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The Content Byte

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The Content Byte

Lynne Testoni and Rachel Smith

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Hosts Rachel Smith (from Rachel's List) and journalist and content writer Lynne Testoni are serving up weekly short bites of advice, tips and strategies for freelancers who make a living from using their words. We're shooting for 15-minute episodes, but can't promise anything because we can both talk the leg off a chair.
 
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show series
 
Do you live in terror of asking for more money? Many freelancers do, and end up undercharging as a result, or charging the same rates for years on end. In this episode we cover why we need to get to grips with raising our rates (regularly) and the best way to do it. We also talk about: Why we're so nervous about raising our rates Why most clients p…
 
This week, Rachel and Lynne chat with Rachel's List gold member, colleague and long-time freelancer Monique Butterworth, who shares behind-the-scenes tales of celebrity interviews, the huge budgets of magazines in days gone by and why being professional and meeting deadlines still matters. We chat about: Monique's start in journalism and moving fro…
 
Are you a freelancer with a sneaky suspicion that you could be managing your social media better, or more effectively? Join the club: there are a lot of us out there. And in this episode, we ask Sam McFarlane from social media management consultancy, Sam Says for her tips on what we SHOULD be doing. She talks about: + Choosing platforms to focus on…
 
If you endear yourself to a content agency that pays well, and offers you regular, interesting work, you're onto a good wicket as a freelancer. But how can you get your foot in the door in the first place? It can be a challenge for some writers, but in this episode, we ask Clare Brundle, managing director at Hardie Grant's Heads and Tales Content A…
 
There’s always so much to learn from successful freelancers, and our interview with freelance writer and editor Michelle Bateman is a case in point. Michelle specialises in beauty, fashion and culture – but she’s quick to point out that there’s a lot of joy in generalising too, simply because you can cover so many topics that interest you. In this …
 
By design, freelancers do have more freedom to live and work in other locations - even if you worry you might lose clients or become 'out of sight, out of mind'. That wasn't the case for editor and journalist Sara Mulcahy, who decided to move her family and freelance business to Far North Queensland just after Covid hit. And as it happened, she enj…
 
Do you struggle to get paid as a freelancer? Need some strategies to ensure clients don’t ignore your invoices? You’re in luck: in this episode, we’re talking to Collectmore’s Paul Metcalf, a nationally renowned debt collection expert. In this episode, Paul shares: Some of his most memorable debt collection stories Red flags about clients who may b…
 
Ever thought of using a virtual assistant (VA)? This week on the podcast, Rachel Smith and Lynne Testoni chat with Fiona Campbell, who runs Thought Penny, an Australian team of VAs, as well as the VA Lead Network. Fiona talks about why you might not need a VA and how to automate your processes instead, all about opportunity cost and how to find the…
 
Freelancers are essentially small businesses - even if we don't typically think of ourselves that way. And this episode with journalist and community manager Lucy Kippist, sheds so much light on being a small business AND working with other small businesses. We chat to Lucy about: Tips she learned from successful business owners Mistakes we commonl…
 
Making the bulk of your living from magazine commissions is a rarity for most freelancers these days, with many of us mixing it up with content marketing, copywriting and corporate work. But writer and author David Smiedt still works mainly for magazines and other media outlets. He's currently contributing editor at GQ Australia, list editor at esc…
 
Becoming disillusioned with a staff job has been the springboard for many a freelance journey, including that of US-based healthcare writer Melanie Padgett Powers. In this week's episode, Mel chats to us about what prompted her to start her own writing and editing business, and how her fab podcast, Deliberate Freelancer, soon followed. Tune in to f…
 
Freelance writer Lindy Alexander didn’t start out as a writer, but she has carved out a $100K+ freelance writing business that’s made her the envy of freelancers everywhere. We chat to her about how she started, some of her systems and processes, and her tips for success. Listen in to find out: How Lindy moved from being a social worker and AUSLAN …
 
This week Rachel and Lynne talk with Belinda Weaver, cohost of the Hot Copy podcast and copywriter extraordinaire about how she created a successful freelance copywriting career, created a supportive community for copywriters and developed courses for those wishing to learn the trade or upskill. We chat about things such as: how copywriters can com…
 
