op is headed your way in just a few weeks! We're calling this season The Business Edit; think of it like a KonMari session for your freelance business. We'll coach 9 freelance writers just like you and help them work through challenges like imposter syndrome, struggling to say no, creating and refining business plans, negotiating, money management, overwork, burnout, waffling between going all in on freelancing versus looking for a full-time job, balancing freelancing and parenting, and so much more. The goal? We hope you'll learn from these sessions, and we hope they'll make you feel less alone as you navigate what can be a very isolating career path. For this season, we're relying 100% on listener support to fund production costs! Patreon members will receive season 3's episodes two weeks early, plus you get access to resources, a Slack channel, coaching options, discounted tickets for our events, and so much more. Check out all our different membership options here. We're also offering two self-paced online courses through The Writers' Co-op Academy this spring one about business planning and one about contract negotiation! (Patreon members get discounts on those, too.) Buy them in a bundle, or just grab one when you feel like it's time for a business reboot. As always, we're super grateful to y'all for supporting this program we've built. If you have questions or comments, let us know: email@example.com.
48 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
If there's one topic we've been skeptical about this season, it's book publishing. Can you publish a book as a freelancer and still make a living? What do the finances look like? How does the process work? Our last regular-season episode of season 2 answers all of these questions. We searched long and hard for a guest who would be forthcoming about the book publishing process, and that person is Cait Flanders. She’s an author, podcaster and traveler who lives in Canada. She started her career working in the personal finance space, and has since authored two books: The Year of Less and Adventures in Opting Out. Cait talks to Jenni about publishing a book in a pandemic (weird), how much she makes (six figures) and why you might want to write a book in the first place (hint: not for the money). This week, Patreon subscribers get access to several awesome resources from Cait, including a roadmap to book publishing, tips for creating a book proposal, and a journaling exercise to help you decide if you’re ready to pause the hustle and lean into a big project. If you like what you're hearing, please subscribe to TWC on whatever platform you prefer, and leave us a review! We'll be back in April for season 3. (Btw: we have a new offering: If you're just getting started with your freelance business, you'll want to enroll in freelance biz school @ The Writers’ Co-op Academy! We're offering two courses: One that helps you create a business plan (Biz Basics) and one to help you understand media contracts. Check 'em out!)
41 minutes | Jan 18, 2021
Lee van der Voo
This week, we're talking about how to make investigative reporting work within a freelance career. So often we think of investigative reporting projects as money sucks that will wreck your sustainable business plan. You never know how much time or effort the reportage could take, and it can be tough to estimate time accurately because of that. Wudan's conversation with investigative journalist Lee van der Voo turns that assumption on its head. Lee is an award-winning environmental journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She recently published a book called "As the World Burns," which is about 21 young people suing the U.S. government for climate-related crimes. You can find her investigations in places like The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, Reuters, The Atlantic, Propublica, and beyond. And she's been supported by the Alicia Patterson Foundation, The Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Lizzie Grossman Grant for Environmental Health Reporting. Lee and Wudan talk about breaking your reporting process into smaller pieces, and Lee offers innovative ways to use your reporting to spark other pitches, which you can sell to make money along the way. She also talks about working toward a book or longform project, and how to decide which end-game is the best choice for you. You can read more about her work here: https://leevandervoo.com/ Follow her on social media: https://twitter.com/lvdvoo Writers' Co-op members will receive a tip sheet from Lee that walks you through defining the many versions of stories that you could sell based on your longform reportage, so you can make money as you work toward the "big thing." If you're not a Co-op member, there's still time to join: https://www.patreon.com/twcpod (Btw: we have a new offering: If you're just getting started with your freelance business, you'll want to enroll in freelance biz school @ The Writers’ Co-op Academy! We're offering two courses: One that helps you create a business plan (Biz Basics) and one to help you understand media contracts. Check 'em out!)
34 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
If you've ever wondered what it looks like to add ghostwriting to your mix of freelance writing services, this episode is for you! Jacy Topps joins Jenni to talk about the behind-the-scenes of ghostwriting: How to find those gigs, how much they pay, what you need to watch out for, and why writing under someone else's byline can be gratifying. Jacy is an award-nominated journalist, essayist and ghostwriter. You can find her bylines in various publications including, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Oprah Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Slate, and Business Insider. She has built her career as a journalist covering everything from wine and travel to race and mental health, LGBTQ culture and relationships. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram. This week, TWC members will get access to Jacy’s contract tip sheet, which details the things to watch for on a ghostwriting contract! We’re also including our original contracts tip sheet, which includes some sample legalese you can use to negotiate terms with your clients. If you're not a member, head to the TWC Store for individual purchase options. If you like TWC, we think you'll also dig the Creative Nonfiction Podcast, run by Brendan O’Meara. He gets into craft questions and really digs the nitty gritty writing process stuff. We’ve been talking a lot lately about how writing skills are key to running a freelance business, and Brendan’s podcast has a lot to offer in terms of skill building. Listen wherever you podcast! (Btw: we have a new offering: If you're just getting started with your freelance business, you'll want to enroll in freelance biz school @ The Writers’ Co-op Academy! We're offering two courses: One that helps you create a business plan (Biz Basics) and one to help you understand media contracts. Check 'em out!)
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