Is Mediabistro worth it?
May 26, 2011 6:07 AM   Subscribe

Have any MeFites signed up for Mediabistro or any similar service and if so, was it worth the sign up fee? How about the Mediabistro Marketplace -- has work actually found you through it? I'm not especially interested in their health insurance or classes; I'm purely looking for leads for freelance writing assignments.

(By the way, I'm aware that the same question was five years ago, but the economy and the publishing industry can chance quite a bit in half a decade. I hope folks don't mind my asking again for contemporary information.)
posted by yankeefog to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm going to guess that I'm not in your pasrticular freelance writing industry (perhaps a different niche), but I do run across other freelancers from time to time and listen to what they say. Read this post on the mediabistro forum to get an idea if people get work from it (apparently not/recently posted). I have actually met one of the people who asked if people are getting work (that person posts on that thread) and she reported getting no work or queries as a response of using the service in the past year; that person in particular is a very successful freelancer and offers a unique service. However, that is only one data point, but it makes me doubt that it can provide much.

If you are looking for leads, this is what helped me, but remember that we may have different niches:

• LinkedIn; fill out a detailed profile (VPs, project managers do search it) --this past ask metafilter post has someone from a different industry (see Muffin's comment) talking about how he uses LinkedIn to find people, although that person does not say what he or she looks for.

• Find a list of companies (I found one for my industry, but you can try googling your industry and other terms like “email,” “list” and maybe you will find a list of companies. Write to those people (brief email, list of what you do, etc.).

• Google your industry and companies and if you like what you see (and know from what you read that they are likely to use freelancers), drop an email into the abous us box. I've gottem some work thisway in the past.

I’ve never tried this, but I’ve heard of some freelancers posting their own Craig's list ad offering freelance writing services; some report success, but I cant personally speak to it.
posted by Wolfster at 6:32 AM on May 26, 2011

Best answer: I've been a Mediabistro member off and on for the last five years. I won't be renewing this year. LinkedIn, direct contacts, and other social media outlets have proven far more fruitful in getting freelance work. I will say that Mediabistro is helpful for industry news and the "How to Pitch" series ... I'm just not sure the two features make it worth the price.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 8:21 AM on May 26, 2011

Best answer: For me, it's been worth it for the "How to Pitch" info alone.
posted by caoimhe at 8:55 AM on May 26, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody. That's very helpful.

Sounds like it's definitely not worth paying the monthly fee to be listed in the marketplace, but it may be worth it for me to sign up for the "How To Pitch" info. I'm looking to do more freelance magazine writing, and the "How To Pitch" series is what caught my eye in the first place.
posted by yankeefog at 9:41 AM on May 26, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, and also, thanks very much for the suggestions on using LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn but my profile is pretty bare bones; sounds like it's time to for me to flesh it out.
posted by yankeefog at 9:42 AM on May 26, 2011

this was almost 8 years ago, fwiw, but I used my mediabistro membership to gain access to the freelancer's union health insurance plan. I got a decent plan for a good price--in NYC, which is no small feat. Even with the mediabistro membership fee, it was cheaper than any private plan i could find. So that might make it worthwhile.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:02 PM on May 26, 2011

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