Thursday, February 9, 2012

Page views and pennies

I'm a bit embarrassed by the length of time that has passed since my last post. As online writers, the past few months have been wrought with changes that have turned many of our lives upside down. Google, it seems, is determined to penalize content mills. Most of you are probably painfully aware that it is the writer that has taken the biggest fall. For the moment, it seems we are all guilty by association, and our skills and professionalism as writers have been called into question.

I have not escaped unscathed - but I maintain my faith that skilled writers will find their niche despite the recent actions of content mills who are struggling to keep their proverbial heads above water.

If I have any wisdom to share today, it is simple.

  • Avoid selling your soul for page views and pennies. In recent months I have observed many who have succumbed to just that in an attempt to recover from loss of work. When things improve - and they will - the work you did for a quick buck will still be out there with your name on it.
  • Use a pen name. If you find yourself in the position where you feel you must accept work that is questionable but really doesn't mesh with your brand - use a pen name. Preserve your reputation and your professionalism at all costs.
  • Don't work for less than you are worth. Accepting jobs that pay you a dollar or two for your efforts isn't going to pay your bills, but it will help to depress wages for writers. You may be thinking that if you don't accept them someone else will - and you may be correct - but the client will get what he pays for. Wages for online writers will not increase if writers continue to work for peanuts.