Monday, January 20, 2014

Should You Write For Clients or Should You Write For Yourself?

When I began writing online, I just looked for some kind of writing opportunity to get paid. Being new to internet, the idea of getting paid for writing online was immensely appealing. I learned over a period of time, the ways to find clients willing to pay you for writing for them. The first place I bumped into after losing some money in scam was Landing  the first job there was not easy because I had no ideas on bidding, how much to quote, how to make promises you make sound genuine, where to show the portfolio of your work. In fact I did not have online samples of work. So, much of your online activities are in fact lessons in learning.

Then, one day I was surprised when a client without my least expectation chose me to write for his blog. Actually, he was running a gambling site. I had absolutely no idea on gambling. Yet he chose me for I have no idea, what. He said he was willing to pay me 6 euros for three articles. I was excited beyond my belief. I wrote the  three articles in quick succession, while he quickly transferred the six euros to my paypal account. The sight of those six euros into my  account made me feel like an internet millionaire. For the first time ever, some one was paying me for my first ever online writing work. I thought I had nearly hit a goldmine or jackpot because I had never believed that you can actually get paid online. Everything about the online  scams I had heard so long now appeared rumors or myths.

I didn't believe I could ever write on gambling or gaming for I could not distinguish a spade from a jack, yet I tweaked and rewrote something from  an article that made no sense to me. Neither did the final product - the stuff I had written made a sense to me. 

When you do something the first time after lot of learning and effort, the repeat task becomes easy. So, I wrote few more articles for this client when I realized he was paying me peanuts. He was not an exception, nearly every client looking for a writer wants them to work for peanut wages.

Yet, with little effort and endless bidding, I soon landed with a client willing to pay me at $10 to an article. This was a nearly five times jump. I was  now beginning to get convinced that a writer can survive online. The rest is  history. Along the way  I learned a valuable lesson: If you just want to earn something  writing online, you should be able to do that within an hour. There are nearly  endless opportunities with sites that lets you choose work on the basis of your bids. There are similarly many other sites that let us you choose a work you want to do at a fixed price of say $5, or $10 or more depending on the quantum of work or size of the content. 

However, a stage comes when the cycle of write to get paid upfront begins to get monotonous. This is especially so when you work for one of the content mills where writing, a creative task begins to haunt you like the ennui that haunted the 18th and 19th century industrial workers. The boredom, the monotony, the ennui, the listlessness and dissatisfaction from  the writing work you do is comparable to alienation of the workers that Marx spoke of. I was getting alienated from the writings I did because subjects like online poker, furniture, a new carpet for your room, and other crappy topics that clients requested me to write on did not enthrall and elevate my soul, as I thought writings are designed to. In addition, most of the clients want you to work at 18th century third world wages. 

This was the time when I began to ask, should I write for myself. In other words, you write on things you are passionate about or you have an expertise in or both. There are some very good blogs that let you write on anything you want  to write and make some money in the process. These are Hubpages, Squidoo lens, Triond, YCN and hundreds of others. The best thing about these sites is that you can continue  to earn monthly revenue from them after you have assiduously built a fairly good amount  of content, that is an impressive list of articles.

In addition, you can build your own blog. You may begin with a freeblog as this blog where I publish my articles. It needs to be reminded here that no one should expect to begin earning with the very first article you write here. The consistent result begins to appear with consistent efforts after a period of time.        

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