Perhaps it is a dilemma for all part-time freelancers who cling to their day jobs for their health benefits or financial stability: when is it worth it – and when is it a really bad idea – to go freelance full-time?

Here are some tips to help you know whether or when you can and should commit to freelance work as your full-time job.

You Should Be a Full-Time Freelance Writer If…

  1. You are this guy and you can bank 6 figures every year (yes, it is possible as a freelancer but probably not very common!). Proof that not all freelance writers are impoverished and starving. But alas, if we all knew we could make 300k/year writing we would not need an article to tell us to quit our stupid day jobs already.
  2. You have actually found a way to get paid to write before. Unless you have the financial security to up and quit your day job (and spend potentially a considerable amount of time with no income) it is probably unwise to go freelance full-time without any experience. It can take time to learn the ins and outs of making money as a freelance writer – start with sites that provide reliable payment to build an online resume.
  3. You can handle some uncertainty with your income. Even the best freelance writers have to be comfortable with the risk of a less stable income than salaried work provides. When you are out making your own opportunities, you have to be comfortable with the idea that you won’t have a steady or reliable figure of income from time to time.
  4. You can effectively be your own boss. Being a freelancer takes discipline, and unless you can be your own taskmaster – keeping yourself honest and committed about the time you devote to your craft – you may be doomed for freelance failure.
  5. You hate your job and/or traffic and you love working in your pajamas. I must say that the perks of freelance writing from home are quite good…If the day job is driving you insane it may just be time to go for the (freelance) gold.

Freelance Work at Home

You Should NOT Be a Full-Time Freelance Writer If…

  1. Your highest level of productivity when at home involves only popcorn and Oprah.
  2. You get exhausted at the thought of being responsible for finding and even competing for 100% of your work.
  3. You don’t know how to write things people want/need/can’t write themselves.

Not exactly secrets to the universe, perhaps, but hopefully some valuable insight all the same…


I hear good things about guest blogging – drumming up interest in your own work and webpage, even getting paying gigs sent your way – and I’m acting on it.

Here are a few of my most recent guest blogging successes – be sure to check them out!

Now all I need is a Twitter account…and a more active Facebook presence…and an iPhone to be able to keep track of it all!

by Michal Marcol

Definitely Not Me, But You Get the Point

Having officially begun a research endeavor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I have found myself repeatedly requested to supply a “CV” – a Curriculum Vitae” – and decided that from now on, I shall comply.  Maybe it will help me get a job somewhere down the line without having to compile a CV overnight.

Previously, I had contented myself with the simple resume – short, to the point, and never more than two concise pages (one of which was expendable).  I rotated out my oldest or most irrelevant experiences every time I had something new to add, and each detail was customized to best portray my skill set for the position for which I was applying.

What is the difference between a resume and a CV?

Initially, the primary difference appears to be length and thoroughness.  In some areas of the world, the two words may be interchangeable, but in the US, “CV” is often used to describe a document that records every significant career experience, publication, research endeavor, education and certification, and other relevant tidbit about the individual that might display favorable characteristics.

In the world of research, writing, and universities, it appears that CVs are the standard currency for conveying information about experience and qualifications.  They function as a portfolio and a more extensive representation of accomplishments.

Contents of a CV

After performing some basic research, I found that CVs typically contain the following categories, often in-depth:

  • Contact Information and Citizenship
  • Employment History and Responsibilities/Achievements
  • Education
  • Continuing Education and Professional Training
  • Professional Certifications
  • Publications or Condensed Portfolio
  • Honors, Awards, and Accomplishments
  • Professional Memberships and Societies
  • Research Experiences (as applicable)
  • Relevant or Significant Volunteer Experiences
  • Teaching Experiences (as applicable)
  • Mentoring Relationships

The Purpose of a Curriculum Vitae

The benefit of a CV over a resume, in my opinion, includes the opportunity to keep a running, complete tally of qualifications and accomplishments that demonstrate your full range of experiences.  It should function as a portfolio or a record of your professional (and sometimes extracurricular) endeavors.

