Really Struggling

A place where authors can exchange ideas or thoughts. Talk about what categories are hot and which ones are not.

Moderators: Celeste Stewart, Ed

Re: Really Struggling

Postby Celeste Stewart on Thu May 03, 2012 10:07 am

When looking at public requests, look at the number of articles the customer has purchased. Those with (0) purchase ratings are riskier to write for than those with (213). I see two decent opportunities right now - Ecology Degree Jobs (43) and NFL (213). Those are the two I'd focus on if it were me. I don't necessarily shy away from the (0)'s if the topic interests me or if I think it would sell eventually but I realize that the customer is new to CC and may not respond.

Sarah, it looks like you have a 40% sales ratio (15 submitted, 6 sold) - that's a good start. You can go in and add keywords at any time. Maybe keep an eye on the recent search terms and add them where appropriate.

Mnichol, I can't speak for other established writers, but I rarely answer public requests anymore because private requests take up most of my time. I'll occasionally grab a pool request if it's interesting to me. I suspect the others take a similar approach.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Thu May 03, 2012 10:38 am

I guess I should shut up and just give it a try. I don't even know why it scares me so much anyway! If my article doesn't get picked, fine, it will go straight to my portfolio. It's a win-win situation.

Thank you both for the encouragement! I now see how ridiculous it sounds to not even try before assuming that I will fail. :oops:
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Thu May 03, 2012 7:54 pm

Hi guys! I love this newbie non-US support group. LOL

Iammyownboss, I had a similar experience when starting here in CC. The first article I submitted was sold within 30 minutes and for a big amount! The second one, sold fairly quickly and the third one too. Then, things started to slow down. I think I hate beginner's luck. Anyway, I think writing is an exercise on patience and persistence. I sometimes feel that everybody around me is a better writer and that they're going to kick me outta here for not being born in an English speaking country, hehe. I know, talking about irrational fears. I just like to know that there's people out there struggling with the same issues as I am and conquering them.

Celeste, you're an inspiration to me and I'm so glad you take some time to talk to us. Every time I read about your first month here on CC I'm amazed. Over 30 articles in a month? Incredible. I hope you understand how influential you are, even on people far away from you. The fact that you encourage me, terrified noob, to keep on working for my dreams puts you high on my list of admirable people. Thank you, thank you.

So, my friends, I'm incredibly happy to meet you and share my thoughts with you. Mnicol, thanks for your advice. Let's just hang in there together and cheer each other up. We can do this!

Best of luck to all of us! Take care and happy writing! :D
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby iamyownboss on Sat May 05, 2012 7:44 am

Thanks Celeste, yes, I was hesitant to write for the low purchase rating requests, but the topics were really in my lane, so I took a chance. :(
The process for application to the writer's pool has changed, I think because I've been eligible for a while now, but haven't been invited to apply for specific categories. I've posted about this in another thread. I suppose I should be patient!
For the rest of the non-US people here, good luck... I'm sure things will pick soon.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby JoyRCalderwood on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:06 am

Not sure the support group is only for newbies. I`ve been here a little more than 2 yrs now. I have had many days where I`ve said it`s not enough to count on, many discouraging thoughts.

I look for other ways to, what I call, deversify. I do casual audio transcription for a company, some proofreading for others and bid on other work, run blogs with adsense, whatever I can find because I don`t want to go out to a job right now.

I have good months and not so good months with sales. If you don`t have a good source of income (like a well-paid spouse), you`ll probably need to work somewhere to pay your bills.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:33 am

Hello Joy!

Everyone is welcome and, I guess, everybody needs support sometimes, no matter how experienced s/he is. We all have our bad moments, and it's comforting to know that you're not the only one struggling.

I think it's great that you keep your options open and try different things. For me, that's a no-no because my attention span is way too limited to juggle many things at the same time. I wish I could, though! I'm sure that things will get better for you if you keep up the effort.

May was actually a good month for me. Unexpectedly good -at least for my expectations! I picked up the pace a bit and saw that my work paid off. I know I'm nowhere near making a living out of writing, but at this point, being able to complement my unemployment benefit is more than enough. It was also a great boost for my self-esteem because I realized that, if I can focus long enough to write full-time, I can avoid moving back in with my parents -at least for now!

Sometimes it's hard to keep it up, especially when so many things disappoint (or even depress) you, but I guess there's not much of a choice, is there? It is important to keep a positive attitude and work for the best.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:34 pm

Hi Joy!

I think this support group is for everyone who needs reassuring. Well, it seems times are tough for everyone around. I suggest we all keep encouraging each other, even if we don't believe it ourselves. Let's have each other's back so we can move forward, together.

I try to diversify as well, but I do have a part time job that keeps me afloat. I'll keep on trying, though. I don't want to give up on writing just yet. It's the only thing I've ever really wanted and I'm not quitting.

To cheer up all of you, I'll share a joke I found on the web.

"How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to give a surprising twist at the end." :lol:

Sarah
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby JacobWalnut on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:38 am

Hi Everybody!

I thought I'd pitch in since this thread has been so useful to me so far. I also wanted to thank everybody who has posted for the great tips/motivation! It's nice to interact with other C-C writers, even if only in a forum.

