Thursday, August 31, 2017

Content Writing Isn't What I Thought it Would Be

Content writing is a hugely popular way to earn money online and I wanted to see if I could have a go at it. I had been writing ebooks, short stories on Facebook and here in my blog, and writing speeches. I felt I might do reasonably well as a content writer. I signed up with a few sites but I'm not going to say who they are out of respect for them. I'm just going to share a few of my experiences.

On one site, there were three levels of writers. As a newbie, I started out in the lowest level. Everyday, sometimes several times a day, I'd go through their list of jobs and pick out an article. I quickly discovered a few things I didn't like.

There were only a few jobs and some of them were for articles in languages other than English. Some of the jobs that were in English were for topics I was unfamiliar with. Some were even for reviews of products. How to you make a product review if you haven't tried the product yet? "Just fake it," the client said. Other than the fact that it was a dishonest thing to do, I was afraid that readers would see right through the article and discern the truth.

A few clients rejected my work because I didn't follow their instructions, they said. I didn't know what they meant because that was all they said. How can you improve if you don't know where you erred? It was frustrating, to say the least.

The worst part was clients choosing the writers who can write their articles. All jobs for lower level writers were open meaning, any writer can take them. That was a company rule, according to the admin. Some clients, however, blatantly violate that rule by expressly saying that their articles were reserved for this-particular-writer.

I informed admin about this but they asked me to give the names of the clients who were violating the rule. I told them, it wasn't my job. They should screen the jobs that their clients were posting and catch them before the jobs are put on the writer's page. I also suspected that those clients who had rejected my work did so because I wasn't "their writer."

I had been with them for about three weeks and all I had was $4.47 (for two articles; 3 had been rejected). (".)

Another company I joined was better. I wrote five 400 word, one 2000 word, and three 500 word articles that had to be written in a specific format. I had a few problems complying (mostly because I forgot) but they were nice about informing me of the mistakes. I did have a few issues, however.

They called it content writing but I think the proper name for it is "keyword writing." You're supposed to use specific keywords and sprinkle them around the article. A few of those keywords were difficult to work with. One keyword (a long-tail keyword or a keyword phrase) was actually a question and I had to repeat it about two times. A question that is repeated twice in 500 words seemed unusual but I did it anyway.

The most difficult was the 2000 word job. I was supposed to rewrite a website that was just over 1000 words long. When I went over the website, there were several repetitions in each page, meaning the whole website was actually less than 1000 words. I got down to work but ran out of things to say at 1000. I needed help.

I contacted my supervisor, editor, and team lead to tell them. I asked if the client would accept the article as I had wrote it. They contacted him but he said I could add the information from the website's other pages. I said I already did but he wanted a 2000 word article, not 1000 words. So, I searched the internet and found a few, somewhat related information and I incorporated that into the article. I wasn't happy with it though. I felt that I had bloated the article with irrelevant content just to achieve the word count.

The company was paying me Php20 per 100 words, which translates to around $0.40 per 100 words. After nine articles, I earned Php1,100.00 (about $22.00)...
for a month's work. My wife, rightly so, told me that we couldn't possibly live on that much and urged me to find other work...of the normal kind...the kind where you get up in the morning, take a bath, eat breakfast, get dressed, and travel to a place where you interact with people face to face.

I still believe this writing-for-the-internet can still bring in enough money for my family to live comfortably but it's taking a little too long. We don't have time to wait for it to get better. Maybe later, when I have a steady income from a "normal" job, I can devote more time to it.

So, this experiment earned me around $30.00, more or less...or is that more of less or less of more? (",)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Legend of the Moon is on Promo!

Legend of the Moon can be purchased at your selected price until January 31, 2018. You can pay whatever price you want for the book. Click on the picture to go the Smashwords and download the book. While you're there, why not check out other books on Smashwords? You might find something you like.

 Legend of the Moon