Where Has Winter Gone?

I am one of those strange people who love winter. When the days get shorter, darker and colder I rejoice. While everyone else hibernates, I go for long walks in the cold. And in the summer, when other people throw open their windows and dust off their bikini bottoms, I yank the curtains closed and want to stay in bed.

This year it’s incredibly mild for the middle of February, and I feel like I’m being cheated out of winter. This, coupled with the extra-long, extra-hot summer we had, is making me a bit grumpy.

And then I had to spend an hour on the phone to HMRC this morning, which will never ungrump anyone. So on the whole, it’s been a grumpy week. But there are nice things happening too.  Read More

Learning How To Caffeine Again

If you’re stuck on “How to caffeine” because it’s grammatically incorrect, I recommend Gretchen McCulloch’s upcoming book, Because Internet, which talks about how language changes over time and how the internet has shaped our current modes of communication.

As a proofreader and grammarian I’m happy to follow structural rules when I’m editing texts. As a linguist, however, I’m equally happy to use internetisms (and made-up words) in day-to-day life. Language is fascinating in how it evolves and changes, and all the subtle signals it gives us about in-groups and our own psychology.  Read More

Keeping Warm In The Office

It’s the start of the second month in our new office, and so far we can still afford to keep the heating on. This is good news: a small business isn’t an easy thing to be, and we had to do some financial scraping to rent the office in the first place, but thanks to a nice bank manager we did it and we’re in.

If you’re new here: Hi, I’m Scar, Founder & CEO here at Bohemiacademia. I do a whole bunch of things, including working from our Kensington office three days a week.

Last week we took on a couple of new clients, one for transcription and the other for translation.  Read More

New Year, New Office

Eek, it’s January: the month of making & breaking resolutions, and trying to reassure your body that you’re done with all the cheese and chocolate and you will in fact be eating vegetables sometimes now.

January’s a funny month for the team, because traditionally it’s quiet client-wise but it’s been very busy in terms of work peripherals. So while we haven’t had a huge amount to do per se, I have spent excessive amounts of time in the office, setting up.  Read More

Let’s Talk About Pricing

by Scar de Courcier, Founder, Bohemiacademia 

The freelance life is a complicated one, but for many it’s worth the pain of doing your own admin and being every single department because of the freedom that’s offered.

How much is your time worth? That’s what it all boils down to, in the end. But pricing is hard to work out, especially when you’re at the beginning of your freelance journey. Every industry is different, and your prices will depend on the industry you’re working in as well as the location you’re based in, your level of experience, and a number of other factors. Here is a quick guide to getting started with pricing, and to some common mistakes people make when they’re starting out.  Read More

Winter Is Coming

Hello everyone, I hope you have had an enjoyable week. I currently have a cold, which is quite annoying, but it is to be expected with the onset of the colder weather. Luckily, working from home means that (a) I won’t be infecting any coworkers and (b) I can make myself as many mugs of Lemsip as I want.

We’ve had a fairly quiet week here at Bohemiacademia. November-December are often quieter months, as clients are winding down for the Christmas period, and then in January there’s the mad rush when everyone goes back to work.

Garreth and Jackie have been transcribing various things this week: some videos of a conference which Michelle put together; Carlie’s podcast episodes for one of our clients; and various webinars which people send to us to transcribe.

Transcription is a great way to make sure more people can access your video and audio content. Not only does it mean that those with hearing problems can enjoy it too, it also works well for SEO, as it ensures keywords are being scanned by search engines’ crawlers.

I’ve been doing a bit of proofreading this week, as usual; I’ve been focusing on proofreading in French while Johanna deals with proofreading in English.

I’ve also been chasing some client accounts – the less glamorous part of freelance life is trying to stay on top of what you’re owed, and by whom. We are lucky in that most of our clients pay on time (or even early!), but sometimes people need a little nudge.

The social media management team are hard at work as always – take a look at what Emma has been doing with a client’s Instagram account:

Kathy has been hard at work on Pinterest; having grown one client’s following by 12,000 subscribers over the course of a year, she’s now looking at ways to increase it even further.

On Facebook, our team of administrators and moderators have been looking after groups and pages, checking in daily to combat spam and make sure our clients’ groups remain useful, interesting places for people to converse.

Although they’re not as popular as other social networks, LinkedIn and GooglePlus are also places where we share our clients’ articles and keep people up to date with news in their industries. LinkedIn groups can be a great place to focus some attention, especially if you run a B2B company or if you’re in a technical industry.

Our writers are hard at work as always, of course, writing articles for clients across several different sectors. We can also source interviewees for clients, looking for people in relevant industries whose expertise and opinions might give a boost to reader numbers.

Want to commission a project? Get in touch

Think the freelance life might suit you? Drop us a line

What we’ve been up to this week

Hello everyone! How are you? I’d assumed no one was really reading these weekly missives, but we’ve had a couple of enquiries over the past few days coming through the site so perhaps people do look at them after all.

Today in London the sky looks like this:

This seems to be making some people assume it’s the apocalypse, but of course freelancers deal with all sorts of weird stuff on a daily basis so a little apocalypse won’t stop us working.

It’s been a busy week here at Bohemiacademia – or perhaps I should say ‘everywhere at Bohemiacademia’, since we don’t have a single office.

I’m writing this from my home office, which is in my kitchen, smushed up against the fridge-freezer. On the desk next to the to-do pile is a speaker, which is currently pumping out a cheesy 90s playlist. DON’T JUDGE ME IT’S KEEPING ME GOING. There’s also a bunch of flowers and a card with a pink flamingo wearing sunglasses. All of these things are making me smile as I go about my day.