Something that I have found that works for me here is to submit to every public request (like Celeste says!). Even if the article isn't "sold," it's good writing practice and there is a chance that someone else will buy it. Sometimes, if it's been sitting around for too long, I even take it down from C-C and use it on my personal blog as a sample piece.

One thing that I wanted to share though, something that has really worked for me, is when a public request looks especially appealing, I will send the customer a message after I submit the article. I basically just let them know that I submitted to their request, have experience on the topic, and that I hope they can take a look. I like to think that it helps my name stick in their heads when they are looking at all of the articles. It doesn't work all of the time (and I only do it for topics that I know a lot about), but I have sold quite a few articles because of it...and have gotten a few private requests!

Also, I'm still so new here (6 months) that I feel silly giving any advice...but another thing that has worked well for me is keeping a solid submission schedule for C-C. I try to write 10 short (500 word) articles per week on easy topics (health, fitness, nutrition - things that I know about and aren't too dense). In addition, I will submit to every public request and also strive to write two long articles that I can price highly. The 10 short ones I usually price for $20-$30. The long ones for $30-$60. I can usually crank out the 10 short ones in a day (Monday), and the rest of the week feels so much better knowing that I have those in the system! (Even if they don't sell.)

Anyways, that's my tip to add to the thread. Hoping that it keeps getting added to!
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:45 pm

Wow Jacob, sounds like you have a solid plan there! Sadly, I couldn't come up with a plan like that if my life depended on it.

I get so angry at myself for not being able to follow a friggin' plan. I've found that, on a good day, I can easily work out 2000 words. However, on my call-me-ADHD days, which means most of the time, things just fall apart! There's no plan in the world that can keep me on track - at least none I have found! And I absolutely hate myself for that because I will always sit down to write and end up doing something else.

Still, it sounds too good to pass, so I'll give it a try and hope for the best! Thanks a million for the advice! :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:58 pm

I'm impressed, Jacob. 10 articles in a day! That seems way out of my reach (here I was celebrating that I finished 2 on the same day). Thanks for your advice, Jacob. Maybe you're new here, but you're very prolific and that's the kind of thing I need to learn.

BTW, has anyone heard again from MegTheWriter? She seems to have started this thread and vanished. Just hope she's fine.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby JacobWalnut on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:27 pm

Hey thanks!

I find that ten articles isn't really too hard if they are all sort of closely related. For instance, if half are about summer exercises (outdoor sports, fun in the water, activities with kids, etc) and the other half are about nutrition (benefits of salmon, stay away from processed meats, three health snacks, etc), then you get on kind of a roll and it's easy to pump out quite a few at a time. It's also a good way to sell multiple articles at a time to the same customer! Sometimes a customer will buy one of mine...and then a few hours later (or the next day) they'll pick up a few of the others that I wrote on similar topics.

Anyways, there is no way that I could ever write ten articles everyday! I tough it out on Mondays and then am rewarded with "Accepted" emails (and sometimes disgruntled by "Rejected" emails) throughout the rest of my week.

Here's hoping to solid writing plans and sticking to them! (I was hardly able to do anything last week - dang writer's block/distractions of the Internet).
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby mnicol22 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:58 pm

Actually, the way you explain it makes even more sense because that way you can work really hard 1-2 days a week and then just enjoy your free time! That's a really really attractive option. :)
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby Celeste Stewart on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:08 pm

Cool plan Jake. I like how you tackle Monday head-on and the rest of the week feels good.
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby iamyownboss on Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:55 pm

Hi everyone, I see I've checked into this thread at the right time! Welcome Joy and Jacob.
Mnicol22, so glad to hear that you're doing better here - I guess that submitting more has helped.
Jacob, it's very good of you to share your strategies here and they make perfect sense, so it's no wonder you're doing well. I too have had multiple sales from one public requester, so writing multiple articles in the same niche for the general pool makes sense.
SEDeary, like you, I need to submit more regularly. My biggest problem is prioritizing my time since I write elsewhere too. I'm not a fast writer either and my brain goes all over the place :(
So, while my sales have been ok, they need to get better and the only way to do it is to figure out how to write more here. If only there are more hours in a day!
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Re: Really Struggling

Postby SEDeary on Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:23 am

I'm glad to hear things have been improving for all of us since this thread started. My happy experience was last night, when I received two wonderful "Constant Content article sold!" messages. *does a happy dance* Since the thread started, I've sold 3 articles. That may seem little, but it's a third of my total sales. Celeste's advice about which Public requests to answer made it possible, since those 3 articles were sold to the same request. I think Jacob's wisdom applies here too, since all the articles were about the same subject.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone who posts here. Knowing there are others struggling with the same issues and seeing how they handle them is quite helpful, even though I think I haven't said anything useful, hehe. I'll try to submit more, procrastinate less and find a way to concentrate on writing. BTW, I wouldn't enjoy the extra hours a day, Boss. If I had extra hours I'd surely procrastinate more! :oops:

Thanks again everyone for your support and encouragement and for sharing your wisdom. Hope june is a very productive and successful month for all of us.


Sarah

P.S.: Please check my post about the Clarion Write-a-thon in the Common place board. It might be an interesting opportunity for some of you. (Not sure If posting the link here would be considered spamming, so I won't)
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