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Looking for advice on where I can find consistent work

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by deenybird, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. #1
    Hi everyone! Hoping for a little quick advice from the pros at digital point. I'm looking to get into a steady job where I can be doing copywriting or editing from home. I've used websites like Blogsvertise in the past and have gotten some work through them, though it is inconsistent. There are many offers on craigslist from companies that I've never heard of. I'm hoping the experts here can help with these 3 questions I have.
    1. Is it possible to make a reasonable living through copywriting/editing at home?
    2. Are there any recommendations of trustworthy companies who could offer me as much work as I could handle?
    3. Would it be a better idea to link up with website owners on Digital Point and write copy for them directly, and how do I find them?
    About me:
    I am a 33 year old college grad, working on the web for the past 12 years. I've created over 15 websites from scratch and have a thorough understanding of what type of copywriting works best for a website that's hoping for better search rankings. I have done much copywriting for others in the past, as well as hired copywriters for some of my own projects.

    Thanks, I really appreciate your help.
    SEMrush
     
    deenybird, Mar 21, 2015 IP
    Vlasic likes this.
    SEMrush
  2. Jake The Competition Man

    Jake The Competition Man Active Member

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    #2
    Hi and welcome! you can make a reasonable living with copywriting but only after a lot of work and having a number of loyal customers requesting work from you on a regular basis.

    The best way to begin is doing multiple things at the same time, means working on different sources of income. You could work as copywriter and at the same time starting in affiliate marketing with a couple of websites, since you are an expert webmaster.

    Add to these a part time job, as example as accountant. Part time jobs are easy to find and this way you can focus on copywriting until you become skilled and ready to do this only.
     
  3. Vlasic

    Vlasic Active Member

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    #3
    I am surprised you need advice after 12 years of working on the web, unless it's a tricky way to advertise yourself ;)
    Unlike Jake the Competition Man, I think dispersing your efforts onto different spheres will result in poor performance in all of them. On the flip side, it depends on the type of personality you are.
    I would suggest Elance and DP combined. Both require some reputation and portfolio, but you sound like you are savvy in the web dev niche, so you can aspire for a long-term gig with some of the niche publishers.
    Stay away from the middlemen and double-check your suspicions with the community. There are threads about scams, inspiration, platforms for freelancers here, so you will find your way around fast. If you want as much work as you can handle, you don't necessarily need to say it because it attracts the middlemen, and not the actual clients.
    On DP, the straightforward way is to get 3 likes (you just got one from me) and start a Selling thread in the Content Creation forum. The stealth way is to send out direct messages to the webmasters, but how you find them is up to you.
    Good luck!
     
    Vlasic, Mar 21, 2015 IP
    syda, matt_62 and Content Maestro like this.
  4. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #4
    Quick answers, all my opinion since there's no 100% "facts" in this business!

    Freelancing is never steady work. That's just the nature of things. The more effort you put into finding good, regular clients and maintaining a stable of interested people, the more stable it becomes.

    Define "a reasonable living". The answer is probably "yes", depending on what you want, but as with any business, you'll spend a lot of time marketing and hunting for clients, rather than doing the actual work - it's a TON more effort than working for someone else!

    No. Quite simply, there aren't any - or rather there are, but that's normal jobs. Teleworking for a single company or site is a very bad move in freelancing, as you're putting all your eggs into someone else's basket. There are regular clients and sites for which you can write as much as you like, but there are virtually no guarantees on the income side - mostly because no site or company can guarantee to sell everything you write (unless you're working for them, in a normal job).

    No. Because the majority of people looking for writers - and writers looking for work - on DP are cheapskates with no idea of how important quality is. There are exceptions, of course. :)

    If you're REALLY looking to be a full-time freelance writer, the best way is to find your own clients - either through third-party sites (and then convert them to direct clients), by contacting local companies, by networking on social media and business sites (forums included) or by creating good content and letting them come to you.

    Put it this way (and I do, repeatedly): direct work pays the best but takes the most effort to find, sign-in-and-write-anything work pays the worst but takes no effort to find. You pick your spot between those two extremes and you do the requisite amount of work to get the work you chose. It's almost always as simple as that, though that's deceptively simple, of course!

    Final note: you're thinking of joining one of the most competitive industries online. Bear that in mind. If you're specifically aiming at copywriting, there are some great people here with advice, the most important of which will be to have your stats ready - since copywriting is marketing, showing someone that your work generated $x,000 is the best way to get their attention and decent pay.

