1. Astralwolf37
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    Astralwolf37 New Member

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    Online Writing Help

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Astralwolf37, Jul 27, 2011.

    I’m writing to anyone that can help me out from their own experience with online writing, or anyone who has dealt with a difficult editor (or in my case a slew of them).

    You see, I had my hours slashed at my office job a few months back. To make up the difference, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to turn to online writing for profit. This, of course, mostly comes in the form of content mills (Demand Media Studios, Associated Content and that ilk) and bidder sites. I haven’t found a single job worth perusing on bidder sites (all insultingly low pay), but started to make a couple hundred on the content mills. Things were getting accepted and money was flowing in.

    I let that little bit of success go to my head and quit my office job to write full-time as a freelance writer. Not a week after I quit my job and after they already found my replacement, one site dried up on titles and I have not had anything to write for weeks. To make matters worse, I looked at the scoring system they have in place (which I had not realized had as much clout as it does, ie. do poorly enough and you get fired). I have a 2.6 on a five point scale! I had not considered this before, seeing as things were getting accepted, I was getting money and I graduated with a 3.9 from an English writing program for Christ’s sake!

    The problem is with inconsistent editors. One bad score because that editor does not prefer third person (even though I was told by a senior editor to always use it) and your score sinks. I’ve had other editors change things to be wrong or incomplete and rate my articles low. Because there are no titles I cannot raise my score. Even if I tried, who’s to say that editor will prefer the style of the last editor? And the scores are indisputable.

    On another site, I am having a similar problem. Their guidelines are so complex that whatever you type, some editor can pick a problem with it. For instance, were I to cite something about a career, and it could apply to any other career ever, they consider it “fluff.” I don’t see how that makes the information invalid.

    Sorry for the length, but this had been eating me up. I can’t write because I just see those low scores and have the feeling that whatever I do is wrong. That is the true frustration about writing; there is no one constant. Everyone has their own view of what stellar writing is. Even in food service there is a constant. You either filled an order or you didn’t. Writing is so subjective. I also think sometimes editors take their role as gatekeeper too seriously and get on an ego trip. I got an article rated as a 1.5 for a couple of typos anyone could have made. I’m only human.

    Any advise would be appreciated. I’m looking at taking any pedestrian job I can get and it scares me. I don’t want to end up flipping burgers with a bachelor’s degree. Not being able to pay bills is now a looming threat.
     
  2. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I never had experience with editors, but people are people. Editors pick and nag by default. It's what they are paid to do and they should. You have to decide what you think is valid or not. Be open to criticism, but if you feel confident about your story, be so and persist with it.

    If you had the time, I would try to find a way to get into a one-on-one with your editor. While online is a good place to hone your craft, trying to push serious work through it alone seems a bit gimmicky.

    Last, I would say perseverance and positivity. You probably will go through much more of this. I would be prudent about who I gave my stories to, and who I chose to throw myself in with. It sounds like the whole process requires a good deal of dedication. Don't let opposition tire you out.
     
  3. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I find that often people find fault with writing without bothering to see anything redeeming. I wonder if being on-line lets people act mean without any guilt. What happened to if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all? If you rip someone prose apart without a single word of praise it's just mean (even if it is true).
    That being said it sounds like you don't have any control over the rating system of the on-line writing and the system may not be fair or even nice. Generally I don't like to play games I can't possibly win. I'd look to a different area and keep writing.
     
  4. YoungCreature
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    YoungCreature Member

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    I've heard stories about these online freelance writing sites.

    At first you think it is wonderful that you can get paid to write articles and reviews. You start earning a little dough and everything seems to be going great. Your articles are being rated fine and page views are going up, which increases your pay. Then, the editors start sending bad ratings for no serious reason. Your rating as a writer drops and eventually you get "fired" or dropped from their list of writers. This allows the website to continue making profits off the articles you already wrote and you get... well... nothing.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to succeed [= make a living] as a freelance writer, the worst path one can take is to rely on those websites for clients/writing sales, imo...

    you need to do it the 'hard' way, like all the pros do... that is, have a professional-looking website, advertise, and actively seek out clients in any way you can, other than on big-money-promising websites that spuriously claim 'it's easy!'...

    meanwhile, you'd better get yourself another day job!
     

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