The title is interesting – what can be some facts about content writing that no one will tell you?
Well – there are many content writing secrets which only professional writers can tell you, but they choose not to share. Ah…professional secrets- why disclose such facts?
Fact 1 # The Toughest Challenge – How to Start Content Writing
Yes, that’s true. It is the biggest challenge, especially if you are looking for a freelance content writing job. If you look for a freelance job, it’s the toughest challenge but when you start off, it might be an easy task.
Now, why is it tough?
Suppose today you decide to become a freelance content writer and start writing. Who will give you work? How do you find projects?
If you search online for content writing jobs, you will come across many ads looking for talented writers and you will soon believe that there is no dearth of opportunities. But hold on – do not start writing without ensuring that payment is guaranteed.
The internet is filled with people who ask for articles, blogs, reviews, and other content. You put in a lot of hard work and develop content but then you do not get the payment. If you are extremely lucky, you might get a good client or a project easily, but the chances are that you will have to do a number of things to get good a good project.
But, do not worry – I will give you a brief guide about how to find content writing jobs – freelance!
Freelancing Sites Can Help –
Create your account on popular and reliable freelance sites like Upwork. Create a great portfolio and bid on projects. In simple words, you have to explain to your probable clients that you can write well. Keep sending out proposals and you might just have a good project.
Showcase your Work –
It is always good to build a pool of your articles or blogs if you wish to make a living as a freelance writer. Clients always like to see samples. Thus, you can create your own blog on sites like Blogger or WordPress. Write interesting articles that can best describe your work.
Fact 2 # REJECTIONS! Yes, its a part of a content writer’s life
If you are a content writer, you know this and how disturbing it is when a client says ‘ Not the quality I need’. If you are planning to become a content writer, then this is one pill you have to swallow with grace.
Probably there is no content writer who has not faced poor feedback or comments from a client. Rejections are a part of any content writer’s life and YES, no writer will tell you about this.
So, if you plan to be a content writer – be prepared to receive some negativity. It is all about accepting client’s feedback, doing the best to overcome the problem, fix the problem, and move on. Quitting because of poor feedback either from the client or from your team leader should never be the reason to quit.
So, how to tackle poor/negative feedback from a client or your project manager
As you get negative feedback or rejection from the client – try the following:
- Ask what went wrong – If your client has completely rejected your article and doesn’t want to continue, do not forget to ask him what went wrong. Is it grammar, language, writing skills, or overall? You might just get a chance to improve your future work.
- Do not get agitated, impatient, or rude – Your client might be wrong in his decision but you need to keep patience and communicate. Offer to do a revision – there isn’t any harm.
- Seek Samples – In case the client is not happy with your work, why not ask for some reference or sample articles so that you know the kind of content, the client is looking forward to. It might just help.
And yes, the most important part – do not forget to leave a note of apology. There is no harm.
Fact 3 # – Clients Will Ask For FREE Work – Be Prepared
This is something most writers face at one time or the other. I have an active Upwork accounthttps://www.upwork.com/ and this is something I have experienced several times. Upwork is extremely strict and does not encourage sending FREE work.
In spite of such strict rules, I had clients, who wanted to see my writing style and they asked for an article where they can check my writing style. Well – it is just another way of asking for free content.
Now, its a secret none of the content writers will tell you.
Well, I do believe some writers, in a bid to get the project, do indulge in offering FREE work as sample, while many others do not so. There cannot be any rule for this – it is the decision of the writer completely.
However, in my experience and I believe that clients can ask for a 300-word article as a free sample but if any client requests you to write a 1000 word article as a free sample, it is time to be alert.
In case a client desires to see your writing style, isn’t a 300-word article enough to know how well you write? So, if you are in freelancing, be sure that you know what the client wants.
Fact 4# Pricing – Clients Will Always Want To Pay Less
It’s a bitter truth – no matter how low you quote, most clients will definitely ask you to reduce your fees. It might be okay to charge a bit less, but if you charge too low, you will remain right at the bottom.
