Academic writing seems to be a very vibrant niche here, but Upwork is not the platform for learning. This is a platform that performs best for those that have significant experience in their field.
"I have a hard time valuing anyone's writing at that rate, especially my own.", is a very telling statement. Successful writers here charge 3 times that amount and consistently score good contracts. How much do you think academic writers typically charge?
I sincerely don't want to rain on your parade, but I think you may need to take some time to learn and hone your craft before selling your services here. Only then will you understand why successful writers command the rates that they do.
I appreciate your honesty, but I really thought this was a place for entry-level, as well as professionally established writers. Where is a good place to hone my skills, if it is not here? I'm not planning on getting aggressive in my job search for at least 3 more months. I've been scouted out by several essay mills that I believe may have originated from online classmates. Researching into those sites (farms, I guess) lead me down a long rabbit hole, all the way to Upwork, which I guess should be telling in itself.
I got my start on rent-a-coder and I mentally scream just remembering it. It was awful. They rebranded to vworker and then got bought out by freelancer.
Academic writing to me is hard. I avoid it and go for blog writing, but there is also white paper formal writing too. You should first figure out what you want to target and then determine an area where you are an expert. Read the popular sites/blogs in your area of expertise. That's what people will want from you.
When you find your niche, you then charge a premium on it. Sure, you're higher than everyone else but that's why I like Manolo over Payless. Manolo is awesome. Payless is crap. At $3/hour, you're gonna get a lot of scammers and lowlifes trying to take advantage especially since you're in the US.
Do a ton of research on writing and clients. But most of all do some research on scammers for now. You are prime for scammers. Know the check scam, ebay scam, no paying upfront for jobs, etc.
This place is great to read too. I learned just about everything from the forums.
I appreciate everyone's advice so far. What started out as a tangle of knots is starting to resemble something like the beginning of a plan. I know what I could do, but I don't want to be just another crappy SEO hobby hack. I have come to hate them all during the past few years of my college research. So, anyway, I decided I'd at least rather be a cashier than a window-washer, so I'm hoping $5/hour makes a little more sense.
@Brandy H wrote:
Have you had a chance to review my portfolio? I'm not certain how to rate myself.
You have a professional death wish!! Get rid of that overview as soon as possible! Remove your negative view of the formatting in your blogging example.
As you are still at college, you could put that you are a student with a particular interest in AB, and C. Being a student is not a handicap - particularly as you are no doubt having the APA style drummed into you - you could add this to your offer.
Your strengths - academic writing (to begin with stick to only a couple of subjects that you are comfortable with and that you can research easily), and blogging.
(BTW, don't be tempted to write other students' essays for them. First of all it is against Upwork's ToS and it is a big professional no-no).
Thanks Nichola. Your advice has been very respectful and helpful. I don't mean to hound you, but would you mind taking a quick look at my revisions. I certainly didn't mean to come across as insulting. Until recently, I had a completely different concept of how writing is valued in terms of the non-writing activities involved in a great piece. As I have no clientel, and obviously no decent work history, I do feel that a minimal fee may be necessary to try to build some reputation. I'm obviously not a competant writer, or self-motivated go-getter, or I would have accomplished something more than a online college degree at 36 (in two more days). That being said, I do know that I am more valuable than just a content regurgitator.