Around the Water Cooler

04 July 2011
splash of water
The thing itself is a gadget, but to many writers, the  water cooler is a place where employees can enjoy a brief respite from the work load. It is a popular place during coffee breaks. 

What makes the area far more interesting is the buzz created by the people who surround it. Freelancers who work in a team are apt to associate the water cooler with juicy tidbits of gossip, information, misinformation and possibly a ton of freelancing jargon. Here are some interesting topics you will often hear discussed:

Going Rates. The going rate is also known as your asking price. At what compensation range are you willing to take on projects? How high do you charge and how low are you willing to dive?

Scope Creeps. Have you found yourself in the awkward position of having to please a client who is very fickle? Scope creeps are people who expect you to work for the same rates while changing the volume of work required, asking you to make too many changes or modifying the time needed for you to complete the job.

Low Ballers. No matter how high-end the community or bidding site, there's bound to be a whole lot of the bad kind. Low ballers are freelancers and service providers who go to the extent of charging unreasonably low rates in order to get the job and kill the competition.

Botches and Slip-ups. Gossip aside, the water cooler is also a place to learn from another freelancer's mistakes and how to avoid them. As a green horn to web content writing, you will often be warned by kind enough veterans to steer clear of critical errors that freelancing newbies tend to commit

For even the non-sociable folks, there's a thing or two to glean from hanging out at the water cooler. What you won't be hearing though are best-kept secrets such as which client pays best and how well-paying your last project had been. *
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