Here’s What’s Wrong With Freelancing Today

In the 15 years I’ve been freelancing, not much has changed. Clients are paying crap, and writers are taking that crap and writing crap in return. It’s a vicious cycle.

Here’s some of what’s wrong with freelancing today.

The Pays But Not With Cash Client

“Like any startup we have no funding yet, but there may be a few Amazon or Starbuck’s gift cards in it for you, especially if you bring some friends on board to read and comment on your work. When we do get funding we will definitely need great writers/editors.”

So I checked with my mortgage company and they’re still not accepting gift cards in payment. Until that happens, I’ll take cash, thank you very much.  I never understood why people feel that writers don’t have bills to pay and that they’re more than willing to work for links, clicks, or gift cards.

The It’s So Easy Any One Can Do It Cient

 

“Do not worry if you haven’t done this before. Assignments are so easy, even a kid can do it.”

Dude. You’re going to put out an extremely vague ad and then insult writers at the same time? If the job is so easy why aren’t you doing it? Telling us a job is so easy a kid can do it just minimizes what we do for a living.  Try not to be so condescending when bringing someone in to do work you can’t do yourself. Plumbers plum. Writers write.

The I’ll Accept Any Crappy Writing As Long As it’s Free Client

 ”You don’t have to be a professional writer – we’re looking for females of any kind to write about NYC.”

The above issue is twofold. First, if an unestablished website promises you backlinks in exchange for content, does it really matter? No. No it does not. Fold #2: The web is filled with absolute crap because people are wont to start an online publication filled with free content contributed by people who don’t know a thing about writing. I’ll tell you what, if you’re looking for people to be a “part of something bigger”, pay them. Otherwise you’re just going to have a website filled with crap, unpaid writing.

The Write Phony But Awesome Reviews of My Book Client

 

“Active amazon users ONLY
$5 per posted LIVE AMAZON BOOK REVIEW
Paid immediately through Paypal
—–important, be ready to start upon contact, otherwise don’t contact me—- NO TIME WASTERS.”

 

Ladies and gentleman, the above is why so many crappy books on Amazon are receiving 5 stars reviews. Good authors don’t buy reviews EVER and good writers don’t get paid to write good reviews EVER.

The I Promise I’ll Pay You Well One Day if You Work Your Ass Off For Little Money Now Client

 

“Would like to find editor for my first self-published book to load on Amazon. Student, beginner, I’m open. I’m honest, be honest. I hope to make a long term relationship. I will not be a bottomless pit, not crazy and not selfish and not looking to take advantage of anyone. On a budget right now. If that changes, I will not dump you but increase your fee if we work well together. Long term would be ideal. Please be in NYC.”

Here’s how we can have a beautiful, long term relationship with each other: Pay me more than $1 per page.

The I Use Lots of Dollar Signs Even Though I’m Paying Crap Client

 

 

“Book summary writers needed to write short plot summaries of fiction books. Make up to $7 per entry, and YOU get to pick what you write about! You don’t have to buy any books, you can just pick ones you’ve already read. One you get the hang of it you can easily make $21 an hour. Pick your favorite books. You don’t need to see or read anything new. It’s easy money and fun too. Payment by paypal, work from home. Solid part time work. Write for details.”

Don’t you love it when a client tries to make it seem like you’ll make a lot of money if you do several jobs in an hour? Yeah, not.

 

There’s more, dear readers, much more, and I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of them with you here in the future. In the meantime, writers, don’t minimize what you do. Know your value. And clients, don’t insult us. If you can’t pay us a legitimate fee, do the dang job yourself.

The Argument for Keeping Those Blog Comments Open

“The comments are what differentiates a blog from a website, ” they told us. “Engage!” they said. “It’s about building community…”

…And engage we did. Ever since I published my first blog post in the late 90′s, I lived for the interaction. It was the spirit of community that really made it all worthwhile. I’m a chatter. I like to talk to people. So when people I didn’t even know became regulars -first on my humor blog, then on my freelance writing blog – it was a great rush and a truly valuable experience.

I can honestly say I owe my entire social media career to the people who commented on my blogs over the years. So why would I shut down comments?

To me, shutting down comments is silencing all the people who helped me to become a success.

You matter

Compared to my past successful blogs, this one here receives very little traffic and fewer comments. In fact, I’ve gotten so busy lately that I don’t always have time to respond to the people who do comment on my sporadic posts. Still, I see comments here  and value every single one of them. When someone has a question, I am there for them and I hope I always will be. Comments tell me people are reading and they care what I have to say. They also tell me when I’m off the mark. I have received the most awesome feedback from people all over the world via  the comments on my blogs.

So now closing blog comments is a thing and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Actually, no, I do know how I feel about… I’m not a fan. It smacks of “I don’t need you anymore.”  While this probably isn’t the case, as a reader of popular blogs that closed their comments sections, the option to participate is what makes the experience more pleasant, educational, and memorable. Knowing I can ask a question or interact with others,or just read more tips and ideas from other blog readers is the best part of a blog.

Now I know folks can interact elsewhere, but I’m not a fan of “read it here and talk about it there.” If I have to go somewhere else to comment, I’ll probably pass and I know I’m not the only one.  Unless it’s something I’m passionate about, I don’t want to have to Like a Facebook page just to comment and I certainly don’t want to join an exclusive community just to comment. It’s a very rare blog post that incites my passion anymore, anyway.

I get some of the reasons for not wanting to deal with comments. Spam and negativity certainly put a damper on things. They’re an inconvenience but not so much that I would tell all the people who followed me since day one that they can no longer comment on my blog.

Community Last?

I guess what really worries me about cutting off comments is  whether or not it signifies a decline in community. People gave up forums for the social networks and now even the social networks are changing the way brands can communicate with their friends and fans. Algorithms are changing, social networks are getting spammier, and it’s getting more difficult to find a true conversation that isn’t centered around links and promotion. Retweets are now more important than comments, blogrolls, and the general sharing that endeared blogging to many of us back in the day. Maybe I’m just too old school for all of this anymore.

I don’t have a wildly popular blog, I don’t have a huge Facebook page, or an influential Twitter account, and I have never been a person who sells, but there are people who honor me by reading what I have to say every time I post. In return, I will continue to honor them by giving them a place to have a voice, even if it’s not so convenient for me at times.

 

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