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What Has Your Writing Experience Been Like So Far? Please share

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Kenya Writer, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. #1
    Every time I log in to my account the first thing that comes to mind is "what is new today in writing"? Have you been up for those big gigs? Have you succeeded in finding the best and reliable clients on DP?

    Writers have had worst and best times, I agree. And through thick and thin you may have learned that there is little wheat in the chaff. What I mean is, when you realized that there is only few best deals on here, what did you do afterwards?

    Lastly, how do you find your writing career now compared to the past? Do you feel like quitting? Are there times you have felt you are in the wrong job due to the soiling of content section?

    Please share your experience.
    SEMrush
     
    Kenya Writer, Feb 16, 2015 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #2
    LOL, I don't really need to tell this to you coz we've interacted a lot before about this.:p Yep, I've had the chance of grabbing some 'big' gigs though never on DP. They mostly came from referrals, old clients/contacts and people I had pitched directly. I'm also associated with some writers who pass on some good-paying work now and then.
    As for finding best and reliable clients through DP and similar sites like Elance/Odesk, Freelancer etc., I usually have a deuce of a time hunting for work and clientele that's worth my time and ability. Once in a blue moon it happens that a prospect approaches me through these routes and they have work I find interesting either because there's some growth I see in it or the pay is commensurate with what I expect or taking the project up can add some value to my experience and portfolio. Still, a part of why I'm active here is I want to make my presence felt on this community and the forum discussions are helping me a lot in some or the other way. And yes, the market is not-so-good today, but you never know. Things might change.:) (Well, at least I hope so.;))
    Agree fully with this. Ups and downs are a part of the game. But if you plan things ahead with a good foresightedness, you're not in trouble when the 'downs' are there. E.g., the last quarter of a year is when a lot of my clients require fresh content whipped up (for events like Halloween, Christmas, New Year etc., festivities and the shopping season). My schedule is jam-packed with work and earnings are also on a high. However, after the second or third month of the year (i.e. somewhere from Feb or March), I start experiencing a slack in the work flow and it sometimes comes to a point where I start worrying about how to make ends meet. There obviously is something all the time that sustains me, but this slack keeps on pricking from behind. It's exactly here when what I've saved out of the last year's quarter comes in handy. Such things happen throughout, so I always have a 6-months plan ready for my expenses and savings.
    Anyway, after I realized there's not much point in surfing online job boards for work, I focused more on marketing myself directly. I've started using social media for spreading the word about my services. I've also joined a couple of writers' groups online. There are many of them you'll find on general communities like Google+. LinkedIn is also a good resource to connect with prospective clients, but it's strictly professional. Another way I've adopted is hunting for websites that need content. Mostly, I pick up some niche-based keywords and put it in Google. The sites that are generally not on the first page are the ones I target. Either they have a poor SEO done or the content is outdated and ill written. I contact the owner and if I receive a positive response, the deal goes well. It's just that someone needs to proactively make these site-owners aware that they're losing the game because of the sub-par content they've put up. Alternatively, some sites have a separate 'Write-for-us' page and you can approach them directly. Just punch strings like 'writer wanted', 'my site needs content' etc. in Google and you'll find a lot of them. The best way though is to launch your own blog or website which I sadly haven't done till now.:( The draft is ready but I'm still looking for some out-of-the-box ideas that will make the site stand out and unique. Maybe I'll also go for a blog instead of a website or add a small blog section to the site in projection.
    There certainly is a big difference now. I've learned a lot of things during the course. One very important lesson is just being a good writer isn't enough. You should also be able to sell yourself effectively and you need to develop the business acumen necessary to monetize your writing skills lucratively. There are so many good writers who are charging way below the market norms while some shoddy ones ask for a high pay! It's all upon how you sell and price yourself. Another important aspect is being able to understand what clients are looking for. If you're able to hit the nail on the head with it and figure out as well as deliver what your client exactly wants, the relationship can become a lasting source of good income. It's a plus if you've good convincing skills. Some prospects are not ready at first to pay what should actually be paid for high-quality. If you're able to convince them reasonably that quality content takes time and effort to be written, they see your point and don't balk to pay you the price you ask. It's a win-win situation.
    Yep, I've felt like quitting but it was more so in the past or when I just started working as a freelance writer. I've learned that high-paying work is ALWAYS there, just that you're not able to see it sometimes or that you've to take a step ahead and find it out instead of sitting like a bum and whining about it. Some patience and perseverance is all it takes to get there. I never felt though I am in the wrong line. It's just that I was not targeting the right market. As for the 'soiling' of Content Section, if you're a writer who knows that your skill-level is good, you SHOULDN'T waste your time by hovering over this section. The sellers and buyers here are not your competition and concern anyway. Move on and market yourself better at the right places and soon, you'll find yourself working for much better gigs and clients.:)

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    Content Maestro, Feb 17, 2015 IP
  3. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #3
    I have to be honest - things are going great for me. However, it's no thanks to DP - in terms of finding work, anyway. The conversations are interesting, but as for high-paying jobs... haven't found one yet. Although I don't look hard here.

    I generally do between $3,000 and $4,000 on ODesk alone each month, with a base rate of $103 per hour. not that I always get that, certainly :)

    I also direct market myself via direct mail packages which include a sales letter, a 4-color tri-fold brochure and a 4-color biz card.

    Like Maestro, I also get referral work. The goal of anyone, including me, is to either leave ODesk behind completely or put it into the background and take the occasional good job.

    The real money in copywriting is in direct marketing yourself to larger businesses who can afford, appreciate and benefit from your work.

