Writing a great piece of content is almost always harder than it first seems. Writers can spend long hours trying to develop the perfect article or blog post, only to receive a huge let down after hitting the publish button. Their content doesn’t get shared, readers can’t be bothered to comment, and visitors bounce straight off the page!
Yet the popular writers don’t have this problem. They receive dozens or even hundreds of comments every single time, get people to share their content to the point that it goes viral, and seem to have customers lined up to buy their products.
The truth is, these bloggers don’t have a monopoly on the good ideas, nor do they belong to any super- secret cult that practices the dark magic of instant blog popularity. The truth is they have a system. A set of rules that they follow in order to get people to love their content every single freaking time.
By following these rules, they have been able to achieve popularity.
And today, I’m going to share these rules with you.
On the internet, there are a huge number of resources available for the freelance writer, both paid and free. After much deliberation on my part, I recently signed up join the Freelance Writers Den, a popular resource for new and experienced bloggers, which costs $25 per month. After spending my first month in the Den and participating in a wide range of activities, I’ve decided to give to provide my own unbiased Freelance Writers Den review.
The Freelance Writer’s Den – Intro
The Freelance Writers Den is the brainchild of Carol Tice, who also runs the website Make a Living Writing. Carol is freelance writer and popular blogger who decided to put together a community where there is easy access to well organized quality information. For assistance, she has drafted in Linda Formichelli of The Renegade Writer as the other “Den Mother” who serves as a co-host to many of the Den’s activities. In addition, she has a number of well-known freelance writers and bloggers that also assist in providing regular support in the Den.
Photo Courtesy of WQAA
October’s come and gone, so this means that my monthly freelance writing income report is due! If you’re new to the site and want to know why I decided to publicly announce my income, I give a detailed explanation about it right here .
Let’s get to it!
October Offline Happenings
October was an extremely hectic month for me in terms of my “offline” life. Even before the month began I knew that there would be some challenges with regards to finding time to dedicate to building my freelance writing career. For starters, I celebrated my birthday in October (yay!) which coincided with my girlfriend’s visit. Both of these would mean that I would be taking several days off to celebrate.
In addition, I took a trip out of the country for a long weekend to attend my youngest sister’s graduation, which also meant that I wouldn’t be doing any work on these days either.
Because of the fact that I knew that a large portion of my month would be rendered unproductive, I made the decision not to pitch, query, or apply for any freelance writing gigs. In hindsight, this turned out to be a wiser decision than I had planned, because I got sick with the flu! Even if I had wanted to do client work, I probably would have struggled to complete it, so I’m pretty happy that I took a planned “off month” for October.
Have you ever fallen for a freelance writing myth that encouraged you to take on cheap work?
And unfortunately, many other good freelance writers have also had the (dis)pleasure of writing for pennies because of these viral freelance writing myths. Unfortunately, it’s many freelance writers simply aren’t educated about which “facts” about the freelance writing marketplace are actually not true.
Here are 7 of the most popular freelance writing myths:
Finding freelance clients can be tough. Some writers spend hours on bid sites like People per Hour, Elance and Odesk looking for clients that pay more than 1 cent per word. Others sign up for content mills like IWriter hoping to grab a project before it gets snatched up by another quicker writer. Still others spend precious time crafting the ultimate pitch, sending it off with the fingers crossed; praying for the writing gods to serendipitously let it land in the editor’s inbox.
Wouldn’t it be great if those high paying and easy to work with clients came to you?
The good news is there are ways to make this happen. Ways in which you can strengthen your chances of having the clients that you want make the first move in hiring you.
Indeed, there are ways to make that freelance mountain come to you.
Odesk was my very first introduction to the world of freelance writing. Lured by the promise of being able to make “easy” money through freelance writing anywhere in the world, I quickly jumped headfirst into building a profile and applying for jobs. However, after only a couple of months of working, I began to develop negative feelings towards the entire freelance bidding system.
What’s a bid site?
Many freelance writers make their living on bid sites such as Odesk, Elance and Freelancer. As opposed to having to search for and pitch clients, bid sites harness the power of crowd sourcing in providing a sort of one stop shop both for those looking for freelance jobs or those looking for freelance workers. On the bid sites, an employer posts a job and freelancers are allowed to send in an application for that job.
However, there are many issues that come up for those who use bid sites. Here are the ones that tick me off the most:
5 Reasons Why I hate Bid Sites Like Odesk and Elance
So my first full month of proper freelance writing and I’ve got lots of exciting news to share, including my very first freelance writing income report. My decision to release the intimate details of my freelance earnings were detailed in this earlier post, which has now led to this report.
But before we get into the dollars and cents of how much I made for the month of September, let’s revisit my plans and how things went down.
The Great Guest Post Rethink
This month I set myself a rather ambitious goal – I’d be looking to do 30 guest postings this month. It was part of my guest post experiment, where I would challenge myself to approach at least 30 blogs/websites for guest posting.
However, I got nowhere close to my target.
And here’s why:
There are nearly an unlimited number of sites that can give a budding freelance writer information o building a successful freelance career. In fact, there is so much information, that figuring out exactly what to read and follow can become a task in itself!
Thankfully, there are a handful of sites dedicated to the art of freelance writing that stand head and shoulders above the rest. These sites come complete with detailed guides about both the mechanics of freelance writing, to the business side of freelance writing such as marketing, promotion, and accounting, and even how to optimize the design of your writing site.
Not only that, but the people in charge of these sites have a proven track record of being successful at freelance writing, and their sites also provide feedback for new and intermediate writers on how to go about successful freelance writing.
Here are my top 5 websites that any new freelance writer should bookmark:
While many people rave over the usefulness of revenue sharing websites such as Squidoo, HubPages and Triond , there are many drawbacks for writers who rely on revenue sharing sites for a major part of their income.
While these sites indeed have their place in providing supplementary income in an easy to use manner, I do not believe that any writer should use these as a major platform for their writing business. As a matter of fact, there are a number of major issues to consider before placing any sort of reliance on a steady paycheck from these sites.
Here are 7 reasons why writers shouldn’t rely on popular revenue sharing sites:
1. You don’t make a lot of money
The estimates on how much people actually make from the most popular revenue sharing sites are often exaggerated, and it is very difficult for most writers to be able to earn any sort of livable wage from them. As the director for marketing and public relations at Examiner.com, a popular revenue sharing site so eloquently put it, writing for their website isn’t a “quit your day job” opportunity . Popular blogger Darren Rowse of Problogger.com also gave his personal story on why writing for revenue sharing sites isn’t the road to riches that many make it out to be. After finding out that his article was the top earner for popular revenue sharing site Squidoo, he anxiously checked his account to find out how much it had made.
Would you like a free guest post or article, handcrafted by me and sealed with a kiss?
Of course you do.
Whether you’re caught up with dealing with other aspects of your business, or you just want a fresh voice for your website, then I’ll be happy to provide a quality piece of content just for you.
I’m currently offering a free guest post or article to my readers because I believe that a well placed guest post is more valuable than a paycheck.
Of course, even though I’m not asking for payment, my guest posts will be provided if you would be happy to fulfill two simple requests:
1. Two links, which will go to my two websites (this site and my writer site, darylgeorge.com).
2. A short testimonial (30-50 words) to be used on my testimonial page.
That’s it! For the price of a couple of links and a few lines about how absolutely wonderful I am, I will provide you with a quality guest post or article. If you would like to get in touch with me, you can fill out the form on the contact page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to hearing from you!