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Month Two as a Freelance Writer
The Second Month
Well, it is time to follow up on my second most popular hub, “My First Month as a Freelance Writer”. To be honest, that is not saying much. It has had a total of 98 views, 6 from outside of Hubpages. Although I would like it to be more, I am comfortable with those results. I know it will take time to build up my views. I hope that is a reasonable number of views for a little over one month as a hubber. Anyway back to my second month as a freelance writer. This month has had its highs and lows. As usual, being new at freelance writing is a wild ride. It is full of learning, mistake making and banging your head on the desk often. Wonder if that is just being new or will it be like that forever?
2013 Follow up
My second most successful hub is now Marketing or Advertising to Brides after the Bridal Fair. Although I still (three years later) have trouble finding topics to write about, I have become more open to trying different subjects. I now have hubs that cover being a disc jockey, the wedding business and cooking. It is best on Hubpages, and anywhere for that matter, to find a niche to write in, something that has not been well covered.
I have developed a greater degree of comfort with writing in my second month. It is still a struggle to put what is in my mind onto the page in a concise, grammatically correct manner, but it is coming. When I am writing about my passions, such as this hub, it takes me only a couple of hours or so. If I am writing for pay, it can be a significantly longer. Of course, writing in my kitchen with 2 kids, a husband, a dog, a cat and a TV constantly around could be the reason for the slow speed. I have learned to put on headphones, pull up AOL radio and listen to ambient music on loud.
Sometimes, I pretend not to hear the “mom!” when I have my headphones on (shhh, our secret). The reason I listen to ambient music is the words in regular songs distract me from writing. Also, I have a terrible habit of singing to the music, which can be distressing to the family. Again, if I am writing what I want, I can listen to regular music. Right now I am listening to soft rock on AOL. Also, although it is 6:30am on a Sunday morning, I have one kid up making Ramon Noodles. I just had to tell her the water was boiling, even though she is sitting right next to me. I can write through the distractions this morning.
My First Writing Contest
I entered my first writing contest, 100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest, this month. I chose this contest because they send a written evaluation of your writing. If you have ever watched American Idol, you should understand my reasoning for this. On American Idol, the best part is the early auditions, where anyone who thinks they can sing, auditions. I did not want to be one of those writers who think they have a gift, but people are laughing behind their back. I received my feedback and gave a big sigh of relief. At least two people feel I am an acceptable writer. The critique scores writers on a 1-5 scale, 5 being the highest, on various items, such as voice, suspense and grammar. I scored in the 3-5 range for most items. So I am not a horrible writer. I do not write this to boast. I honestly do not think there is anything to boast about. It’s not like I received all 5s, and there are plenty of writers who write better than me.
My first check from Examiner.com should come next month. They have minimum earnings of $25.00 before payment is released on the 20th of the following month. As a reminder, Examiner.com is a news website that provides local information and news. They pay on a per-click basis, around $8-$10 per 1000 clicks, along with a $1 per article for specific article types. Along with the Historical Places title, I have added the Wedding Planning title. I write the Historical Places articles, because of my love for history. The wedding planning title I added for pure financial reasons. It is my opinion, the wedding planning title will receive more hits, therefore, more money. If you have the right title, money can be made at the Examiner.com because they rank high in Google search engines. Also, I have learned a tremendous amount about writing and key words. There has been a few follow up articles I have written, because the keywords people were searching for were not entirely addressed in my articles. For example, I wrote an article about a local wedding site. I had plenty pictures of the outside, but none on the inside. In studying the Google analytics, I discovered people were searching for inside pictures. I am in the process of writing another article with inside pictures. If you are interested in writing for Examiner.com visit the website and mention Dusty Snoke in the how did you hear field.
Another 2013 followup
Examiner is still one of my favorite places to write. Payout is easy to hit since it has been changed to $10 a month. It can be frustrating and the pay is not good unless you write headline and entertainment type articles. I enjoy writing about my local history and they rank high in the search results. I also have my own blog, thingstodoinchattanooga. I write most often for it. I have google adware so it makes me a couple of dollars a month. I know many people wonder why I would even bother. This is a hobby for me. I enjoy sharing information I have with others. The only difference between my hobby and other hobbies is I can actually get paid for it.
Demand Media and Content Authority
The newest item in my writing growth has been Demand Media. I applied at Demand Studios in late December and was accepted within a couple of days. My bio was returned to me for a rewrite three times. I followed all the rules to the best of my ability, but it took a few times before the copy editor was happy. I have written 10 articles for demand studios, with three rewrites (that is a high % of rewrites). I hope it is just a learning curve. One of those rewrites, I may not do. I believe the CE’s requirements cannot be fulfilled. Contrary to many reports, the CE’s have been very nice, if a little difficult to comprehend. Since writing for Demand Studios, I have not written for Content Authority. Demand Studios pays $15.00 for a 400 word article and Content Authority pays $3.00. It is easier to have your articles accepted at Content Authority, but the pay is much better at Demand Studios. I am considering returning to Content Authority for a quick write upon occasion.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
New information for 2013.
I do not write for either of these places now. Demand Studios made additional changes in 2012 that made it even more time consuming to write for them. As i stated earlier this is a hobby for making additional money. I did not want to add stress to my life. If I need some quick money, I jump on Amazon Mechanical Turk and accept a few "hits". This is an easy way to make quick money and is actually fun.
HubPages is where I come to for support, entertainment and relaxation. I enjoy the community that has been created here. It is frustrating though to wait 6 months to find out if you are doing things properly, but that is the nature of the beast. I believe things are going well. My dips are not as low as they were and my peaks are a bit higher. Also, the search engines are finding me more often. I have even made .07 off of adsense (boy I hope that goes up).
Hubpages follow up
Writing for Hubpages has changed since I first started here. With the Google Panda updates, it is more difficult to make money here. I do make payout often, so I have very little to complain about. One of my favorite changes has been the addition of the Ad Program. This program works well for me. I am a firm believer that if I would write more often, I would make even more money. Hubpages has been good for me and I still enjoy writing on here.
Speaking of frustrations, there are a few things that are particularly frustrating to me with this freelance writing. One is I want to write more. I can never write as much as I want too. I don’t know if it is that I do not have enough time or if I am just that slow. I predict it is a bit of both. I must admit, though, I have not watched television in two months. For three weeks, I have tried to watch a movie and have not succeeded. And I think I have forgotten how to read, since I have a dozen books waiting for my attention. The second (already mentioned) is the slow growth and the learning curve. The third frustration is balancing work (45 hours a week) and writing. The one thing my writing has helped me with is my exercising. I am actually walking 2 miles 3 to 4 times a week, now. Seems odd, right? How can writing help with exercising? I have discovered, in the evenings, walking for 30 minutes wakes me up long enough to let me finish whatever I am working on. If I would stop eating while writing, I might lose some weight.
Finding time to write 2013
Many of my frustrations still exist. I run a busy household and work full time. Finding time to write is very frustrating to me. It may be months between articles and this does impact my additional income. I still walk two miles when I can but have not lost any weight. I think I enjoy food a bit too much.
Finally, I am Finished
This is my time to thank everyone who read this hub and all 6 of my others. Thank you for your advice, suggestions and helpful hints. May the next month be as great as the last two have been.
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