    I don't mean to down DP - as a forum, it's great. As a source for work, it's not, in my opinion. I just don't see high-level clients spending hours trolling a free forum and offering good work.

    There are certain rules that govern the universe. One of them is that you don't get something for nothing. That has a lot of variations and it applies here. Big fish, for example, want a big bait.

    if a company is willing to spend $10,000 on a writer, are they really going to find that writer here? They might go to ODesk, eLance (same site) or freelancer - maybe.

    However, what they'll probably do is either ask others for a referral or respond to a well-timed DM package, for example.

    if I were going to hire someone from DP, except those quality writers I know here, I'd do so for low-end work and hope to pay low-rates. Like blogging for example.

    You don't get something for nothing. If you want to succeed as a writer, you have to work at it - and suffer a bit. This means getting off the computer, knocking on doors, picing up the phone or networking.

    Eventually, you hope, you develop a base of clients who can sustain you through regular work and through referrals. Eventually, you hope to become a Gary Halbert, John Carlton or Bob Bly and charge $500 per hour and get $25K for a sales letter.

    There really are copywriters who make in a month what the average writer makes in a year.

    I love this job, and it's only getting better!
     
    SCookAAM, Feb 17, 2015 IP
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  4. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #4
    One reason why the 'biggies' don't come to places like these is that if they publicize their requirement, their inbox is flooded for the most part with proposals/pitches/requests from sub-par writers, many of whom aren't able to even string a sentence properly. It's a waste of time going through tons of emails just to find a couple of decent writers that suit the gig. Instead, they take a look at the postings of some writers who're active and based on it, are able to get a fair idea of how good or worthy a particular writer is. Then, they approach the shortlisted writers privately. It seems to be a general widespread notion among the high-paying clientele that most of the writers on these places aren't good enough.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 17, 2015 IP
  5. coreygeer

    coreygeer Notable Member

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    #5
    I would be homeless if I had to rely on DP for making ends meet. I know there's some great people here but the majority of them are just penny chasers looking for cheap content in the hopes it will make them money.

    It's hard to convince clients that this place is worth their effort when they put out an ad and their inbox looks like this immediately following:

    "Hello sirs, I can do this task for u"
    "I am ready to has work"
    "Dear hiring manager I am ready for this task"

    Think about what brand new members think when that's what they see. Their first impression is probably along the lines of "I think I came to the wrong place." It's hard to blame them.

    I recently put out a thread stating people could "propose their own budgets" and sure enough, just how I thought it would go is what happened.

    The people who contacted me wanting .50c to $1.00 per 100 words worth of work done had a huge laundry list of expectations and kept stressing "quality". They didn't have the money to hire multiple people or hire others. Some of them were outsourcing other people's work and couldn't pay me until they were paid.

    The people who contacted me asking me to do a quick piece for $20 and $30 didn't really have a lot of specifications or requirements. They left most of the work to me, gave me the topic and told me to contact them if I had any questions, like a professional. I never had any doubts about payment and most of them even offered to pay it all up front.

    These types of conversations come up every week here on DP. Nothing's going to change it though. You're trying to convince blind clients that the color on the paper is blue when they stubbornly believe it's green and won't have it any other way.

    DP has some decent opportunities if you're lucky enough to find them but you definitely have to market yourself. Living off of DP work alone would be a depressing living situation, especially when most of the threads here expect writers to perform tricks for peanuts.
     
    coreygeer, Feb 20, 2015 IP
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  6. SCookAAM

    SCookAAM Active Member

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    #6
    I think the value of DP is in us - people sharing experiences and tips and the like. For work - it's a joke, I'm sorry to say.

    You don't get something for nothing.

    That's why I keep harping on reverse audctin sites like ODesk and eLance the Guru and blah blah blah.

    What would really make these better - and now ODesk is about to do this - is charging for memberships.

    Although what ticks me off is they take 10.1% of my money, and now they're bugging me because I'm one of the top freelancers to go for the "upgraded" paid when it rolls out.

    I think, though, that thwhat the're trying to do is curtail the kinds of applicantons that employers get, like what Khovai referenced above. Instead of just paying after the fact, let these el cheapo small fry pay up front for their bothersome emails. :)

    in the end, though, every writer who wants to really make it must learn to direct market nd direct sell themselves.
     
    SCookAAM, Feb 20, 2015 IP
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  7. deltamas

    deltamas Active Member

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    #7
    Some of my clients are the inhabitants of the DP and others I found on another forum and through advertising services. Most of them (90%) are agents. This fact is not a problem for me, because they pay me on time. The price they offer fairly low, but because of differences in the exchange rate, so that I could buy a home of the results of typing articles for 3 years. Most of them come from India and Ukraine. I work for 12 hours a day, and one of them is typing, and so far, it makes me happy. To be honest I have not been able to find a client who offered a high salary, but no matter, I remain grateful to God. But if I live in the UK or the US, and the salary offered to follow "WTB standard in the DP", then maybe I will choose another job:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
    deltamas, Apr 26, 2015 IP
  8. Kenya Writer

    Kenya Writer Active Member

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    #8
    Awesome
     
    Kenya Writer, Apr 27, 2015 IP
  9. Harold Giddings

    Harold Giddings Greenhorn

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    #9
    Fiverr has been my only writing income thus far, though I am trying to reach out and expand my options. I did write an article several months ago for a trade magazine about an application I wrote for the community. While the publisher loved the software and the story they were less than satisfied with the length of my work and rather than allowing me to re-write it they did so themselves. It was an interesting process and I was thrilled to see my name in a magazine.

    Perhaps in the future my name will be listed as the Author rather than the topic.
     
    Harold Giddings, May 25, 2015 IP