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I am fed up with low paying writing gigs. Please help me.

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by nofullstop, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #81
    It's a theme of hers.
    SEMrush
    If you're into S&M, she's quite the catch. ;)

    ....awaiting a nasty PM from Jenn-ominatrix....

    :D
     
    marketjunction, Aug 8, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. tesla

    tesla Notable Member

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    #82
    Content writing is tough. Yeah, there are companies and people out there that pay substantially more than 0.01 cents per word, but they will expect you to have a college degree in literature or something. Then if you come to DP or other forums, you're up against a bunch of people from India and places like that who work for(what here in the U.S. is starvation wages practically). So yeah, content writing is really tough.

    I would suggest getting more advanced skills that many people don't have like programming, or something which isn't as simple as writing. Most of the people doing content writing are not truly good writers, they just go on the web and rewrite content from other sites to put on their client's sites. Most of these people couldn't actually write good books or formulate fresh ideas or theories which aren't already out there.

    Copywriting is actually a low end form of writing. The key to success is speed, a lot of speed. You need to be able to write way more than most people in order to generate more income. When you do make money, save it and don't spend it on BS, because you already aren't making anything, doesn't make sense to blow the little you are making.

    I've been copywriting for like over two years now, I can write like 25,000 words a week at the maximum without burn out, and since my living expenses are low as hell, with hardly any bills, no debt, no children, I can pretty much undercut most people here at DP(even those in India, becaues their grammar is almost always inferior), and actually make money doing this. My standard of living is low. Because I survive on $65 per month for food, I don't have to charge a huge amount of money to write. However, I to would like to increase my income, and begin earning through my sites and affiliates as opposed to content writing.
     
    tesla, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  3. outspan

    outspan Active Member

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    #83
    I completely agree with you: companies and webmasters prefer professionals in a specific field that "kind of" know how to write over good writers that say they can write about anything. Choose a few niches that interest you, and look for clients in those fields. :)
     
    outspan, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  4. tesla

    tesla Notable Member

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    #84
    One thing that I should also mention to the person who started this thread is that don't focus so much on income as opposed to repeat customers. If you hang in content writing and do it for a couple of years, you will eventually run into repeat clients that send 80% of your business.

    Remember the Pareto Principle: 80% of your profits in any online work will come from 20% of your customers. I have a few clients that have been sending me back to back content writing gigs for years, and because they've become dependent on me, and vice versa, they have given me payment increases.

    As far as increasing your skill, you have a lot of options if you're able to see them. First, if you save some money, you can take courses at a local college in your city where you can pick up some skills that can increase your value. You don't need to worry about a degree, just take classes at a community college, and then come on the web and show people what you've got. Remember, the more you produce, the more money you make.

    To make more, you must produce more. Find out what your interests are. Do you have a knack for numbers and logic? If so, then go into programming. Learn specialized programming languages that most Joes off the street don't know, then work freelance and make money. Are you an artist? Then go pick up some books on 3D studio max, Maya, or Adobe Illustrator. Put together a killer portfolio and showcase it on the web. Many start up animation companies don't even care if you have a college degree in animation, so long as you have a solid portfolio, and you know how to use the right programs! Even better yet, by not having a college degree, you can undercut anyone, because your overhead is low, and during a recession, that can give you a killer edge.

    Always go into a field which interests you, which matches you natural strenghts. If you're low on money, pirate the books you need off the internet and then learn what needs to be learned in order to get ahead. Do what must be done! It is a dog eat dog world out here, you have to fight like hell for financial success, but the keys lie in your brain. Some of you guys may attack me for saying to pirate books, but if this guy is really struggling, then he has to do what it takes to get the skills to survive. If the book is available on torrent networks, that means the authors have likely already made a huge profit from it. ;)

    Additionally, you will probably need to reduce your cost of living. If you live in the U.S., the truth of the matter is that we're in a recession, that I personally feel will end up in a depression. Lowering your cost of living, by getting rid of bills, moving into a cheaper place, being more frugal with food, etc, will give you an edge on the guys who are chained down with bills. Save money from your content writing gigs, then invest it to make more.

