Observations as a ghost-writing freelancer one year later:

Songdove Books - Sing-Write
Songdove Books - Sing-Write
Image Copyright Songdove Books 2014
Pay Rate:
Unless you went into journalism and got your degree, most freelance writing jobs from such sites as iWrite or Textbroker pay barely over 1.5cents per word.  This contrasts greatly from how-to articles on the subject, where a decent rate of pay for the average freelancer should begin at roughly 5 cents per word and go up from there.  Research appears to indicate that 5 cents a word is beginner rate, generally 3 times as much as what you get at these other locations for beginner or even premium rates.

Style:
Most people requesting articles want it in a blog-like tone.  Occasionally, an article requester will come along who doesn’t want the more casual tone of a blog post, and who wants something more professional.  This is where journalistic training comes in handy.  Unfortunately, this author was not trained as a journalist and appreciates a more informal, conversational tone.  This voice comes in very handy when writing how-to’s, product reviews, etcetera, but it definitely is not everyone’s prefered voice.

Flow of Content:
More glaringly to the public than the other two points covered so far, is the flow of content.  Now that I’ve been freelancing at two ghost-writing sites for roughly a year now, I am starting to notice a trend in various articles I read for research on unrelated subjects.  I am now able to tell when an article came from one of these content sites!  I used to think that article writers just forgot to edit their content before posting it, but now I see that writers have written around requested key word phrases.  As a freelancer myself, I try to make keywords sound as natural as possible, but every now and then, a given keyword phrase just doesn’t sound natural no matter which way I try to weave it into the text.

It has been one month since I did any serious writing because I just couldn’t handle any mental pressure at the time.  Even now as I consider that while low-paying, freelancing is still a viable source of income, the concept of writing for deadlines by one requester who likes how I write, has me pondering getting back into it.  But being away from looking at lists of requested articles suddenly caused me to see this glaring keyword phrasing issue!

Moving Forward:
Freelancing is something I’d like to do more of, but I want it to be natural, real, and pay what ongoing research says its worth.  My style tends to be more educational/teaching/conversational than aloof/professional/journalistic.  An idea for a journalistic-style article came to me one day, but I realized I don’t have the training to pull it off well.  It just isn’t the style I write in.

So the next time you see an article that seems to read funny, look at those funny spots in the sentence.  They just might be ill-fitting keyword phrases that someone got paid to write about.  You never know, that someone might be me trying to pay the bills.

(and seeing that picture at the top of this post reminded me that I have an audio project to be working on. . . )

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