1. Advertising
    y u no do it?

    Advertising (learn more)

    Advertise virtually anything here, with CPM banner ads, CPM email ads and CPC contextual links. You can target relevant areas of the site and show ads based on geographical location of the user if you wish.

    Starts at just $1 per CPM or $0.10 per CPC.

4 Years Later... Has Anything Changed?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by jhmattern, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. #1
    For those here who aren't familiar with me, my name is Jenn Mattern. I used to be a mod here at DP before quitting the forum entirely in 2010, and I spent a lot of time around the Copywriting section. This is my first time posting here in four years.

    I came across a link to a thread this morning and decided to poke around a bit and see if things have changed at all. I see a lot of new faces, not many old ones, and a lot of the same conversations coming up, especially around the issues of pricing and marketing / finding gigs.

    So, let me ask you a couple of things.

    1. For any older members who are still lurking about, what's going on these days with your own writing? Any exciting developments?
    2. For newer members I might not have met yet, what are some of your biggest questions and concerns about freelance copywriting or content writing?

    I'm curious to see if anything has changed -- if there are new challenges facing writers here or new opportunities making things easier on beginner freelance writers, especially as it pertains to webmaster-oriented markets.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)
    SEMrush
     
    jhmattern, Nov 24, 2014 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    788
    Best Answers:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    265
    #2
    I would be a year old here next month. So I wouldn't really be aware about how the market here was 4 years back.

    A non-native freelance content writer, I primarily came to this website in search of work. However, the Content section came across to me to be quite depressing on the whole. Non-native writers are more than willing to work for ridiculously paltry rates and since buyers mostly look for the cheapest they can get, the good ones among the lot are getting chucked out badly. As for the rest of the market, it demands only native writers. Even if a good non-native writer approaches a buyer from this part of the market, he/she is rejected outrightly without even being given a chance to prove his/her worth. (I say this because 95% of the times when I approach a 'STRICTLY natives wanted' buyer, I'm rejected just because I'm not a native. In most cases these buyers simply don't respond and that hurts.) There is a general notion prevalent here that non-natives can't produce content as effectively as natives which may be true for the most part, but there are for sure some non-natives here who can deliver the quality natives produce.
    Heck, this debate has been going on and will go on endlessly and though it may somewhat appear from my words that I am grumbling about it, IT'S NOT SO. I voice this because it has been eating me for quite a while now. I don't want to and don't intend to start another argument about this topic here.

    @jhmattern, the biggest challenge I face at the moment, as you figured it out correctly, is finding lucrative work that can help me to make a very good career in writing. That's precisely why I've created this thread titled ''Where is the lucrative ONLINE market for freelance writers?” - https://forums.digitalpoint.com/thr...-online-market-for-freelance-writers.2738323/. The inputs so far have been very helpful to me. I would greatly appreciate if you have something to share too.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    Content Maestro, Nov 24, 2014 IP
  3. TIEro

    TIEro Active Member

    Messages:
    741
    Likes Received:
    177
    Best Answers:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    70
    #3
    I've been around for a fairly long time, though I can't remember the details of my original account (or the email's dead or something), so this one's only been open since Feb '13.

    The biggest changes for me have come since Google made it very clear that spun content and other low-quality bollocks was no longer welcome. Their changes to slap the niche site nonsense killed my experiment with those, which wasn't a bad thing since I sucked at it, anyway! Since the big changes at Google (and the required 6 months while all the slowpokes catch up), I've found a lot more better-paid work.

    (I believe) This is partly because more site owners realise that quality content pays for itself, especially over time. It's also because the massive lemming-rush of truly appalling writers has slowed down (because there are far fewer "OMG! It's easy to be a writer! Earn $25,000 a week!" get-rich-quick schemes around, because the niche site thing isn't so easy any more, at a guess). It's also because most of the really crap writers are either working on the bidding sites or iWriter, and with employers being more aware of the consequences of buying rubbish (GIGO!), they're not such competition as they used to be. It's also, I guess, because I've been writing for a while, so I've finally realised that "the pie is infinite" - i.e. that if a job doesn't pay enough, I'll let it go; there will be another.

    That last is probably the biggest thing for any writer to learn, IMHO. Fear is the primary motivator for taking crap jobs, and employers know this. Whether consciously or unconsciously, it's always a factor in propositions, and too many freelancers fall prey to it.

