Freelance Writing Jobs

I have went ahead and found a few Write For Us type jobs. Check out the links below by simply clicking on them. Also remember the FWJ has its own Project Board (link is in the menu top right) which aggregates jobs from other sites and puts them all in one location.

Write for Us @ bloggingtips.com: Click here for more information.

Write for Us @ problogdesign.com ($125 per post) : Click here for more information.

Write for Us @ sitepoint.com ($100 retainer and bonuses): Click here for more information.

Write for Us @ mentalfloss.com: Click here for more information.

Write for Us @ brainblogger.com: Click here for more information.

Write for Us @ makeusof.com ($50 plus bonuses): Click here for more information.

 

CloudCrowd Review: Legitimate Freelance Opportunity

(Warning this is a very  long and indepth post)

The most foremost thing on your mind right now is: Is CloudCrowd Legitimate? And my answer to that is: Yes. Read on for my full review of this freelance writing opportunity.

I popped into my professional email account the other day and I spotted a message sent from someone I didn’t recognize. I was about to click it to spam but thought against it. So I decided to read the message. It went like this,

Write Articles and Get Paid Daily

If you are looking for a legitimate article writing opportunity that pays daily (expect on the weekends), then visit the following link to sign up: http://www.cloudcrowd.com/. You must have a facebook account to sign up at this site (create a new facebook account if you don’t want to use the existing one).

It is not a sale pitch so I will keep it simple. Just sign up with your facebook account and get paid for the work you do daily in your paypal account. You are paid up to $8 for a 400word article, $18 for a 350word press release and $0.90 for a 35-45word product review. For working at CC, you need to pass credential tests, which are quite easy.

All you need to do now is to join the site by clicking the link above which will prompt you to log in to your facebook profile. After you have signed up, just send me an email and I will provide all the info about passing the tests (this is important). I make $40-50 per day writing for this site and you can also do so.
It is free to join, no costs to you ever (not even paypal fees).
My readers know how skeptical I am about near everything but I decided to click through. I am glad I did. Honestly, this is legitimate, although my ‘new’ friend above sounds like he’s selling sunscreen to the jersey shore girls. Read on for my review of CloudCrowd.

WHAT  IS CLOUDCROW

A writing/content mill. BUT! And this is a big one. They pay very well considering the rates of other mills.

HOW TO APPLY

CloudCrowd is a Facebook application. Which I found very odd and almost did not go through with. As most of us know some Facebook applications tease and trick us into adding them and then we end up friendless because we have been hacked and spammed. But I decided to go all in. What happens is when you click the link CloudCrowd you will be redirected to Facebook and like all applications it will ask you to Allow it to collect your information etc. Go ahead, it is legitimate. Insert the information it asks you for and you are in.

CREDENTIALS

To work at CloudCrowd you will need to pass tests. These tests are called Credentials. You will also have a Credibility number that starts at 40 and goes up. (You have both a rating and a number.) Here are some credential tests you can take: (I will add details to those I have done)

Writing and Editing

  • English Editor (edit a document of between 80-100 words into proper English)
  • German Editor
  • French Editor
  • General English Writer (write a document between 50-100 words on a given topic)
  • Resume Writer
  • Press Release Writer {Marketing Level}
  • Product Description Writer {Marketing Level}

Translation

  • English to Chinese
  • English to German
  • English to French
  • English to Spanish
  • Arabic to English

(They have other tests but as I am writing this post those sections are empty)

Alright, so here’s the rundown of how credentials work. Each assignment or project has a credential rating and a credibility number. For example: The project “Write a Business Article” will require you to have the credential rating of a General English Writer and the credibility number of 50. Everyone starts with a credibility number of 40. You are able to increase that number with your good work. Similarly, poor work decreases your credibility.

Credential tests can be approved or rejected.

If you fail the test, you will not be able to take that test again for one month. You may only take each credential test a maximum of four times.

