Writers Deserve Respect

open-book-1378562978VkiWhen I recently lost both my primary clients due to financial issues, I did what I really did not want to do: began searching the job boards for listings. Yes, I knew these were not the best paying gigs, but I needed something to tide me over. I needed something quickly and couldn’t just sit back and do nothing while I rebuilt my database of active clients. I found a few very good paying ones, but didn’t have any luck with those–I had signed up with one in May and still haven’t received any offers (apparently the same is true of many writers according to their forum), and the other one actually turned me down for two categories in which I have extensive experience, so I gave up on that possibility.

Reviewing some of my newsletters brought some possibilities, but one possibility called HireWriters.com was a complete joke. I filled out the information, sent in the sample, the entire works, and when I got their response they had me listed as “Beginner.” Really, I thought? I’m not trying to brag, but if you go to my website and read my bio, you will see I have been writing full-time for the past eight years! That means I am in no way a “beginner.” As if that isn’t insulting enough, they thought I was going to write for $1.18 for 500 words I think the job posting said. Do you know what you going to get for $1.18? If you’re really lucky, you might get 50 words (if I’m in a good mood), but in all likelihood you’ll get a maximum of 25.

I’m not quite sure I can begin to understand the line of thinking of these job boards–a/k/a content mills. What makes them think writers have all the time in the world to write for such horrid rates? I’d have to write for 24 hours straight without any sleep in order to make enough money to help with the household bills, and my last two clients paid me way more than that–10 articles a week gave me enough to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, pay a credit account I have AND have money left over to help my two daughters who are struggling financially. Now am busy networking and trying to get back into the swing of writing on a regular basis again.

It’s very disheartening when you get so little respect as a writer, and there are so many people who think you will work for a pittance. I had another response that offered a penny a word! I can’t remember the last time I worked for that measly amount–I have one occasional client remaining who pays me .02 a word but that’s only because he is a long-standing client and never asks for more than rewrites thus no research involved.

I have to admit through all this I am beginning to learn how to recognize scammers and those who truly have no respect for a writer’s time. It is for this reason I invested some cash into setting up a new website, one that is inexpensive but not free. Perhaps this step will put me in touch with some clients who have respect for my time and writing skills. Yes, I will brag about my writing ability because if I don’t have faith in myself, who will? The effort we take to write and write well is important, and we cannot let anyone take advantage of that.

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33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tannerakane
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 18:53:08

    “WARNING WILL ROBINSON” – long, but informative post!

    Sorry for the situation. Sounds like my troubles with collectibles and repurposing.

    Here are a few resources from my link database (at one time, I thought about writing nonfiction articles). I haven’t fully explored these sites, but there may be one or more useful to you. Of special interest is the link to a Linkedin group pertaining to writing jobs:

    http://www.demandmedia.com/
    https://www.elance.com/
    https://www.gigmasters.com/signup/landing/?gclid=CJGToueNvboCFc1xQgodEkcAXg
    http://www.freelanced.com/?a=210&n=1&t=1
    http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/
    http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Gig&matchtype=b&network=g&device=c&devicemodel=&creative=33957421718&keyword=%2Bgig%20jobs&placement=&param1=&param2=&random=315751337972372601&aceid=&adposition=2t3&gclid=CPWsiv6NvboCFUlyQgod7X4AXg
    http://freelancewritersjob.com/
    https://www.odesk.com/o/landing/?hl=Top%20Rated%20Freelance%20Writers&ct=Freelance%20Writers&hi=3&fb=&query=writer&vt_cmp=US_Skills&vt_adg=Writer%20(freelance)&vt_src=google&vt_med=test&vt_device=c&vt_kw=writing%20gigs&gclid=CIyUjfyNvboCFUlyQgod7X4AXg
    http://www.pw.org/joblistings
    http://www.indeed.com/q-Writer-jobs.html
    http://www.linkedin.com/job/q-writer-jobs
    http://www.writejobs.com/
    http://www.urbanmusewriter.com/2011/11/12-places-to-find-freelance-writing-gigs.html

    Hope the list helps. I also suggest writing nonfiction articles and selling them on scribd.com. Also, I strongly recommend creating a resume page in your website, along with contact info from past and present clients. Make sure that page is locatable in search engines, for instance, when writers do a search for editors and ghost writers.

    When you get a chance, please provide a list of ALL fiction and nonfiction you’re willing to edit and ghostwrite. I’ll try to provide leads.

    Reply

    • Brenda Coxe
      Oct 29, 2013 @ 19:56:42

      Many of these are content mills, especially the first one, Demand Media. I have written for them before, and they treat writers horribly–the editor I had actually removed me from the pool because I had the “nerve” to question her. What she had done was performed a review on an article that was sent back as being not on the topic of the article (History of Naval Uniforms) when the source I used clearly had that as the title, so ultimately I refused to rewrite the article and allowed it to go back in the pool. Even though I had declined to rewrite the article this editor chose to use this article as a sample for editing review, and when I contested it she removed me from the pool of writers instead of simply assigning me another editor. I sent an email to her supervisor, and he refused to do anything about it. Trust me, I would not recommend them to anyone. By the way in case you didn’t know the CEO of Demand Media up and quit apparently without notice–sounds like it may be headed for a demise.