    My 2c. :)
     
    WLEadmin, Mar 22, 2015 IP
    matt_62 and Content Maestro like this.
  5. matt_62

    matt_62 Notable Member

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    #5
    I am slightly confused as to why you need help? Surely with your skills, and experience you could build 1-2 sites and build up the content on the sites and profit directly through things such as affiliate sales / commissions; rather then simply wanting to be only a writer. A site with a few dozen well written articles, that is starting to rank and bring in traffic, and or making profit from ads, or affiliate commissions, could be worth a bit.

    Odds are you would likely have a greater success then the average "webmaster" here that cant even install wordpress (if it wasnt for softaculous that is), and who thinks that 1 cent per word is too high.

    There are many people that make their entire fortunes simply by building sites and flogging them off at flippa / DP. Its something that you can investigate, and see if you want to do this, and you can easily do this in addition to offering to write for others.
     
    matt_62, Mar 22, 2015 IP
  6. Jake The Competition Man

    Jake The Competition Man Active Member

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    #6
    Hello Vlasic! I understand your point of view, and I agree, but not for online business. I explain: in this field there's a lot of stats, and it's always better to have multiple income sources. Said that, initially you can't earn a living from a single source, you need to have many sources with small incomes which is something obtainable for real.
     
  7. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #7
    .... and if I may add, it's also a TON more money than working for someone else.:)
     
    Content Maestro, Mar 22, 2015 IP
  8. EverestOnlineMarketing

    EverestOnlineMarketing Active Member

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    #8
    This is true. While it is never steady, you can make reasonable living with it...provided you put in the work to find more clients and keep them. Considering your experience, your only concern will probably be finding clients :)
     
    EverestOnlineMarketing, Mar 22, 2015 IP
  9. sirjorgeofculver

    sirjorgeofculver Well-Known Member

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    #9
    I've been a freelancer for 5 years. It is famine and feast. I just finished a huge gig, and got $1200, but it took me 72 hours straight of writing to pull that. The next prospect? I don't know where it's coming. I answer a lot of ads online, post on these forums, and have accounts on fiverr.com, elance and more.

    Is it possible to make a living? Yes.

    Reasonable? Um, well how much is reasonable?

    I put in 70 hours a week, every week, no days off. I love writing, but it's a grind that is no longer getting my enthusiasm at times. I think about getting a real job every month.
     
    sirjorgeofculver, Mar 22, 2015 IP
  10. syda

    syda Well-Known Member

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    #10
    I also find it weird that after 12 years in the business you still don't know how and where to get steady work. Anyway, iWriter has pending projects all the time, you can work 24/7 if you like. Depends on if you agree with the rates though.
     
    syda, Mar 23, 2015 IP
  11. deenybird

    deenybird Active Member

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    #11
    Thanks for everyone's recommendations! Just to clarify everyone's first question: My online career has been spent working for myself. Writing my own articles for my own websites, writing my own ebooks, doing my own PPC advertising, my own affiliate marketing. I have done some writing for others, but that was years ago, and I'm unsure about how to switch to that on a full-time basis.

    2 years ago I had a great gig going. I was writing for someone in the UK who had a camera/tech website. For at least a year, every morning I would wake up to an email with 10 new keywords asking for 10 more articles. I'd write them throughout an 10 hour day and earn $100. We had a wonderful relationship and I'd really like to find something similar to that. The problem is: Where does one find the people who value quality writing because it's not in the content creation forums? I've seen so many looking for $.50/100 words. They clearly don't care for spelling or grammar or a native speaker, they simply want words on a page to bulk up their website.
    I can do that, any good writer could, but I'd much rather be writing things I could be proud of and for someone who appreciates the increased caliber of work.
    So far I've been able to find several websites that are ready to pay today for writing including:
    http://www.iwriter.com/
    https://www.textbroker.com/
    http://writelearnearn.com/
    http://www.ghostbloggers.net/

    I'm sure you'd agree that they're the bottom of the barrel when it comes to options....
    Thanks vlasic, I'd like to try this. I'd like to be able to make a post selling my skills as best as possible and see if anyone wants me as a partner.

