What I’m Writing — Week of 9/29

It’s shaping up to be one of those weeks — the good kind! Lots of fun topics this week, some research into a nerdy tech topic I’ll enjoy and a roundup of web pages for small businesses ranging in location from right here in South Carolina to wayyyy down under in Australia.

Just a few fun things I’m working on this week, or 13 more reasons I love my job!

Thanksgiving Decoration Roundup (curated guest blog for a major home improvement retailer, watch for it in October, similar to this one on table decor last year). I love seasonal pieces like this because they put me in the right frame of mind to decorate my own home, I’ll have to make a run to the state farmer’s market here and pick up a big pile of pumpkins soon…until then, I’ve got the Halloween stuff ready to go:

Halloween fun from my home and crafting blog

Some fun pieces on the business and technology of drones. Very interesting stuff on the responsibility and liability of drone usage and what happens when you use a drone in your business…I am anxiously watching the skies for drone deliveries after researching these…


More travel articles, always a favorite, this time I am covering one of my top theme park destinations for toddlers for an inflight magazine. (This one is pretty much done, I just like to let them sit for a week or so and then do a final read-through before sending them off to the editor, just in case). 2 other magazine queries were approved this week as well, so I’m finalizing some travel and interview details, too.

Rounding the week out with a host of web-pages for some up and coming businesses. I love these, because they allow me to spend some time learning more about a specific industry and helping my client succeed. The Home, Landing, About and product/service detail pages are the backbone of any good website, so getting these to be just right is a challenge and a privilege. I’m always thrilled see a new site or rebrand launch and to be a part of the process!

This week, I’m writing pages of content for an emergency veterinarian, James Hardie Siding contractor, a commercial HVAC business and a (sadly not local) martial arts studio.

Not a blogging heavy week, but lots of fun pieces to keep me occupied!

Have a great week, everyone!






Writer Beware! 5 Red Flags in Content Writing Job Descriptions

Looking for work? It can be tough to get started as a freelancer, and the sheer number of fake jobs, scammers and “clients” who want content at third world rates is shocking. How can you weed out those questionable jobs on sites like Upwork? Any of these statements is a clear sign of trouble:

“This is an easy job for someone who knows what they’re doing”

“Writing this article should take you about 20 minutes”

“I can’t pay much now, but rates will go up over time”

3x stop

One of the above quotes in a job description is a “red flag” that often makes an experienced freelancer pass over the job, no matter how appealing it sounds. More than one red flag? Run far, run fast, you’re about to have a terrible experience!

Here’s a breakdown of each statement — and why it should worry you:

“This is an easy job for someone who knows what they’re doing”

Run away: The assumption is that the project is so easy that it shouldn’t take much time – if you’re good enough. As a writer considering this project, you’re immediately put on the defensive; of course you’re good enough to complete this task quickly, and you’ll feel like you need to prove it. You’ll likely find yourself justifying your content writing rates with this buyer – and the time you spend on his project if you work by the hour.

“Writing this article should take you about 20 minutes”

Run away: Someone who doesn’t write professionally likely has no idea how long something should take. This statement is almost always followed by outrageous pay rates, particularly for clients who want to pay by the hour. Expect to see this red flag accompanied by single-digit hourly rates, and don’t be surprised if the potential customer wants you to bill in 15-minute increments.

“I can’t pay much now, but rates will go up over time”

Proceed with caution: If you hired someone to work for you, and you were pleased with their work at the rate they agreed to work for, would you automatically raise the pay over time? After all, things are working out great for you – you’ve got someone you like, you’re getting the work you want, why change something that obviously works?

While you can occasionally convert a lower-paying client to a (slightly) higher-paying one, most will simply seek out another provider to do the work at the agreed-upon rate, and the cycle will begin all over again. Prepare for an uphill battle with this customer; you may be able to get them to make incremental jumps of a penny or two per word over time, but be wary if the rate is substantially lower than your comfort zone.

“I pay $2 per 500-word article, and have thousands of titles for you to write. Isn’t that awesome?”

Run away, quickly: This statement is absolute poison for two reasons. First, it is an insanely low rate for writing, and you can do better. Second, if you tie up your time working for Mr. $2-a-page, you won’t have time to look for a better-paying group of client. You’ll be too busy churning out page after page for pennies, and likely burn out very quickly.

“I need your Social Security number/credit card/password/a deposit to verify who you are”

Run away, quickly: While some big companies will require you to complete a W9, an individual who is hiring writers usually will not. You should never have to pay to be hired for a job – or reveal your Internet passwords, credit card or other personal information. Not only is there likely no job here, you may end up losing money instead of making it.

Those first few jobs are difficult to land, but falling for one of these schemes is just going to take up your time and could even end up costing you money. Legit jobs are out there — and recognizing the most frequently used scams allows you to rapidly weed out the losers.

Having trouble getting started? Carol Tice some excellent tips for new and hopeful freelance writers — if I had to start over again, this is the place I’d begin!

How to Launch, Earn, and Grow into a Well-Paid Freelancer! http://www.makealivingwriting.com/ebooks/freelance-business-bootcamp-ebook/