    Unfortunately, IMHO, there is still a massive number of sites and individuals offering "coaching" and "courses", the vast majority of which are complete crap. It's just so easy to claim to be a pro writer, and beginners are such gullible noobs that they'll pay hundreds of dollars for - in the end - a pile of bollocks they could have discovered for themselves by hunting around online.

    On the other hand, there are lots of decent sites around, offering good opportunities or easy ways to earn a little. The standard tradeoff is, of course, ease against earnings - if it's dead simple, it pays less. Most of the really bad scammy sites are disappearing, rev share is slowly dying a death (and it was never really that good unless you got lucky or knew how to drive massive traffic), so what's left is generally pretty reasonable.

    Writing is certainly something anyone can do, but there are far too many money-grabbers around who will try to convince folks that it's something anyone can do well enough to get paid a proper wage... and that's not the case.
     
    TIEro, Nov 25, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  4. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    788
    Best Answers:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    265
    #4
    That was very well said and encouraging @TIEro.:) I guess adopting the abundance mentality is the key to make good money by writing.
    Would you mind mentioning some of them here?:rolleyes: Or rather hinting how and where to find them?

    Google has changed its policies a lot over time and spun or crappy content is being thrown out, no doubt. However, I am still wondering when these changes will affect the entire market so that the demand for sub-par or low-quality content anywhere in almost extinct!
     
    Content Maestro, Nov 25, 2014 IP
  5. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    140
    Best Answers:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    70
    #5
    People don't always know / realize that they are receiving less than quality content due to the fact that English isn't their first language either and/or their reading comprehension skills of the English language are not that strong.

    For some projects, as long as the content appears to have been written by a human and it can be understood by the target audience, the project owner is satisfied. Many people create an endless loop of "throwaway" type sites. "More sites the better" mentality. The quality of the text is not a high priority. The text just simply needs to be "good enough."

    There will always be a demand for this type of content. Google can slap the sites that have content that was obviously not written by a human, was written to target the search engines etc, but Google can't pick through sites with a fine tooth comb. Google is not human. Google is not a human proofreader. There are limitations to evaluating a site and its content.

    I'm perfectly content to let people who produce lower quality content to work with the buyers who want such content. Writers who have skills above this market, need to stop obsessing about this market and focus on themselves. What can I do to attract the clients I want? Realize that that level of writer is not your competition. Those types of buyers are not the buyers you really want to work with anyway. It's not important that lower quality "writers" and low paying buyers have flooded this forum and other writing resources. They are here to stay. If you are a skilled writer, realize that and move on. A skilled writer will always have the advantage.

    A writer is responsible for himself/herself. No one but me determines what project I'm willing to accept and at what rate. Sure, I get passed over on projects. Others, I don't. In the meantime, I write for myself and have other projects that allow me to pay the bills if my writing income from clients slumps. Even when you build yourself and business to have a steady base of regular paying clients, you will have down times. It's the nature of the freelance business.

    Building a client base, building your reputation, takes time. There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula. The key is, to build multiple sources of income. A writer should use his/her writing skills for themselves. In time, projects mature. Your effort pays off and you can accept the projects you want because you want them, not because you have to.
     
    TextServices, Nov 25, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  6. Alex Toll

    Alex Toll Active Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    29
    Best Answers:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    73
    #6
    Here's my list of concerns:
    1. Mediocre quality standards really ruin it for outstanding writers. Clients don't know what they want and that's why they're OK with some garbage writing. But hey! At least it's only $1/100 words. It's like when you come to a yacht dealership and don't know a thing about yachts. They'll definitely sell something awful to you, unless they have some professional integrity. A lot of the freelance writers don't have that now.
    2. Uncertainty about standards applied by businesses in SEO and content management. All because Google always changes their mind about how things should work and there are tons of SEO 'gurus', who think that they're the best or at least pretend. In turn this puts additional pressure on copywriters. I've seen companies decline great copy only because it was not up to their SEO standards, dictated by some neckbeard, who's not even a full time SEO specialist.
    3. Honesty. Both on the client and on the writer side. I've seen too many writers make up excuses about hurricanes, storms, earthquakes, car accidents. I even once had a guy, who has been in a flood, hurricane and a car accident, all in a matter of 1 week. That poor soul had accidents happening to him on weekly basis.
    4. Irrelevance. Check out article summarizer bots on Reddit, for example. Damn, they create great article summaries. I feel like in 20 years we'll have the tech to replace copywriters on a massive scale. And this is really sad, because people are stupid sometimes. Look at Buzzfeed. They keep clicking those click-bait titles, even though they know that the content is mediocre. I think, to a certain extent, people feel the same about copy - they don't judge it's quality, they aren't moved by it. They just act upon their instincts, manipulated by modern writing techniques. That's why it's possible to automate copywriting process.
     
