Freelancing Online

January 20, 2010

Bright Hub! Review

If you have been writing for online article submission sites you have likely heard of Bright Hub! because they pay $10 for a 500 word article. Sounds great huh! If you have been writing for eHow, Associated Content, Bukisa, Triond, Helium or other similar sites $10 an article is a godsend. So what should you know before rushing over to Bright Hub?

#1 They pay more because they expect more.

The content of the article can be very similar to anything you may find on other article submission sites. The big differences are

  1. You have to create a link to another Bright Hub article or other related online article every 50 words. At least one of those articles has to be a fellow Bright Hub article.
  2. After you have linked to that article, you need to write the author a message letting him know. Also, ask for a link back from their article.
  3. You must find 1 photo for every 4-500 words. (Be sure to give credit where credit is due!)
  4. After you have copy and pasted your article, created the 10 links (500 word article) and uploaded your photo, you submit it to your Channels Editor [more on channels below], who will without fail send it back to you for any number of edits.
  5. You then make edits, re-submit, and pray it gets accepted this time. From my own experience as well as some friends – second submissions are returned about 50% of the time.
  6. YES! The editor has now accepted your article! Your done with that thing and now you can move on to more titles and more money!…….Right…..That’s how it works right?
  7. No. You are expected to return to your old articles once every month or two to update facts, years, seo, links, photos, whatever it takes to keep that article current. No. They do not pay you separately for this extra work.
  8. After about 3 months you notice that your page views on one article are a lot lower than your other articles. It is your responsibility to go in there edit the SEO, keywords, etc to increase views on that article. What if you don’t? After a certain amount of time, if an article is performing lower than other similar articles it is deleted from the database.

Everything above is dependent upon your getting accepted by Bright Hub! This is one thing that sets Bright Hub apart from the rest, although I can’t decide if it is for the best or worst. Bright Hub has several different Channels, each with it’s own sub-categories.  When you apply to become a writer, you are not applying to all of Bright Hub! you are applying to a specific Channel. Once you are accepted as a writer you must read and sign a huge ‘Work for Hire’ Contract. That states anything you write for them is theirs, end of story.

If you want to write for more than one channel, you must apply to each one separately, thankfully you only fill out the one contract. Here’s the part I don’t particularly care for…Each channel has its own Editor and Co-Editors, each of which works differently and has a different way of doing things.

For example: When you write for Associated Content, you can write about anything you desire and you know the submission form will always be the same. Although Bright Hubs form is the same the options are different per channel. Also each editor has a different method of dealing out topics, and accepting pitches. I have been writing for a few different channels and it did not take me long to figure out how each of my editors worked, soon I was righting articles that were not being sent back for more editing.

Then they changed editors on every channel I wrote for, as I was trying to pick back up the pace, they changed most of my editors again. One channel I write for has seen 5 editors in the 6 months or so that I was there. I finally gave up. As I writer I prefer to get paid to write, not battle with ever changing editors.

Now if you have ever written for magazines, newspapers and the like you are laughing right now, aren’t you? Here’s the deal if I am writing for a magazine, a newspaper, or a trade publication I am getting paid more than $10 for that article. Real businesses pay more to compensate for dealing with editors, changes, time spent in the creative process, and interviews. The least I have ever been paid for a newspaper article is $50 and that was because I was covering a non-profit organization that I was a member of. I did not do any interviews, I asked for permission to quote my friends, but that was it.

Also with a newspaper, or magazine there are no links to deal with, and I will never be expected to edit something that has already been published. So you’re probably thinking I hate Bright Hub! right about now. I do not.

My suggestion is if you want practice writing for a demanding client to see if you have the “stick-to-it-ness” required then give Bright Hub! a try. Whereas most of the articles are only 4-500 words the writing aspect is not too bad. There are some useful guides on how to add links, and pictures on the Bright Hub! site. The community is very friendly and supportive, and most of the editors are easy to work with.

To view my Bright Hub! articles go here.

Advertisements

June 27, 2009

oDesk Review

oDesk is a freelance bidding site. If you have never worked with a bidding site before it can be very interesting and confusing at first but it gets easier with time. The way a bidding site works is much like a regular interview process for a normal day job. You search for a job you would like to do then apply for it by giving the client a price quote, estimated time and a cover letter explaining why you are the one for the job.

I know what your thinking – “This sounds complicated and there’s no guarantee I’ll get the job.” In some senses you are right, there is no guarantee you will be chosen, but there is a good chance you will be is you have your profile in order and you write a decent cover letter. The great news is bidding sites do not just work with writers they also work with web programmers, sales consultants, customer service representatives, accountants and so much more. If you have more than one specialty or if you just don’t want to be tied down to doing the same work every single day then you can bid in various fields.

I personally love oDesk because the community is nice, the people are helpful and the clients are great. I have landed at least 10 jobs in the two months I have been with oDesk and most of the assignments are long term. I have good working relationships with all of my clients and I get to set my rates. I have had a few prospective clients refuse me because of my rates, but I have others that have hired me because my rates were slightly above the norm. It also helps that I always direct potential clients to my website in my cover letter. My website is designed to be more of a portfolio than anything else and with the wide variety of topics organized by category tabs clients are able to easily get an idea of my writing style and my versatility.

