A little about me. (And, yes, you’re right: I’m not that fascinating)

March 29, 2009

I won’t give you my real name. I’m sure to be a bit negative when discussing the content sites and blogging networks I’m writing for.  But everyone needs some name, even if it’s not real. How about this one: Dwrite. It’s a handle I use on forums across the Internet. Should work well here.

Here are some of my credentials. I’ve worked as a freelance writer since the early 1990s. When I started in this business, I couldn’t Google anything. I had to find information the old-fashioned way: by digging  it up. Today, I honestly think I’ve forgotten how to do that.

My stories have appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Business 2.0 Magazine, Phoenix Magazine, the Chicago Reader, BusinessWeek Online, CareerJournal, Home Magazine and a countless stream of trade magazines. Today, unfortunately, many of my favorite places to write for have gone belly up. Many others have put a temporary freeze on their freelance budgets.

I have turned, too, to online writing. As a freelancer today you have to. There’s a lot about it I don’t like. Mostly, it’s the pay. Why does online writing fetch such dismal fees? Can it be because online writing is usually horrid, rehashed garbage that’s been floating aroun

This photo just says "writer," doesn't it?

This photo just says "writer," doesn't it?

d the Web ever since Yahoo! took the world by storm?

I’m sure there’s a relation there.

I blog regularly today, for both blogging networks and for business owners who want blogs but don’t want to write them. The second group pays far more than the first. But this blog, Content Writing Madness, focuses on the first group, the blogging networks, along with the content sites, places like Suite 101, Associated Content, Demand Studios, Examiner.com and the like. (And don’t tell me that Examiner.com is an online newspaper and not a content site. It’s a content site. Believe me.)

My goal is to share my frustrations, rewards (I hope!) and challenges as I try to master the world of online content writing. I hope, too, that the readers of this blog — and I hope to get readers soon! — will chime in with their own experiences and, yes, success strategies for making actual money at places like Suite 101 and Constant Content.

Check back tomorrow. I’ll start my online adventures with my experiences at Suite 101. Then there’s the suddenly popular Examiner.com to tackle.


Content writing, huh?

March 29, 2009

I’ve worked as a freelance writer since 1991. That’s a long time. But never have I felt as challenged, and frequently frustrated, as I do today. Since mid-2008, seven of my regular print-magazine clients have gone out of business. Several more have gone solely to in-house writers as they struggle through this horrible economy. I’m surviving, but I’m juggling more assignments than I ever have to meet my monthly income goals.

I’ve also dipped my toe into the largely unsatisfying world of online content writing. You know what I mean: places like Associated Content, Suite 101, Examiner.com, Demand Studios, b5 Media and the rest. They’re content mills that place greater value on quantity than they do on qukeyboardality. Writing for them is a bit brain-numbing, I admit. But a writer’s gotta’ do … well, you know.

I have one advantage in this strange new world: I can write fast, really fast. And when I’m writing for content sites I can write especially fast.

‘Course, that doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoy content writing. And I am still learning as I go. I’ve found content-mill writing to be extremely frustrating at times, especially when it comes to search engine optimization.  I also find myself getting overly excited when one of my online stories earns even the smallest amount of revenue. I wouldn’t touch a print-magazine story for anywhere near the same amount of money. I’d consider it an insult.

I set up this blog to share my journey through the content-writing landscape with my fellow freelance writers. Three times a week — at least — I’ll post my experiences with content sites. I’ll let you know how much I’m earning, how quickly I’m doing it and whether I enjoy what I’m doing even the tiniest bit.

And I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me, too, on whatever content writing you’re doing. Maybe you love it. Maybe you hate it. Maybe you recognize that in the world of online writing, speed is king, quality is  not necessarily a priority and earnings are small.

But, again, if you’re fast enough, if you can really pound away at that keyboard, those small earnings just might add up.

Or maybe they won’t. I’ll let you know.