      Scribd is a joke, too. I have been writing full-time for over a year now, and with Scribed you have to choose a topic and apply to that. I applied to two different ones, both topics on which I had written many articles and was declined, no reason provided. First and foremost, no one can gauge your writing in just 200 words first off, and secondly I have NEVER had anyone ask for a sample and approve or deny you access based on that. Yes, I have had them rate you in terms of Beginner, Intermediate, etc. but never as a means for allowing you to write or not.

      Have you looked at Elance recently? The last time I was in there (and Guru) they had more clients want to pay a penny a word than real honest to goodness acceptable rates. I will be more than happy to check some of the other links you have provided, but as I said many of them are content mills I have either seen before or have been involved with in some way.

      Reply

      • tannerakane
        Oct 29, 2013 @ 20:51:38

        Brenda, just trying to help. I posted those without knowledge of your experiences with the sites. At least consider a resume page on the website. I think it’s a great way to promote professionalism. Did you check the Linkedin group link? I haven’t reviewed it yet. Found it a few days ago,

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 29, 2013 @ 23:05:08

        It is helpful. Some I haven’t heard of so will check out. Thank you. I’m not sure about the resume page since I have most of the information on the “About Me” page, but I’ll double check on that to be sure. It’s always good to have a variety of options open to you–I didn’t mean it to sound ungrateful. I just glanced at some of the URLs and knew they were content mills that paid next to nothing for writing.

      • tannerakane
        Oct 30, 2013 @ 01:27:36

        Do you know any artists in your area?

  2. Brenda Coxe
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 01:32:09

    Not in my immediate area. The only ones I’m familiar with are among my online friends. You haven’t found one yet? I’ll keep my eyes open–there may be someone I’ve forgotten about.

    Reply

    • tannerakane
      Oct 31, 2013 @ 15:10:05

      Brenda, when you mention “community college”, do you mean a real two-year college associated with government or a private venture?

      Reply

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 16:05:20

        Tannera, actually both. We have the college where I graduated that is supported by the state, and there are some private community colleges as well.

      • tannerakane
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 16:59:23

        Brenda, if the government college has an art or graphic design program, you can find students who do quality work. Many of them will head to a university to earn a bachelor degree or higher. They need work for their portfolios. Network with them and offer to find book cover design work for a percentage of the take.

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 17:14:01

        I’ll have to check. I don’t recall if they have any kind of arts of graphic arts program at DelTech. It’s worth looking into–thanks.

      • tannerakane
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 17:40:41

        Brenda, you’re welcome. In fact, I’m considering the use of community college students for projects on my property, mostly in the form of internships. There are groups at the local high school that host fundraising events. I may well hire students to help with projects in exchange for a donation.

        That reminds me. Check the local high school. I’d bet good money there are a few talented art students. Also seek out local artists through small businesses, such as galleries, art stores, and antique shops. Artisans live everywhere. Eventually you’ll find someone with enough talent to illustrate book covers. Offer to broker their services for a fee.

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 19:35:13

        That’s an idea that never crossed my mind. We’re in a better position being online as often as we are and in contact with people who may be seeking the services of a graphic artist or cover designer.

  3. Mark
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 16:26:33

    That should be “leaving a list for her to explore.” Sorry for the typo. Computer issues today *knocking on wood counter of desk*

    Reply

  4. Brenda Coxe
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 16:30:53

    Actually, Mark, Tannera is trying to be helpful. She was simply offering suggestions she felt were useful, and not all of the links she provided go to content mills. Also, when she said “Resume,” she was not referring to simply pasting my resume as you had wanted to do; her suggestion was to put a tab for resume and to include my skills and qualifications in that way. You will also note she suggested making sure it is searchable when people do a search for writers and editors, namely trackbacks to the website by using those terms in the information and linking back to the website.

    Reply

    • Mark
      Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:19:09

      Yes, I know, but, hey, even you snapped back to a few on her list. Her efforts were well-meaning, but the items on the list still gave off a charge of electricity that made you flare somewhat. I guess I was following suit with you, only because I can relate to your experiences all too well.

      As for the resume implication and the track-backs, I agree, I am already doing that in my website, which should be ready any time now (still waiting on Phil). I already have a “Professional Background” tab, and I am making sure terms like “freelance writer,” freelance writing” and “editing” etc. are prevalent throughout the site without appearing forced or overwrought. So, yes, I think those are two very fine suggestions on Tannera’s part. You should keep them in mind, Bren.

      Reply

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:23:20

        Actually, no, I did not “snap back” at Tannera on some of the things on the list. I simply pointed out that I knew many of them as content mills. I also did not “flare” at any of them. I knew Tannera was just trying to be helpful and didn’t possess the knowledge about all of the links. This is why I just pointed it out. As a matter of fact, when I first made my post, I misread and thought it was just a stranger posting it–didn’t realize until later it was Tannera or my comments would have been completely different.

