Freelancer:Living with numbers
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Freelancer.
Before I jump into this edition's hub topic I had mentioned that I was thinking about doing a podcast and was up in the air about that.
But after some contemplation I've decided that I would give it a go,and so sometime next weekend I will be sharing the very first edition of Freelancer The Podcast with you all here. I'll supply the details of where to go to hear that inaugural podcast as I launch it.
Alright then, let's jump right into this hub's topic which is "Numbers."
As a freelancer that get's much of his work at the moment through freelance sites such as Textbroker and Writer's Access, numbers play a huge role in the type of work I'm able to pick and choose from, but if you're unfamiliar with the association between numbers and your income, I'll explain it to you.
I've already talked about how when you apply to a site such as Textbroker, you take their writing test, and then they rate your work and assign you a "level" which is represented by...you guessed it a number.
And that's just the beginning of your life living with numbers on a per article basis. For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, let me explain to you how the process works, and why it's a detriment to how we freelancers sometimes earn a living.
The number rating or level that you're assigned allows you to select articles that clients need to have written, at certain levels of (for lack of a better term at the moment) writing experience or maybe I should use professionalism.
Now when I first got into getting work this way I was fine with it. I was new to this. I didn't realize how it would effect the way I earned a living back then. Today I understand the effects that a writers level can have on their ability to earn an income, but I want to really pick this whole thing apart because I know that this is a less than perfect system.
First of all, when you write an article for a client, there is a certain expectation between both parties.The client has a need for an article to be written, and you as the writer have an expectation that the article that you write will meet the needs of the client with a minimum amount of effort, and that you are compensated in a manner that is fair to you for your time and effort, because after all your time is worth money, as it would be if your were working in a manufacturing position.
So you write your article, you try to follow the instructions that the client has left for you as far as what's required for the article. The tone of the article, the word count and any keyword requirements are all part and parcel in writing an article for a freelance client.
The problem is that everyone has a different idea of what a great article should be. You may think that you wrote a fantastic article and that it should be given a rating of a 4 or 5 by the client, but the client in their infinite wisdom thinks that your article only rates a 2.
And that's the problem with a rating system. It's purely a subjective system at best, which pit's writer against client, but it doesn't end there. With the case of Textbroker, a client may rate your article, but it's a Textbroker editor who evaluates that article and their rating is the final word on what that article is rated.
And here's the best part about all of this, you can be a five star writer one day, and a month down the road, you could find yourself dropped down to a level 3 writer, and that's the problem with the whole rating system.
And trust me, when you're trying to write so many articles per day to reach a certain magical number that represents your total earnings for that day, your level of writing is not going to be consistent, and that dear reader is always going to be the problem when writing for these freelance sites.
And that's my life living with numbers folks, and if your a freelancer working in this field and you're still trying to earn a living from writing for freelance websites than you living with numbers the same way I am...I hope that your enjoying the experience just as much as I am!
Lew Newmark is the be all and know all of KeyWords Media, an online company offering several types of writing services.