Welcome to Writer Rants–where every Friday a writer just lets loose on whatever the heck is bugging them this week. Enjoy.
Who has the biggest impact on your freelance writing rates, how clients treat you, your ability to find quality work and your happiness as a writer? Actually, that would be YOU. A freelance writer is truly in charge of her own destiny in the wild west of online content writing. However, another big impact on your success or lack thereof as a writer are other writers. While it can be positive, not every writer has the same dedication to his or her craft and these writers can actually make your job harder. Consider these five ways other writers can make your writing life more difficult.
- Spreading Misinformation – Have you ever spent any time in an online forum or group with other writers? The amount of misinformation can be overwhelming. Sadly, many of those who spread this information often get away with it because other writers see them as being knowledgeable because they have been around the platform or forum for longer. Take anything you read with a grain of salt, unless it comes from the platform itself or a client.
- Taking Jobs They Are Not Qualified to Take – Writers who will take any job offered make it harder for everyone. Clients who continuously receive low quality or poorly researched work are less likely to return to a platform or pay for future services.
- Creating Drama – Sadly, some writers enjoy creating drama and chaos in their wake. This most commonly occurs in forums and online groups, but can occur anywhere. A writer may cause a panic about lack of work, spread unsubstantiated rumors or ask polarizing questions that distract writers from the goal of creating high quality content and earning a living.
- Delaying Workflow – On many writing platforms, it is possible for writers to pick up an article and hold it before writing. Most sites have rules about returning it to the “pool” within a certain time if a writer chooses not to write it. Those who ignore these rules and throw back work later make the system harder for everyone. Not only are they holding work from you to begin with, this affects clients’ deadlines and can prevent these clients from returning for more articles in the future.
- Poaching Clients – This is one of the worst “sins” a writer can commit. When a writer breaks the rules of a writing platform, contacts clients off-site and “poaches” these clients, everyone suffers. I like to think this seldom happens, but you hear about it now and then. The best way to avoid this is to keep your clients close and continuously deliver the best work possible—your clients will be less likely to fall for such schemes.
If other writers can influence your ability to earn a living as a writer, it only makes sense that you have an impact on other writers’ writing careers too. Think about each of the points above and make sure you are not guilty of any yourself. If everyone in the world of online writing took stock of how what he or she did impacted us all, we’d likely all have a more successful experience.
Tracy S is an experienced content writer who loves cats, a good fantasy book, peanut butter and being right.