CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

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ACPatterson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:29 pm

CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by ACPatterson »

Hi friends,

I'm a brand-new member (forums as well as commercial site). I was accepted easily, but now the questions start arising.

I read on an older thread where someone opined that CC was a far better place to sell full rights than to try to sell usage rights, and that full rights sales far outstrip usage rights sales. The problem for me in the idea of selling as a ghostwriter and not having a byline is that there isn't any way in that to gain a reputation for quality and voice. I have a pretty unique voice and views, so it would only seem prudent to make sure that voice gets attributed to me, and the only way to do that is make sure that people know that I'm the writer.

So the question on my mind now is "regardless of CC's statements about wanting unique writers, is the site really in actual fact only about SEO and SEO-friendly articles?"

Maybe I misinterpreted what the mission here is. I knew that significant SEO-type article business is being done here, but I also thought/hoped that it is a place where truly unique stuff with attitude and voice could be sold. I'm talking about the kind of articles you see on sites like Slate, Wired, Daily Dot, Daily Beast, etc. I'm not sure how to get the attention of sites like that, but I was going to try to use CC as a platform to begin from. I'm the kind of writer who can write about phytochemistry, geopolitical paradoxes, ayahuasceros, and the effects of binaural ambient music as opposed to things like "10 Ways To Make Your Ex-Boyfriend Jealous" or "iPhone Unlocking Secrets."

To put it another way, I'm that weird kind of writer who is not interested in writing what other people want written for commercial purposes (in most cases); I'm only able to write well about subjects that I find fascinating, and I need to find others who agree that the subject (and, I hope, the writing!) is fascinating and want to use the work. But if I were to release full rights to it every time, I would never gain any following or reputation, and that unique voice would be getting passed off as others' work.

Is CC the wrong site for me? Any thoughts or insight?

thanks,
A.C.
ReneeF
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:52 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by ReneeF »

ACPatterson wrote:Hi friends,

I'm a brand-new member (forums as well as commercial site). I was accepted easily, but now the questions start arising.

I read on an older thread where someone opined that CC was a far better place to sell full rights than to try to sell usage rights, and that full rights sales far outstrip usage rights sales. The problem for me in the idea of selling as a ghostwriter and not having a byline is that there isn't any way in that to gain a reputation for quality and voice. I have a pretty unique voice and views, so it would only seem prudent to make sure that voice gets attributed to me, and the only way to do that is make sure that people know that I'm the writer.

So the question on my mind now is "regardless of CC's statements about wanting unique writers, is the site really in actual fact only about SEO and SEO-friendly articles?"

Maybe I misinterpreted what the mission here is. I knew that significant SEO-type article business is being done here, but I also thought/hoped that it is a place where truly unique stuff with attitude and voice could be sold. I'm talking about the kind of articles you see on sites like Slate, Wired, Daily Dot, Daily Beast, etc. I'm not sure how to get the attention of sites like that, but I was going to try to use CC as a platform to begin from. I'm the kind of writer who can write about phytochemistry, geopolitical paradoxes, ayahuasceros, and the effects of binaural ambient music as opposed to things like "10 Ways To Make Your Ex-Boyfriend Jealous" or "iPhone Unlocking Secrets."

To put it another way, I'm that weird kind of writer who is not interested in writing what other people want written for commercial purposes (in most cases); I'm only able to write well about subjects that I find fascinating, and I need to find others who agree that the subject (and, I hope, the writing!) is fascinating and want to use the work. But if I were to release full rights to it every time, I would never gain any following or reputation, and that unique voice would be getting passed off as others' work.

Is CC the wrong site for me? Any thoughts or insight?

thanks,
A.C.



Put your articles up for sale with all three usage rights and add in your byline in the form of your name just below the title. If a user buys unique or usage they should leave your name intact. if a user buys the copyright outright you make more money.

If you are trying get the attention of those magazine type sites, good luck using CC. I've been trying that for a while. Try your hand at your own blog instead.
Hosting through FatCow is only $3.90 per month
A domain is $15 per year.
After initial set up you can simply write one to 10 articles for it per week and that gives you your byline.
Attach Google Plus and Google analytics to your blog account to gain credibility with Google.
be active in your social media to gain readership.
Guest post occasionally on blogs with good reputations for further recognition and credibility.
In about two years of concerted effort you may make more on your own blog than at those other sites anyway.
also, try About.com for work with your name attached.

CC is for making money.
Last edited by ReneeF on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Judith
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Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by Judith »

Renee is correct! CC is for making money, rather than a reputation. The blog suggestion is also excellent.