PAY RATES

To the important part. They have an Available Work screen that showcases what is available, its credibility, credential and its price. (as well as if there’s a bonus involved). These rates can and may change over time. I also do not know the lengths of these articles.  (Prices are in $US)

  • Business Article : $33.00
  • Health Article: $6.75
  • Write Press Release: $14.75
  • Write Web Ads $0.85
  • Find Mistakes $1.50

And there is more. Remember each of these tasks or projects will have its own credential and credibility rating. There are exceptions like Write Web Ads. This only requires you pass the English Writer General test.

(Update: after writing this post I took a couple screenshots which are at the end of the article which will best help you to understand this site)

HOW DO THEY PAY

Paypal. Your one and only option. I have been trying to stay away from Paypal work since my money gets stuck in there due to a lack of withdrawal options but the higher pay rates of CloudCrowd made me ignore that. THEY PAY EVERY DAY! No matter if its a cent or $100 bucks. I had 21 cents my first day and I was appalled to see a Paypal message saying I was paid 21 cents a couple hours later! Wow! They do not pay on weekends. But they have paid me without fail every week day. I mean, every…. week….. day.

USER INTERFACE

I like the user interface of CloudCrowd. It is easy to find what you are looking for. You have your Home tab which outlines the money you’ve made, what is owed to you and what you’ve made for the month. It shows you all your submitted work and their statuses, whether approved or rejected. There is the Available Work tab and within that you can take Tests. Very quick, very useable. There is also a side tab that shows you your Earnings, Messages, History, Details etc.

WRITER SUPPORT

I love CloudCrowd and its writer community. With the help of GetSatisfaction, CloudCrowd has a vast community of writers on one forum. You can ask questions and get answers, talk to fellow writers, complain, make suggestions. The whole nine yards. I love it. I love the communication.

REVIEWS AND APPEALS

The reviewers are made up of people like you and me. In fact, you are actually able to take up review work from the assignment/work board. This means that the work you submit is actually viewed and reviewed by other writers. And you will be able to review other people’s work (as long as you have the correct credentials and credibility rating).

The appeals process works like this. If you do not agree with a rejection you can appeal it. You state why, you press submit and some editor or someone of a higher rank reviews the rejection. However, you can only appeal one article at a time AND you have to wait 30 days before you can appeal another article. This is their response to this quite constricting rule.

While we appreciate that you may have several tasks you’d like to appeal at once, we’re carefully limiting appeals to allow everyone an opportunity to have their most pressing appeals addressed quickly.  In the meantime, the best revenge on an unfair review is to do a bunch of new tasks, get great evaluations on them, and watch your Credibility score rise.

MY EXPERIENCE

The day I joined I went ahead and did the General Writer Test ( I have probably renamed this test about 5 times now but its the same thing). It took a little more than 2 weeks to get approved. Not much for speed. However, there were some cheap tasks on the board that only required 40 credibility which I had. They were approved within seconds. So it’s safe to assume tests will take a while. But I was actually able to do some low pay work until my credential test came back.

Let me warn everyone, CloudCrowd is no joke. They seek out top notch writers and they are not afraid to weed out the bad ones. Be consistent, submit only thoroughly proofread work. If you do not follow their explicit instructions they will not fear letting you go. My credibility rating had a bad crunch just the other day. Trust me, even the simplest of tasks can be rejected for the simplest mistake. And remember your rating goes up and down. If it goes down far enough they may cut you. There is one plus side to this however, CloudCrowd forces you to be a better writer. There are many content mills out there where I have submitted subpar work knowing full well they have editors to take care of it. Well, not at CloudCrowd, they require you do your best work each and every time. The better you work, the more “points” you receive and the more larger paying jobs are at your disposal.

CONCLUSION

Try out CloudCrowd, come back and let me know what you think by positing in the comments section below. If you have any job opportunities you would like to share go ahead. If I left something out, comment as well.

I know this has been a long and tedious post but I really want to outline every aspect of writing opportunities to my readers. There are many times when I have googled website reviews and gotten a couple of sentencces and some generic opinion. I want to know the down and dirty. The things writers want to know and I want to know details. Yes, I know they tell you to be concise and all but concise is not me.

