Don’t worry, I won’t be boring you with an announcement when I sell each article on the freelance writing site Textbroker!
I just wanted to update you with additional things I have learned.
By the way, this is the second article in a short series on my adventures in Freelancing. You can read the first one here.
Rather than choosing a highly technical computer HOWTO article like the first time, I wrote a personal finance piece. It required very little research, and I invested 2-3 hours into it. Yes, 3 hours for a $9 payout is below minimum wage. It is easy to be discouraged. In fact, I was discouraged after the first one, and that is why I didn’t write any articles for quite a while. But my friend Chip says I should think of it as a paid internship. People are paying me to learn how to write professionally. Sure, you might think anyone with the help of Grammarly can write well. It takes more than that.
The customer will usually have requirements about what voice to use.
They often have keywords they want you to use, and at what density. Often they want you to write in a certain voice. Ideally, they will put all this information in the job description.
In this article, they wanted me to write an article that closely mimicked the style of another article by a competitor. It felt slightly shady, but I did it anyway. I mimicked the style of the article. I used the first person, as that is what the source article was written in. I rewrote the headings but the content under the headings was totally my own.
I submitted it, and the customer came back with a request that it needed to be in the third person as it is going on a business website for a mortgage company. WTF? If you have a requirement that important, it needs to be in the initial instructions! I was turned off at first and was going to walk away, but I thought about it and decided to rewrite it. It only took another 20 minutes to change from first to third person. I have heard that some customers demand endless rewrites to get several free versions of the articles they can use on different websites. Since they are rewritten, they are unique enough to pass a plagiarism check. Thankfully, this customer accepted my rewrite. I assume that they may be new to hiring freelance writers and it was an honest mistake.
What am I going to do going forward? I actually wrote this article weeks ago, but I didn’t publish it. I have written a grand total of 2 articles as a freelance writer. It is hard to find the motivation to write for less than minimum wage. I could go flip burgers for more money. I have decided I should just write for my own sites. There are fewer rules to follow, and I am building a business. The difference between $3 an hour and $0 an hour is negligible. But in the long term, writing keyword-focused content for my own sites should pay off more.
I may continue to write for Textbroker or another marketplace, but not enthusiastically.
My next article in this series will be with another freelancer site. Stay tuned! I’ll link it here.