Freelance Writing Jobs for Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So a few days into the poll and the FWJ community has made it clear: Keep the job list focused on jobs paying above $10. You speak, and I listen! However, I have spent some time lately speaking with the people who work for or run many of the content sites we consider low paying. A couple of them have been misrepresented in certain online “investigations.” Many of the low paying jobs are still what we consider legit, they just don’t pay a lot of money. So in order to give them fair representation (and by that I mean not handpicking emails from disgruntled writers to post here), I’m going to be bringing interviews from the folks behind many of these sites so we can learn who they are, how they’re run, what they really pay and why they’re different from all the others. Stay tuned for that.

I’m very excited about what’s coming up in the next few weeks at FWJ. We have a grant writing series going, a series on taxes (including for UK freelancers) beginning next week, an upcoming look on technical writing and more.  I think (I hope) you’ll find it all helpful.

Thanks to all who are sending your success stories. I’m thrilled you’re finding good, lucrative opportunities at FWJ.

Here’s what’s going on around the network:

Today’s Leads…

Content Writing Jobs

  1. Writers/Bloggers Needed for Multiple Websites
  2. Freelance Writer -Articles and Blog – Atlanta

Blogger Jobs

  1. Bloggers and Interviewers Needed
  2. Fashionable Freelance Writing Blogger Needed – $100/night
  3. Gay Blogger Needed – Los Angeles

Proofreading/Editing Jobs

  1. Editor’s Assistant – Tampa Bay Area
  2. Professional Medical Healthcare Editor
  3. Medical Professional Editor – Austin
  4. Freelance CopyEditor – Waltham MA

Copywriting Jobs

  1. Freelance Copywriter – NYC
  2. Website Copywriter/Editor – The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society – White Plains
  3. Freelance Copywriter – Sonoma
  4. Freelance copywriter – Onsite – Atlanta
  5. Copywriting Advertising Expertise – Santa Barbara
  6. eBusiness Services Copywriter – Ann Arbor
  7. Direct Response Copywriter – Savage MD

Journalism Jobs

  1. Freelance Writer for News Stories – Portland OR
  2. Service Observation/Reporter – DesMoines
  3. Writer/Journalist for Investigative Research Project

Technical Writing Jobs

  1. Technical Writer – Lakewood CO
  2. Technical Writer – Chicago

Ghost Writing Jobs

  1. Novelization of Story
  2. Ghost Writer Wanted

Business Plan/Proposal/Grant Writing Jobs

  1. Grant Writer
  2. Business Plan – $500

General/Misc. Freelance Writing Jobs

  1. Freelance Financial Presentation Writer – NYC
  2. Writers Needed for Social Media Targeted Stories
  3. Freelance Technology Writer
  4. Financial Writer – Los Angeles
  5. Blogger and/or Ghostwriter – Seattle
  6. Freelance Writer for Online Lifestyle Magazine
  7. Digital Media Looking for Writer
  8. Website Article Writer
  9. Riddle, Action Adventure Writer Sought
  10. Brochure for Continuing Education Course – Ann Arbor
  11. Press Release Writer Sought – $75
  12. Freelance Automotive Writer -Seattle
  13. Math Content Developer – Atlanta
  14. Question Writer for Series 7 Exam – NYC
  15. Financial Accounting Writer – NYC – $30 – $35/hour
  16. Freelance Writers Needed – Athens GA
  17. Consumer Focused Green Technology Writer – Portland – $10 – $15
  18. Experienced Real Estate Freelance Writers – San Diego
  19. Writers Wanted: Women’s Topics
  20. Need Writer for Short Film
  21. Writers Wanted – San Diego

International & Foreign Language Freelance Writing Jobs

  1. Technical Writer for FaceBook Analytics Startup – Toronto
  2. Fashion Blogger – Toronto
  3. Interviewers/Writers – Ottawa
  4. Technical Writer – Paris
  5. Chinese Translation – Ann Arbor
  6. Sint Maarten Time Share Blog – $15/post
  7. Greek Reporter Wanted– Hollywood – $300

Search for jobs in your area on SnagAJob


  1. Kim says

    Thanks for all the leads Deb! I completed my English degree 13 years ago and always wanted to be a writer, but was, oddly, too afraid to pursue it – fear of rejection I guess. Anyways, it wasn’t until I was coming to the end of my maternity leave last year, that I began to seriously consider it. I found this board and Anne’s a few months back and have had quite a bit of success with landing jobs. I now have one regular freelance job, a couple of casual ones, am a writer for a decent content site and am in the running for another job that would be regular writing for good pay. I really appreciate all of your hard work and helpful advice; it is allowing me to finally realize my dreams (and stay home with my daughter).

  2. Anne G. says

    It will be interesting to hear what the sites many feel are “low-pay” have to say. I know I just landed one of those “low-pay” jobs this week. $1 for 35 word review blurbs that I can write in a minute and then check back over quickly. I did 40 of them in an hour yesterday – so $40 an hour was pretty awesome and they pay weekly which is always nice.

  3. says

    That’s the thing, Anne. Most people hear the word “content site”, and they immediately start lambasting them, and anyone who works for them, with absolutely inaccurate and farcical derogatory comments.

    According to Nuance,the company behind Dragon NaturallySpeaking (the world’s leading speech-to-text program and something I highly recommend any professional writer invest in for the sheer sake of allowing you to triple or more your active word count) the average person writes 40 words per minute, but talks 120 words per minute. Let’s analyze that.

