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Freelancer: My experiences with freelance site WriterAccess
Hello there and welcome.
The last time I spoke with many of you, I gave you some history about myself and how long I've been at this, so in case you missed that article here on Hubpages, you can find it right here. There are many people who start out earning a living as freelancers writing for many of what we affectionately call "Content Mills" which basically are websites that are facilitators for writers and clients.
For those of you unfamiliar with what these sites are, it's pretty simple actually. A freelance site such as WriterAccess provides freelancers with an opportunity to write content for customers seeking articles and other types of written content for an inexpensive price.
In order to write for one of these sites, you create an account, and then you're required to take a written test. The test is just writing an article on a random topic that the site selects with a certain word count requirement. You submit the article and wait for a review from one of the site's editors.
They grade the article and provide you with a rating or classification based on several factors, and then you are able to take written work from your classification downward. In my case for WriterAccess I am a four star writer, that's one level below a professional (and no, I am not comparing myself to a Journalist who has a bachelor's degree in journalism) as far as writing expertise.
I have written for several sites in the year plus that I've been a part of the freelance writers world, and yes I have written and continue to do work (thou not so often at the moment for Textbroker) but of all the sites that I get work from I have to say that the best one for the moment at least has been WriterAccess, and I highly recommend it to those of you trying to find work, or just starting out in this field.
Let me tell you of my experiences with WriterAccess both good and not so good.
I'm going to start out with the bad, because for me there really has not been a whole bunch of bad to speak of. The only bad about WriterAccess for a writer trying to really establish their own business is not having the ability to speak directly with clients except through their panel interface...and even that m,ay not be such a terrible thing.
Last month, through Writers Access, I finally landed my first "Professional Writing" gig, and I know many of you are saying to yourselves, what the heck is he talking about! He's already got a year under his belt as a freelance writer, and another five years plus as a professional business blogger!
But you have to understand that there are perceptions that many experienced writers write assignments for "Commercial Client" accounts think about people like us, who write for content mills, and in some cases I have to agree with those assertions, but I'll leave that for a different discussion.
In trying to work with this client on a more professional level, I broke a cardinal rule with Writers Access (and every other freelance site) and that's having direct communication with the client outside of their panel interface.
I won't go into the full details, but in the end I'll just say, I did get paid for work I provided this client, but the client and myself were none to happy with one another...client cancelled the job and did not want to pay for the work I'd already turned in but in this instance I was protected by WriterAccess and was paid for three pages of copy.
The only other thing that's bad about Writers Access is they only pay you once per month, so budget wisely.
There is a lot of good about working for Writer's Access, and I'll just make a list just to point a few of these things out:
- Steady regular work through "Love Lists"
- Casting Calls
- Idea pitches
- Idea contests
- Responsive editing staff
Casting Calls is probably one of WriterAccess's best features. Casting calls are where clients have project (either ongoing or just one shot's that can turn into more) are posted for a certain length of time, and if you think you've got the right stuff to satisfy a client's specific project's requirements, then you make your pitch. If the client feels you a good fit, they add you to their "Love List" of writers that they work with on a regular basis.
The other thing that I like about WriterAccess is the responsiveness of their editors. When I've had questions or issues or things that I wanted to bounce off of them, the responses have been 24 hours or less-usually less in my case anyway, and that's impressive to me.
I should point out that doing work for Writers Access is still not writing for a major publication or for a large corporate client and may times your basically ghostwriting for someone else who takes the credit for what you've done, but ghostwriting is also becoming a whole industry unto itself where many writers are earning a decent income writing for other people.
So if you haven't tried WriterAccess yet, give them a chance, I think you'll really enjoy the work and in many cases it's a steady gig...but I do want to caution you that it's also competitive and like so many other professions everyone is trying to make a buck, so you have to be on your toes and check the site often for available writing jobs.
(I actually have been using the wrong name for WriterAccess and had to edit this hub's title, and just a bit of the copy to correct my mistakes in the company's name.)
Lew Newmark is the be all and know all of KeyWords Media, an online company offering several types of writing services.