I do have a couple of private clients here that buy full rights and recognize me as the author on their site. However, most do not identify the writer when they buy full rights. I started my writing career in broadcast journalism and writing for magazines (which I still do). If that is the direction you wish to follow, you need to start submitting articles to the proper "topic" editor and keep submitting until one of them buys. There is a lot of competition in the marketplace and some mags won't consider you until you are established. A blog can aid in the recognition process.

You have a wide range of topics you can sell on CC, but the ultimate decision is in the buyer's hands. You state you have a unique voice and views, and there may not be the right type of buyer on CC for that style of writing. If the articles you want to write are in the style of Slate, Wired, Daily Dot, Daily Beast, and other political mags, you should probably query those sites and find out the requirements for freelance writers. While you are waiting for acceptance from one or more of those types of sites, make a little money on CC. Good writers do well here!
ACPatterson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by ACPatterson »

Thank you both.

I'll see if I can get into a more commercial mindset in the short term.

I've just been curious lately about this particular breed of internet writer I see a lot of who aren't full-on journalists per se, but also are definitely not doing grunt work either. I suspect these folks are making something like $200 per article (at least, perhaps it's much more). I have no evidence for that, it's just an intuitive guess.

Their work seems to float somewhere opinion pieces and news. It can be about current events, but the writing contains a lot of personal attitude and colorful statements. It's a very free style; you can tell that they aren't feeling any pressure to slant their work any certain way. All of this appeals to me greatly, of course.
LauraGinn
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by LauraGinn »

I'm not sure if CC will be the right site for you, but if you're willing to write on more "commercial" topics, you can make some good money here.

There are clients who will buy niche articles. However it takes time for them to find you, and if your work is "too niche", it may be hanging around in the gallery for quite some time. I'm sure there are writers on here that purely write to their strengths, however in order to make sales you need to write on topics that clients want.

You'll also have a problem writing articles in the 1st person, or anything that is opinionated, as CC will decline it. They also decline many of my "fun" articles, so I end up placing them elsewhere.

I second the blog idea - and recommend you give writing for CC a go. Full rights sales are more common here, though there are some writers who do really well selling "usage rights" only, and these are the ones that can include your by-line. It all depends on your subjects, and your customer base.

Hope I haven't put you off writing for CC - I definitely recommend giving it a go.
ReneeF
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:52 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by ReneeF »

To put it bluntly, CC pays for our extra expenses and my blogs and other articles feed my ego.

CC is for paying bills if you are willing to write commercially. Generally CC is NOT for SEO, not as in old-hat-SEO. It is more for upper commercial purposes like newsletters, flyers, and circulars of quality information. I suspect that the customer of CC is not using CC articles to scam the search results, but to provide their already reeled in clients with superior information.
remoteriverman
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:56 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by remoteriverman »

Hi A.C. -

CC is definitely not byline-friendly, and the more publicly popular topics will sell here much more readily. I just sold "12 Delightfully Nasty Facts about Nicotine" this morning, for example, but I suspect my piece on forensic footprint evidence for crime scene investigators will still be up on this site when I'm long dead.

Pursuing magazines directly (through pitches) is the best way to write for bylines. There are also, of course, numerous global opinion sites, some of which pay a little money if you write something fascinating for them. But on CC, you have to get used to the idea that not only will website owners use your material without a credit to you as author, but a few will even give the distinct impression that they've written your piece themselves. But that's what they pay for when they buy Full Rights. If the idea of seeing someone else's name on your work is too grating, you may prefer a different site.

However, as a way to bring in a few extra bucks in between other writing gigs, Constant Content has its uses. Also, if you can write on a few subjects that aren't already on the site, that can help your sales. As an example, I wrote two pieces about wilderness packrafting on CC (because no one else had ever done so), and they both sold almost immediately.

Good luck with your decision. I can say that the more clients I have pursued away from CC, the less I've been writing for CC, simply because it's more pleasant to write for 18 cents a word or more elsewhere (and act as editor as well), than to write for 6 cents a word here and bother with an inbuilt editorial review process. However, if and when Writer Pool requests start to kick in again, there is definitely money to be made here.

Cheers,
Kevin Casey
author of The Freelance Writer's Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com
Lysis
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Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by Lysis »

I don't put my byline on my articles anymore. Meh. This place isn't really something that you can use for bylines. It took me like 2-3 years before I built up a good online portfolio. I feel ya there. It's tough and competitive. I've linked to my CC articles before, though when pitching customers.

People buy this content to provide content both for search engines and users. Forget SEO crap. It's irrelevant. You have to put yourself in the buyer's shoes. If the buyer owns a site on networking equipment, let's say, then you have to think about what the buyer would want on their site. There is also an aspect of putting yourself in your buyer's customer's shoes. What would you want to know if you were reading a networking site?