    thanks again everyone
     
    deenybird, Mar 24, 2015 IP
  12. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #12
    There's really nothing different you've to do to be a full-time writer. If you're doing it part-time, just take on more clients and increase the amount of workload you handle daily. The steadiness of work will depend on which clients you work for. Normally, those who run a publication business or do some activity that relates directly or indirectly to SEO need content massively and regularly. You can also contact online marketers or entrepreneurs who maintain blogs. Many times, they don't have time to blog themselves and look for someone else who can responsibly take care of their blogging or content management system. There are many niche-based industries you can tap into that require fresh content whipped up now and again.
    If you hate the typical 9-5 like many freelancers or self-employed people do and are looking to work exclusively from home, you'll have to be a lot more disciplined and stick to the promised deadlines no matter what. Working individually or for oneself entails a much greater risk and responsibility, but the earning potential and opportunities are also much higher.
    Yes, the content section here is pretty depressing for the most part. Buyers generally look for a low pricing and sadly, there are also writers willing to work for less than a cent a word. Many buyers are unaware of what real quality is and place price before it. Some people can't even judge properly the quality of text they receive because their understanding of English language is not up to the mark. You're right - when you want words simply to fill pages, spelling, grammar and nativeness or a quality that's on a par with it doesn't matter.
    However, that doesn't mean that good-paying clients who value quality are not here. They never or seldom advertise their requirements publicly. They approach writers privately in most cases. You need to make your presence felt on this community by participating actively here. Throw an ad about your services in the Content Creation section but also be prepared to get your inbox flooded with '$2/$3 for 500 words' offers. Not trying to scare you away but this is simply the fact!
    To find prospects who really appreciate quality and don't balk to pay the right price for it, you've to pitch clientele directly rather than hovering over freelance job boards, content mills, webmaster forums etc. Build a trustworthy rep and a strong online presence through tools like social media, professional online communities etc. and you'll get a positive response without trouble. Do you have your own website or blog? If yes, ensure that it ranks high in SERPs so that it gives you a good visibility. Maintaining a website/blog is a must for any professional and serious writer. (Ironically, I don't have my own as I'm still working on it.) You should also focus on networking heavily with other copywriters and people who frequently require a copy done. Some copywriters will actually recommend you and pass on some work to you if they're not able to do it themselves. This will also expose you to more no. of prospects and down the line, as your client base expands sizably, you'll be able to pull a lot of good-paying work based on referrals alone. Another good idea is to specialize in a niche that's in demand. A specialist writer can always add more value than a general one who simply writes based on good writing and researching skills and consequently, gets paid a lot more.
    Content mills like the ones you specified above are good if you need some money to pay the bills quickly or to find some work that fills the 'gaps' when workflow is slow. However, don't expect any long-term benefits from such work. There are certainly exceptions when a one-off client turns into a long-term and profitable relationship, but this doesn't happen often. Also, there are some clients who just test the waters. They offer a low rate at the start, but as they are convinced eventually about the caliber of your work, they don't mind offering a rate commensurate with it. However, to get your rates hiked, you need to be a good salesman and not just a writer.
    Here's an article I would like to point you to – http://www.makealivingwriting.com/write-content-mills-writers-true-stories/. Take a look and decide for yourself if content mills are worth a shot.

    I'm not a pro, not even by a long shot. But I hope my 2c helps you somehow along with some of the excellent advice you've received on this thread so far.

    Good luck.
     
    Content Maestro, Mar 25, 2015 IP
  13. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #13
    WLE won't pay you today, not until you've made a few sales. I had to switch off up-front sales for all members (and only allow it for established folks) because people were treating the site like a cash dispenser: write crap, submit for low rating, fast sell, cash out as quickly as possible, leaving the site with a pile of junk to rework and a huge hole in the bank account. Asshats. :)

    Even though I run WLE, I agree completely. There's always a tradeoff between price and effort, so any third party setup is going to reduce your pay (to cover costs) and cater to the average writer, rather than skilled professionals.
     
    WLEadmin, Mar 25, 2015 IP
  14. alinasandor

    alinasandor Well-Known Member

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    #14
    The way to get a steady income is to put yourself out there consistently. Answer freelance job postings, market yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter and the like, keep your blog updated with fresh posts, ect. I know it sounds hokey, but the more you are getting out there in the world the more money you will be pulling in. You can't get new clients if no one knows who you are.
    Also, I use Scripted.com during any slow patches or when I just want to make a little extra cash.
     
    alinasandor, Apr 7, 2015 IP