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Monday, October 16, 2006

Freelance Writing Myths

Freelance writers hear a lot of things from their clients - and they shouldn't believe all of them. The things clients tell you, as a writer or ghostwriter, are often designed to get you to provide your best work at the lowest possible price, and to give them something to measure your work against if you don't hit their target.

Freelance Writing Myth 1 - There Is Lots Of Info On ...

Clients always say things like:'There is lots of information out there, so you shouldn't have any trouble with this' and 'I found lots of links on Google'. Clients who do this are often trying to lowball me or have been fooled by the 1 million links on Google. I must admit, when I hear this, I'm often tempted to say unkind things such as: 'if there's so much great info out there, why am I the one that's looking for it?' I don't, though, knowing better than to bite the hand that might feed me.

Because the thing about search engines is that one million web pages does not equal lots of good information, not in a research sense anyway. What you've got instead is the same information one million times - and you're the sap that has to make sense of it. So if you have to research something outside your niche and write more than a hundred articles and make them all sound different, that can be a tall order.

Freelance Writing Niches

Gracepub has been quite vocal about the benefits for freelance writers of finding and staying within your niche. When you do, you have knowledge at your fingertips and you can write fast and earn more money. When you don't, you can end up having wasted your time and be out of pocket. I write about UK finance and I've done this before, in a series on credit cards. All of the articles were different, though much of the information was the same. (By the way, I had a funny experience the other day when I was researching a subject and some of my own ghostwritten material came up). But with other subjects, it's not so easy. If you don't know the subject well enough, you can't always differentiate between the articles.

This happened to me with a project. OK, the client was picky, but he had a point - some of the articles were very samey. And the reason - there wasn't loads of information out there. When I looked into it, there were a few facts repeated ad nauseam. I tried my best, but I just couldn't make the articles different enough and I didn't have enough inside information to make the difference.

So now I've revised some of the articles and I'm playing a waiting game. If the revisions are OK, that's a quarter of the money I want to earn this month taken care of. If not, it's back to the drawing board and looking for another freelance writing job.

Related freelance writing information

It Shouldn't Happen To A Freelance Writer
Rejected? Don't Be Dejected
Five Questions Every Freelance Writer Should Ask

This is the first in an occasional series on freelance writing myths. Feel free to join in on your blog or to let me know of myths you've experienced in your job.

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