The style and order of your CV may depend on the type of career you are trying to pursue and which characteristics or experiences you would like to highlight or display upfront to a potential client or new boss.

How Do You Write a CV?

When in doubt, write it down.  Write out all of your professional and scholarly experiences in an organized fashion, divided by category.  If you later determine you have too much information or some truly irrelevant experiences included, you can always weed it out prior to submission to a potential employer.

I looked at the CV of my lab’s principle investigator when creating mine and found the process relatively simple (the only trouble I had was in recalling everything to write down!).  Once I have it all polished and complete, I will be tailoring it for Elance and LinkedIn.  I definitely suggest following a template for the style, content, and depth of your own CV so that you can go through each category of the example as you create your own, as well as to get a feel of what is appropriate for your field or experience level.

Good luck!

Blog of the Day!

January 8, 2012


One of my most recent writing endeavors involves a new blog at, which has been selected as Cleveland Heights’ Blog of the Day!

The article goes over the basics of eating to beat the winter blues and also gives some suggestions on local places to eat said deliciousness.  Righteous.  Check out the full-length article here, and thanks for reading!


I have waffled back and forth as to whether I should announce on this blog my latest writing initiative: the Friends Forever Friendship Endeavor.  Clearly I have decided in the affirmative.

Moving from Phoenix to Ohio was a big change for me – leaving friends and family and starting a new life in a strange place.  In an effort to jump in with both feet, I decided to make a sincere, concentrated effort to find new friends.  Not just any friends, but lifelong friends!

I launched the Friendship Endeavor as a way to channel some of my writing toward a personal and creative project that would help keep me focused on meeting people, trying new things, and going a bit out of my comfort zone to find some friends in the wonderful town of C-bus. So far I have had great results, and I have learned a lot about myself along the way.

So in an effort to put embarrassment behind me, I am hoping you all visit the site of my latest project.  I even see another book idea in the making… Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think!

Guest Blog Posts

November 19, 2011

As promised, here is the beginning list of my posts, as accepted by these awesome blogs.  Check them out, and explore the rest of the content on these very cool sites.  Let me know what you think!  Most of them are about eating to beat the winter blues, eating to have healthier skin, and even writing as therapy!  Happy reading!

Lil Veggie Patch

Anastasia Pollack


Style Me Swanky

My Perfect Line


Your Lighter Side

Read to find out how to eat and write your way to a healthier you!


Perhaps the most useful experiences I have had while learning to blog have all involved other people.  Reading their blogs, getting their feedback on my blog, liking what I see on others’ sites, and hoping they like what they see on mine.  Recently, however, I have been able to pursue some opportunities as a guest blogger.

I came across some really great sites on things dear to my heart: nutrition, health, writing, and fun with friends.  In a potentially rash fit of socialization and outreach, I requested the chance to write about subjects we both share an interest in, and to my pleasure, multiple sites have accepted so far.

It’s hard to underestimate the impact that sharing and communicating with fellow bloggers has on the success of your own site.  It goes far beyond the “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” to something far more meaningful.  The newbie gets to develop their skills and benefit from the knowledge of the more experienced blogger, and the veteran gets the added publicity and ratings bump from extra content of high quality and interest to their readers on their site.

The Blogger's Network

by jscreationzs

It’s almost like a form of mentoring.  The generous host blogger gets a valuable piece for their site, and the guest blogger gets the opportunity to learn how to tailor their message to an audience that is actually paying attention.  The guest also gets to see how a successful blog is put together and run – from the variety of content to the frequency of posts and the degree of inter-connectedness it has with other blogs.

All in all, I would say that having the chance to be a guest writer on others’ blogs has been invaluable – by far the most educational experience I have had in the realm of blogging up to date.  It’s also kind of addicting!  I didn’t think I would become one of those highly-networked, blog-obsessed writers who avidly followed tons of other people’s work.  Yet here I am, finding motivation in others’ success and information in others’ kind provision of opportunities.  And I’m not stopping anytime soon!

Check back soon for a list of my guest post links!