Hello friends! Before we get to it, I want to ask you about something.
This project has grown SO much in the past four months. I love this community we’re building together, and I hope you do, too!
But there is also a cost to that growth, and since this whole project is built around transparency, I’ll just be honest with you: The time and financial commitments for me have juuuust about reached the point of unsustainability. It costs a little under $700 per month to run this, and 15 to 20 hours every week of my nights and weekends. But if I could pay people to help me run this, a lot of that would be alleviated. (More on that in a second.)
More important, I want to continue growing. I have SO many ideas for expansion: Videos! More interviews! Original stories on the business of freelancing! An endless stream of tips and advice! But that stuff costs money to pay people to do.
I want you involved in deciding whatever direction this takes, so this leaves us with a few options:
Rather than expand, more or less keep things going but with fewer panels and less robust newsletters. This is mostly about my time commitment and making sure I don’t hit burnout. I’d continue to ask for donations to cover costs.
Introduce some type of tiered payment system so I can pay people to help maintain and grow this. I feel super, super uneasy about this — I want as many people to get value from this as possible, so introducing a payment system feels deeply weird. But it’s the only way to keep things going as at the current pace and continue to grow.
This would probably look like one of two things: (1) A paid tier of newsletters here on Substack, likely some content being behind the paywall, or (2) a tiered Patreon, likely with some stuff behind a paywall. But I wouldn’t do this without your blessing, so I sincerely want to know how you would feel about it. Also, remember: The panels will be free for as long as I’m able to do them, so don’t worry about that. This isn’t about making money; again, it’s about paying people to help me maintain and grow Freelancing With Tim.
I really want your thoughts on this, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Thoughts” in the subject line.
PHEW, OK. Enough blabbing from me, let’s get to the goods: all those excellent pitching guides. Good luck!
Want more insider advice about freelancing? Subscribe to get it right in your inbox, along with information about upcoming free Zoom panels about making it as a freelancer.
NPR (this is more general advice about pitching)
Deadspin (R.I.P., but it’s an excellent guide)
The Outline (also R.I.P., but another useful guide)
Oh, a few other things …
• If you found this post useful, please consider donating to help support this project. Here is my PayPal. Everything above maintenance costs — $670 per month (Zoom, admin assistance, illustration) — will be used to pay writers to report and write stories full of advice, insight and practical guidance on being a better freelancer and writer.
• On Thursday night, more than 150 incredibly generous people helped raise $1,873.21 (!!!) for the Journalist Furlough Fund. What! That is amazing! Huge, huge thanks to Lyz Lenz, Kim Kelly, Wesley Lowery, Sopan Deb, Soraya McDonald and Paige Cornwell for joining our panel, it was an absolute blast and I can’t wait to do another one!
• Friendly reminder to take 15 minutes right now and email that editor who has owed you money for an assignment for months. It works!
Okay bye ily!