    Alex Toll, Nov 26, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  7. Kenya Writer

    Kenya Writer Active Member

    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    44
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    #7
    Nothing has changed. By the way, if you mean change for the worst, then the content market has ridiculously fallen in terms of pay. If there is no hope for change now, it is highly unlikely better rates for quality content will show up in future.
     
    Kenya Writer, Nov 26, 2014 IP
  8. Crimebuster_of_the_Sea

    Crimebuster_of_the_Sea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    41
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    #8
    Better rates for quality content are available, just not on this forum. It really annoys me to see so many people complaining about non native writers driving prices down. They're not your competition and those prices would still be around no matter what. Look for work away from the forum and you'll find plenty enough to go around.
     
    Crimebuster_of_the_Sea, Nov 26, 2014 IP
  9. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    4,803
    Likes Received:
    1,943
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    420
    #9
    I remember you from way back when, @jhmattern. In fact, I was looking at an older post and saw your name and wondered what had happened to you, etc., just a few weeks ago. I had a long leave of absence myself and just came back earlier this year. Not sure that much has changed, except for a lot of the people and that always keeps things interesting.
     
    jrbiz, Dec 5, 2014 IP
  10. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    794
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    455
    #10
    jrbiz, Not much really "happened" to me. I just got fed up with certain things around here and decided there were better ways to spend my time. So I've been keeping busy with those things. :)

    After poking around a bit, I agree. It doesn't look like much as changed. Writers are still struggling with marketing, with many of them still looking for the easy path to bigger money (which, of course, doesn't exist). Cheap clients are still soliciting writers. And far too many still don't understand basics like copyrights and the difference between copywriting and content writing (I can see an entire thread on that issue where only one person touched on the real difference -- yikes). As bad as that is, I suppose I can take solace in the fact that more writers seem to be getting information in better places than webmaster forums these days. There are far more writer communities around now than there were when I was a regular here. :)

    --

    crimebuster -- Great example of an old problem. Low-priced, overseas writers are almost never competition if you're in a significantly higher rate bracket. One part of a target market is the willingness and ability to pay your rates. Acting like overseas writers are their competition and hurting them is little more than an excuse some writers use to justify why they aren't reaching their goals. That's always on them, not writers in different markets. But you know, it's always easier to blame something (or someone) else.

    --

    Kenya Writer -- Fallen? Yikes. I'm not sure how that's even possible. When I was around previously, it wasn't uncommon for people to offer a penny per word, or even less. I'm curious if anyone still has luck with what I used to call the "underground" market here though -- meeting better clients here who aren't directly advertising for writers. That was how I landed almost all of my DP clients in the past, and some of them have been working with me for 8 years now. I landed some of my best clients here by focusing on platform, not advertised gigs. That's the same strategy I encourage other writers to take in general, not only on forums. Once you build your reputation and build enough demand that you have more gigs coming in than you can take on, you never have to worry about those ridiculously low-paying advertised gigs again.

    --

    Alex,

    1. Don't let crappy writers ruin anything for you. If you're better than that, don't put yourself in a position where you compete with them. A client willing to hire a lousy writer simply because they're cheap is not a client in your target market. It's not worth wasting your energy worrying about them. Put that towards finding better clients instead. Plenty exist. :)

    2. I feel your pain on the SEO front. I have a very love-hate relationship with Google. But I've had one policy my entire career that's served me very well -- always write for readers, never write for Google. While you'll have some fluctuations as algorithm changes roll out, the trick is not to panic and try to change everything each time it happens. Just keep providing great content and keep proving copy that converts. In the end, it always works out. :) As for clients who insist on following shady SEO advice, I'm at the point where I simply put my foot down. If something violates my ethics, I don't take it on. If something could put me at risk in any way, I don't take it on. And in either case, I work to educate clients. I've found most are willing to learn. Clients always benefit when they move from algorithm-chasing habits to more responsible long-term emphasis on their target markets. That's one of the reasons I encourage writers to focus on building demand -- when clients are coming to you, they're more likely to listen to what you have to say (and you're in a better position to walk away from any gig with SEO, or other, requirements you're not comfortable with).

