If you’re a writer considering publishing online, you need to read this before you fall into some of the traps out there. When you’re trying to establish a career in writing, publishing your work online can be a good way to establish your writing skills. But there are also downsides to writing for the web, and you need to be aware of them. Publishing online has risks and benefits. The savvy writer wants to be aware of both sides of this venture.
Publishing Online with User Generated Content Sites
Sites like the Yahoo Contributor Network offer to pay writers of Yahoo content $1.50 per thousand page views. It’s referred to as a performance payment, so that you’re not actually selling absolute rights to your content. You’re simply publishing your own writing on their site. If you get enough pages views, they’ll pay you. For beginners, it comes out to about $75.00 per fifty thousand page views. That may sound like a small paycheck for generating that many page views, but really you have no time invested in the endeavor beyond the time you spend writing and promoting the content. And if your content ends up going viral and getting, say, a million page views, you’ll get $1,500 for a single article. Compared to the rates that small publications pay writers, this comes out pretty favorably. Instead of being paid once at the rate of a few cents per word, a writer who’s generating good content that people want to read can continue being paid for their work every time a new batch of fifty thousand viewers sees their page. While the idea of having that many people read your content over and over may seem impossible, it’s not as hard as it sounds. You just have to continually promote your content by posting links in relevant forums where people are likely to click on the articles. Unlike sites that pay for clicks on ads, networks like these pay for page views themselves, which is ideal for a writer since the content is what you specialize in- not the marketing of products through ads. And an additional benefit to sites like these is that your name is attached to your content, along with a link to your profile that features all your other writings on that site. And to your personal blog as well if you’ve attached a link.
Publishing Online Using Blogs
Making a blog with an adsense account is always a good idea for a writer. You can easily set up both a blog and an adsense account for free, and get paid for the page views you generate. You’re agreeing to allow adsense to place advertisements on the content you publish online. As with any other business venture, you want to promote your content, and place links so that people can find it. Otherwise, you’ll be left stranded alone on the side of the information superhighway. People have to see your page. That’s the bottom line.
The Risks of Online Freelancing
Sites like freelancerdotcom offer jobs for freelance writers on their website. Basic members pay the higher of either $5.00 or 10% for every job they accept. “Gold” members who pay about $25.00 per month pay less a commission fee-3%. The downside of these sites is many fold. One, there are a lot of scam artists on those sites that will ask for samples of your work tailored specifically to their project needs, which they then simply steal. If you’re going to send someone on a site like that a sample of your work, publish it on your own site first- your blog or your yahoo contributor account. That way, if the person tries to publish it elsewhere, you’ve taken a step toward protecting yourself as a writer. At the very least, you’re getting credit for you own work. That leads to another problem with freelancing sites. More often than not, the people hiring you to write articles for them aren’t going to give you any credit for your work. So if you accept a ghostwriting job, you need to make sure you’re being fairly compensated. It’s not worth taking these jobs scam artists offer at $2.00 per article or less for 500 word articles. It won’t help your writing career at all because your name isn’t associated with the articles, and by accepting jobs at that rate you’re simply helping to lower the industry standard, which is, at a minimum, $12.00 to $15.00 for these articles. If you agree to work at that rate, you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot as a writer. You’d be better off posting that same content on a vanity site or a blog with an attached adsense account and promoting the hell out of it. Because for the time you spend writing 10 articles a day (which is going to take you nearly all day if you’re not just plagiarizing other people’s work) you could be posting hundreds if not thousands of links to your own page. It’s a simple as pasting your link.
The Benefits of Freelancing Online
Don’t let all the risks turn you off to online freelancing altogether. There are still honest employers out there who will pay you fairly for your work. You just have to be selective and hold out for the assignment that’s attached to ethical hiring practices. There’s plenty of money to be made online; you just have to be sure you’re actually taking assignments that are worth your time, and that will ideally build a relationship between you and your client that can provide ongoing assignments. But hold out for the people paying fair wages.
Warning to Writers and Businesses Looking To Buy or Sell Article for Publishing Online
As I already mentioned, there are article brokers out there accepting the good writing assignments at $12-$15 dollars per 500 words and then outsourcing the work they’ve been hired for to naïve freelancers for $2.00 or less per article. They pocket the other ten that you worked for. I repeat this because you need to take this warning to heart. These scam artists avoid detection by posting articles using their company name with titles like “How Scam Reports Can Help Your Business.” That way, when people are looking for scam reports on them, all you see is the content they placed there to make it difficult to find the real complaints about their company. Business owners as well need to be careful about hiring these writing sweatshops to write content for them, because when what they’re doing becomes well-known, your own business just might be named during the investigation. The actual writer is often told who the actual client is for the purpose of placing links to their pages in the text, so be wary. Don’t let these scam artists ruin your business’s good name. So called media companies who write articles saying a scam report will help you probably know from experience, because they had to write articles featuring their name and the word scam report to hide all the negative information on them hiding just a few search pages back.