-FWJ

 

UPDATE Sep. 14.11: after working at CloudCrowd and trying to improve my credibility I have long since decided keep them at arms length (or maybe more of a continent away). Why? Well I mentioned it before but only briefly. Their review system. The work you submit is reviewed by writers like you and me. You can also choose to do reviews as well. The problem is, a lot of my articles were rejected unfairly and mainly because reviewers had not read the updated article guidelines. Hence, I was rejected for reasons that had been debunked. The appeals system also does not work for writers because it only offers one appeal at a time. And if one of your appeals have been rejected you have to wait 30 days to send another. Suffice to say, CloudCrowd has its kinks and because of them my rating has plummetted. Mostly for unfair judgements on the part of the reviewer. Sometimes because I missed a capital or a period. And I am not kidding, one missed capital letter is grounds for a rejection. This I find very tasking especially coming from writing jobs that have editors. Anyways. That is my update. Enjoy.

Available Work Screenshot

Credential / Test Page

Self Publishing: A How-To Guide (w/ links)

There are thousands of aspiring poets and writers in the world that operate on a low budget and may not have the funds required to publish their writing all on their own. Self publishing is the perfect way for authors who have never published any piece of writing before. It enables them to publish on a restricted budget, helps them to learn how to promote themselves and their work and also aids their credibility quite a bit. Below are a few tips which will help authors to find ways to self publish and see that it is successful.

PRINT ON DEMAND

There are various print on demand sites on the Internet today. Print on demand sites only print books when they are sold so writers will not have stacks of books sitting in a corner of a room aggregating debt. When a person orders a book, only one book is printed and shipped. They also take the responsibility of creating the book, storing the book and shipping the book off the writer. Some websites also offer various tools which help first time publishers such as cover design and editing. Others require a pdf upload.

Here are a few sites which may be of help to you: Blurb.com, Lulu.com & UniBook.com

MARKET RESEARCH

It is important to research heavily before publishing a book. Regardless of genre this is an important first step. For instance, if writing a horror novel, take some time to research other books in this genre. Does your book stand out when compared with others? Are you bringing something new to the market? Market research enables writers to bring new life to their books. You may even find a novel that has very close similarities to yours and as such you may need to rework your writing to stand out in this dense market.

Check out the NY Times Bestseller List & the Amazon Book Marketplace

ISBN

Some sites will offer a free ISBN while some do not. It is important to obtain an ISBN as this enables your work to be listed on Amazon.com. Amazon is one of the largest marketplaces on the world wide web. Passing up the opportunity to be listed on this site can be a very bad decision.

Check out the U.S. ISBN Agency, International ISBN Agency & the ISBN Directory.

DESIGN

Design is important especially when it comes to the cover. First impressions are everything. For instance, a less than professional design will have people assuming its contents are not worth their time or money. Neither does a cover design need to be overly complicated. This is where further market research comes in handy. Take a look at top selling books and their designs to get an idea of what people love and hate. A consultation with a graphic artist will also be very helpful.

For great cover designs visit The Book Cover Archive

EDITING

Not everyone can afford an editor. In situations like these distributing your finished work to friends and family will be better than editing it yourself. The best criticism comes from others.

Search for Book Editing Professionals

CONCLUSION

In closing, self publishing is not a complicated matter. There are many innovative and helpful sites on the Internet that make self publishing easier than we thought it would be. Check out the links mentioned above and happy writing.


Word of the Week: Extenuate

WORD OF THE WEEK

extenuate

verb \ik-STEN-yuh-wayt\

: to lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of by making partial excuses : mitigate

: to lessen the strength or effect of

Examples

1. Don’t even try to extenuate their vandalism of the cemetery with the old refrain of “Boys will be boys.”

2. “At my university (as at others I’ve known), circumstances may extenuate plagiarism, but they never excuse it.” — From an article by Clifford Orwin in The Globe and Mail (Canada), June 15, 2011

Origin

“Extenuate” was borrowed into English in the 16th century from Latin “extenuatus,” the past participle of the verb “extenuare,” which was itself formed by combining “ex-” and the verb “tenuare,” meaning “to make thin.” In addition to the surviving senses, “extenuate” once meant “to make light of” and “to make thin or emaciated”; although those senses are now obsolete, the connection to “tenuare” can be traced somewhat more clearly through them. In addition, “extenuate” gave us the adjective “extenuatory,” meaning “tending to make less.”