Another aspect of oDesk that I absolutely love is their free skills tests – yeah you heard me right – FREE. I have taken quite a few of the tests and it helps clients to know where you are proficient. oDesk will even allow you to retake the tests after 30 days if you want to try for a better score. Some clients will only select applicants who have passed certain skills tests. For instance if you are proficient in English take the English skills test. This allows clients to know that you actually do know and understand English and you are not just going to write an article in your native tongue then pass it through a translator. I have taken the English, SEO, article writing and blog writing tests whereas these are my main fields. I plan to take more, just because I like taking tests – I know, I’m weird. The great thing is, if I do not pass or I get a score that I don’t want to advertise to the world I can choose to hide the results from public view.

oDesk is very different from other Freelance Bidding sites whereas it does not charge you any membership or upfront fees. They do however take a 10% cut from the money you do make. It is up to you whether you choose to take that cut or charge it to your clients. I personally take the hit because I think the clients appreciate it and if I only get $90 from a $100 job I don’t see it as a huge deal. Many freelancers have the client pay the 10% though by setting their bid at $100 then having oDesk tack on the extra on top.

There are two different types of jobs you can complete through oDesk: Hourly and Fixed-price. oDesk does not garantee payment on Fixed-price jobs whereas they are not tracked in any way. Hourly jobs are garanteed though because oDesk has a special program that you download onto your computer that tracks the amount of work you complete. You are able to easily take out times when you walked away from the computer or add “offline time”. On hourly jobs a client does not have to pay for the “offline time” though all the ones I have worked with have paid it with no questions asked.

I strongly suggest oDesk to anyone who is trying to find clients and decent paying freelance assignments. Click here to view my oDesk Profile.

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

Text Broker Review

Filed under: Article Sites — carlaboner @ 6:23 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Text Broker, now this is an interesting one. Some people I know do pretty well writing for Text Broker while I never did so well. I have a friend that makes over $100 a month writing for them. The website is set up quite nicely, so that it is easy to use. When you apply to Text Broker you will write a short sample and they will evaluate it on a star system (1-5 stars). Most writers when starting out begin at a 2 star rating and as you complete assignments if you average a higher rating, Text Broker will raise your rating. The higher the rating the higher paying jobs you are able to search for.

Only one article at a time can be accepted through the Text Broker system. Once you complete one article, you can then claim another and so on. Typically there is a large selection of articles to choose from although many of them are odd topics. I rarely find topics that I want to write on, although like I said some people do pretty well on the site.

I have a few issues with Text Broker, that prevent me from being able to do more for them. First off, there is very little personal connection. I have written many articles for clients I know nothing about, technically I don’t even know if they exist. Of the assignments I have completed through Text Broker I have only ever spoke to one client through email and that is because he took the time to contact me through the Text Broker system.

Another issue I have is the low pay. Most articles pay less than 1 cent per word, until you get into the higher ratings. Which leads me to the only one assignment at a time policy. I understand why they do it but at the same time I think the more you work for them and prove you are there to provide they should allow at least up to 5 claims. There have been several occasions when I claimed a somewhat decent paying assignment hoping to get it done in time to claim another, just to have them be claimed by the time I completed the first one. In my opinion this leads to sloppy work that is done to hastily for any research, spell-checking or proofreading.

I hate to admit it but if I am getting paid less than 5 cents per word I am not going to spend a lot of time making sure the article is perfect. Which brings me to my last point, my name is not on this article – giving me yet another reason to not care a whole lot about the quality. That’s right Text Broker is a ghostwriting site as in your name is not getting published with any of these articles and you retain zero rights to your work. This is why they are able to pay such low amounts. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with ghostwriting if you are being compensated for all of the work you are doing and all of the rights you are selling.

If you are just looking to make a few bucks from home every month Text Broker is not a horrible option. If you are serious about becoming a writer and honing your skills, selling to magazines or even publishing a novel someday I would suggest only using Text Broker when you desprately need a cup of coffee – next month (they only pay on the 10th of every month).

June 14, 2009

Welcome to Freelancing Online!

Girl With a Pen & Camera

Copywriter & Author

As a freelance writer and photographer, I Carla Michelle would like to help you find success in online freelancing. I will write a review for every on-line company I have worked for and let you know which ones I am still working for. As of June 2009 I was averaging $300 a month after only 6 months in the field.

Although most of my advice will be for writing and photography, there will also be information on secretarial, data entry, web programming, and various other on-line freelancing opportunities. I will include links in the sidebar for every legitimate site I have worked with and suggest or recommend. I will also warn of scam sites and those I find to be less than reputable that I have encountered and I will not provide any links to such places.

Welcome to the world of Freelancing Online I wish you all the best!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Freelancing Online is changing direction! We will still be discussing online opportunities for freelancers, but I will also be covering corporate copywriting! I am just now shifting to that market and I hope I will do a good job at keeping you informed of the new hassles, time, and of course….PAY!

Why am I switching? First ask yourself, if you are truly happy writing the articles you have been writing? How long does it take you to write a quality 500 word article?

It takes me 1.5 hours to write a quality 500 word article. That is with minimal research on the internet, no interviews, very little fact checking, typically opinion pieces. If I were to write that same article to the best of my ability with facts, proper editing, etc. I would spend about 3-5 hours on it.

If I submitted that article to Associated Content, I have made less than $1 per hour. At eHow, I just donated that article (I might make a few cents over the next year), Bright Hub I made $2-3 per hour.

Now If I were take that article to a corporation that it would work well for their marketing packages I could charge at least $45, earning me $15 per hour. Although I love writing and I do it whether or not I am getting paid, I would prefer to get paid what I am worth. Most good copywriters charge no less than $50 an hour because copywriting takes something most writers do not have – the ability to sell a product or idea.

Read on to learn about Article submission sites (where I got my start) and some how-tos on copywriting.

Blog at WordPress.com.