Sunday, May 17, 2009

The sometimes ugly realities of content writing

I've pretty much dove deep into the content-writing pool these days. It's a bit of a necessity. My best print-magazine client is struggling and, last week, told me to stop sending them my monthly quote of stories. From now on, I'd work on an as-needed basis for them, and it doesn't look like their need for me is as great as my need for work.

So, I've attempted to boost my monthly writing income with more online content writing. This week, for instance, I'll be writing a series of short, 125-word stories on topics such as martini glasses and electric fireplaces for one publisher. This will bring in $50, but the hope is that I'll be able to write the posts in as little as an hour-and-a-half, making my per-hour pay about $30. (Don't feel like doing the exact math right now.)

I'm also turning in a series of eight short blog posts -- on life insurance, auto insurance and weightlifting (one of these things isn't like the other) -- for $106, and am negotiating with another client to turn in a keyword-heavy 750-word story. I'm hoping to get about $40 for that post.

All told, these three assignments, all of which I grabbed yesterday, will pay me, hopefully, about $190. That's not much, but for a month of weeks like that, you're looking at $760. That's a bit of a boost to my regular writing jobs, which, of course, pay far, far more.

Today, though, writers have to take on a lot of jobs and do them all fairly quickly. In addition to my content-writing, I ghostwrite for three corporate blogs -- which, again, provides far more income than content-writing -- and rotate through about 10 (used to be a lot more) regular print-magazine clients for assignments each month. It's hectic, and more hectic now than it's ever been. I'm not sure how much I like it, but you have to do what pays the bills, right?

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