    You have many options, but you have to see them. Yeah, life is tough, particularly for people who weren't born with silver spoons, but you have to hang in there, and keep fighting. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about, I've been doing content writing since 2006 and not only do I make more money now that I made then, but I HAVE more money because by lowering my cost of living, I put the money I earn from content writing in the bank, where it stays. If I decide to go in a new business direction, I've got the seed capital to do so.

    Think about it........
     
    tesla, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  5. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #85
    Writing isn't the tough part. Marketing is. Content writers need to be able to sell themselves and the value they provide. They need to describe how they are uniquely different from all the other content writers out there. Each writer has to figure that out for himself before he can ever convince a client to pay him.
    I've only been asked about my degree one time and that was for a position with a content network. Writing a 10-page essay on The Canterbury Tales won't do much to help you write web content. An English degree is the last thing clients are looking for and the last thing content writers need to be successful. If you're looking for a degree to help you in the web business, I'd go with a Business or Communications degree. It's possible to make it without any degree.
    If content writing was a product, then you'd be absolutely right. But it's not. It's a service and when it comes to services, where your capacity is limited, you want to find ways to do less work for more money.
    You are right about this part. You don't have to live like the proverbial starving artist, but cutting back will make it easier to transition into full time writing.
     
    latoya, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  6. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #86
    I made six figures online before having a degree, so yes, it's possible.

    A degree in English means little (IMHO). So, you've read some literature and perhaps know how to construct a sentence. That doesn't mean you can write a story worth a damn.

    If anyone here is going to college (or thinking about it), I recommend obtaining a B.A. in journalism if your University offers it. Yes, I'm slightly biased, but it's the most versatile degree out there and it adds instant credibility.

    Mix in a minor, focus or at least a couple classes in marketing and you're off and running.

    Most of the stuff you read from writers, et al about "how to write for the Web" is actually Journalism 101. ;)
     
    marketjunction, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  7. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #87
    Shhh... they don't need to know how we "network." ;)

    Good advice for content writing. For those looking into other forms of writing though, a more specialized degree could certainly come in handy (medical writing, technical writing, or even business writing) with the minor in journalism, creative writing, or whatever combination would be most effective for you.

    Amen to that! Work smarter, not harder.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  8. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #88
    Yeah, it's so boring in their world.

    :D
     
    marketjunction, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  9. socketmail

    socketmail Guest

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    #89
    Content writing comes with a price. Its all about , whether the pricing is right.If you look for creative work here (online on forums) you need to accept low budgets or tight budgets. If you're doing it as a profession offline, you can go with niche costing. I've been doing it for a few years (our team), but we realise that online you have to negotiate a pricing to a tight budget.


    Regards
     
    socketmail, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  10. outspan

    outspan Active Member

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    #90
    Absolutely! But I think the minor in journalism is not as important as the specialized degree -- I'm financing my computer engineering minor by writing now :).
     
    outspan, Aug 8, 2008 IP
  11. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #91
    You can make just as much online as offline; even on DP. You just have to know where to look and how to go about it. Not all customers here have tight budgets. Quite a few are willing to pay very well to get quality content.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 9, 2008 IP
  12. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #92
    A minor is "okay." You'll actually miss a lot by minoring.

    And saying you have a "minor" in something isn't really that credible (outside of your own head).

    Plus, having the B.A. in journalism gives you plenty of options. Even if you're not freelancing, you have so many job options it's ridiculous.

    But, if you're just doing it to learn for yourself, that's fine. You can actually buy some textbooks. Of course, my best classes didn't use textbooks.
     
    marketjunction, Aug 9, 2008 IP
  13. outspan

    outspan Active Member

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    #93
    Of course I'm not just going to stop with my minor, I'm majoring in CE too ;). The writing I'm doing is just to get by, although I'm really enjoying the process. I might end up becoming a technical writer of some sort, although I think that working as a high profile programmer pays much more :)
     
    outspan, Aug 9, 2008 IP
  14. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #94
    I think that you have to look at where your core talent is. It might be that going the programming route will be better for you in the long run.

