I’m really not sure what I think of the whole writing online deal. I like the money. I made a nice little deposit into our bank last week – certainly more than I’ve been earning from couch and laundry change!
A lot of what I write is weird and kind of interesting. A lot of what I write is technical and sad and boring as hell. But, the more I learn, the more depressing it gets. So much of what is written for the internet is incredibly manipulated and written with the assumption that you, the reader, are not smarter than a fifth grader. Articles are mostly limited to 400 words, must use exact word combinations “x” amount of times and certain words “y” amount of times (and those words must be strategically placed within the article). Sentences must be short and no big words allowed.
It’s starting to creep me out. I get it – everyone is selling something. The way to sell your stuff is to get people to your site while making them think it was their own idea. They don’t call it writing, they call it content. And so much content is written as quickly as possible by the lowest paid writer who probably knows next to nothing about what they’re writing about. Just get the content out.
I’ve had an internal debate going on since I started this. I do have a degree in journalism so I’m not just going from my rambling blog to whatever it is I’m doing. Even back in the dark ages, we were taught to write to an 8th grade level, at best. But, it was different, creativity was encouraged and, there was no internet when I graduated, so life was definitely slower. But, still, money. We could really use extra income, and this is a way to do it and still be able to homeschool, have a home life, allow Andy to row, all of that. ::::sigh:::::
Then I read this article. Yes, just one article, but given my mood these past couple of days, it hit home. (I also read this article, which has nothing to do with anything I’m writing about right now. But, it’s’ a great article for all parents, thought-provoking and well-researched. Be warned, it’s way more than 400 words.)
I feel old because so many of the writers on these sites are younger and have training in SEO (what I described above) content and are super-fast and do exactly what clients want. I keep getting hung up on how stoopid what I’m writing is and shouldn’t I try to make it better? That doesn’t work with everyone. I spent 45 mintues on 400 words tonight – way too much time. I thought they were good and interesting words. The client didn’t.
I was given the choice to turn down his offer of 15% of the original offer. There was no F— You button, so I declined his offer and kept my content. For what? I don’t know but, he sure doesn’t get it for nothing. I’m learning that’s a little trick clients try – ask for revision after revision then offer nothing so they can get your work for nothing. No thanks – particularly on stuff where I’m working as a ghostwriter.
Now, out of the 150+ articles I have written in the past two months, I have had trouble with this client and one other. Mostly, I have received excellent reviews and sometimes repeat business at higher rates. But, it still is what it is. And, I am who I am. Deep down, I’m still the girl who wants straight A’s and weeps when she gets a B.
I think a change of direction might be in order. But, that means forfeit cash-in-hand for potential cash. Writing for potential-cash gives me the freedom to write as myself and to write more what I want. Now to decide if I want cash fast or maybe-cash later. If days were longer, this would not be a problem.
I keep thinking “What would I tell the older boys if they were in a similar situation?” I think I’d tell them to suck it up and stick it out doing both kinds of writing for at least six months. I guess I should take my own advice, huh?
Have a happy Tuesday everyone. Thanks for “listening.” I’m going to go label this post so it can be found on every search engine and then I’m going to pay myself with whatever I find in the dryer. 😉