The goal for any freelancer is to have a full pipeline, working on projects that interest and excite you. Melbourne-based writer Shane Cubis is doing just that - and in our continuing series of successful freelancers, he chats to us about his very interesting career trajectory - which has included editing the notorious P mags, writing for The Chase…
 
Earning a decent living as a freelancer is within your reach - but how? In this jam-packed episode of tips, info and strategies, we talk to Melbourne-based freelancer Carrie Hutchinson about how she has carved out a thriving freelance career across print magazines, copywriting clients and corporate gigs, with a particular focus on travel and lifest…
 
After living overseas for many years, returning home and facing the prospect of freelancing with no contacts and no local experience can be extremely tough. Jessica Mudditt, author of Our Home in Myanmar, did just that - and in this episode we chat about: - How Jess's new book came about, and what it's like watching Myanmar's crisis unfold from afa…
 
Case studies can be a convincing form of social proof for content clients - and can be a valuable addition to your writing services. In this week's episode, we talk about the following: The types of case studies clients want (from structured templates to interviews to video-style case studies) How they stack up compared to other content marketing O…
 
We've all downloaded a lead magnet or two (those irresistible freebies offered on a website in exchange for your email address). But what makes a good lead magnet? How much should you charge to a client to write an ebook or white paper? In this episode, we talk about: Lead magnet basics - what are they and why are they important to an overall conte…
 
This week Rachel and Lynne decided to mix it up and have a bit of fun. Inspired by an email that Rachel received from a client, we talk about some of the hilarious feedback we have had from clients and editors because you have got to laugh sometimes - or it could all get you down. We have a few classic comments of our own to share and we also decid…
 
How DO you get customers and build a solid financial footing when you’re starting out as a freelancer or small business (or are stuck in a slow patch)? This week, we chat to Rounded co-founder and COO Oliver Garside about the strategies they used, and how they might relate to freelancers seeking clients and customers. Oliver also shares some tips o…
 
If most of the jobs you take on are completing pieces of content for a client - and you want to do more - then this week's episode is for you. Getting stuck into the strategy for a client, advising them on how to improve or repurpose their content (or even scrap their current strategy and create something better), isn't just rewarding. It can mean …
 
While your own freelance website is very important, optimising your Google My Business (GMB) profile is absolutely critical if you want to maximise your visibility online and bring warm leads your way. In this episode, we chat to digital marketing consultant Katie Hull about how to make your GMB profile the best it can be, including: What Google My…
 
The longer you freelance, the more likely you are to come across a tricky or challenging client. Clients who try to bargain you down. Who are so disorganised they throw out timelines on other projects. Or clients who just want to micro-manage everything down to the last detail. This week, we talk about our approaches to five typical 'tricky' client…
 
This week Rachel & Lynne are talking about something that has intrigued me for a while – Pinterest, the social media that you might not be aware of and how powerful it is with guest, Simone Pavils, a Pinterest specialist. About Simone Simone Pavils provides Pinterest and SEO services and strategy for business, to help them lighten the load and live…
 
This week Rachel and Lynne are talking about your biggest marketing tool – your website! We are constantly surprised how many writers don’t have a website, or have one that misses crucial pieces of information. This week, website developer Jude Love from Love Communications talks all things websites and what creatives need to include. Her 7 tips on…
 
Are you a freelance writer looking to save time, get inspiration and make use of some of the brilliant digital tools out there (if you only knew what the best ones were)? In this episode - a follow-up to our 10 Essential Writing Tips episode a few weeks before - details some great tools we use in our own writing work. Resources we talk about in thi…
 
A successful Facebook group can be a powerful thing - whether you're using it to create a community of like-minded people, to teach others, to gather feedback or to sell stuff. But how can you build a successful group, keep people talking - and stop it taking over your life in the process? In this episode, we chat with Freelance Jungle founder Rebe…
 
As a freelancer, you're probably always juggling a few different projects, with some weeks busier than others. And if you don't have systems in place to track how you're going and meet your deadlines, things can get hairy, fast. In this episode, Lynne and I talk about the different ways we juggle our workload, the systems we've created to ensure de…
 
