Let’s talk about making money online. Life in Savannah is good. We always have something to do. You can walk the squares, take a trolley tour, stroll the river front or visit one of our forts. The history and culture are amazing. Yet, the gigs as a freelance writer are not. You would think a city rich with southern charm and hospitality would be teeming with opportunity. Nope.
It’s just like any other mid size southern city. Most connections are locked down to blue bloods and old money. New money is tied to old money and new people are welcome, but not necessarily welcome to play. If you are laughing right now you know exactly what I’m talking about. You can make it inside, you just have to be tough enough to crack the nut.
So what does all of this have to do with freelance writing? It is best summed up in one word… frustration. For me, pursuing local freelance gigs was mind numbing. They were impossible to land. Everyone already had someone they were using. To make it worse, networking was out of the question. Many marketing agencies felt threatened and said things like, “I might be able to use you for some of my own posts.” Translation: You are a threat and I will make sure your business never sees the light of day because I will never mention your name; OR talk about you like you are small potatoes should the subject come up.
All of that got old really quick. Yet, rather than taking it for what it was, I panicked and made a mistake. I looked to content mills for work. That was worse. I did a lot of work for low pay. The good paying clients were few and far between, and there weren’t enough of them. The whole experience was grueling. It was a constant grind just to keep up and maintain. I’m so glad I got out of there. If you want to start making money online as a freelance writer, avoid them. Why? Well, juts look at the reasons below my friend.
Why Content Mills Keep You from Making Money Online
- Grumpy Clients. You get what you pay for right? The same works in reverse when you accept low paying gigs. Those clients tend to be grumpy. They want constant revisions and make unreasonable demands. You will end up working days on a piece to only net $30. Not worth it. Tell them to go suck an egg.
- Demeaning Treatment. This goes along with the first point. Accepting low paying gigs does something to your self-esteem. it robs you of your dignity and self worth. You DON’T NEED THAT! And before you launch in to the whole explanation of why you need low paying gigs to boost your profile, just stop. The real problem is you don’t need that profile to begin with.
- Hopeless Feeling. You will begin to feel stuck over time if you keep at it. You will chase $45 and $65 jobs. You will begin to think that’s all there is. It is a lie of course, but you won’t know any better because you will actually start to believe your microcosm content mill world is an accurate reflection of the entire marketplace. Don’t buy the lie. Get out!
Trust me, it is worth your sanity and livelihood to make a quick exit from content mills. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer do provide a service, but in the end, it’s just not worth the hassle. Taking tests, paying to increase your bid rank, paying for more bids… it’s all a ruse. These are just clever ways to get more money from you. Your goal as a freelance writer is to make money, not spend it all trying to get noticed.
So how did I do it? How do I find clients? Next week I will give you full details in a follow up post. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but trust me, its worth the wait. As for now, start planning your exit from the content mill world. And just for good measure, I will leave you with a new resource to pursue. Check out Problogger if you are a newbie or veteran freelance writer. I use them constantly and have had scored a few jobs from their site. Also, subscribe to their podcast. That’s a good starting point.
And with that, I will leave you until next week. I promise it will be worth the wait. I will show you my two best resources for getting and keeping new freelance clients. The best part? It’s not difficult. It just requires repetition and determination. You will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
Serious about marketing your online freelance writing business? My Pocket Guides are great. Affordable, easy reads, they have everything you need to get started.