  5. tannerakane
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 16:50:35

    Hey Mark, who the hell are you? Don’t ever attack me in a public forum. If I want your opinion, I’ll tell you what it is.

    Reply

    • Brenda Coxe
      Oct 30, 2013 @ 16:56:20

      Tannera, calm down, I have already addressed the issue with Mark. I don’t think he was trying to attack–Mark just has very strong opinions.

      Reply

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 30, 2013 @ 17:01:01

        I actually deleted both posts. I am going to ask Mark to rephrase his comments.

      • Mark
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:24:08

        Oh, not now. It’s late. I will try again by the weekend. Perhaps I will trim out the parts that are unessential to the discussion.

      • tannerakane
        Oct 30, 2013 @ 17:55:34

        I’ll try to remain calm. He can rephrase – with manners. Apparently he refused to read this part: “Brenda, just trying to help. I posted those without knowledge of your experiences with the sites.” I’m an idea person. I try to assist folks in their ventures.

      • Mark
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:28:08

        And I appreciate that as well. In fact, I try to assist other freelancers as I can, whether through networking, job suggestions or what-have-you. No harm in that.

        As for manners, I don’t think I was lacking in manners, just being direct with someone I didn’t know. No, I didn’t see that statement you made, although I read them comments before posting. I must have overlooked it. Sorry.

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:36:40

        By the way, “effect” is not a verb. The word you should have used was “affect.” Didn’t want to point it out publicly.

      • Mark
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:46:29

        Yes, that should be “affect.” Sorry. It’s late and I am tired. Going to bed pretty soon. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

        By the way, yes, you can conduct edits on posts already published. I have done it before. Just click on ‘Posts’ and then ‘edit’ the post in question.

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 04:00:11

        I fixed it but had to go to the Dashboard to do it.

      • Mark
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 04:09:26

        Yes, that’s where it is. Thanks.

    • Mark
      Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:09:24

      Sorry Tannera,

      I wasn’t trying to be antagonistic. I even stated in the post that I wasn’t trying to be. I have strong views on the subject and gelt like voicing out in general. I even thought your idea regarding local artists wis spot on and useful.

      You have to keep on that that I don’t know you as well as Brenda does, so I go by first impressions. If anything, my commentary was a means of making you aware of the different impressions a post can produce. I was obviously wrong, and so I apologize if I offended you (and, apparently, I did).

      As for my always being like that, I wouldn’t agree 100 percent, but one point that Brenda forgot to mention was that I never mean to be nasty or antagonistic, just direct. I like to voice myself, but I respect and encourage others voices as well.

      Take care and, please, calm down, okay?

      Peace!

      Reply

      • Brenda Coxe
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:19:10

        My comment regarding “always” was not to say you do that every day but rather that it is something I have noticed happened ever since I’ve known you, thus the reason being “always.” It is okay to be direct sometimes, but we also need to take the feelings of others into consideration as well. Remember, we are online and people do not have the benefit of seeing our faces to assess what we might mean by a specific statement. In addition, as professionals we have to maintain a certain demeanor and state our thoughts in a professional way while not overstepping our bounds and possibly misinterpreting the intentions of another person.

      • Mark
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:34:08

        Yes, Brenda, I am aware all of this. Most of my post was in response to the issues related to content mills and how they affect writers and their livelihoods. Also, as you noticed, I did state at the beginning of my initial post that I mean no insult. Perhaps it was my abrasiveness that rubbed the wrong way.

        By the way, what specifically was it that made Tannera angry?

      • tannerakane
        Oct 31, 2013 @ 15:08:31

        Mark, I’ll try to calm down, but I’m a redhead. That’s a tall order…lol. As a small business owner with several years of experience, I provide suggestions to folks attempting to earn a living without the benefit of a regular paycheck. I know what works for me; I also recommend channels that don’t work for me because they may well work for others, especially in the areas of marketing.

  6. Brenda Coxe
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 18:04:43

    Unfortunately he does that sometimes–I’ve known him over 10 years, so I’m used to it although I do often say something about it. You know I appreciate your help–I was just pointing out that I was family with some of the sites. I’m still going through the list to see how much help I can find–anything is a help right now.

    Reply

  7. Mark
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 03:40:38

    >>Actually, no, I did not “snap back” at Tannera on some of the things on the list. I simply pointed out that I knew many of them as content mills. I also did not “flare” at any of them.<<

    That's what I meant by 'snap back"–not at her, but by pointing out your distaste for content mills. I was basically doing the same thing for the same reasons you did and even offered my own insight and experiences as well. That was my intent, anyway.

    Again: my apologies.

    Reply

  8. Brenda Coxe
    Oct 31, 2013 @ 16:11:08

    Tannera, actually both. We have the college where I graduated that is supported by the state, and there are some private community colleges as well.

    Reply

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