Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Year of Freelance Writing

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user εΔω
Today marks one whole year since I had my first article published as a freelance writer. It was a piece titled Elena Kagan Promises Modesty, Impartiality, published on Associated Content. Since then, I've written album reviews, ghost written for blogs, edited manuscripts for publication and promoted businesses through social media marketing. A good start? You bet!
I've recently switched HeatherChadwick.net to a new server, giving it an all-new look. I am the first to admit I'm not the most html-savvy, so the switch was necessary. Now I've gone from a rather-boring template to something a bit more exciting. I'm also now very active on LinkedIn, a great tool to professionally network and look for jobs. I also have a Facebook fan page, a great way to promote my work. As I venture on through social media marketing, learning the ropes on how to build a substantial web presence, I am building up my portfolio and working to make a living via my writing. It hasn't been easy, but I know know it is very much doable.
So, here's to beginnings, first years, anniversaries and the like. I have to say I really enjoy sharing my foray into full-time freelance writing, ups and downs and in between. Next up on the agenda is going after higher-paying gigs, and getting more substantial work. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My on-the-fence feelings about content mills

Ansel Adams image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
If there's anything I first came upon when I started writing for a living, it's the world of the content mill. I heard about Associated Content years ago when I was exploring the idea of freelance writing. I made an account that I didn't do anything with until this time last year. To be quite honest, when you're starting from nothing, it's hard to build. I've used Associated Content (and the getting more popular Yahoo! Contributor Network) to build my writing portfolio. Admittedly, not all of my work on there is my best. When you're being paid less than $10 for 400 words, you want to finish up your work quick; wasting an hour on about $5 worth of work isn't good for anyone.

Why do I still do it, do you ask? I want to have a place where I have a ton of work. If it takes me no time to do it and I can see even a little profit, I'll do it. I know it isn't the popular answer. Right now, I'm still in the beginnings of my writing career. When days are slow and paying work seems sporadic, it's nice to know you can turn to a place and writing something. Of course, I won't taking a feeble playing assignment that would take me more than twenty minutes; I see no reason to take forever on an article if I'm only going to make $5. I don't want to it represent my work as a whole. I understand that right now it might seem as such. In the long run, I want it to be one of the many places with which I've published my work. Taking it more seriously than that is not worth it to me. For the most part, it really is not a lot of money. Sometimes I find that my $4, $5 article turns in $20 with performance payments. That is always a nice surprise, of course. Basically, I'll take an assignment if it's something I can easily write about in five minutes. That way, I am justified in the low pay. A little money for what's essentially no work at all? Something I can finish in between higher paying work, especially when I either need a break in my writing routine or just another thing to help me fill out my workday? Sign me up!
Of course, there may come a time when I don't write for it. Hopefully, that's because I'm too immersed in more substantial work. Right now, it's merely a good place to start, earn a little money, and hone my writing prowess. Making it anything more than that might not be worth it. I hear what people have to say about it. I understand that it can only get me so far. Hopefully people can understand where I'm coming from. At the very least, where else can I rant about what won't matter six months from now and get paid for it? Perhaps it'll encourage those interested in what I do to make a go at it for themselves. At a time when jobs (and when I mean jobs, I mean both at home and away from home) can seem too far and in between, any start to high-paying work will do.

And we're back!!

Ladies and Gentleman, HeatherChadwick.net is back! After some confusion, getting to speak to some courteous (and endlessly courteous) HTML-savvy people, my writer's site is back online. Now it's back to normalcy, gearing up for whatever revamps I can come up with and any ideas I have.  Time of course to concentrate more on writing, garnering more clients, and getting more clips out there. Cheers to working stuff out!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Keeping up with the writing- while sitting in a writer's no man's land

Image courtesy of Office.Microsoft.Com
For the past couple of weeks, I've been patiently waiting for my old website provider to release my web domain, leaving me available to buy it again. No such luck. I was told the process would take about two to three days, and I'm still waiting. Rather than name-check the server, calling them out at every chance I get, I've decided to just carry on as I usually do, getting ready my new official writer's website. I've kept on writing, working diligently through the days as I ready this welcome change. Now I'm assuming that this transfer might take a while. At least two to three months, the time span I've heard it takes for domain hosts to allow domain names to be available for purchase again.

Some recent articles:

The Most Common Pet Ailments- The WM Pet Connection

Could Newt Gingrich Be The World's Worst Boss?- Yahoo! News

Q & A With Nick Landy- DailyHarrison.com

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My conundrum: A Writer Without A Website

Image courtest of Office. Microsoft.Com
Today I decided to embark on what for me is a major undertaking: switching website servers. In a really risky move (albeit one I didn't fully grasp at the time) I cancelled my service from which I'd been running my writer's website, after being unsuccessful in performing a successful transfer. Ever have one of those situations where neither party will listen and doing something drastic seems to be your only action? That was me today. Yes, it's not a move I'm not particularly fond of and yes, I don't want to lose any potential business, but the circumstances weren't favorable to  making any easy transition.
I'm not well-read in HTML, and I'm not knowledgable in the logistics of CNA names and DNS servers and the like. This was very much a situation of not being able to fulfill both parties' needs (the former server and the new, intended server) to get the transfer done. This unfortunately has left me in the all-too-unfavorable position of a writer being without a writer's website. What in the world? For the past couple of hours, I've been checking the status of my domain name, hoping my old server would put it right back on the market. When I spoke to the salesperson on the phone, I was told it would take 2-3 days. Here's hoping.
So now I'm in a conundrum: just how do I make this work? I don't want to be without a writer's website, I really don't. I also didn't want to wait the couple of months to let my domain name officially expire and wait out the expiration period that would probably leave me without a website for the whole summer, and it's only June 1.  As of right now, I have set up heatherchadwicknet.blogspot.com, which will serve as a temporary domain name until I can get back on my small domain name feet. Wish me luck on this adventure, readers! I will keep you updated....