Other freelancers will be working from their kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, local coffee shops, libraries, coworking spaces… all over the place. In a few weeks’ time we’ll be starting an interview series in which freelancers will be giving you a glimpse into their lives, so you should be able to see where people work from and how they structure their time.

In the meantime, however, we’ve been working on a number of projects.

Our French translation team have been very busy this week. One client needed a full website translation; one needed a full website proofreading service; a third needed some documents translated with a very quick turnaround time; and a fourth needed a bit of editing. The projects have all been completed now, and are being compiled and sent back to the client today.

Carlie has been busy interviewing people for a client’s podcast; this week she’s focusing on health insurance and life in the Netherlands. Once she’s done, our transcription team will take over and type up the interviews for the hearing impaired.

Our social media team have been hard at work as always: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn are the accounts we’re currently managing for our clients.

Of course, writing makes up a huge chunk of our work too; this week Garreth, Debbie, Nichola, Steve and Bella have been sending over features to be proofread by Johanna before being posted on our clients’ websites.

Scar has been interviewing people about digital forensics, pitching projects to potential clients, and having calls with current clients about plans for the next few months.

Want to commission a project? Get in touch

Think the freelance life might suit you? Drop us a line

Welcome To Our New Freelancers!

We’ve welcomed two new people to the team this week: Johanna, who will be helping with writing and proofreading; and Jackie, who’ll be working on transcription projects.

Besides our newbies, the rest of the team has been working hard too. Vincent is translating some French documents for a tech client; Scar is proofreading in English and French for two large websites; and our writing team is churning out articles like the machines they aren’t.

Social media management makes up about 50% of our business, the other 50% being devoted to writing, translation and proofreading. This week Kathy has been managing our clients’ Pinterest accounts, including one that has a whopping 113 boards! That’s a lot of pictures.

Marie has been scouring the internet for articles that may be of interest to our travel client’s readership. One of the best ways to improve your social media presence is to share the love – find people who are writing about subjects your readers might enjoy, and share those too. This works especially well if you tag the people whose posts you’re sharing; often it opens up a conversation and may lead to future collaborations. If nothing else, it demonstrates that you’re keeping up to date with the latest news and views in your field, and helps to establish you or your business as an expert in your area.

Louise, Rhiannon, Kathy and Melissa have been managing our clients’ Facebook accounts. With almost 200 groups and pages to deal with, this is a big job, but they’re keeping on top of it. Spam is one of the most prevalent problems on Facebook groups, so we’ve been doing some research on how to limit this issue for our clients.

One of the best ways to limit spam is to add questions for members. This means that whenever someone asks to join your Facebook group, they have to answer up to three questions before they’re allowed in. Their answers can then be viewed by administrators, who can filter out the spammers. Of course this method isn’t 100% foolproof – on the internet, nothing is – but it does help to get rid of the worst offenders. You’d be surprised at how honest some potential spammers can be!

Emma has been hard at work on our clients’ Twitter and Instagram profiles, sharing interesting content and having conversations with readers. She also queues up posts for some of the Facebook groups and pages.

We’ve had a few podcasts commissioned this month, which Carlie is currently working on. She’ll be interviewing people about their jobs and their experiences of life abroad.

Once these are done, they’ll be sent over to Garreth and Jackie for transcription. At the moment our transcribers are busy typing up videos of talks at conferences that took place earlier this year.

Want to commission a project? Get in touch

Think the freelance life might suit you? Drop us a line

Happy October!

We like to celebrate autumn over here at Bohemiacademia. Or rather I do, and I’m the one writing these weekly round-ups, so you get to celebrate too.

New Facebook Admin Feature

One useful new Facebook group feature is the ability to ban someone from multiple groups. Facebook have been gradually improving their anti-spam measures on groups, and this week’s is another welcome change. If you manage a lot of groups, like we do, you’ll sometimes notice that one person will sign up to several of them. This might be for a legitimate reason, but it might be because they want to spam your members with multi-level marketing scams or annoying ads.

Whereas previously your only options as group admin were to delete and block the member and remove any posts and comments from the past seven days, a wonderful new option has appeared at the bottom of the little pop-up box:

“Apply these changes to other groups that you manage or moderate.”

This means you can now delete Andy the Annoying Advertiser from 24 groups at the click of a single button, rather than having to go through each one and manually remove him.

What We’ve Done This Week

This week we’ve worked on our usual projects, and a few more bits and pieces besides.

Most of our monthly work relates to social media. Kathy has been keeping our clients’ Pinterest accounts updated and fresh; Emma has been looking after Twitter and Instagram; Louise, Kathy, Rhiannon and Melissa have been managing Facebook groups and pages like it’s going out of style.

Scar did some proofreading – 24 articles in total – for a couple of clients.

Other than that, we put together some word clouds for a client who wanted to see what expats are interested in. One focused on Portugal, one on Spain, and one internationally. The word clouds themselves took a very short time to put together, but the research that went into them took several weeks. The idea was to find out what people search for the most when they’re moving abroad. You can find the word clouds below; if you’re interested in the full results, drop us a line.

We also audited a mobile website for one of our clients, looking at the user experience and how it could be improved.

Garreth transcribed various files – some conference videos which Michelle had recorded; a couple of podcasts Carlie had put together; and a few webinars from our clients.

Now I’m off to have some client calls and see what this week has in store for the team. See you next week!

Want to commission a project? Get in touch

Think the freelance life might suit you? Drop us a line