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Writing Opportunity for UK Writers

November 6, 2011

I applied to and received their application pack 3 weeks after I applied on October 1st. I decided not to complete their sample article and application because they require UK English and I don’t have the time to tweak my articles to fit this requirement. However, for those of you who can write in UK English, this company seems very legitimate and I don’t think they have a lot of writers. I don’t know much about them other than that, but if someone has any experience with them I’d love to hear!

Writing, Not for Money, but for Free Stuff!

November 3, 2011

Everyone needs a break from the online writing grind. I recently been looking at some legitimate ways to get free stuff online. I just stumbled upon these. I generally don’t think that sites offering free products are genuine. Most are scams. However, these sites require a little legwork to get the reward.

Meg’s Makeup: This is a great site for those of you who love makeup and beauty products. It’s very personal and involves simply interacting with the community by commenting and rating products. At 50, 150, and 250 points you can cash out for some free makeup. Meg is very generous with her rewards and it takes very little time to get to 50 points. I cashed out after 2 weeks and received some Urban Decay products. I really enjoy this site! Click the link I provided if you want me to get points for inviting you, if not, just type into your browser. I’m torn between wanting to keep this site a secret and sharing it with everyone I know…

Influenster: This sits is based on an interesting concept. It allows you to get badges based on your interests (some must be approved, like “cosmo” and “foodie”) and from these badges and your activity level, receive “Voxboxes” of products to try and review. I just signed up for the site and I like how user-friendly it is. I briefly reviewed one product. Look up reviews of Influenster and you’ll see people blogging about and posting youtube videos of their voxbox goodies. Definitely not a scam.

More Sites Like Textbroker

October 27, 2011

Though I don’t think content farms are the way to go at the moment, everyone needs a fast buck. Here are two more sites that pay regularly for easy work:

Cloudcrowd: This company works through Facebook and pays every day. The tasks are small and don’t pay well, but the money is almost instantaneous and reliable. You will need credentials and must pass tests to accept the higher-paying types of jobs.

Valley Direct Media: They offer a never-ending stream of work and pay $4 per 400 words. However, the articles are simple. This company wants volume, so you’re paid more per article if you produce more. However, the time between application and acceptance is very very long.

Lack of Textbroker Titles

October 22, 2011

When I first started at Textbroker, I remember seeing titles sit for days, weeks even. Now, I log in and see articles disappear in large chunks with just a few page refreshes. This morning, there were 140 easy articles for $1.40 each and 3 hours later there only 21 left. The number of available level 4 articles before the DMS disaster hovered around 700-1000. Now it’s consistently half of that, and the good articles get snatched up very quickly.

What does this means? It means that Textbroker (sadly) is many people’s backup plan. Many DMS writers are desperate for money, and I’m betting many of them did not have other dependable income sources when the DS titles stopped coming. It is nice to see that there are fewer level 2 and 3 titles. Perhaps clients are learning that they will get awful content if they pay those dirt-cheap prices. This is one step forward for freelance writers but the return to Textbroker represents one step back. It does not grow your portfolio or online presence and cheapens your work. If you can write high-qaulity content you should be paid accordingly. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of the internet, and when you need money, writing for Textbroker is dependable, though akin to pulling out your own teeth.

I quite enjoy the cheap, short articles based on your own experience. They’re a fun way to make a buck or two (literally). And hey, I’m a college kid. A few of those articles goes a long way to paying for my next drink! But in all seriousness, if you value yourself and your work, and most importantly, your future income, work on moving away from Textbroker and sites like it.

The Fate of General Ehow at Demand Studios

October 11, 2011

The recent announcement of the Demand Studios team has left many writers pretty sure they won’t be able to depend on DS for a steady income, if any income at all. The gist of the team’s message was that the site is moving in a new direction and that there will no longer be a place for writers with no specific expertise or credentials to back their writing (or credentials that won’t fit in the measly description DS allows you to give of yourself-because obviously your life experience can be described in 150 words) With the significant decrease in write-able titles this announcement was almost expected by the DS community. However, it has left many writers out in the cold. We valued DS for its quick payments, organized system and regular workload.

The higher-ups have promised special assignments and new sites to come, but it seems like the average writer will probably not be included. Has this really affected me? No. I saw this coming, as did many people and made moves to diversify. Has it affected some people? Most definitely. Browsing the DS forums will show you many people who are really worried about their income now that DS has disappeared. What once was a dependable income stream has vanished.

Have YOU been seriously affected by the disappearance of Demand Studios? What are you doing about it?

Demand Studios Drought

September 30, 2011

The number of titles available to me on Demand Studios is hovering around 2300. Ouch. Most of them are un-writeable. Once in a blue moon I see a good title but it gets snapped up before I can claim it. I have applied to the Home and Garden section but my application has been under review for over a month. Many other people on the forums are having the same problems, and though “drought season” (according to the pros) seems to be coming to an end, things are not looking up.

It’s pretty obvious why DS isn’t pumping out articles; they’re not making money. Go ahead, Google search your most recent article. Chances are, it’s not near the top of the search results. Ehow used to be the top of the top, and now I’m seeing my articles on pages 2, 3 and 4 of the results, even though I’m searching the exact title. So what have I done about this?

I’ve expanded.  I recently got accepted to write for a DS competitor site that is MUCH more fun to write for and pays just as well. However, their editing queues take FOREVER. We’re talking 2 weeks from writing the article to payment, more if you need to edit it. I miss the regularity and dependability of the payment structure at DS.

I also got accepted to write for Valley Direct Media. But I was away from my internet for a while and thus couldn’t respond to their email, so who knows if the offer is still open. They only pay $4 per 400 words but I have heard the work is never-ending and they pay once a week, so it seems like a good thing to do in a pinch.

I have started at Writer Access but have only written 1 article. The title drought over there seems to be the thing that is never-ending. I have applied to 2 carting calls, so we’ll see what happens.

Textbroker has introduced “Team Orders.” Similar to “casting calls” at Writer Access, these are groups of people whom a client chooses to write his articles. Update your new expanded profile at Textbroker and apply for these Team Orders if you’re interested. Some of them pay very well but want high-quality content.

Getting these new clients took me close to a month, so if you depend on DS for your freelance income, and you’re  getting worried (you should be), I suggest expanding ASAP. Plenty of other people are diversifying and positions are getting filled.

Honesty is Still the Best Policy, Even on the Internet

August 5, 2011

Everyone who has dabbled in blogging, website creation, social media or freelance knows that presence is power on the web. And presence means influence and money. Twitter is perhaps a prime example of this principle. It is made up of people trying to get their voices heard, people trying to create an online presence so they can use that presence to their advantage. This may sound negative, but it’s not meant to be. If you want to be successful on the internet, you need presence. It’s what gets you clicks on your links, google ranking, and clients for your business. But the ways people go about creating that presence are sometimes tasteless, fishy, or just plain aggravating. At the end of the day, the best way to gain influence online is by being honest.

I don’t follow a ton of blogs, but the ones I do follow all have something in common: I have confidence in the author. Felicia at No Job For Mom is probably my favorite blogger (this isn’t shameless flattery). She inspires confidence in her readership. If Felicia says something, I believe it, and so do many many other people on the web. She is personable (she responds quickly and helpfully to emails and comments) and knowledgeable. This is most certainly one of the reasons she is successful. Her readers believe in and confide in her because she has spent time building her online presence by being honest, forthcoming, and hard-working. She, and many other bloggers of her kind, will always have my confidence over someone who spams me on Twitter about how this or that method worked for him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t fall prey to the fast and easy method of gaining presence on the internet. When it’s all said and done, taking the time to do things right is what leads to influence and following.