With the last year bringing so much uncertainty to the media industry, many journalists are choosing to parlay their skills into content roles in the public sector - and what's not to love? Job security, a regular paycheck and super make this an attractive proposition. But what do you need to know before you take the leap? Journo Nigel Bartlett, wh…
 
Low-paying clients. We've all been there as freelancers - so how do you deal with it? In this episode, we cover several scenarios: What to do if you're offered work then told the rate is ridiculously low How to raise your rates with low-paying clients you already have How to weed out low-paying clients from the get-go, without wasting time How to e…
 
This week, Rachel and Lynne talk all about how we can build up a powerful network with a special guest – Tory Archbold. Networking! Sometimes that is a word that drives fear into people’s hearts, but we think that Tory Archbold has a great take on it. She calls it connecting rather than networking and has developed some easy and introvert-friendly …
 
This week Lynne and Rachel share their tips and tricks on how to repurpose and reuse content, without plagiarising. We think writers are crazy if they don’t keep track of what they’ve written about and revisit those topics – but we're talking updated, fresh, completely new articles. Not a spit and polish and a re-sell on the old one. We talk about:…
 
With the last year bringing so much uncertainty to the media industry, both Rachel and I have known a few former colleagues who have moved to onto other roles – and even whole new careers. However, it can be a tricky switch, so in this episode we're chatting to careers coach Jane Jackson about making that step. A bit about Jane: Jane is a Career Ma…
 
Newsletters are big bikkies right now - so how do you create one that people want to open week after week? In this episode, that’s a question we put to Sophie Hansen, creator of the Monday morning missive 5 Things To Be Cheerful About. Sophie shares the story of starting the newsletter, why she chose the format she did, and how she grew her audienc…
 
Hosts Rachel Smith from Rachel’s List and journalist and content creator Lynne Testoni talk about what we have learnt during 2020 – and how it has made our work better. Last year took us out of our comfort zones, but it wasn't all bad. We each share our tips on what we are doing differently because of the pandemic.…
 
It's no secret that media has been doing it very tough for several years now, with magazine closures and redundancies across the board. Add in a pandemic and it's been the year from hell for editors, staff and freelancers alike. So how has a magazine like delicious. just gone from strength to strength? And what do you do when you're editorial direc…
 
Pitching. It's something we all need to be doing as freelance writers if we want to ensure our pipeline of work is always full. And in today's episode, we welcome veteran journo and university lecturer John Burfitt to share his pitching system, ways to generate ideas, tips on following up and dealing with rejection, and much, much more. A must-list…
 
Are you a freelancer with a website who struggles to blog regularly? This week, we have a longer episode for you that's packed with gold from digital marketer and trainer Brook McCarthy. Brook talks to us about why blogging is so essential, the mistakes writers make when blogging and topics we should be considering. Plus so much more. Grab the show…
 
A shrinking media landscape was one of the reasons journalist Nicola Conville started to explore other career options - and she'd always wanted to work for in the NFP sector. In this episode, she shares how she got her job as a content manager at the UNHCR, which skills of hers have been most useful, and her advice for other journos at the career c…
 
This week we're excited to chat to journalist and founder of Interiors Addict Jen Bishop, whose one-time passion project has become an incredibly successful interiors website. She spills the beans on her milestone moments, why she doesn't pay much attention to SEO, lessons she's learned and why she thinks journos should be taking advantage of the h…
 
Hosts Rachel Smith from Rachel’s List and journalist and content creator Lynne Testoni talk to Sara Tasker of MeandOrla and Hashtag Authentic about Instagram and how to make it work for you as a freelancer. About Sara Sara is an Instagram Expert and Creative Business Coach, best-selling author and host of the successful podcast Hashtag Authentic wh…
 
It's been a crappy year and many of us have lost work, faced extended lockdowns and isolation, and suffered poor mental health to boot. If that's you, what steps can you take to feel better? In this episode, we talk about what works for us to boost mood, motivation and a sense of positivity.By Lynne Testoni and Rachel Smith
 
JobKeeper payments are changing in the coming weeks, and many freelancers know what a minefield it can be! If you're relying on it to prop up your income right now, accountant Holly Shoebridge shares all the information you need to know in this week's episode.By Lynne Testoni and Rachel Smith
 
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