    Good luck with it!
     
    marketjunction, Aug 9, 2008 IP
  15. omshanti

    omshanti Well-Known Member

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    #95
    I feel dp has become a place where even writers from the US, EU and Australia are offering articles at rock bottom prices like $7 for 500 words. Ridiculous but true!

    You won't believe but my client was bluntly saying, he has article writers to write 5 articles of 500 words each within $26 -$34.. I felt people are really crazy working at bullshit pricing.

    Honestly, I thank Jenn a lot for writing some incredible posts here on dp regarding pricing and stuff.

    Before reading her, I never had the courage to go beyond the normal pricing standards but then I am taking on what she means the standard pricing norms. I haven't had much luck yet honestly in the pricing latoya, marketjunction and jhmattern charge & yeah after letting most of my prospective clients know about my pricing, either they don't respond or let me know they can't afford to pay that much: like say $40 for 1000 words is also considered expensive by many clients.

    Just as this posts mentions here, I'd like to cry, rant and Shout OUT LOUD!

    I am fed up low paying writing gigs. Please help me.

    And not to forget, dp forums is a place regarded where people can get what they want for CHEAP!

    I think the mods are not at all concerned about what is happening to our dearest digitalpoint forum! I wish they do something to save the reputation here on dp. Please do something about the TOO CHEAP pricing stuff here. Period.
     
    omshanti, Aug 14, 2008 IP
  16. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #96
    Hey now... I'm a mod, and I obviously care. ;) But really, there's nothing we can do about it. We can't force a "minimum wage" in a forum; especially when we're talking about freelance work where there really is no minimum wage at all. DP is just a platform where people can do business - we're not the ones doing the hiring.
     
    jhmattern, Aug 14, 2008 IP
  17. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #97
    I'm pretty cheap compared to those two and I've been told my rates are too high too many times to count. I just keep moving.

    Don't think of DP as the world when it comes to finding writing work. You know the general consensus here is "cheap", so start looking in other places.

    Meanwhile, keep making valuable posts here. You'd be surprised how post count and reputation influence your marketability.
     
    latoya, Aug 14, 2008 IP
  18. Michelle Michan

    Michelle Michan Banned

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    #98
    Have you seen those advertisement on top of this and other forums such as tht of Content Creation?

    There is a service promoting 100-word article for $1 and despite I have read at least two complaints around DP about that service, I believe people hanging around this forum take those advertisements to rule their criteria when hiring someone.

    I have found several threads at the Content Creation area asking for people who can beat that dollar with lower rates and it's truly sad read countless responses afterward, though quality of those posts talk by themselves.

    Best thing is get out of here once in a while as Latoya suggested in other post or keep trying here but daring to be different, I'm not sure if you know what I mean, but if you can write sales copy, why don't you apply this knowledge selling your thread that way?
     
    Michelle Michan, Aug 14, 2008 IP
  19. resto

    resto Peon

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    #99
    If you go and look at the BST section and watch how much most of the sites sell for it is sad, but most of the sites are very sad also. :-/

    Seriously like $40-80 for 5- 10 pages so at a .001 a word it is like $20-$50 for content another $10-$20 for domain name and hosting.

    That leaves little profit, very sad.

    So the writers on here aren’t the only ones working for cheap on DP.

    Then when I am out of DP I see people spending thousands yes thousands on flash sites with almost no content just flash, total garbage as far as I’m concerned, but people are spending big money on it.
    But that's OK content out ranks flash any day.
     
    resto, Aug 14, 2008 IP
  20. penforhire

    penforhire Guest

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    #100
    If you want high rates, you have to prove your worth first. :) I started with $3 per article. Now, I receive payments between $5 to $20 per article. It mainly depends on your experience and quality of your work.
     
    penforhire, Aug 14, 2008 IP