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What are you worth?


Vol. 3, No. 34, 2/10/2002

In This Issue:

* From the editor
* Final two-day workshop
* Web content tip
* Email tip
* Readers write
* The Y Files
* Surf Club (web site reviews)
* Reader choice
* Weekly thought
* Need content?
* At your service
* Things that make you go huh?

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From the editor
##first name##

If you had to set an hourly rate for your professional
worth, what would it be?

Tricky, isn't it. Yet that's among the first questions a
professional freelancer, in any field, will be asked.

You could pull a figure out of a hat, quote industry
association recommendations, or just take what they're

The last option is the path of least resistance
and well worn by desperate, downtrodden
freelance writers, editors and designers.

The trouble is, these under cutters are hurting the
rest of us who do value the skills we've honed with
experience and expense.

Why are professional creative people so often expected
to work for nothing or pitifully low rates?

Perhaps it's that word, "professional". Most occupations
have standards to sort the amateurs from the
professionals. Writing has no single regulatory body,
though I'm not sure accreditation is the answer either for
freedom-loving freelancers.

Basically, we just need to find our backbones and
start charging realistically, even if it means missing
out on the odd job. Let miserly employers who don't
value your skills get what they pay for.

A study by America's National Writers Union last
year found that freelance journalist rates have
declined more than 50 per
cent since 1960.

Personally, I'd have my doubts about any freelance
writer/editor willing to work for less than 60 Aussie
dollars an hour. Where's their self-respect? How do they
cover their overheads?

Independent professionals, in any industry, must be
paid a higher hourly rate than wage earners to
cover extra time and costs - home office equipment and
communications, travel, market research, preparing
quotes, insurance, marketing (including web site
and print materials), networking, bookkeeping, legals,
filing, postage, sick leave, super and vacation (if only).

If, after adding up your costs, you need further incentive
to up your rates, think about how much other service
businesses charge for their time (plumbers, mechanics,
appliance repair people, lawyers,
psychiatrists, photographers).

Remember, you can always negotiate down but not if you
start at rock bottom.


PS have your say on the Australian Online Content
Discussion List

PPS read your testimonials for this newsletter at -

Final two-day workshop
* SIX SEATS LEFT for tomorrow's workshop - don't learn
about the pitfalls in publishing e-newsletters the hard
way. Yvette will share her secrets in this final two-day
Brisbane e-newsletter workshop -

Customised in-house workshops can be arranged anywhere in
the world at a discount rate. Web writing,
e-newsletter ideas, usability, online promotion...whatever
you want.

All you need is a minimum of four open-minded people and
I'll bring my knowledge to you.

Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au for a quote

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/workshops/next.asp?calnextid=20

Web content tip
Did you know the recommended minimum for freelance and
casual writers in Australia is $169 an hour?

Few can command that rate, at least not in print, but it
gives you a starting point for negotiations. Generally, the
longer the project, the more your drop the rate.

Independent contractors in ICT in Australia earn $60 to
$100 an hour, with two-thirds working as consultants,
project managers or programmer/analysts -

2002 National Freelance Rates -

Quoting and charge rate calculators -

US rates for business writing -

How to set your hourly rate -

more tips on setting your rates -

employee and employer FAQs -

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Email tip
Users have highly emotional reactions to newsletters which
feel much more personal than web sites, according to
usability guru Jakob Nielsen.

Newsletter usability testing results were in strong
contrast to studies of web site usability, where users
are much more oriented towards functionality.

"Newsletters feel personal because they arrive in your
inbox; you have an ongoing relationship with them," Jakob

Read his latest Alertbox -

* we still have spare seats for the E-newsletter Workshop
in Brisbane on Thursday and Friday - phone Yvette on 041
771 8683.

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Readers write
Are you one of those people who never bothers to read
directions in booklets that accompany most electrical
appliances? If so, you'll empathise with Pollyanna.

We also have a special article entitled
"Cybercrime - opening Pandora's box" from Brisbane
journalism student Gregory Seeto. Greg interviewed several
"experts" (yep, even me) for the article, which
includes tips on protecting yourself online.

