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28 Months Later…

March 6, 2012

…I finally decided to start a blog. Why now? I really didn’t have a reason to before. As you can see, this site features most of my work from the past two years. It’s supposed to be a portfolio. Never needed that either, until now.

Lets go back a bit and see how this all started. I was self-employed. Worked a easy job online as a text message answering guide. 140 character answers to questions sent in by anyone that wanted to know anything. It paid well – that is, well enough for someone living at home with family. Then, like most jobs, the amount of work available began to decrease, along with the quality of my answers. Suffice it to say, I needed a new way to make money.

Then came the idea of writing actual articles. There were tons of sites that would pay for articles written by just about anyone. Some sites had tough pre-requisites to write for them, but most allowed anyone to apply. All these sites were going after advertising revenue, especially content farms – the biggest of which was Demand Media Studios. And so I started writing articles focused around particular keyword phrases. These are words that people type into search engines like Google. The idea was that sites like Demand Media would publish articles covering thousands of topics and search engines would index each article. So when someone searches for information on a specific topic (keyword phrase), one of these articles would be listed on the results page of Google. The more people that viewed the articles the more money these sites made. And they continue to make money off of each article, months, even years after they were first published.  Unfortunately, most of these sites don’t pass on a percentage of the revenue to the authors that wrote the article. In fact, most of the articles I wrote as a freelance writer were for a one-time upfront fee. smh

Google caught on to this a while back and changed their search algorithm to prevent sites from taking advantage of their search engine. This decreased the amount of search traffic to these sites, which led to fewer offers of upfront payments for authors, and eventually higher standards for article submissions. I was not pleased.

So content farms provided a good source of income for a while, but didn’t really have any long term positions for freelance writers. At least not for me. I didn’t have a background in writing, english, or journalism. I studied biochemistry in college and most of my articles are informational, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the site’s standards. My freelance writing career lasted 28 months. Will there be a 29th month?

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