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Ace Contributor
Brandy H Member Since: Dec 8, 2016
1 of 28

 

I want to take a moment to thank anyone who has given me advice over the past few weeks. Most of it was received well and heeded. The constant suggestions to read various other posts and all of the TOC and beginner guidelines were a bit nagging at first, but I'm glad you all kept drilling. I learned a lot of valuable things that I believe have prevented me from numerous scams and false roads. I appreciate any of you who volunteer your time to help newbies out even when we keep bringing the same stupid, annoying questions up on a daily rotation. As I have been emphatic about asking the stupid-question-of-the-day, why break the pattern now? Here's today's:

 

I am a writer who loves writing for writing's sake. However, I am rarely self-inspired. As a child, even, I found myself begging other people to give me something— anything —to write about. The main reason why I have been such a successful online college student is that the majority of the coursework involves researching on and writing about so many various topics. Well, my college program will be completed next spring and I have been experiencing a dread for the past few months over not having an outlet and daily regime of researching, writing, and learning about various topics.

 

I have slightly enjoyed my new hobby of being an Upwork freelancer, but have never considered it to be anything more. My submersion here was more of a desperately needed distraction from a really difficult time of year. However, I have been actually taking a few non-committal gigs at the absolute lowest offer possible, because I like doing it. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and have already earned a small, encouraging sum for a few easy submissions. However, I'm obviously never going to make a living wage, earn respect, or gain valuable feedback on Upwork, or any other freelancer bid site without any real publications.

 

Would you mind taking the time to shoot me some quick advice? And don't be sorrynotsorry about raining on my parade; I was born with an umbrella Smiley Wink

 

 

  1. Are there any communities that focus on sharing feedback and criticism amongst fellow bloggers?
  2. Can you point me in the right direction of who to contact to get my first articles published?
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 28

@Brandy H wrote:

 

However, I have been actually taking a few non-committal gigs at the absolute lowest offer possible, because I like doing it. 


OK.

 

Sometimes human psychology is beyond me.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Ace Contributor
Brandy H Member Since: Dec 8, 2016
3 of 28

Is it the psychology of somebody doing something they enjoy what is beyond you? May I ask how much you get paid, per word, for the time you spend posting responses on this board?

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
4 of 28

@Brandy H wrote:

Is it the psychology of somebody doing something they enjoy what is beyond you? May I ask if you get paid for the time you spend posting responses on this board?


If I was an Upwork moderator, I would.

 

I do many volunteer work in my community. I'm not paid for doing this work, not a penny. But on a professional marketplace I always ask for money in exchange for my work, no matter how much I love doing it.

 

I just finished an interesting project. Loved it, really. I charged 10 cents per word and got a 20% bonus on the top of it. It was really a cool project.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
5 of 28

Quick question, Brandy...what do you believe your talent is worth?

 

I'm not trying to put words in Rene's mouth (sorry Rene!) but I think what he's getting at is that you're shooting yourself in the foot here.  If you write well (and based on your current feedback, you do) why are you practically giving your work away for free?  Why do you question your worth?

 

Not making a liveable wage on Upwork has nothing to do with whether you're "published" or not.  It has everything to do with charging someone less than what they'd pay for a value meal at McDonald's.

 

Until you start valuing yourself and your abilities, you'll never make a living freelancing, and that's on you.  Time to take stock and make some choices.

Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
6 of 28
"Can you point me in the right direction of who to contact to get my first articles published?"
 
Wanting to publish something merely for the sake of getting it published is a waste of time. However, getting work published is relatively easy- just apply to good job offers, and deliver great work. You'll be a published author in no time, guaranteed.
 
And you'll make money, to boot.
Ace Contributor
Brandy H Member Since: Dec 8, 2016
7 of 28

I had a rate that I believed I was worth for a minute. When I didn't get any offers, someone suggested I lower my rate, get a couple good reviews, gets something published, and then consider raising my rate. I don't see how I can possibly compete with neither the insider trading that is obviously occuring here nor the established professionally  published "real" writers. 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
8 of 28

Brandy - good heavens! There is no insider trading.

