Tag Archives: articles

When to Call it Quits


I thought I’d found the solution to my monetary problems. I was offered a chance to write 500 word articles for $20. My usual rate for 500 words varies on the amount of research, the style, and who the audience is, but it’s a safe bet that I usually charge between $10 – $15 per. This particular client made it all seem easy peasy, so I rattled off a test article for them. The “CEO” of their company liked it, but it needed some changes to go with their style guide. So I re-wrote it. Then I didn’t hear back. I tried reaching the “CEO” through several channels and after TWO WEEKS, I find out that 1) they’re still interested, but 2) they’ve changed the parameters, so now it’s 250 words for $10. That’s still pretty good, considering it’s just a small write-up, but would it be worth it to work for someone who thinks it’s ok to disappear for 2 weeks (while being “online” on Skype!!!)?

Try to do your own sleuthing

Ok, maybe we can’t really do background checks but people talk. Research the company or person who is commissioning the work. Do they have a lot of feedback? Or are they so difficult to find that it almost seems shady?

Stay in contact

Admittedly, I was becoming a bit of a pain in the posterior for this “CEO”. I messaged him daily on Skype, always reminding him that I still hadn’t heard from him. I then took to pestering his “assistant” but she’d only deflect it and say that he was going to contact me shortly. It never hurts to chase people down, but you might end up burning a bridge if you’re too zealous or if the person truly did have a good reason for being incommunicado.

Is it worth the hassle?
Man, $10 for 250 words could be the easiest money I’ve ever made. I could crank out article after article, no problem. But what if I were to take the job and the contact disappears again? What if the work runs out? I’m not even 40% confident in this employer.

To make a long story short, the “CEO” asked me to redo (AGAIN) a test article, this time for 250 words. But he was VERY vague about what he wanted and didn’t answer my last few questions before signing off. Needless to say, I’m not even going to pursue it anymore.

And the loser never gave me my $20!!

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The frustration of finding writing work


Yesterday I looked in my bank account and wasn’t that satisfied with what I saw. You see, for the past month I’d been doing really well, getting steady work, buying some nice shoes, feeling a little overconfident…then I got lazy. I realized a little late that I hadn’t put many bids for work out there.

Keeping a schedule?

Schedules are hard to make when you freelance. You never know what your workload is going to be for any given week. If I can be punching out one 500-word article a night, I’m having steady work. If I have three articles per night, I’m officially swamped, but that’s only because I also work full time and have a family to care for.

Always bid

If you use sites to get work, such as Getacoder.com or Elance.com, make sure you keep consistently bidding. If you take a break and none of the clients choose your bid, you won’t have any work a few days later.

Don’t count on your repeat clients

I have a handful of clients who require my writing services fairly regularly, but I can’t wait around until they approach me. If I’m going to have a lot of work, I’m going to have to constantly get the ball rolling myself. Additionally, I have to make sure I don’t overbook myself with new clients, so I’ll be able to have room for the repeats.

Balance

Freelance writing is a balancing act. Some people prefer the steadiness of a full time writing job, while others like the flexibility of freelancing. Just make sure you keep everything well balanced and that you don’t stretch yourself out too thin!

Every writer has his or her own writing process. The real trick is to find a rhythm in your work cycle and making it work. I’m now off to put in some more bids, I want that bank account looking a bit better now!

Why do we ghostwrite?


I recently finished a series of articles for a repeat client who has consistently praised my efforts, so I try to go the extra mile for him. This series was different from a previous project, in that it was to be less formal, and from a 1st person perspective. I related some personal experiences in the articles and made them as interesting as I could. I handed them in and he was as happy with them as ever. After a few days, I did a search on a portion of the content of one of the articles. I do this from time to time out of curiosity. I like to see what happens to my work after I hand it in. He had placed one particular article in several sites. He had put them under his own name, as we had previously agreed upon. I just found it strange that someone would take an article, slap their name on it, knowing that they didn’t do the actual work.

Why do we do it?

If any outsource users would like to shed some light into this, I’d love to know. I do a lot of ghostwriting with my freelance work. Even when I’m writing SEO articles, they go under someone else’s authorship. Erotica is also very big right now, so I suppose money is a big motivator there.

What do we get?

I see advertisements for full on e-books, 35000 words, and they pay $15. To me, that’s just not right, but who am I to judge? If there are people out there who are willing to work for so little, then that’s their business. On another end of that, there are people who will write a full length book for maybe $2000 at the most, and not get any credit. In cases such as these, depending on the project, I could be convinced to get on board, I admit it.

Who’s in the wrong?

Are we as writers,- the ones who have all the brains and know-how to write really good articles, blogs, books etc- the stupid ones for ghostwriting? Without us, some of these people who hire us would have nothing to go on. But without THEM, where would we find work?

Do I really want to put my name on that?

In my experience, the best kind of ghostwriting is for erotica, and the only reason I say that is because I am not looking to make a name for myself in that genre. E.L. James is currently kicking everyone’s butt sales-wise, and those books aren’t even all that good. I would rather have my name on blog articles, because that is the type of work I want to associate my name with.

All that said, ghostwriting can be a good way to make a few bucks, but don’t undersell yourself just because your name isn’t going to be on the cover. And hey, if no one likes it, it’s not your name that people will associate it with!