Blog writers for hire, and other types of content writers are an interesting bunch. They come from varied backgrounds and may have years of post-secondary education or none at all. Some blog writers freelance full time, others work for a content marketing company and still others may only do it part time in addition to a full-time job or as a stay-at-home parent.
The one thing all writers share is that they want their work to be taken seriously. If you happen to encounter a writer—perhaps a friend, family member, or someone you hire to help you market your webpage—it’s important to watch what you say. Keep in mind four things you should NEVER say to a professional writer.
- “So, you get to play on the computer all day?” – It only makes sense—from research to writing, most of a writer’s job is done while glued to a keyboard. However, the key here is that the writer is WORKING. Yes, work may lead to me browsing Wikipedia or conversing with other writers on Facebook, but these are just ways for me to rest my mind mind before getting back to work—akin to a coffee break at the office.
- “Can you take my dog to the vet?” – This question, and others like it, are the bane of any work-at-home professional’s existence. It’s hard to say no to someone that I care about, but just because I work at home doesn’t mean I have any more free time than someone who works at the office.
- “Writing is easy.” or “I bet I could do what you do.” – Sorry, but no, you probably couldn’t. I have many friends—several of whom have jobs in the educational, medical, legal or financial fields. However, of all my friends, I can only think of maybe one or two that I think have the combination of thick skin, self-motivation and writing skills that it takes to work as a freelance writer or blog writer.
- “When will you get a real job?” or “When will you write a book?” – When I first started blogging, many people saw it as a hobby. After all, at the time I was going to school full-time and working at a coffee shop. However, as time has gone by I’ve turned writing into my career. I make it my goal to inform others that YES, what I do is a real job and that I earn “real” money doing it. In fact, most weeks I put in as much time as a full-time position and I’m likely earning more now than I would have if I had pursued a job in the field in which I have a degree. I am working on a book, but this is a side project—and likely will never earn as much as I earn writing blog posts for plumbers, weight loss clinics and pet groomers.
I know most people mean well. However, no matter what your job, it feels good to be taken seriously for what you do. I try not to take things personally, but I do what I can to share what I do with those around me—many of those closest to me are beginning to understand that while my job may not be as straightforward as theirs, it is important and fulfills me in a way that my position slinging coffee to the grumpy masses never did.
Tracy S is a freelance writer and blogger who is writing her first book. When she’s not glued to the keyboard she has her eyes glued to a sci-fi book, her mind glued on her pool game or has glue on her hands while working on a home improvement project.