Saturday, January 5, 2008
Freelance Web Writing Controversies
I thought of a new New Year's Plan, and yes, it is now the 5th. So, I'm a little late.
Writers in general are outspoken, striving to express themselves through writing and other means. So, they can get a little melodramatic at times. Over the past three months I've gotten embroiled in debates over web writing topics that, shall we say, tend to get blown a little out of proportion in writer's forums and blogs. I'm going to try my best not to get into the silliness anymore, and if I don't think something is controversial, then I'm not going to pretend it is. Cases in point:
$3 articles- There's been a giant debate raging in pretty much every writing blog and forum I visit about whether people should take on gigs where the "buyer" is paying $3 for a full-length web article. Obviously that amount of work is not worth the money, but I'm not debating it anymore. It's crap pay and no one should take it. Pretending otherwise is just silly. After spending more time than I care to admit on helping new writers find better paying markets, I was yelled at by people who think that minimum wage is great pay for writing. And, not one person ever thanked me for my time. So, no more. If you want to work for $3- do it. I don't care anymore.
PLR articles- There is constant debate about the "morality" of selling PLR content. I actually saw someone recently who compared it to selling drugs. Seriously. Yes, writers do have a flair for the melodramatic, and I'm no different, but come on. That's just a waste of time and energy. If you don't like PLR content, don't write it and don't buy it. I'm no longer interested in opinions about it.
Marketing yourself- This was another bit of silliness from writing forums and blogs. Marketing is something that any writer has to do, whether it's print writing, web writing or PR writing. It's an inevitable step in the process these days. Even publishing houses expect their writers to do a good bit of marketing for their books. There's nothing wrong with learning a bit about marketing in order to reach your target client more easily. Doesn't sound controversial, right? Wrong. Debates have been raging about how if you're a good writer, clients will be leaping out of buildings to get you to work for them, even if they've never heard of you. Right. A balance of writing and marketing is important, as long as the marketing doesn't overtake the writing. I've seen that happen before, and the writing that results isn't pretty. But for those who think marketing is stupid, I suggest a few business courses and perhaps a different career. And, I'm not letting anyone goad me into self doubt by saying that a "real" writer doesn't have to market. Please. Even J.K. Rowling markets her work.