Hard learned lessons from Panda

Freelance writers who depended on sites where they were earning upfront payments or ongoing revenue share likely learned some important lessons from the Google Panda update last year.  There are some bloggers however, who really didn’t learn a lesson! For example, I tripped over this blog that is so full of garbage that it is really bordering on stupidity. The posts were full of links, keywords and affiliate marketing “lingo” that was so poorly written that it would scare off anyone.  One of the problems with these sites is that they do tend to attract those people in a “network” who are sharing the same delusion (yes I think they are delusional!) of making thousands of dollars a day month by setting up a blog and scraping content with little or nothing to back them up.

Good opportunities do still exist!

Whether you think so or not, there are still some great opportunities out there to make money freelance writing.  It’s not going to be easy and you are going to have to devote some time to ensuring that your work is of the highest possible quality. In addition, finding these assignments is going to take some additional time.

I’m trying to make a living!

No kidding?! Really??!  Look, I feel your pain I earn 100 percent of my income online.  Some months are good, others not so much. There are still no shortcuts to earning money online no matter what you think. Most weeks, I can “divide” up my time into the following categories:

  • Working on projects: 50 percent
  • Promoting existing work: 10 percent
  • Editing existing work: 10 percent
  • Searching for new work: 30 percent

Now I know that to some, this might seem like I am only working 50 percent of a normal work week. Not so fast. Generally, I do my promotions automatically, the 10 percent is “dropping” in on my social networking sites to see if there are things that I need to address, responding to direct messages and “cleaning” my friends and followers. In addition, I spend time updating my online portfolio of work (see it here: Blogger Portfolio) because I want to get all of my work in one place where it’s easy to identify as mine. Editing existing work is crucial: A few years ago when  I started writing online it was not a big deal to have links on work. Today, Panda makes sure that you’re not just blowing smoke up people’s rear end, they want to see that you’ve linked to a trustworthy site, after all, who are you?  Finally, searching for new work: I take a multi-pronged approach to this. I check out freelance sites (think oDesk), Craigslist (freelancers beware!) and searching writing mills that are still paying upfront payments. Like it or not, this is the recipe that I find works best for me.

Many freelance writers who were working for content mills wound up devastated after Panda. Frankly, I was among them and today, it takes me more time to do what I was able to do very easily a year ago. However, since I am determined to make sure that I don’t fall into an abyss, taking the time to do things right is what matters to me.



About Doreen Martel

Well-rounded freelance writer who contributes to various blogs, paid to write sites and revenue sharing sites. Doreen is legally blind and has worked at home for more than 10 years. She uses the lessons learned from this experience to enhance her writing and share information with others.

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