Writing and Freelancing

Captive versus Freelance: Making an Informed Decision

Not everyone’s cut out for being an employee… but neither is everyone going to make a good contractor, either. This topic identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of type of employment and helps you understand which is best for you.

How to Estimate

Whether you’re a freelancer or a captive writer, knowing how much to estimate is one of the most important skills for any technical communicator. If you can’t estimate, you can’t set rates, schedules, or production dates. Conversely, being able to set precise estimates lets you make accurate bids and tighten your schedules so you can squeeze in that much more work. This 90-minute presentation shows you how to create documentation plans (so you know what you’re producing), develop personal metrics (so you know how long it’ll take you to produce it), and understand rates and how much is ‘enough’ (so you won’t starve while doing it).

Setting Up a Home Office

What do you need for a good home office? Some things may surprise you.

Writing for Periodicals

One of the most popular kinds of writing moonlighting is doing magazine articles. Learn how to approach magazines, get assignments, and get more work.

Creating Documentation Plans

“Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” Creating a good documentation plan will help you identify what you’re going to do and can be a valuable political document if the project shifts from under you.
Pre-emptive Project Planning

It’s not the projects we know about that are the problems, it’s the ones that surprise us that cause us the most grief. Here’s how to track the projects that don’t exist yet while looking really organized in the process.

Building Teams for Cross-Media Publishing: Staffing and Training

Hiring the right people for a cross-media team isn’t just a matter of looking at a resume and a portfolio. Finding the right people for a cross-media team takes careful interviewing and a non-traditional look at the hiring process. This topic shows how to find graphic design and pre-press people who can complement and support the rest of your team.

Working with Technical Publications Departments

Writers will rant about being handed projects at the last minute by developers, but then they frequently turn around and do the same thing to graphic designers and pre-press folks (who then level the same complaints at the writers). This presentation shows graphic designers and production staff how to work effectively with technical publications people and teach writers to give the people downstream ;the information they need to be successful.