I’ve been with Demand Studios for about a year now and, even though I haven’t been writing consistently, I know that with more time and effort, I could make a decent amount of money. I can easily knock out four articles in an hour (at $18 a piece) if I really wanted to, but there is always something else that needs my attention, like school work or my internship. But even with the inconsistency of my writing, I’ve found myself getting bored with DS lately. Sure, the technology articles that I’ve been writing are easy — and even fun, sometimes –, but I want something more.
So I’m trying to branch out. I applied to WiseGEEK and didn’t get an invitation to test with them, which was kind of disappointing. It would have been great to work with one editor instead of several different editors who are often inconsistent when it comes to following guidelines. I just applied to Constant Content and got accepted, but I don’t have much of an idea where to start or what my potential earnings could be. I’m awaiting approval from Experts123, and I have a couple of other sites that I want to check out, such as BrightHub and Examiner.
I won’t sugarcoat my motives — DS has proven an easy source of income for not a lot of effort, and if I could have multiple sites like that to write for, I would be golden. Writing is what I know and do best. Yes, I could easily get an on campus job, but those are typically minimum wage for about 15-20 hours a week that pay bi-weekly. I can make the same amount writing for DS for two days as I could working on campus for a week. Which one is more logical?
I’m a good writer, but I’m also a busy college student. Being able to work from the relative comfort of my dorm room is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The fact that I am, essentially, my own boss — albeit subject to TPTB (The Powers That Be) over at DS — is a luxury I can’t imagine living without. I write on my time, on topics I like, often in my pajamas at 1 a.m. or between afternoon classes. While I’m not making as much as I was at my last real job — a Japanese restaurant in Boston’s Faneuil Hall — I’m doing OK for myself. I can pay for books, buy a bottle of wine after a stressful week, and occasionally treat myself to food with ingredients that are easily discernible and — gasp – actually edible. But to dip all of my quills into one inkwell, well, that’s just not smart. I need variety. Options.
So here’s to taking that next step into the world of freelance writing. While many will dismiss many of these sites as content mills that degrade the value of real journalism and/or literature, I have to say that they work for me. And the better I get at figuring what I like and what I do best, the better off I’ll be when it comes time to put these skills to work in my career.