Really Struggling

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Really Struggling

Postby Megthewriter on Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:02 am

So, I've come to the end of my second full month on Constant Content. I lost my regular freelance writing job in February, so I've been cobbling together as much work as I can. I really need this to work full-time for me, since other venues aren't panning out. Just a bunch of dead-ends, 1 cent a word gigs, or not even paid. I feel as if the writer gods are angry with me! lol

Anyway, I'm frustrated with Constant Content, because I've earned exactly what I earned last month (barely $100), with three times the articles submitted and approved. I need as much help as possible to turn this into a full-time gig. I'm writing a lot and submitting a lot, but nowhere near the sales I need. I have two published novels, and for my previous job about 900 submitted articles.

I know I'm a good writer. I desperately need the money. We're financially squeezed, and it's up to me to make this work. Otherwise, I have to go back to outside non-work at home income ... and I've done that before. It was soul-crushing, to say the least. It would be a severe blow to my confidence as a writer to wait tables or pour coffee for money, when I have all the tools I need right at my fingertips.

Please help - anyone who can is an angel.

~ Meg North
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:13 pm

Hi Meg!

I completely understand your frustration. It seems to me that either the writing Gods are upset or it's a very slow time for CC. I don't write as much as you do, but I'm amazed to see that my articles have only a few views. Maybe times are tough and we just need to weather the storm.

I have a part time job that keeps me afloat and doesn't eat up all of my time. I would suggest you do the same, perhaps working at a bookstore. Something that keeps you within the writing environment but gives you enough money to survive. I wish I could be of more help, honestly. Perhaps we should make an offering to the writing Gods, hehe.

Don't despair and don't give up on your writing career. Hopefully, things will improve for us all very soon. Take care and best of luck,

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:19 pm

Hey guys! Count me in for the offering too! :lol:

I can relate to what you're saying, Meg. I have no other choice either, I live alone so the bills are all on me and I'm getting really really disappointed. Sadly, I'm so stressed that I get brain freeze every time I try to write. It just feels like everything has been already written, probably by someone far more experienced than me (relatively new in the freelancing world). On top of that, I have self-esteem issues. While I know I can write, I give myself a good beating up every time I finish an article because I find it nonsensical or worthless. It's an awful feeling.

On the other hand, I'm not done trying yet. I have uploaded less than 20 articles in about 3-4 months and I've had 4 sales, which means there is potential if I only manage to put myself together. I'm also grateful that I found some extremely helpful people on this forum. I owe a lot to their help.

Keep it going and don't lose your hope just yet. Maybe it's just a slow period after all. It seems that you really like writing, so it's worth the fight. :wink:
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby Megthewriter on Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:07 am

Thank you very much, both of you. I'll just keep at it. I appreciate your words of encouragement. It's a bit of a tough road out there for me at the present, but I can get through it.

Thanks again!

~ Meg North
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby KatieT on Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:42 am

Wow, I can really relate to several of the points that all three of you have made! Times are tough right now, and it's easy to doubt yourself when you put so much writing effort in and see few results. But hang in there. I've been writing here at CC for a few years now. Even though I'm not as prolific as some other authors, I've found that my articles do sell eventually. Keep plugging away, and get another side gig if you can. My main problems are two that were mentioned here: stress-induced brain freeze and spending too much time chasing low-paying gigs. I should be seeking out the higher-paying ones and submitting more articles to CC. I let self doubt about my skills get in the way too often.

Just wanted to say good luck, and that there's a lot of good advice here.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:03 am

Hey Katie! Good to have someone with a bit more experience chiming in.

I started off writing for as low as $1.5/500 words. I guess everybody's got to start somewhere, but I wouldn't do that again. Ever! It's just too much effort for nothing. For me, it's just CC and another website right now. The other one doesn't pay that much, but still, it's pretty decent and the competition for public requests is quite low. I'm always open to new gigs, but most websites only accept writiers in the US. Soooo unfair!
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby Celeste Stewart on Wed May 02, 2012 2:04 pm

Hi all,
Are you submitting articles for public requests or just whatever strikes your fancy?

CC just sent an email the other day with the top-selling categories as well:
Travel
Beauty
Nutrition
Health & Lifestyles
Online Business
Medical
Hardware
Marketing
Business
Europe

If you qualify for the writer's pools, make sure to apply and then claim projects. While it's not as fun as writing whatever you're most passionate about, public requests and pool requests are a good way to sell articles.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed May 02, 2012 2:17 pm

Hey Celeste!

I don't even see a Writer's Pools option so I guess I don't qualify for them just yet. I've had more than 10 articles accepted, but maybe my acceptance percentage is lower than the required one. I'm still a bit confused about how that works.

