Worst Bosses Gallery

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why I Stopped Paying for Writing Advice

The occasionally scathing feedback that comes with editors and private clients cannot be avoided.  It happens, it stings and if a decent writer hears it enough, they will either take note and correct it or throw in the towel.  

I say this because I was discouraged by content writer sites and wanted a way out, so I joined WOW (aka Women on Writing).  Now I got okay advice and other resources but the only lead that worked for me was Textbroker.  While TB occasionally paid the electric bill, my membership was hardly worth the $48 charged to my credit card.

Fast forward four years as my writing has improved and I feel confident about sharing my skills with others, I decide to try an experiment.  As WOW sent out monthly newsletters, I saved all 12 issues as PDFs and one weekend, I decided to go through the writing leads.  Just about 80% of the companies listed were no longer in business.  This was in 2013 and I got the listings in 2008/09.

Last year, I re-joined LinkedIn with better success than before.  My groups are larger and I'm feeling my way around the marketing perspective.  In one group, there are posters raving about this e-book, Writing For Money: The Online Writers Path to a Full Time Income by Stephen Davies.

While it sounds nice, I have to be honest as some are being misled about this industry.

Anyone looking to get rich (or comfortable) from online writing needs a plan because relying on TB or Break Studios alone will bring disappointment, regardless of how good a person is.  I can't give this advice because each niche has different needs and there are many profitable writing styles.  However, anyone looking to make an investment in a worthy career should start with a book like this one.

Here's why - 

GOOD
Davies gives good advice on how to go after online writing jobs as well as simple explanation about SEO writing.  Whether a person writes content for backlinking or Build My Rank (BMR) style links, there is really nothing too technical about writing these if the writer understands the objective.  However, I must disagree about a 5% keyword density that the author encourages as the standard is 2-4% per 100 words.

NOT SO GREAT
There are many writing leads here.  I mean hundreds. There are also many UK companies that accept writers from the States. However, I did find broken links in the PDF (more on that below) as well as many companies that have either closed their doors or do not have an online presence.  

I don't fault Davies as sometimes the frequent contributors are the last to know that their services are no longer needed, effective immediately.  My issue is that about 80% of the leads listed can be found anywhere online - AT NO CHARGE!  But to be fair, it does take time to gather this many leads.

SOMETHING TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER
Some people do not have $5 to spare and this is not to make light of what may be a serious situation.  However, there are many in the States (I believe the author is from the UK) who need to make a full time income by the following week, not the $7-10 they may get from a content company that may or may not pay on time (it happens, even with the reputable ones that have been around for a few years).  

Making a full time income requires the writer know their audience and the needs as well as overall demand.  They also need to take into consideration their resources so that can plan an effective marketing strategy.

Davies may have covered this but the reason why I'll never know for sure is that the PDF version of this book only allows accessibility three times.  No copying (unless a person has a paid Adobe account) or saving to a hard drive for later reference.  So the best bet may be to get the Kindle version as it is the same price.

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