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Friday, July 31, 2015

Writing Mills

I have been writing as a freelancer for over twenty years, and I'm still surprised when I run across a request like the following on one of the sites where I still bid for jobs occasionally.

 I need 50 recipes with 50 words each totaling 2500 words each.
 must pass copyscape!
 Im paying $10 for all 50 recipes totaling 2,500 words
 no pictures in the recipes just the title and the recipe
 easy work!
 need in 2-3 days!

Just makes you want to jump right in their and bid on this job, doesn't it?

These sites are called writing mills, and, yes, I know that respected, well-known freelancers bombard these sites with unadulterated disdain. So, why do I still bid on jobs on a site like this?

The bidding process keeps me on my marketing game. Is a fun aside at times. Is quick turnaround. Is good money if bidding responsibly.

Submitting a proposal for a job answers questions that make you think about your writing expertise and improve your ability to query magazines with proposals. Many of the sites offer online, free exams to test your writing skills. And I like a challenge, so I take many of them.

Do  you really know the difference between alliteration and parallelism? Think you are an expert at sentence structure? Take a few tests to evaluate yourself as an editor and see. It's a quick way to brush up on what you "think you know." It's a free course in Marketing 101 and beyond...

  • What do I bring to the table that will get this job done?
  • What have I done that is similar and will assist me to do this job?
  • What samples of my work can I share to show what I can do?
  • How do I word a proposal?
  • How do I assess a job to assess the client's reliability?
  • How do I dissect a job for hidden clues and determine what the client is requesting?
Let me state unequivocally that I would never submit a proposal on a job like the example. Even when I was a newbie, I knew an insult when I read it. Not all jobs on the sites are like this, but sadly, most are. Everybody wants a lot for a little - hum, reminds me of the debates over minimum wage and employee benefits, but back to being a freelancer.

I have secured many, many jobs on these sites, met many professional, reliable clients, have repeat business that fills in the financial gaps that anyone who freelances faces from time to time experiences - the same is true for real estate brokers, graphic designers, models, etc.

It's the luxury of not having a 9 to 5 job with 30 minutes for lunch.

If you are considering checking out the writing mills, here are a few hints on how to assess a job:

 I need 50 recipes with 50 words each totaling 2500 words each. Veggies, Cakes, Meats?
 must pass copyscape! So rewriting others' recipes is acceptable.
 Im paying $10 for all 50 recipes totaling 2,500 words .004 cents a word?
 no pictures in the recipes just the title and the recipe That saves time
 easy work! Compared to a thesis. HARD in terms of time spent and creative word spinning.
 need in 2-3 days! fine if you have no family or other jobs, don't eat or sleep

Would this one be a way to get on the board with “a clip?” Sure, but so would an article of 2,500 words in a magazine or website, which could pay up to a $1.00 a word.

It’s all about choices. Do you hear your mother calling?

Have you worked for a writing mill? Did you hate it? Love it? Learn from it? Let’s talk.

Write like you mean it ~ Mahala

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