 

This has nothing to do with Upwork, but with you as a writer. You want to write. You can write. So now you must look at your options. Upwork is only one.

 

You have articles you want published. So either publish them yourself (following Kathryn's advice about blogging to another freelancer - sorry Kathryn I can't find that thread), as a blog, or trawl the internet for every possible outlet you can find.

 

I work for a well-known writer, who had to work at success - and it certainly did not fall into her lap to begin with. It was hard slog - I think the writing was the easy part - not the selling. Smiley Wink

 

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 28

@Brandy H wrote:

I had a rate that I believed I was worth for a minute. When I didn't get any offers, someone suggested I lower my rate, get a couple good reviews, gets something published, and then consider raising my rate. I don't see how I can possibly compete with neither the insider trading that is obviously occuring here nor the established professionally  published "real" writers. 


 I have no idea what you mean by "insider trading" here. But if you're looking for successful writers, you can look at this month's featured contributor (right there in the column on the left) Kat C - she's a very successful writer. You could look in the Job Skill Discussions section of the forum for the "Writers & Translators" section and look at some of the people in there - Tiffany S and Jennifer M are good examples of successful writers also.

 

There's plenty of successful people here on Upwork. They're not successful by charging rock-bottom prices because they enjoy what they do. They're successful because they chose a niche and know how to market themselves and run a business.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
10 of 28

@Brandy H wrote:

I had a rate that I believed I was worth for a minute. When I didn't get any offers, someone suggested I lower my rate, get a couple good reviews, gets something published, and then consider raising my rate. I don't see how I can possibly compete with neither the insider trading that is obviously occuring here nor the established professionally  published "real" writers. 


In terms of my writing, I compose specific content that merges several fields of expertise. The entire focus of my Ph.D. was psychometric and standardized test design. Because of my extensive field research in educational psychology, I designed, implemented and crafted quantitative research reports/papers. As such, I'm also a technical and academic writer. This has been honed over many years of experience (and angst...I'm so glad my very bad poetry is buried somewhere in the garage).  

 

During my tenure as an educator, I taught English and composition. My Master's degree in English focused on an analysis of fiction writing. 

 

There's much more and you might be thinking...Ok, why is this important?

 

Many of the successful writers I've researched on Upwork have a specific expertise or "track."  Meanwhile, it seems like there are a bazillion copy and content writers who range in education (and expertise). 

 

As the fabulous Jenn D pointed out, Tiffany and Jenn M are both successful writers who've written articles/blogs for various clientele. They too write in a particular field of expertise (Tiffany = Legal Eagle, Jenn M = Tech Extraordinaire). 

 

I've said this in another thread, I'm also a technical writer like Jenn M. But, our fields don't overlap. If you look (or have looked) at her profile, she's MORE than merely knowledgeable about programming languages (and how to deal with those IT guys...sorry IT guys, some have been rubbing me the wrong way lately). 

 

If you're leaning towards psychology you have two choices: pop psychology or publish journal articles in, hopefully, Tier 1 journals. 

 

Though I'm sure somewhere on Upwork there is an academic writer who isn't being pummeled with WRITE MY TERM PAPER spam (TOS violation), as an academic writer, I've been stalked by clients who just can't seem to understand that I'm not interested in engaging in plagiarism (that is academic death). My point is, putting out your shingle as an academic writer will quickly lead to a slippery slope. 

 

However, I started on Upwork from "scratch." If "insider trading" was occurring, well, I missed it. Bummer. 

 

I can only speak for the three people mentioned as writers on this thread: none of us, in particular, are your competition. 

 

Your competition is every single person who has taken an English course and believes they are the next hugely successful writer (whether or not they are actually fluent in English). And so they come on Upwork thinking this is the best place to start their writing career only to find out that thousands (if not more) of people believe precisely the same thing.

 

I hope you interpret this response in a helpful manner as that is my intention. 

 

 

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