Bylines give writers their bragging rights. So naturally you want your name attached to each and every piece of work you produce. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re offered a Work-For-Hire (WFH) contract. This type of contract seems to be a growing trend and is fairly common with online publications.
In fact, if you’re soliciting your services only to sites that give freelancers a byline then you may be missing out on a lot of potential work. While it would be nice to always have your name associated with your work, I don’t suggest turning down work just because you won’t get a byline.
If you’d like to highlight your WFH work as a sample on your website, I suggest checking with your editor first. It usually isn’t a problem. Also, just because you aren’t getting a byline now doesn’t mean that’ll always be the case. Some of my editors have added my byline for specific projects even though the assignments were WFH contracts.
So if there are other reasons a specific WFH assignment is beneficial to you, such as pay rate, ease of assignment, or speed of payment then don’t let a lack of a byline stop you.
It looks like the Internet is here to stay. The same is true for online content. Is this a problem? Well, not if everything you’ve ever posted online only represents your professional side. Uh-oh, are you thinking about that post you wrote a few years ago on a personal blog where you discussed your funniest drunken college moments?
Even if you’ve deleted that information it may still be out there somewhere, accessible to any editor who searches your name. You can’t turn back time and fix the past, but you can make a vow to only post information online that won’t hurt you professionally. You can still “keep it real.” Just remember that everything you say may be “keeping” for a really long time.
Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. Aside from writing for many regional publications, she is regular contributor to eLearners.com and Projectworkingmom.com. She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones; and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.