    3. That's awful. I suspect we'll always have people like that. Just as clients wouldn't put up with that from writers for very long, I think it's important that freelancers expect a similar level of honesty. There are sleazy freelancers, for sure. And there are also buyers who make up excuses when they want to stall payments. One way to protect yourself is to get paid up front (either in full like I do, or at least a 50% deposit to decrease your risk of not getting paid at all). Whether you're the buyer or the freelancer, the best thing you can probably do is move on as soon as the current contract ends.

    4. I haven't seen a bot that comes close to competing with a professional copywriter (thankfully). In the end, I suspect it'll come down to what clients want, just like now with professional copywriters vs new writers or low-cost writers who might rewrite things. There are people who are willing to take major risks (like the legal risks involved in hiring cheap writers who rewrite material from others) to save a buck. Then there are clients who understand what pros bring to the table -- understanding of niche markets, real-world experience that allows them to share unique stories, etc. Those clients who understand that copywriting is an investment that can pay off several times over will continue to work with pros. Those looking to cut costs at every turn might very well try automated options. But again, those buyers aren't really in your target market, so it's not worth wasting energy worrying about them.

    --

    TextServices,

    I agree. Clients who don't speak English fluently (or simply not as their first language) are often manipulated by bottom-feeding freelancers. Those "writers" know these clients aren't in the best position to judge quality. And they take advantage of them. It's sad, but at the same time, clients have a responsibility to protect themselves. I hope more of them have realistic expectations now and are working with adequate budgets to hire native English speakers (if that's what they want). And I hope that they're doing their due diligence in checking past work and getting referrals from people they trust.

    I also agree completely that writers need to stop obsessing over clients who do want this lower-quality, cheaper content. It's not their problem. It's not their competition. And it does nothing but take time away from growing their own business.

    And yes, alternative revenue streams are a great idea, and not only for slow times. :)

    --

    TIEro,

    It sounds like you have a great way of looking at it. :)

    You're right about fear motivating writers to take on garbage gigs. No decision made out of fear or desperation is going to be the best decision for your business. But then again, that's part of the problem. Some freelancers fail to realize they're in business. They instead operate in more of an employee-style paycheck-to-paycheck mentality. And that doesn't lead to growth or stability.

    Don't get me started on some of the so-called "coaches." Even some of the best known have little respect among more experienced pros due to serious ethical issues from ripping off colleagues, to engaging in major black hat tactics to build visibility (rather than earning it on merit), to outright lying. Thankfully these folks aren't as prominent as they once were, but there are still a few. The problem is that new writers don't know their real history because they weren't around to witness the bad behavior. It will always be easy to treat newbies as suckers, and there will always be people happy to do it, and profit from it. It's disgusting. But karma eventually catches up to people. We've seen it before in the freelance writing community, and I know we'll see it again.

    --

    Content Maestro,

    While I can empathize with your situation, I'm not surprised that buyers wouldn't respond if they asked for native English speakers. If you don't meet the requirements they lay out, 9 times out of 10 the best move is to find other opportunities. Buyers understandably get annoyed when people who don't meet their requirements contact them, just as you're unhappy when you don't get a positive response simply because you're not a native English speaker.

    That said, you're asking the wrong question. It's not a matter of "where" decent gigs are. It's a matter of "how" you go about landing them. I've been saying this for years, and it's still true. Most of the best freelance writing jobs are never publicly advertised. High budget clients tend to find writers via search and referrals. That's why it's important to build a platform, make sure your professional website is easy to find in search engines, and build a solid network of prospects, colleagues, and industry professionals in your specialty area so you get more referral-based work. Specialize, and then make yourself a go-to resource in that specialty area. Those are just a few things to get you started. But there are two basic ways to get the best gigs. You either build your platform and network to get clients to come to you (what I call "query-free freelancing" and what I personally focus on), or you identify key clients you want to work for and you pitch them directly. While there are occasional gems on job boards and bidding sites, they're exceptions rather than the rule. And focusing on them exclusively probably isn't the best use of any writer's time.

    --

    Thanks all. I appreciate you giving me a feel for the changes (or lack thereof) with writers in the community. :)
     
    jhmattern, Dec 8, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  11. coreygeer

    coreygeer Notable Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    308
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    240
    Digital Goods:
    1
    #11
    To be honest, I gave up on writing altogether.