This site is more like writing vaguely enough where multiple customers might be interested, but focused enough where it's informational and useful for the customer to sell their product. I actually like writing here, but it's more like side income for me. I think that's the story for most people here although some people make a decent income for their standard of living.
gators18
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:46 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by gators18 »

Maybe people aren't just looking for SEO stuff. I logged on to see who bought one of my articles at 12:51 am Saturday morning/Friday night and saw this in recent sales (not mine): How to Pick Up Girls at a Nightclub. Who knows? Maybe they were desperate.
contentwriter
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:07 am

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by contentwriter »

If you still want to try CC and want to make sure you never lose credit for your articles, sell for Unique and/or Usage rights only. Then they won't have the right to take away the byline.
LauraGinn
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:25 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by LauraGinn »

Even if you include a byline though, you still can't write personal or opinionated posts. CC just won't allow it. So, if the writer wants to sell "unique stuff with attitude and voice", she still won't be able to make a name for herself in this way on Constant Content.
ACPatterson
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:29 pm

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by ACPatterson »

Hey, thanks for the responses everyone.

I think I get the picture. I did misjudge what CC was about in the first few days when I was signing up. I think I will try putting up a couple of commercial type articles, but if they don't sell pretty quickly I will probably lose interest in CC pretty quickly also. Writing that kind of stuff would only be satisfying for me if I could turn it around for money slam-bang. And it would still only be satisfying on a mercenary level. I will have to get my real writing jollies elsewhere.

Yesterday I finished a big 2,000 worder about how the early Bush-era NSA eavesdropping scandal set the stage for the current NSA problems. And it's really good. (I think... naturally, I'm biased.) It would fit in perfectly on Wired.com or DailyBeast. How do I sell something like that, I wonder? Go right to the sites and say "do you buy articles?" What's the etiquette?
Judith
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Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by Judith »

Hey AC,

Let me start by stating that I am really old :) I have been writing for more years than most of the writers at CC have been alive. I went to college to study English and Journalism, and did my internship (unpaid) at the LA Times. I went from there to broadcast journalism for many years. Unless you are a political pundit/columnist or a journalist, you are not going to be able to sell that type of article. There are some Democrat websites that may consider publishing an article that agrees with their philosophies, but they will offer you recognition and a link to your blog. [You need a blog] They do not pay. If you have a blog and write consistently, you may eventually find some people start linking to your blog. The money you earn will be from advertising.

Also, 2000 words is much too long for an article for a political website. I would suggest you keep them at 750 tops. Some sites will tell you the limits they will accept. Neither Wired.com or the DailyBeast appear to have an editorial comment submission option. Normally writers do not submit spec copy on those types of sites. The format is carefully planned out by the editorial staff. I would suggest you send a query letter to any of the sites that you feel your writing fits, ask if they accept freelance articles, ask for a sheet of guidelines (and never adjust them to your own preferences). If they pay for freelance editorials, the amount will be listed in the information they send you. It will be payment by the word. Rarely will it be by the article, and remember, THEY set the rate they pay and it is not negotiable.

I really believe if you want to write this kind of opinion article, you should do as others have suggested and start your own blog. The competition in this field is fierce. Establish yourself as a credible writer in your area, attempt to get some guest blog gigs. They do not pay for these, but they do give you a byline and a link to your website. Additionally you have the opportunity to gain new followers to your blog. If you have any degrees in Political Science or Journalism, be sure to list those in your profile. I wish you much luck, and I caution you not to get discouraged if this is really what you want to do. It will not happen overnight. So keep at it, learn the ropes, and you have a shot at getting where you want to be. Good luck!
Isabelnewth
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:15 am

Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by Isabelnewth »

It's hard.

I thought I would mention this website which I have just discovered: https://www.contributoria.com/.

I think it's an interesting model for freelancers who are trying to get established as serious writers. I haven't submitted a proposal yet, but intend to shortly.
Lysis
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Re: CC useless for non-SEO/blog placements?

Post by Lysis »

I pitched to Wired once, because I thought I had a good idea and I've been told I have the right snark for it (as much as I hide it on here). I'm probably the most hated person in the SEO world because of snark who isn't even an SEO, so I'm definitely qualified there. lol I'm not a professional in the writing world, which is probably something that hurt my chances, but just to pass on my experience. I got a note from an editor who told me she was passing my idea to another editor and if that editor approved, it would move forward. I never got any answer after that, so I guess I didn't pass the second step. But, at least they took the time to get back to me, and I hear that they usually just ignore you. lol

If you look on their site, they take proposals and go over what they are looking for.
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