I only started to write regularly for CC this past month, so I focused on topics I know in order to get as many articles out there as I could. I guess it's a better strategy to go with what's hot right now, even if it takes a bit longer to write an article. I'll try that-I have nothing to lose anyway! Thanks for pointing it out.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby Celeste Stewart on Wed May 02, 2012 2:42 pm

You're welcome. Here's the thinking behind my suggestion: Requests and top-selling categories tell us what current customers want right now. Articles on other topics will likely sell as well, but not necessarily as quickly. Therefore, if you want more sales now, focusing on what's requested and what's selling is a good strategy.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed May 02, 2012 2:57 pm

You have a valid point there. I've read in other threads that some articles may take as long as a year to sell, and it doesn't sound too encouraging when writing is your only income.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Wed May 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Hello again!

I did in fact write an article for public requests and submitted previous ones, but they weren't bought. Regarding writer's pools, I applied over a week ago and I'm still in waiting period, don't know for how long. Do you know how long it takes to be approved? I write my articles usually in the topic of nutrition or health (placed third and fourth in CC's list) and they still don't get that many views. If nobody sees them, they won't sell. So, I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Maybe I'm choosing my keywords poorly? :?

I bought your book, Celeste, and tried to follow your advice as best as I could. I think I might be doing something wrong, since I'm not getting many views. For example, an article I wrote at the end of march has only 6 views. Let me be clear, I'm glad I bought your book, I learned many things and I'm not complaining. I'm just trying to stablish the fact that I'm trying to learn how to be more prolific and a better writer. After all, I'm new in this. :oops:

I've been feeling lately what other posters have said: brain freeze, self doubt, maybe-I-should-quit-this-and-get-a-real-job, etc. Since I'm so new, I'm not really sure what I should expect. I guess what we all need is some encouragement, someone to tell us how to keep writing in spite of low sales and a way to measure our writing skills (unrelated to sales, of course).

I'm still considering what constitutes an appropriate offering to the Writing gods. If I come up with some sort of obscure ritual, involving writing my pen name with ashes or something less creepy, I'll let you know. Suggestions accepted! LOL :)

BTW mnicol22, I understand what you say about sites rejecting non U.S. writers. I have the same problem. I understand they're trying to ensure quality, but it makes it hard for some of us to find places to write for.

Thanks to all of you for sharing. I was beginning to feel I was the only one. Sorry for the long post. Take care!

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed May 02, 2012 5:33 pm

Hey Sarah- our merry company seems to grow fast! :lol:

I'm starting to embrace the thought that the anxiety and self-doubt are parts of being a newbie. I've been writing for two years now, but never on a regular basis. I used to have a job that often took me 50+ hours a week, so I had no time or need to write for a living. Quite frankly, I'm way past overwhelmed. Sure, I feel more confident than I was during my first submissions here, but still, I believe I have a long way to go before the stress starts to wear off.

You know, I don't buy the whole quality thing. I've seen people handle their mother tongue like fifth-graders, and it ain't pretty. Anyhow, their sites-their rules.

Don't give up hope until you have a valid reason to. I promised myself that, if in six months from now I'm still getting nowhere, I'll just give it up. And things seem to be getting a bit better lately. :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby iamyownboss on Wed May 02, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi all! I'd like to join your merry company :lol: I'm a non-US writer too and a newbie here and struggling with self-doubts and brain freeze. When I first started writing here, I had beginner's luck - 3 of my first 6 articles were bought (they were all written for public requests). Suffice to say that it took me to quite a high, but the crash since then has been pretty painful :( I became eligible for the writer's pool quickly and I entered my availability, but I haven't been invited to apply for any pools. The recent public requests don't interest me, and the ones I've recently written for haven't had ANY hits, and the customer's purchase rating has been stuck on 0 for quite a while. Some customers indicate that they want multiple articles, but they haven't been buying any - does it mean that they're not genuine customers, or that they are waiting till the end of the request period to buy everything? If it's the latter, then I missed the opportunity to write more for the request, but I don't feel like wasting my time if the client isn't really going to buy anything!
Oh well, I'm glad I'm not alone, but I hope that everyone on this thread gets some good sales soon. Looking forward to hearing about it :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed May 02, 2012 11:42 pm

This thread is turning into a support group for newbies. I like that!

iammyownboss, I really can't help much with the public requests; my phobic side has dominated me. I keep thinking that, if ten more people are working on the same request, someone will be better than me. Therefore, I stand no chance in winning it, so why even bother? Silly me, I know. After all, that's what phobias are: irrational fears.

I understand your frustration, though. It's really disappointing to start off on the right foot and then, for some reason, hit a brick wall. But hang in there. As I already told Sarah, don't give up until you hve a reason to. The fact that you've already had some success indicates that it's worth a shot. :wink:
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby iamyownboss on Thu May 03, 2012 2:40 am

mnicol22, if you do want to try public requests, you could start with the ones that have asked for multiple articles. Also, there are occasional requests for material for an entire website, and they give you a list of possible subjects. These are 2 ways to avoid too much competition. Sometimes, after I've submitted something to a public request, I wait 7-10 days and then do a keyword search to see how many submissions made their way to the general pool. There are times when there've been very few submissions to a request. I think many of the established writers here spend most of their time on writers' pool and private requests, unless the topic of a public request is right in their wheel house. Anyway, why not give it a shot? You may be a lot better than you think!
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