Blog Archives

Freelance Writer Fairy Tales: Do You Believe These 3 Myths?

Freelance writer fairy tales: Do you believe in these 3 myths? Makealivingwriting.com

When you’re a freelance writer, it’s easy to go on for years clinging to magical thinking about how your career will work.

It’s like believing in fairy tales. Usually, when you grow up, you realize there is no enchanted frog or beast that turns into a prince.

But with a lot of writers, these myths persist for years and years, leading to lots of wasted time and low earnings.

What are the big fairy tales freelance writers tell themselves? Here are my top three:

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From a Content Mill to Writing a TV Commercial in 2 Months

From content mills to writing a TV commercial in 2 months. Makealivingwriting.com

Fresh out of college, with no real world experience and no real job prospects, I dove into Textbroker in 2013, lured by the appeal of easy money.

Big mistake.

Over the next three years, I slaved for 1.4 cents per word. Even though I was done with school, I was still living the life of a starving college student. Did you know it takes 7,143 words at that rate to make $100?

That’s hard to swallow now that I know it’s possible to make a lot more money from freelancing. If you’ve been writing for traditional-low-pay-race-to-the-bottom content mills, it’s time to rethink your approach to building a freelance business.

I couldn’t maintain such a grueling writing pace for bare bones rations. I wanted satisfying work. I wanted better clients. And I wanted to get paid well. I finally woke up and realized that low-pay work for content mills will never yield pro rates.

Now what?

I put five key strategies in place to transform my freelancing business. The result: Bye-bye, content mills. Hello, better pay and better clients — including a major TV network within two months. Here’s how I did it:

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An Open Letter to ESL Writers

ATTN: ESL Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

This is a hard letter to write. But I get letters from you every day, ESL writer, and I feel you deserve an answer.

You email me or hit me on Facebook, from Pakistan, or Kenya, or other points around the globe.

You’re not the rare ESL writer who’s impressively fluent, and whom I only learn from in-depth conversation wasn’t born speaking English.

No, you’re a writer who seems to think you’re fluent in English, but you aren’t. Not even close.

Despite your shaky grasp of English, you’ve fixed on the idea that freelance writing for English-speaking clients is the career for you. And you’re writing me because you want me to help you get paid writing gigs.

I’ve been working to spread hope to writers about the opportunities to earn from their craft for 8 years now. But I’m afraid today, I’m the bearer of bad news.

You probably don’t have the skills to earn a living writing in English. And I want you to encourage you to stop banging your head against this brick wall before you starve.

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Writing for a Content Mill for $400 a Post: This is Happening

The Rise of 'Move-Up' Content Mills. Makealivingwriting.com

I’ve spent the past 8 years of my life helping writers move up from content mills to better pay.

So what I have to say now may shock you.

I’m no longer advising writers to avoid all online platforms that sign up loads of writers.

What the what?

See, I recently had a chance to peek behind the curtain at one emerging platform that recruited me to write for them — and I liked what I saw.

Here’s why I’ve changed my tune on online writer sites…

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Get Paid for Traffic: The Scoop on Writing for Blasting News

How Bloggers Can Get Paid for Traffic. Makelivingwriting.com

It seems like there are always new sites coming into the market, offering to give freelance writers a little pay. But few sites pay based on traffic anymore (which makes sense, since traffic does not equal dollars).

Blasting News is one opportunity that is new to the U.S. and does pay based on the number of visitors you attract. They contacted Carol about referring writers to the site — and she asked me to take a look and learn about the pay and requirements.

Is Blasting News a good way for writers to earn a living? There are highly mixed reviews on Glassdoor and on Indeed (in several languages).

We decided to find out more, and talked to several writers around the world with experience on this platform. Here’s our report:

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Escape the Content Mills: 12 Practical Posts for Moving Up

content_mills_ICONAre you trying to break free from writing for content mills?

You’re not alone. How to quit content mills and earn more than their rock-bottom rates is probably the single question I get asked the most.

It can be so easy to get sucked into content mill work, but it takes so much time and effort to write enough articles — and deal with the often contradictory edits — that it sucks up all your time, and you never can market yourself to find better paying work.

I’m doing a survey about content mill writing right now, and the pay rates writers report are appalling. We’re still collecting results, but with 300 in the can, I can report nearly half say they earn $5 an hour or less writing for mills, or for mill-type quickie-article gigs on the bid sites.

Man, that makes me mad to hear.

I’ve done quite a few posts on how to escape content mills, so I thought it was time to pull them together into one useful guide to help you move out of content mills and into better paying freelance writing gigs.

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