How To Become a Valued Contributor

By Victoria Hudgins. Photography by Amanda Mabel.

You landed that fabulous freelance position - great! Now what comes next? 

Do a wonderful job with everything and see your work and pay increase quickly. Here are tips from our Alt panel to move you forward.

Your posts will be submitted for review, either through email or a post draft. Each person/company you work with will be different and have different ideas of success so it's important to know what your goals are for each position. One may be very relaxed with the whole process and give you complete control of posting, while the other may have more steps and edits before your post is ready to be published. Some may have traffic goals, some may not.

Here is a general idea of what editors hope to see from you:

  • A unique perspective and a strong voice.
  • A review of your blog (which is a working portfolio) to see that you’re posting original content, that you have a distinct sense of style and you're not mimicking stuff you see on Pinterest or other sites.
  • Writing skills, make their jobs easier! 
  • Be comfortable working on a variety of blogging platforms: Wordpress, Squarespace, Typepad, Tumblr, etc.
  • Passion and Energy. Excitement about what you’re writing about. Does it come across in your posts
  • Passion about being part of the team and making the site better through your quality content.
  • Creativity and initiative.
  • Bringing original ideas to the table v. just doing what you’re assigned.
  • Executing and follow-through of your ideas!

 BONUS: photography skills!

Here are some things you can do to ensure a great reference from your contributing job.

  • Keep deadlines: You're representing your business and brand, make sure you look good. One way to put a damper on a good working relationship is to miss a post deadline.
  • Communication: If you have questions, ask. If you get an email from your contact, respond ASAP. Always make those emails a priority.
  • Be professional: You will be working with one contact person, maybe two. You build relationships with contacts. You might become friends, but remember, always keep it professional.
  • Produce fresh ideas: Stay creative and come up with new ideas. Find inspiration and stay original. Set hard deadlines for yourself and work ahead.
  • Knowing your limits: Decide what your strengths are and find help with the rest. Hire a photographer or copy editor if need be.

Learn more about how becoming a valued contributor, and the ins and outs of getting paid in this month's Alt freelance class taught on Janurary 26th, at 9pm ET.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.