If your freelance life gives you nightmares, you might be chasing online writing jobs in some scary places. It’s a recurring problem I’ve heard from writers for years. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Do you go to sleep at night feeling good about your online writing work?
Or do you toss and turn, have nightmares about writing for pennies, and wake up in a cold sweat?
Being a freelance writer can be scary. So many online writing opportunities are out there beckoning you to walk down a virtual dark alley without a flashlight.
I’ve seen it happen. And heard too many nightmare tales from freelance writers.
Some shady online writing client lures you in like an unsuspecting victim in a horror movie. And before you know it, you’re hooked into writing copy for soul-sucking rates.
If you don’t want to be stuck in an online writing nightmare, beware of these four places in the Underworld of Freelance Writing that are guaranteed to put your writing career on the road to nowhere.
If you’re new to freelancing, content mills can practically sound dreamy.
Pick your favorite gigs. Work when you want. Get paid like a rockstar.
Ahem…That’s not exactly what happens if you bank your freelance writing career on working for content mills.
On most platforms, you’ll find thousands, of writers scurrying around competing for writing jobs in a race to the bottom for low rates and a soul-sucking existence.
Can you earn pro rates at a content mill? It’s possible. But you’ll need to know where to look.
If you want the truth about how much content mills really pay, save yourself some time on the hamster wheel.
These 10 blog posts will give you an inside look at what it’s like to write for content mills, how they operate, and how much you can expect to earn.
UpWork.com is one of my favorite places to find long-term, higher-paying freelance writing clients. Crazy, right?
The site (the new combined brand that’s the result of the oDesk-Elance merger) really is one of the best places to go if you want to be severely underpaid as a freelancer. But it also can be a great location for finding good prospects who are lost and confused in the never-ending search for quality writers — if you know how.
I’ve pulled clients who pay $100 per hour (and up) from this bidding site, and regularly use it to find strong new prospects. That’s despite the fact that I only check in once or twice a week, for a few minutes at a time.
You can find great pay on UpWork, too, by changing the way you approach a few elements of the site. These elements can help you avoid cheapskates and save you the time and frustration that usually goes along with navigating bid sites.
Here’s how I do it:
When I started out as a freelance writer, I knew nothing about finding clients that pay well.
I started with bidding sites and general job boards, because I thought it was easy money. But I quickly discovered you can’t build a successful career as an article writer if you’re only earning $5 per article.
It was clear I needed to make more money for each article.
So I stopped hanging out on the bidding sites and targeted higher-paying writing jobs. In one year’s time, I went from earning $5 dollars an article on bidding sites to earning $900 for a feature article.
How? Here are the steps I took:
From my very first blog post back in 2008, I’ve advocated that freelance writers avoid mass bidding sites such as oDesk and Elance.
This past week, I learned in an unexpected way just how easily freelancers can get ripped off doing writing work through impersonal, third-party platforms like Elance.
Because I got ripped off, big time.
Here’s how it happened…
You may have missed it in the holiday crush, but a big deal went down right at the end of the year: oDesk announced it is merging with Elance. Yes, I spend most of my time discouraging writers from hanging…