To all you magazine editors out there that hire freelancers, I have a few questions.
I freelanced for years when I didn't hold down a full-time job. As a freelancer, after I got an assignment, I'd check in with the editor to make sure I was writing in the correct direction. I'd get my article in before deadline, over-deliver on the article, and write what I said I'd write.
I'd follow up and see if revisions were needed. I'd invoice on time and wouldn't bug, bug, bug an editor or call them to chat or need grooming in any way. I'd just do my job as a professional.
However, that's not been my experience with a lot of freelancers from this side of the desk. Our pay is very competitive, too, so it's not like we're asking them to write for free. When I took over as manager of publications/communications, freelance writers were paid more than they are now, after the economy hit. However, if they're really good and reliable, I'll increase it to keep them.
I really have been very surprised at the quality of writing: sloppy copy, not a lot of in-depth interviews, hand-holding (where do I find sources, etc.).
What about your experiences? What's your biggest pet peeve about freelancers? Where do you find professional freelancers?
In one sentence, what would your perfect freelancers look like?
Emily Allen is manager, publications/communications at the International Association of Administrative Professionals.