This week we’re discussing single parents who write online for a living.
Writing for a living is rare depending on your niche, and I’d wager that freelance bloggers and web writers fall into an even rarer niche. Single parents who write online and blog AND make a good living probably fall into an even rarer niche. At least up to this point. The good news is that web writing gigs are on the rise.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Ed. says these general writing jobs are where the best opportunities are:
- “Technical writing, blogging, and other writing for interactive media that provide readers with nearly real-time information.
- Print magazines and other periodicals increasingly are developing market niches, appealing to readers with special interests, and making Internet-only content available on their websites.
- Businesses and organizations are developing newsletters and websites, and more companies are publishing materials directly for the Internet.
- Online publications and services are growing in number and sophistication, spurring the demand for writers and editors, especially those with Web experience.”
The OOH also notes, “Replacement needs are relatively high in this occupation because many freelancers leave because they cannot earn enough money.” Which is good news if you’re looking for work, but sort of a downer too; others leave because pay is low, but people are ready to step in.
The above is just general information though. In the last post, I noted that as a single parent you need to aim high and find the highest paying gigs. Where are those jobs?
First of all, to know if you’ve got a decent paying gig on you hands you need to calculate your hourly rates in order to figure out if a client is worth it. No writer should skip these steps, but they’re very important if you’re the sole bread winner. It doesn’t pay to take 20 low paying gigs vs. 5 higher paying gigs and these steps help to point this out.
Where I’m seeing (or not seeing) the best paying writing jobs online:
Blog networks: A year and a half ago I would have urged you to get on at a blog network, among other places. Currently, blog networks that pay well enough per hour to make it worth your time are few and far between. You can look, but in my opinion, most current blog networks should be looked at as filler positions that bring in some extra cash, not jobs that bring in a significant income. The upsides of lower paying blog networks: it’s usually easy to estimate income; while it’s not a lot, you have a general idea of how much you’ll make from month to month and they tend to always pay on time.
Client blogs: Client blog is my name for a blog that’s a stand alone. Not a corporate or business blog, and it’s not a blog that’s part of a network. For example, there are all sorts of stand alone blogs out there that are started by someone, who then hires folks to fill in the content. These jobs in my experience pay far better than network blogs. In the last two years I’ve worked on singularly owned client blogs that have paid as much as $37-50 per hour OR $15-40 per post. The downside is that these blogs don’t tend to offer total stability. You rarely know how much you’ll make in a given month. They may use 20 of your posts one month and five the next. BUT if you get in a client’s good graces, and blog well, you can make decent money.
Niche websites and online magazines: I’ve seen a rise in niche websites and online magazine jobs (that pay very well) over blogging gigs lately. For example websites offering a mix of blogs, articles, and quizzes. A lot of these websites that are emerging are full on interactive reader experiences, and because they need a ton of content, they’re a good place to find work. There are niche websites being created on any number of topics. I’ve seen sites like this that pay $20 per say a 600 word piece – but you can do way better. There are websites out there right now paying $50-300 for 300-600 word pieces that don’t require heavy interviews (say like print does). You can make a nice income from multi-use websites and these can offer far more stable income than other types of online writing jobs.
Corporate and company blogs and websites: As online media grows more companies and small businesses are jumping on the blog / web content bandwagon. Most of these are very niche specific. Such as you could write content for a company that sells tile and make decent money, but you better know and love tile. The downside: many of these companies have little to no online experience and have no clue what to pay writers. The upside: Ditto the downside. You’ll end up having to negotiate, but this can be in your favor if you don’t sell yourself short. Tell them to pay you what your time is worth. Most of the time, they will. If they don’t, no big loss. Another benefit of sites like these is that companies are usually willing to buy reprints. If you’ve got reprints sitting around, you can offer those up. All many of these companies want is content that keeps readers clicking around their site, they don’t care quite so much if it’s brand new content.
Online community manager gigs: This is not something I have personal experience with, but it is an option. If you want to learn more, visit Kommein.
So, in my experience, you’ll get the best pay if you focus on online magazines and niche websites, company blogs and content, and client owned blogs. In the next post we’ll look at how to actually score gigs like these and see some tips that will help you get the most pay for your time.
Are you seeing any other types of online writing gigs that pay well?