If you've ever dreamt of travelling around Australia in a
motor home, don't miss this poem from Gladstone's Anna

Send your review or other contribution to

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/readerswrite/default.asp

The Y Files
Martin asks -

Q - Do you know what the catch is with using a domain
registration service that is so must cheaper than
MelbourneIT? We want to register a .com and the prices are:
Buydomains.com US$16 per year, Melbourneit.com.au US$35 per

A - Always check that any domain registrar is ICANN
approved or registered with Aus Registry (Melbourne IT used
to be Australia's only accredited registrar
but it's since opened up). Don't buy a domain
from anyone who isn't accredited or you might end up with
legal or transfer problems.

ICANN accredited registrars

Aus Registry

Send your question to yvette@brizcomm.com.au

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/

Surf Club (web site reviews)
Send a f*ee e-greeting card with bite, courtesy of New York
photographer and greeting cards designer Kat Caverly - “I
want people to be able to see beyond facial features into
the complexities and absurdities of human nature.” Browse
through Kat’s quirky photos, funny pictures, cartoons and
animations of ordinary people and animals in everyday
situations with a twist.
In a net shell: What a card.

Network on a global scale with the help of Ecademy, “a
trusted network for business in the new economy".
Membership is f*ee and gives you access to a community of
12,000 members from 105 countries to learn, network and
develop your career. Find daily news, e-business companies,
reports, training and other related services and products.
In a net shell: Get with the Net.

Keep statistics for your golf strokes for each round you
play just like the pros. This f*ee golf handicap service
helps you track your online handicap, analyse your scores
and improve your game. Track details such as scores, greens
in regulation, fairways hit, and putts per hole. Start an
online group to share and compare scores, check the
electronic scorecards for courses around the world, or
polish your style with the tips.
In a net shell: Swinging, baby.

Are you colour blind?
Find out if you have a colour vision deficiency with a
simple test showing numbers and pictures in a pattern of
dots. Colour vision deficiency is usually an inherited
condition where you can’t distinguish between certain
colours. Red/green colour blindness is the most common form
and no treatment is available, although some people report
success with tinted lenses. An easy test does not exist for
rare blue/yellow deficiency or shades of grey.
In a net shell: Eye test.

Marquardt Beauty Analysis
Want to see the perfect face? Facial attractiveness has
been quantified through mathematics, computers and massive
databases of “attractive” faces. View the mathematical
computer model from various angles and see examples of
people who fit the “golden” mask. Apply the mask to your
own photo or learn about the tool’s application to cosmetic
makeup, surgery and dentistry.
In a net shell: Skin deep.

The Homeless Guy
Kevin Barbieux first became homeless in the winter of 1982
at the age of 21. He’s spent the past 20 years trying to
get a grip on what other people consider to be “normal”
life. Kevin uses public library computers in Nashville to
post his thoughts and the realities about homelessness to
the world via a web log.
In a net shell: Home on the Net.

* reviews are previewed on ABC Local Radio Queensland about
8.35pm Mondays - tune in at http://abc.net.au/backyard/

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/surf/default.asp

Reader choice
"A book exchange of infinite proportion". I've just
joined up - will see if I can find a friendly tourist
passing through.
- Submitted by Sally Cripps, Blackall

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/surf/showcategory.asp?categoryid=26

Weekly thought
"I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the
fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived.
Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever
reason, turn his back on life." - Eleanor Roosevelt

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/freetips/tips.asp?id=9

Need content?
To reproduce any content from brizcomm's newsletter or web
site in your own publication, please
email yvette@brizcomm.com.au

More: http://www.brizcomm.com.au/consulting/

At your service
Need someone to motivate the troops, write or rewrite
content, edit or proofread, critique your own site or
e-newsletter? Email yvette@brizcomm.com.au

Things that make you go huh?
Ready for some extreme surfing? Want to be titillated,
taunted and tempted?

Buy a copy of Odd Bods - 50 bizarre sites about the human
body and shock your dinner party guests with tales from the
dark side of the Net.

Grab your credit card to pay securely online for instant
access to professionally reviewed sites that could take
years to find among the millions of dead links, scumware
and pop-ups.

Only 9.95 (incl. GST) in Aussie dollars (that's about five
US dollars) - less than a bottle of red wine and the
wicked pleasure will last longer.

Available in .exe format for PCs (.pdf for Macs coming).
Don't worry, we'll tell you how to download it - it's super

Go on, live dangerously and get it while it's hot -


Bobby Approved (v 3.2) Unusual Corporate Gifts other than a Gift Basket

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