    I know the market hasn't seemed to change for forum writers too much but even $1 per 100 words these days is considered expensive to a lot of these clients. I started writing about 8 years ago when $1 per 100 words was considered a laughable and starter wage for forums like these. Now, $1 is considered expensive to most of the clientele that comes here.

    I've been trying to find local businesses or even out of state businesses that I thought could use some touching up on their copy. Everyone usually just doesn't reply or thinks I'm an overseas spammer. My friend owns a small business with nothing to do with SEO or writing but he still gets bombarded by broken English emails asking if he wants cheap services like the ones I'm trying to advertise. Even with CAPTCHAS on all of his contact forms, he gets bombarded for some reason.

    Web development has been treating me yields better. It's still tough to compete against terrible coders that are willing to put a PSD into Wordpress for $100 but it's far easier than finding freelance writing work anymore.

    Also, what is the deal with people and having people send them samples? People can pull those 'samples' anywhere off the internet and claim it as their own. I was always under the impression that a professional had a portfolio or a resume. I have no idea why a lot of clients here are stuck on samples.

    Back 8 years ago, I would be swarmed with more work than I could do if I put out an advertisement saying "AMERICAN HERE - ONLY $1 PER 100 WORDS". When I try that today, I get told that it's too expensive and the inbox just idly sits empty. It's a depressing time to try to make a living through freelancing.
     
    coreygeer, Dec 9, 2014 IP
  12. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    794
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    455
    #12
    I'm sorry to hear that you gave up on writing. There really are great gigs out there -- and a lot of them. You just won't find them publicly advertised, and most aren't going to come from places like DP. It comes down to that query-free freelancing thing I mentioned. Build a solid writer platform (an audience, reputation in your specialty area, etc.) and a good professional network, and you can get more work than you can handle. I haven't had a slow period in many years and am usually booked up to 6 weeks out. And that's at an average of $150 an hour. The work is there. It's possible you just weren't going about finding it in the best ways.

    Something else probably played a role though -- your rates. If you were offering to write at a rate of $1.00 per 100 words, it doesn't surprise me that it turned off clients. You'll have the ridiculously cheap clients you mentioned. But ignore them. They're not your target clients anyway. But you can also turn off serious clients with respectable budgets by charging too little. Here's why:

    These clients are used to seeing amateurs, SEO spammers, and overseas writers with broken English charging rates like those. So when you charge those rates, you immediately lump yourself in with those groups. When you tell them you're a U.S. writer, it won't necessarily help you. That's because writers in those other groups often lie, saying English is their first language or claiming experience that they simply don't have (like you mentioned, sometimes by sharing samples that they didn't even write). The mistake is in trying to compete with those kinds of writers on price.

    Clients with budgets to hire professionals expect to see freelancers charging professional-level rates. Anything too low makes them question your experience or credentials because you're telling them you don't value your time and skills more than the low rates you're charging. That makes a service provider look like a riskier prospect. A client expecting to pay $50, $75, $100 per hour or more often won't even consider writers charging significantly less than that. So it's possible that your low rates were hurting your chances of landing higher-paying clients.

    That said, it sounds like you found work you're happier with. And as long as you're earning what you need to earn and you're happy with your work, that's all that matters. :)
     
    jhmattern, Dec 9, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  13. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

    Messages:
    23,694
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    440
    #13
    Its the same in every "Internet" related industry. Even Hosting is affected by this idea that everything should cost pennies or nothing. Sad to see everyone lose site of "value" in exchange for diminished quality at below market prices. Keep in mind, this is a global market with volumes of people in 3rd world countries all vying for that same 1 dollar bill. Many will do most anything for that buck, or less than a buck. I would imagine also that that buck goes a lot further in other places as well, which is why others can undercut so low.

    It is very disappointing though to find that businesses will spending thousands on one time black and white print ads, but expect their web site built, hosted and continually updated for near nothing.

    My suggestion would be to looking for clients that understand value. Short of that, I doubt very much anyone can be competitive in any industry that commands such low return, (or a loss) on the time and work involved in it.
     