I can explain a real situation in my career.
I once had a client who promised me bulk work. She mentioned she required to build a database of 1000 articles and each of 500-600 words. Thus, she proposed to pay half the rate for which I work since she had a lot of work and obviously she would like to make it cost-effective. Believing her, I agreed and this was a learning for me.
She started giving me one article at a time and in total till now I have written 3 articles for her. So, it’s a lesson for me – never agree to lower rates.
Even if you agree at a low rate for bulk work, remember to ask the client to send you all the work at once. Thus, it will be an assurance that the client will actually give you the work you need. You will not get cheated.
Fact 5 # Your Work will be Boring and Repetitive
This is one of the biggest secrets of this profession. You might love to write and writing can be your passion. But, when this becomes a profession and you have a target to meet regularly, it tends to become repetitive and boring.
For example, you are working for a client who is engaged in the real estate business and the target location is Chicago. You are given a set of keywords like:
buy apartments in Chicago
Chicago apartments for sale
Buy Chicago apartments
And you have to write 10 articles on the keywords. So, your task is to write 10 articles using the keywords given above. How will you create the topics and what are you going to write everytime?
Besides, once you are done with the 10 articles, you might have to write another 10 and then another 10 and so on. If the articles are developed for SEO purposes or for linkbuilding, you may have to write many more articles.
At times, topics can be really boring and difficult. It tends to get repetitive – but still, you must keep on writing. In spite of doing repetitive tasks, one cannot compromise on quality.
Fact #6 – Write On Topics That Doesn’t Interest You
Many people believe that content writing is about topics that interest us and we love to write. No, in reality, it is often just different. Content writers are often asked to write on topics that do not interest them or which they find really difficult to comprehend. For example, you might have not studied finance, but you have to write in-depth articles on
- Finance and Stock related
- Cryptocurrency related articles
- Forex articles
- Articles on international trade
What does it mean?
This means content writers are often like Jack of all Trades. It is their researching skills and analytical ability that helps them. So, with no background on forex, you might have to write forex articles, which are for professionals.
Fact#7 – It is Never Easy To Get a Hike
And here comes the last but the most saddening one. It is one of the reasons why content writers often feel demotivated.
So, how is the hike determined? Now, different companies have different policies for a hike. Here are some rules I have seen followed by many companies which determines the hike of a writer.
- Word Count achieved – The more you write the more productive you are. So more words mean more money? Ah….but then quality? I am not sure, but this is the scene in many companies. Slow writers who manage to write top-quality content often struggle to get a hike as they are found not productive enough.
- Client Feedback – Another sad story! If you are a writer, you know this. 360 days before your appraisal you had all good feedback from your clients and then due to a minor tiff, your client leaves bad feedback or sends an email. And….you are doomed! Your efforts throughout the year are not considered because of that one feedback.
- Hours of Work – That’s another secret that most writers are not comfortable talking about. In many companies, if your office ends at 5 pm and if you pack your bags and leave at 5 pm, you are certainly not hardworking enough. Do not expect a hike.
I have seen people losing their jobs because of bad feedback from a client. I often wonder, how would the client feel if he knew that just for one or two sentences of him, a talented writer lost his/her job? Even if jobs are not lost, there are many writers like me who suffered financially because the client did not like the article.
A question would often come to mind, how much does the client know?
Who is he to judge if I know to write?
No answers to such questions. These were three instances I knew about where companies have hike policies. There are many others where writers are not given hikes every year and there is no apparent reason for it.
Do Not Get Motivated
No, my motive is never to demotivate you. Content writing is a satisfying profession and just like many other professions there are a few challenges as well, which writers face time and again. My job is to let you know and that’s what I am doing exactly.
It’s full of ups and downs and does involve many challenges. But remember, a content writer – a professional content writer doesn’t complain. That’s the essence of the profession and at the end of the day, my profession is my pride. 🙂