Friday, August 7, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ Writing Perks...

Those of you who have ever been employed know that the most impactful part of the package is your salary. Is it enough to pay the bills? Is it insulting or does it accurately reflect your value and worth to the employer? But there is usually more to a job than the ever important income. There could be health insurance, sick days, vacation time or even personal days. They may provide life or disability insurance along with a 401(k) retirement plan. All of these things go toward the overall benefit package of the job. These auxiliary pieces can sometimes make up for a lower pay rate when comparing options.

So what exactly is my point in all of this? My point is that sometimes there are perks that can turn a little job into a lot of value.

I have a full time job in the real world whose income allows me to take a small, part-time writing job for the travel website, UpTake. I write for their Attractions Blog and provide up to 3 posts a month per my contract. I would have been putting these posts up for free on our blog to begin with, but now I get paid a flat rate per post on their site. However, the rate essentially only covers the cost of some of the attractions I visit to write about. But because of my existing job's income I was able to accept the contract in order to write for a national site and build a writing portfolio that could some day garner another freelance job. To me that is a part of the package.

I also get paid a fee up-front to display their badge on our blog. However, rather than just advertising UpTake, it does a nice job to promote me. It's that pretty little box on our sidebar which does not look like an ad and may draw people over to their site to read my work. That is another part of the package.

If enough people sign up for the Attraction Blog feed in their Reader, or if one of my posts receives an insane amount of page visits in a certain period of time I can earn a few extra bucks. These are also a potential part of the package - kind of like an incentive bonus.

But sometimes you come across a perk you hadn't anticipated which turns the break-even job into a money maker - or in my case, a money saver.

You see, my contract states that I have media credentials. So while planning our recent vacation I happened upon a Press section on a luxury hotel's website. I visited that portion mainly to see if they provided stock photos or would give tours of their facility which I could use for a post. But imagine my surprise when I discovered that by filling out a simple form I could also be considered for a media rate to stay at their establishment. After submitting their form and providing links to my UpTake profile they confirmed I was legitimate and told me that Andy and I could stay there for way less money than their cheapest rates and be upgraded to their deluxe room free of charge.

Because of my part-time, break-even contract with UpTake which I hoped would bring me greater exposure for other jobs, we saved $125 each night at an incredible hotel that we never could have justified with our real life salaries. I consider that a perk, and now, a very valuable part of the package.

If you would like to read more about my venture into the world of freelance, visit my guest post at Jenn Escalona's website, The Life and Times of a Freelance Writer.


Sandy Nawrot said...

That is way cool! I like perks! I've been giving thought to finding a paying writing job, but haven't come across the right one yet. This is really what we aspire to, right? Pay the bills by doing something we love? So proud of you!

Dana Telecom said...

You are so lucky to have income from your hobby. I still look for right paid writing provider. :D

Anonymous said...

Very nice!! So I can now consider you part of the 'media' (said with sneer lots of people use these days when talking about the press). Maybe we can take you guys along on our vacations just for the perks. We're heading to Denver and Vail tomorrow... :) I'll have to add your side job in my reader.

Jenn Escalona said...

This is really quite awesome! I've been writing professionally for years and have never taken advantage of this. And my husband works at CNN for pete's sake! We're definitely going to see about this on our vacation next month.

Also, thank you so, so much for taking the time to guest post on the Life and Times of a Freelance Writer. I loved brightening my blog up with your post. Let's do it again sometime!

Daisy said...

Well saving money per day is like earning extra as well. Coz you can now spend that amount in other things or actually save it in your bank or so... For now I am prety much satisfied with my job coz one of my perks is.. meeting people who can get you in to places normally is not possible for others. *wink*


Sheila said...

Nice one Molly!

kaye said...

cool, I've looked at a few of your posts--you do nice work.

Lynn said...

Very nice perk. Score!!!!