In my last update here I let you know that the All Freelance Writing blog would no longer be updated regularly but that the site as a whole would continue to serve as a resource through more frequent updates to the freelance writing job board and writers' market database, as well as the freelance writer directory. And I'll also be updating older content in the near future and releasing more resources for freelancers, both free and premium ones planned.
While I'm still behind on one e-book release and another e-book's update, I've been busy working on some backend changes that will hopefully make some of these resources easier for you to use. Today I want to go over some of those changes.
Here are some of the most general changes you might come across:
- The forums are finally gone. You might remember I closed them months ago, but it took quite some time to migrate everything out of the forum plugin and into the post system for archiving (and by "everything" I mean threads I deemed worthy of archiving; maintenance updates and the like were removed). Here's a link to the new writing forum archives.
- Most user accounts were removed. As mentioned in my last post, all user accounts that were not from premium writer profile holders or past authors (which includes those who started old forum threads that were kept in the archives) were deleted. That means over 7000 user accounts are gone. If you aren't in one of those two groups, you won't be able to log in here any longer, and there is no longer a reason for you to. No accounts or email subscriptions are required to download any of the resources here.
- Open registrations have been closed. New registrations are only open to advertisers (job posters or writers posting premium profiles) or new authors who might contribute. These accounts are set up by an admin only, and the forms for job ad and profile submissions allow people to request their desired username at the time of posting.
- The user dashboard has been updated. This will only affect those of you who have accounts tied to job ads or a profile in the freelance writer directory. It's now easier to access and edit your paid listings.
The Freelance Writing Job Board
Several recent changes were made to the job board. For example:
- Job posters can now log in to manage listings. This was based on an advertiser request, and allows job posters to manage multiple listings during their 30-day live period on the site.
- Featured (premium) job listings were added. This was also based on an advertiser request. It means for a premium fee, advertisers can get more visibility for certain ads. Featured listings appear at the top of the job board page, and the most recent five featured listings appear on the home page. That won't affect most of you directly, but note it changes the display order of jobs. All of the most recent jobs will appear on the main job board page, but won't necessarily appear on the home page. And when you're on the main job board page, you'll find the regular listings in white below the featured ones in a highlighted box.
- The job board should be displaying better on mobile devices now. While most of the site was displaying well on mobiles, the job board didn't in some circumstances. That should be fixed now.
- Job ads can be marked as filled and be hidden by the person posting them. If advertisers hire someone and want to stop receiving applications, they can now choose to hide those ads for their remaining days, or they can temporarily take them down while making edits. Note: This only applies to advertisers who choose to have an account created and who are logged in when they post their ad. Accounts are not required.
- Job ads should now show up in Google's job listings. This is something I'd been meaning to set up for a while. It shouldn't affect users directly other than that you might find the listings there. But it's extra visibility for those posting job ads.
- Email confirmations have (finally) been set up. The job board was run in a very simple classified style before. And it didn't feature email notifications which occasionally left folks confused until ads were approved. Now you'll get an email to let you know your job ad is approved and goes live on the site. (There will be another minor update to this setup coming shortly.)
The Writers' Market Database
There's also one key change so far in the writers' market collection:
- Broken links in listings can now be reported from the market list. When viewing the list of markets in the directory (or in dynamic posts like Websites & Blogs That Pay Writers $100 & More), you'll now find a "report link" link below each listing. If you try to visit a publication's guidelines page and that link is broken, or if the pay info detailed here is outdated and has been changed in their official guidelines, you can click that link to report it to me. It's just two clicks: click the link, then hit send in your email. The message is pre-populated for you. Note: Please do not change the email subject line. If you do, it won't get to the right place, and it might be missed.
The Freelance Writer Directory
There are also several updates for the premium freelance writer directory:
- The directory is now sortable. Listings, by default, display with the newest submission first. This meant people who have had profiles for years were buried and harder to find. The table can now be sorted by name alphabetically, or it can be sorted by category (what kind of writing they do). This should give more profiles greater visibility.
- The directory search and browse options were fixed. Other recent changes caused issues with the sort and browse capabilities in the writer directory, so they were removed temporarily. They are now fixed and working even better than before. The directory can be searched by name, project type, or whatever you'd like. It now works by seeking exact phrases (so searching for "white paper" to find a white paper writer will no longer turn up things like newspaper writers or someone whose last name happens to be "White"). The browse drop-down also makes it easier to limit views by category -- rather than sorting by them alphabetically you can limit your view to the category you're interested in. Again, this should give more profiles greater visibility.
- You can now hide your profile. If you take a break from freelancing or otherwise want to temporarily remove your profile from the writer directory, you can now do that if your profile is attached to a user account. This enables you to make your profile live again in the future because its status as being paid and approved remains tied to it.
- Email confirmations have been added. This is similar to the job board change. You'll receive an email when your profile is approved and posted.
- The writer directory is now broken down into pages. The number of listings as the directory grows made a single listing page unfeasible moving forward. Currently, 25 listings are displayed per page. This is another reason the new or improved sorting, searching, and browsing capabilities were so important.
Note: If you have a profile in the directory and you didn't choose to tie it to an existing account when you posted it, you cannot pause or edit your profile. But if you email me from the email address you included in that profile, I can get an account set up for you and associate it with your premium profile so you can edit it in the future.
There have been several other changes that hopefully you won't even see or notice:
- The way logins here work has been changed to simplify the process.
- A known issue where some e-book buyers weren't getting emails from the 3rd party distribution service should (hopefully!) be resolved now.
- There have been quite a few optimization and security updates on the back-end.
- The majority of plugins have been removed with custom solutions coded in their place (I'll talk about this in a post at Kiss My Biz probably next month, but in short a lot of bloat on the backend was cut).
These updates will continue in coming weeks as a developer and I work to clean up and optimize things on the backend to make sure the site keeps running well for you on the front-end while I spend more time on other projects, including several for writers (more on them in the hopefully near-ish future).
The two e-books are still coming. Then older posts will begin to be updated. So you will see new content here on the blog moving forward from time to time while that happens. Some content will also be moving away from this site (more on that later). Many of the downloadable resources will also be updated to bring them in line with the site's branding. Those will be announced via the newsletter and the site's Twitter account.
Hopefully some of these changes will make things a bit easier for you here. And if you have other suggestions, I can't make promises but I'm happy to consider them if you contact me.
- 30 Paying Markets for Short Fiction - January 12, 2021
- WordPress for Writers: Tips, Tricks & Essential Plugins - January 8, 2021
- Red Flags in Freelance Writing Jobs Ads (& What They Really Mean) - January 5, 2021