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Month Two as a Freelance Writer

Updated on August 10, 2013

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.

The Generalities

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.

Source

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.

Examiner.com

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.

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

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.

Frustrations

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.

Why do you write

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    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 

      4 years ago from California

      Great job diversifying where you write. In the writing world we have to fight for every penny, right?

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      6 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Felicia, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Thanks for reading and your great comment. I try my best to persevere. It is working.

    • FeliciaM profile image

      FeliciaM 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Wow, you have a lot of perseverance and diligence it sounds like. Good for you!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      James, thanks for stopping by and reading. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed your Hub as you related your experiences as a fledgling writer. Good luck!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Henry thanks for reading and the great compliments. I enjoy writing so I will keep going. About the high rate of success that would be cool but we will see what happens. Thanks again.

    • henry1robertson profile image

      henry1robertson 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA 90013

      Excellent article good job.Keep doing this kind of work. one day you will definitely achieve high rate success in your field..keep going..

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      I'll check out Tears on Trail today while on lunch. The freelance can be very "work" like but it keeps me writing and provides some greatly needed extra income.

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Hi again...I hope you also get a chance to read some of the poetry, especially Tears on the trail. I've never entered a writing contest other than for poetry, I'm not much for free-lance writing but knowing those options are available is a wonderful thing! Thank you again.

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      WK Hayes, thanks for checking in and reading my little hub. I appreciate the vote up and the advice. I look forward to reading your hubs, especially the short stories.

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 

      7 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Hi Dusty...thanks for the great article. Finding that learning curve is also figuring out what you want to write about. That's why I like Hubpages. I can write about anything,test the waters to see what readers like and then use that knowledge to figure out which novel I'll write next. My advice, kick your feet up, enjoy writing about what you truly enjoy and we'll love of it. No worries there.

      I did check out Examiner but I'm a novelist so we don't exaclty match up but I do appreicate your article, here and I am certain it will help alot of freelance writers. Voted Up :-)

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Thanks for reading, Sweetsusieg and for the compliment. Take your time reading, they will be here for a while, lol. good luck and keep writing, I enjoy your hubs.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Dusty, this is great! A 'monthly' journal of sorts... very cool! I like your writing style, I did when you first commented my Hubs.

      I may be able to get in some reading the the next few weeks, IF all goes well... Wish me luck!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Mark, thanks for reading and the compliments. Good luck to you, also.

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 

      7 years ago from UK

      Nice writing style, engaging and flowing. And yes it's nice just to write a page about what you are thinking, rather than trying to create a keyword optimised sales pitch. Good luck Dusty.

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      amanda, thanks for reading my hub. You must follow your heart and do what is best for you. It is possible to make money but it can take the fun out of it. I can't say whether it gets easier as time goes on, because I am wondering the same thing. Don't give up on your dreams either.

    • amanda_rose profile image

      amanda_rose 

      7 years ago from NewJersey

      Hi Dusty,

      i'm in a similar spot as you, but i haven't joined any sites for money yet. i'm just trying to get out there and learn the trade before diving in. it's very intimidating, and to me it seems like it's impossible to make money. i'm just starting out though, so hopefully it will be easier the more and more i learn about it.

      good luck to you! you're doing a great thing. don't give up on your dream

      amanda rose

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Writerly Yours, I guess you found out my little secret, I can read minds. just kidding. If money is not an issue, I would concentrate on hubs for a while but demand is good for quick easy money. I have decided only to do only one or two a week. I also want to concentrate on some hubs. thanks for reading and compliments.

    • Writerly Yours profile image

      Writerly Yours 

      7 years ago

      Dusty!!! Omg, were you reading my mind as you were writing this hub??? Your frustrations section, in this hub, was deja vu for me! It's EXACTLY how I feel!!! I struggle with the same things you do. And yes, I too feel like I am not writing enough, but the great thing is that sometimes quality prevails. As long as you keep up with it, you will build on it and sooner than you know it you will have more and more.

      This hub is very organized and thorough; yet concise and an easy read. I really love your style.

      Also, I have looked at examiner and demand studios myself, but still am a little hesitant due to time constraints. I want to get my hub pages really going and then venture out, but things can change.

      Keep up the great hubbing!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Avamum, thank you for reading. I am glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoy writing for the examiner, but that is because I love history so much. If you do examiner, try to choose a category you are passionate about. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Avamum profile image

      Sarita Harbour 

      7 years ago from Yellowknife, Canada

      Hi Dusty - good for you for juggling it all. I will give Demand Studios and the examiner a quick look too. Interesting hub!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      Bianca, thanks for reading and the words of encouragement. It is good to know I am not the only one who feels that way. thanks again

    • biancapaloma profile image

      biancapaloma 

      7 years ago

      Interesting hub - hope your freelancing continues to grow. Don't worry about not writing as much as you can, we all feel that, remember to praise yourself for everything you have achieved. Keep up the good work!

    • Dusty Snoke profile imageAUTHOR

      Dusty Snoke 

      7 years ago from Chattanooga, TN

      thanks for reading dahoglund. I may be a writer on Demand Studios, I am not sure I am ahead of you in understanding the internet business. I try and this is all that matters.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I had looked into Demand Studios before I got involved in Hug pages. I may still keep it in mind. i am still trying to understand the whole internet business.So you are ahead of me in that sense.

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