Online article writers usually do not produce at just one site, but many. And those articles, especially the ones the writer was not paid for, needn’t go to waste. On most content writing sites that use crowdsourcing, as long as the writer does not connect with a client offsite, they can use their articles from other sites as examples of their writing style. How would one go about doing that?
First it helps to know a content site’s general policy regarding contact with clients. Good crowdsourcing sites are ready to go to bat for any writers who have worries or disagreements with clients. To give site administrators the backup they need, the site will provide a communication system that tracks exchanges between writer and client. Anything offsite can’t be tracked, so the writer is required to agree to a policy that all writer/client communication goes through the site’s own channels.
Writers then create a site profile that includes links to their professional website, if they have one. If a client follows a writer’s profile link to their professional website, and uses contact information from there to contact the writer privately, the writer is expected to redirect them back to the crowdsourcing site. That way the writer can avail themselves of the protection provided by the site and also keep their agreement and integrity.
Given that policy, there are two ways in which writers can use their own articles from outside sites to promote their skills on the crowdsourcing site: By including links for self-promotion, and by adding links as the source of an assignment.
Using Offsite Articles for Self-Promotion
When replying to a client query or search for writers, it helps to attach a sample of your writing style. What better way than to link to an article you’ve already written on another site, under a pseudonym that gives no personal information? In other words, a link that is purely and clearly for sample purposes, not for inviting a private contact. That link, if a client follows it, can help them decide whether or not to include you on their list of favored writers.
Using Offsite Articles as Sources
If you are an expert in your field, using your own offsite articles as sources for assignment material can make a lot of sense. You use other people’s articles as sources, so why not your own? Such links give the client more detailed information that the assignment is too short to include, and they establish you as the expert you are. The caveat is that a writer who uses this kind of link must really be an expert, so that the link reflects well on them, and the client can feel good about including it to help their readers.
Never be afraid to promote yourself, in whatever ways are available to you, with integrity. Good self-promotion and follow-through benefits you, the content creation site through which you work, and the client—everyone wins!
Susette H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.