Challenges that Online Freelance Writers Face

SuzAlicieStarred Page By SuzAlicie, 24th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Freelancing

There are several challenges that are unique to the profession of being an online freelance writer.

The Life of an Online Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer online presents a unique set of challenges that other writers may not face. Freelance writing puts a person in a position of being responsible for their own career. Online freelance writers are essentially self employed and can make the choice of how often they work, what they charge, and several other freedoms that make this profession a popular one.

However, earning a living online through freelance writing means that the writer is always seeking new sites to write for, checking opportunities and avoiding scams. An online freelance writer is much more than simply a writer. Some people refer to writing web content as online marketing or content mill production. The writers themselves are known as internet marketers, entrepreneurs and mom-trepreneurs and my personal favorite authorpreneurs. This is because there are so many challenges and aspects of online freelance writing that involve writers in so many other careers.

Online Freelance Writing Challenge #1

Allocating time to write work that will earn residual income. Because many online sites and blogs are known as ways to earn residual income either by paying for the number of page views your work receives, or by advertising revenue it is important for online freelance writers to spare some time writing pieces that don't pay off immediately, but that can add up to a good residual income for the future. If you are someone who is writing to earn a weekly paycheck it can seem that this sort of work is a waste of time, but just think ahead a few years and imagine how very few articles you will have to write each week when you have an abundant residual income you have created for yourself through page views.

Online Freelance Writing Challenge #2

No two sites have the same rules. This means that freelancers who write for several sites may have to adjust their writing style and follow different rules several times each day. Whether it is required word count, perspective, image rules or specific formatting rules, a freelance writer has to be flexible and able to think quickly about what is required for each site.

Online Freelance Writing Challenge #3

Plagiarism plagues online freelance writers in a few different ways. The first is that with the abundance of information on every topic under the sun that is already published online freelance writers have to be very careful to properly source their information and avoid plagiarism.

The second way that plagiarism affects online freelance writers is that so many people feel that if it is published on the internet it is free to use, copy, change etc. When an online freelance writer produces a piece that climbs to the top of the search engines, especially when the writer earns money based upon how many people read the piece and someone steals it, that person is taking money from a hard working writer.

This happens all the time, and the more successful your articles are the more often they seem to get stolen. Tracking down plagiarists and filing complaints with web hosts takes valuable time that you could spend writing.

Online Freelance Writing Challenge #4

Editors are the bane of many online freelancers. Due to the different styles and requirements of each site, there are also different editors rules as well. Not only does any writer dislike being told that they haven't done a good job, but many editors will reject a piece for something as simple as a typo. I thought editing meant making small changes like that, but once I became an online freelance writer I learned that editors, also known as CE's and moderators, are quite often puffed up with importance and behave as grammar police. The sad part is that each site has requirements, but often the editors don't adhere to a strict policy. Therefore what one CE approves the next one will reject. It's a never ending cycle of frustration.

Online Freelance Writing Challenge #5

Site changes can cause an online freelance writer to notice a drop in earnings, new submission layouts and other changes that slow down productivity and often leaves writers disgruntled and searching for a new site to write for to replace that one.While we know as writers that these decisions are made on a business level and are not done to purposely sabotage our careers, we still take it personally. At times the feelings of frustration are not caused by a new design, but by technical glitches that affect reported earnings and other features on the articles submitted. No matter the cause, writers are an opinionated lot and you can be sure that issues will be found in numerous Twitter, Facebook and Forum posts across the "interwebz", there's nothing that spreads more quickly than a huge rant followed by a couple hundred comments that echo that rant. What? You don't believe me? Visit any writing site forum and see for yourself.

It's Still a Great Job!

Sure there are challenges to being an online freelance writer, there is a lot to learn as a beginner, there are daily frustrations that make you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall, there are problems getting paid, problems getting articles approved and yes time management problems too. Most online freelance writers work from home which means balancing work, housecleaning, parenting. and errand running. But no matter what challenges the online freelance writer faces the benefits of earning a living from your home, and having the flexibility to choose where and what you will write; far outweigh the negative aspects.

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Meet the author

author avatar SuzAlicie
I am a work from home mom who home schools two active boys while freelance writing and maintaining several blogs and websites.

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author avatar Retired
27th Aug 2010 (#)

you re right, it is still a great job, one which I love doing

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author avatar Retired
29th Sep 2010 (#)

You put it so well I tweeted it. The challenges are certainly there but so is the pleasure.

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