    Everyone here is a writer. We can assume that from the get-go. As professional writers, or even people just getting started, we could probably assume that they all type significantly more than 40 words per minute, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say they are type 40 words per minute.

    The most common “content” type work is the 250-500 word article. These are the “average”. Not counting research, let’s analyze the simple numbers of how fast you can type 250-500 words. That comes out to 6.25 minutes to 12.5 minutes. So let’s say between 6 and 12 minutes.

    Now, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that content work is anything that doesn’t require Pulitzer prize-winning prose. We’ve all seen the derogatory comments about content writing sites and the poor quality of the work that comes out of them and how it’s a scab on the industry and blah blah blah. So we can probably assume that content for content writing sites doesn’t have to be research-intensive. In fact, it’s generally in the form of About or How To articles like they are presented at Demand Studios and other content sites like eHow or Bright Hub or Suite101.

    Now, with that assumption (based upon the many hateful comments we see about content writers and content sites by the “elite” writers out there), let’s say we take the 250 articles. They are going to take you 6 minutes to write. Let’s analyze that a little, shall we?

    6 minutes of time. 250 words. That’s a blurb. It’s not a 2,500 word research paper. It’s a short, 250 word blurb “about” something. You don’t have enough time to really talk about the subject matter, or describe anything about it. You are simply giving a very basic, very short description of something. 250 words cannot, by any definition, be defined as anything other than a “blurb” about something. As such, we can assume with relative certainty that it’s probably only going to take 1-2 minutes of scanning an article “about” something to be able to write a 250 word blurb. You don’t need to spend any more than a minute or two scanning it, because it won’t take much more than a quick read through to be able to spout a blurb.

    Think of a blurb like the back of a DVD. You are given a quick summary that tells you what’s on the DVD. Simple. Easy. Fast. Doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed. It’s content. It’s filler. It’s a blurb.

    So let’s say 2 minutes to analyze, and 6 minutes to write, for the AVERAGE person. That’s 8 minutes total. That means that the average person should be able to do at least 7 little 250 word blurbs in an hour, based upon 2 minutes to read and 6 minutes to type.

    That’s 1750 words in an hour, for the average writer who writes 40 words per minute.

    Let’s say the content site in question is paying…2 bucks for each 250 word blurb. The average writer, who isn’t a professional, is going to make 14 dollars an hour doing blurbs.

    Let’s just say that for the sake of argument most professional writers can type around 80 wpm, or double what the average joe can write. After all, we are professionals. We should know our way around the keyboard.

    Let’s see…80 wpm = 3 minutes to write the article, 2 minutes to research it….5 minutes per article….that’s at least 12 articles per hour….at 2 bucks a pop…bam, you are making 24 dollars an hour, which is higher than the national US average of 21 dollars an hour.

    Now, let’s say you use a program like Dragon NaturallySpeaking (which I do). The baseline average they show is 120 wpm for speaking. I haven’t actually ever taken the time to scale my own, but for the sake of argument, let’s go with their average of 120 wpm. The program has about 99% accuracy when it’s trained (believe me, it does).

    120 wpm. That’s less than 2 minutes to write. I can basically read off my screen into the microphone as I’m scanning the article, changing things into my own words. But for the sake of argument let’s say that people are slow readers perhaps and they want to read a little ahead of their speech, so let’s say a minute of reading before they start typing, so 3 minutes per article….they could, theoretically, do up to 20 articles in an hour, assuming 99% accuracy, and assuming they are really good at not jumbling words or needing to re-arrange sentences because they said something fuzzy. 20 articles per hour @ 2 dollars an article = 40 dollars an hour.

    As you can see, the range of money for a 250 word blurb article can range all over the map, from the lowest point of 14 dollars an hour to a high points of 40 dollars an hour, using the figures presented by Nuance.

    Keep in mind this is just talking about blurbs, which is MOSTLY what people refer to when they talk about content…250 word “trash” that “hack” writers work on. Things change depending on the topic, the length of the article, the voice required, and so on and so forth.

    This is why I caution people to not make assumptions about content writers, content writing, or content companies. While yes, on the surface, 2 dollars per 250 word article might LOOK like it’s low-paying, it’s going to depend on the person in question, the level of research required, and so on an so forth. There are far too many blanket statements being made in regards to content writing/writers, and frankly, I find the people making those blanket statements to be quite ignorant, because they literally have no idea what they are talking about because they don’t know the writers in question, or the topics being written about.

    • Anne G. says

      Exactly. I don’t use Dragon Speak, though I know you’ve talked about it before. Instead, I had a very strict teacher in high school who could type 100 words a minute on the old IBM Selectrics we used. She said she knew Barbara Blackburn and taught us some of her tips, and then taught us using the Mavis Beacon program.

      So after a full year of typing and a full year of shorthand, every student that had her could type a minimum 80 words a minute, you had to type that fast to pass her class. I still type 85 words a minute and that really helps with these small jobs. Plus, I really love only having to type one or two lines and then move onto the next job.

      • Phil says

        IBM Selectrics old? You haven’t lived until you’ve tried typing on a manual Underwoood — that’s what we had in high school. I bought a Coronamatic my junior year in college. Selectrics were still high end then.

        • Anne G. says

          Sadly, my kids have never seen a typewriter short of in pictures, so to them my parents old Selectric was a dinosaur.

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