Considering freelance writing? What not to do.

I have been writing all my life, if you count a spiral bound notebook at the age of 10 with goofy pictures and strange plots to be that. Then there was a stint in early college when I wrote for a couple newspapers and scored a spot on a college spotlight piece in a local newspaper.

It was actually not until I was married, finished with my degrees and had already devoted myself to the field of history that I began to freelance write. I thought, sure I will join a few of these websites that offer freelance bidding jobs-easy peasy! Yeah, think again.  Just guess what sites they were…guess.

I actually hated it. I mean hated it.

Did I mention that I hated it? You spend hours crafting a portfolio, crafting a bid proposal only to get two things. A. no response at all or B. asked to write for free just to get a taste or C. asked to write a 20,000 word piece of oh…$150.00 CHOCK! GASP!

Yeah, so don’t do it. I have to say that if you are desperate consider branding yourself, and make your writing a business venture. Like most people say choose your market. That means, pick the type of writing you are good at and tell them about it. Find local businesses in your area and start there, offer potential clients a freebie.

My main market is copywriting, with a hint of historical fiction/historical research. Most of my clients come to me for copy or articles for their websites. However, that doesn’t mean I turn down scriptwriting jobs. No dears, I take what is provided, and kill it!

Again, do not sign on to content mills that pay third world wages because you will never make a living. Literally, they pay $10.00 for a four page piece! Maybe in India that would be wonderful money, and I’m not even sure if it is-but in the United States that just sucks. Maybe you can get a quarter of a tank of gas, or lunch, and a bag of Doritos-that’s shopping a sale mind you.

There is money to be made in this business, but you have to market, market, market. Oh and get thick skin-because not everyone is happy all the time. I have been dealing with that my whole career.

There is always that one person who is never satisfied, like the testimonials on Clients from Hell? Yeah, but get thick skin, realize everyone has someone that doesn’t like something that they did and move on.

Okay, your turn what bid sites did you start with and what did you think of them? For me it was Elance, and oDesk who have made a baby that is Upwork-yeah. Monsterous.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

 

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