    Mia, Dec 19, 2014 IP
    jrbiz likes this.
  14. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    794
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    455
    #14
    There's no such thing as a true "global market" when it comes to writing, and there never will be. I addressed that way back in 2006 and nothing has changed. While there's more true global competition in more technical areas (like programming and even hosting), it isn't true of all web-based markets. The key is in understanding that no single market exists -- there are countless markets out there, and it's the responsibility of the service provider to identify and target the right ones. It's just a part of being in business.
     
    jhmattern, Dec 19, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  15. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    4,803
    Likes Received:
    1,943
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    420
    #15
    I think that @Mia hit it on the head about seeking clients that understand value. But be sure to have a solid pitch for them about why you provide can unique value to them. Below are some thoughts/comments that might get you thinking about your own unique value.

    Right now, I am at the early stage of my latest company's growth cycle and I have to do everything, myself; however, in a year or two (assuming that I am successful), I will be back to using freelancers for a wide variety of marketing activities. I always use DP for graphics design contests, because I get to see the work beforehand and there are some really good artists out there from around the world. However, I and most of my peers (senior sales/marketing executive management types) are extremely cautious when using a copywriter because any copy that a company puts out is a direct reflection of that company's attention to detail, approach to quality, etc. And, if I have to correct grammar, spelling, syntax, etc., I might as well write it myself. It is amazing at how well American businesspeople have gotten at recognizing even a slight mis-usage of the English language as a big red flag. Thank you, spammers, for that.

    Because I am involved with technical companies, I also value writers with experience in the specific industry. Someone talking to me who has a portfolio of work right in my niche is usually of great interest to me. Likewise, on the rare occasion when a copywriter can convince me that s/he has superior sales copywriting skills (i.e., can close the deal, cause the action, etc., just by the magical power of words) that can be applied to my specific situation, I am likely to give them a go. Or, if I get a referral from a trusted colleague who raves about the success of a particular copywriter, I am likely willing to give that person a try at an initial project.

    But the unique value selling does not stop with prospects. For example, I am too darn busy to do a serious search for such outsourced work on a regular basis. So, if I hire you and you do a great (not just good) job for me, I will undoubtedly pick up the phone and call you for my next project. I will not even mind you checking in with me once every month or two to stay top of mind and keep me apprised of any new experiences, skills, success stories, etc., (I appreciate attention from my vendors...makes my job easier.) I will also likely refer you to my fairly large network of business colleagues (I have been at this for decades, after all) because it is a win/win for me. I make a trusted vendor happy by helping to keep him/her growing and I also help out a colleague (who then owes me a favor) by connecting him/her to a great vendor.

    Final note: there are a lot of folks out there just like me...the trick is to find and engage them, of course. :)
     
    jrbiz, Dec 19, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  16. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    794
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    455
    #16
    You bring up a great point about freelancers getting in touch with previous clients from time to time. It's a shame more don't do that because it's a great way to land new projects. Sometimes clients get too distracted by other things and they don't plan for new content or copy when they normally would. I usually suggest following up about seasonal projects for example. If you wrote copy for a successful holiday promotion in previous years, reach out to that client to see if they're interested in doing something similar this year.

    A colleague, Cathy Miller of http://SimplyStatedBusiness.com, takes that a step further, and I love her approach. She periodically follows up with clients by sharing information of interest to them -- forwarding a report or important news story related to their industry for example. One of the smartest networkers I know. :)
     
    jhmattern, Dec 19, 2014 IP
    Content Maestro likes this.
  17. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

