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Writing on Random Topics

hodgesh
Community Guru
Kholleras I Member Since: Nov 24, 2015
1 of 23

I've been noticing article writing jobs (on and off Upwork) without a specific topic. I mean that the clients want content on a variety of topics as the topics arise and are looking for someone who can write about a large range of topics.

 

Obviously at least some of this type of work is just low quality crap. But are there legit writers who create quality content about whatever random topic the client throws at them? To me it seems almost impossible to write quality articles in that situation. If I were a writer, I would need to have some sort of specialty.

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 23

@Heaven H wrote:

I've been noticing article writing jobs (on and off Upwork) without a specific topic. I mean that the clients want content on a variety of topics as the topics arise and are looking for someone who can write about a large range of topics.

 


 Farmer. The client is a farmer hiring cheap #MoreOrLessEnglish writers.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
hernandez-luz
Community Leader
Luz H Member Since: Mar 20, 2017
3 of 23

Well, I've seen the worst offer: someone's looking for "high technical-engineering-knowledge writers" and he or she's willing to pay ONE DOLLAR PER TEN HIGH-QUALITY ARTICLES!!!

It makes me want to flag this guy! Grrrrr!

datasciencewonk
Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
4 of 23

Reminds me of the content mills and "agencies." 

 

No thank you. 

 

In my experience, no matter how many times you tell them "that's not in my writing wheelhouse," they don't listen because, after all, you're a writer...you should be able to write about anything they want. And, "but muh content, but muh authority, but muh clicks." 

 

Just like a heart surgeon should also be able to perform brain surgery. Uh huh.

 

(Ok, I know, it sounds like I'm comparing writing and surgery -- it can FEEL like that while trying to surgically extract WHAT THE CLIENT WANTS for their blahgs -- at least it's true for me; which is why NARROWING DOWN the writing genre is important on Upwork...less surgery, more free flowing writing time.)

reinierb
Community Guru
Reinier B Member Since: Nov 3, 2015
5 of 23

@Kat C wrote:

Reminds me of the content mills and "agencies." 

 

No thank you. 

 

In my experience, no matter how many times you tell them "that's not in my writing wheelhouse," they don't listen because, after all, you're a writer...you should be able to write about anything they want. And, "but muh content, but muh authority, but muh clicks." 

 

Just like a heart surgeon should also be able to perform brain surgery. Uh huh.

 

(Ok, I know, it sounds like I'm comparing writing and surgery -- it can FEEL like that while trying to surgically extract WHAT THE CLIENT WANTS for their blahgs -- at least it's true for me; which is why NARROWING DOWN the writing genre is important on Upwork...less surgery, more free flowing writing time.)


I sometimes take on absurd topics just for the fun of it. Stuff like "Alternative uses for hubcaps", or a piece about "The origin of Ceasar Salad", or "Which onion cultivars make the best onion rings?" but for the most part, I agree that taking on random topics is not a good idea.  

allergywriter
Community Guru
Cheryl K Member Since: Jul 16, 2015
6 of 23

so tell us, what onion cultivar does make the best onion ring?  One with a low water content?

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
7 of 23

They are farmers who probably have a marketplace thread somewhere like blackhatworld, digital pointless, and warrior forum (lol it's fun trolling there). They need you to standby because as people buy their crap they will ask you to write it.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
8 of 23

I do that type of writing. I also write for agencies and the occasional content mill. I enjoy learning about new topics. 

 

Of course, since I'm a freelancer, I can always say "no" to a topic. I've always been happy with my agency work and the mill I worked for allowed writers to select their tasks. Usually, even when someone is hiring for an "everything" writer, they produce content for a limited number of niches.

 

I avoid the "high volume" job postings because I don't like to have production minimums. I think that regardless of the topic, you are more likely to experience burnout if you are trying to produce too much copy too quickly. The price per piece or hour is often below grade as well. 

 

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
9 of 23

@Heaven H wrote:

I've been noticing article writing jobs (on and off Upwork) without a specific topic. I mean that the clients want content on a variety of topics as the topics arise and are looking for someone who can write about a large range of topics.

 

Obviously at least some of this type of work is just low quality crap. But are there legit writers who create quality content about whatever random topic the client throws at them? To me it seems almost impossible to write quality articles in that situation. If I were a writer, I would need to have some sort of specialty.


 Perhaps not ANY topic, but early in my career I wrote across a pretty broad spectrum. Most of us, though we may choose to focus in one niche, have a broader spectrum of experience in the world. For instance, I've written about writing and publishing, politics, parenting, 80s music, community news, volunteerism, construction, classic cars, working from home, nutrition, Catholicism, test preparation, marketing, activism, homeschooling, college and graduate school admissions, relationships, small business management...

 

Those are just the things that come to mind quickly, but each one has a basis in my own education or experience. I have a degree in political science. My dad collected antique cars when I was growing up and I spent a lot of time at car shows. I ran a non-profit and sat on the board of two others before I was 25, and was very active in volunteer recruitment and training. I've worked from home for years, and supported my family that way while homeschooling. And so on. I'm sure that's true for most people--you may not have a foundation for writing about absolutely anything that comes your way, but there are dozens, maybe hundreds of different foundations for connecting to the work and speaking the market's language.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 23

I wrote about getting an angel loan once cuz I did it myself, but I usually don't write finance stuff. All that real life stuff can make money