    Messages:
    1,544
    Likes Received:
    788
    Best Answers:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    265
    #17
    I think this is quite natural. Internet being a global phenomenon, the options available are virtually infinite as compared to those you've when the scope is limited to a particular region.
    There are some factors to consider here, some of which you already know:
    1. Many people look at the internet as a way to make a quick small buck. So they're more than willing to work for ridiculously rock-bottom prices. This brings the market's overall price bracket much lower.
    2. Another factor is the cutthroat competition. Due to internet's global expanse, online marketplaces and other similar sites swarm with an alarmingly high number of people. For every job/gig out there, there will literally be thousands of service providers looking to grab it. The cheapest one normally wins the bid – so, the lower you charge, the better edge you have on others. Even folks offering to do something for the lowest price imaginable are being undercut!
    3. The monetary value of one American dollar is not the same across the globe. E.g. a writer based in New York will most certainly think $10 for 500 words to be a crap rate as it might not even pay off his/her day's rent while a writer (who delivers equally good) from some other part of the world where one US dollar when equated to one corresponding unit of that particular country's currency comes out to a lot more would consider this price to be fantastic.
    4. Many things have become automated. There are scripts and programs available for almost every basic task. One doesn't really have to learn and acquire the trade skills needed to perform an 'excellent' job. E.g. a writer may simply reword some article easily available in Google's top results using a spinner, make it readable and legible and pass it off as an 'original, high-quality and unique' work! A web-designer may simply use some easily available low-cost templates and build a good looking site around them for which they might even get paid something in the higher/highest bracket! A coder might just compile a handful of readily accessible scripts into a wonderful application and charge top dollar for it! Examples like these can be given for almost every vocation. The point I wanna make here is these 'trade tools' enable even a layperson to offer a service, enter the market and compete with others. This aggravates the said competition. Real expertise is greatly undervalued in such a scenario. Some of what I said might sound a bit/very exaggerated but the gist is same.
    5. Some people are not really concerned about the price they put on their work. E.g. a noob writer will be ready to write just for some pennies on the dollar yet deliver excellent quality because he/she FIRST wants to gain some clientele and probably build a rep and visibility - basically something just like an introductory offer that's valid ONLY for a short time. Obviously, once all these have been acquired along with some standing, the writer will probably never look back and charge only rates that are worth their time, ability and efforts.
    6. A lot of freelancers who start out are goaded into believing that the rates often quoted everywhere on job boards, freelance sites, webmaster forums and other types of online marketplaces are the standard market norms. E.g if I'm a freelance writer who looks *exclusively* to such sites for work, I'm bound to conceive that the usually quoted (ludicrously) low rates are all that's there to life. I'll probably never try to look beyond it and think about raising my standards (both in terms of price and quality). I will never understand that the better and higher paying market segment is out there and I can get hold of it ONLY if I care to proactively seek for better ways to monetize my skills and market myself effectively on better platforms.
    There indeed are many reasons but these are just a few of those that have occurred to me at the moment.

    The problem is fed on the other side by undereducated buyers. Elites who have a real discernment of quality and prioritize caliber over price are very few. (Needless to say they will never go for a service just because it's cheap.) Doesn't it make you bellylaugh that a buyer looking 'only' for 'high quality and grammatically perfect' copy should accept and entertain messages from writers who 'experience dis write field for the 3 years past', '(are) interest in apply for job', 'rights only hi qwalitee' etc.? Demands generate supplies - so before anything, it's the buyers who have to understand what is at stake when they ask for the lowest price on everything. Once this end of the market gets better, it'll automatically spark off the necessary improvements at the sellers' end. When the demand for cheap stuff isn't there any more, how can the supply manage to survive …. or even exist? Well, a situation where cheap stuff is not at all in demand may never be a reality, but scope for improvement is definitely there.:)

    The keys I guess to survive in this type of market are patience and perseverance. You might have to work at first at rates lower than your standards but you can eventually work the way up from there. Easier said than done, I know, but equally true is the law that 'good things come to those who wait.' Aren't the recent updates from Google to their algos a good thing? With authoritative, real good quality and reader-oriented content being increasingly in demand, all shoddy, spun and low-grade stuff is being weeded out. This is one thing that's surely giving the bottom-end writers a run for their money.:) Quality ALWAYS gets the better of everything else.

    Anyway, just my 2c.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
    Content Maestro, Dec 20, 2014 IP
    jrbiz likes this.
  18. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

    Messages:
    23,694
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    440
    #18
    To the contrary, it's just as "Global" as anything else. Case in point. I can pay pennies for copy from India vs. what I can pay someone here in the US. Is it Apples to Apples in terms of content and quality? Probably not, but its cheap and getting things for less in order to remain competitive - well that's just another part of being in business.

    Everything has changed 10 fold since 2006. People can pay next to nothing for everything regardless of what you might believe it's value might be. You're just an email away from cheap writers as much as you are an internet search away from cheap web hosting. The "Global Market" is not one single market. It's just a larger conglomeration of multiple markets all competing for the same buck. Except for much less.
     
    Mia, Dec 22, 2014 IP
  19. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

    Messages:
    8,910
    Likes Received:
    794
    Best Answers:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    455
    #19
    Actually, it doesn't sound like much has changed at all....
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
    jhmattern, Dec 22, 2014 IP
  20. Mia

    Mia R.I.P. STEVE JOBS

    Messages:
    23,694
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    440
    #20
    ^ Well that we can certainly agree on....
     
    Mia, Dec 23, 2014 IP