 

5 Steps to Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer


Freelance writing is not often about just having the skills to write a great article or string a few sentences together with some complicated and smart sounding words. There are much skills involved in order to become successful and make good money doing what you love to do.

1. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

This is the most important skill freelance writers will need. All professionals in any field know how important organization is to becoming successful. In the world of freelancing its all about keeping track of clients, work hours and schedules. For those who work per hour, organization comes in very handy as this will outline for them what they need to charge to make a decent living. Those who track their expenses will never overspend or over-pay their taxes. When freelancers are disorganized this often leads to waste of time and money.

2. YOUR IMAGE

Your image is important. In order to get more work and more clients you will need to work on how you are percieved by others.It is important to establish yourself as a professional and take your brand very seriously. This gives clients confidence in you and that you will be able to produce high quality work on time. Networking is a great way to establish a professional image.

3. MONEY MANAGEMENT

Money is the gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes to freelancing. While we are not leaving home to go to an office everyday, we do work, we just do it in the comfort of our own home. Our money isn’t guaranteed. We don’t have a set income and basically, our income is based on how much we work. While there are many writing opportunities out there that pay decent rates, in order to be successful freelance writers need to become more aggresive when dealing with their rates. When its time to collect money, it is time to be a collection agent. In short, you will need to stop writing for pennies and know your worth. Keep good records and acquire higher paying jobs.

4. BE CONSISTENT

I have many a times disregarded this simple rule and I’m sure many other freelancers have done so as well. The jist is to be consistent with work. Many freelancers dig in and work hard when the bills need to be paid then slow down or stop altogether when thier responsibilities won’t be coming again for another couple of weeks. Being consistent will allow you to work and not kill yourself in the process. Instead of slaving for a week to meet bills, working at a consistent pace for the month will allow you to pay your bills and have extra left over. While its okay to take a break for a day or two don’t let it run over so much so that you have to double time it to get back on track.

5. MINGLE AND RUB ELBOWS

Being aware of whats happening in the freelance writing community is key to being successful in the business. There are many freelance writing communities which post job opportunities, workshops, training sessions and conferences which are beneficial for all writers out there. It is important to know where the best work is coming from, which companies to avoid, who’s making money where and where they aren’t and what rates are being charged in the industry. This can be easily done by staying in contact with other writers, commnities and blogs. Keep your ears and ears open at all times.

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If you have more tips you would like to share with my readers, feel free to post them in the comment box.

How to Produce 100% Unique Content

unique content, unique smiley

As a freelance writer I often come across topics I am not so educated about. In situations like these I often look up source material and risk using this material too closely because of my lack of information on the topic. So, how do I produce 100% unique content on something I have never heard about? This is my method.

FIND INFORMATION

I spend just about a half hour sourcing relevant information about the topic I am to write about. I most commonly use articles written by others via EzineArticles and sometimes may use Wikipedia if it is something broad and general enough. EzineArticles normally brings up a vast amount of articles that have been written about the topic I wish to learn about.

READ

Most writers may then copy and paste this into their own notepad window and begin to rewrite the content. Some may even change a couple of words in a sentence and submit it as their own. The right way to go about producing 100% unique content is to read the source information, and write an article based on the information read.

You need to look at the material, summarize it in your mind and then write something new from the information you have gleamed. (via Nurul Chowd Hury)

100% UNIQUE CONTENT

I find this to be a more efficient way of creating unique content. Instead of simply rewording and rewriting information already published, I am able to use the information acquired and write my own informational article. There are times when I use the reword/rewrite process. This may be the case when I’m too mentally exhausted to retain any information whatsoever. In these cases I may use already written articles, however, I try my best to only use these as a source and not follow the other writers format and train of thought completely.

THE THESAURUS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Writing 100% unique content is especially important n the world of freelancing. It may seem difficult at first for some based on the fact that some topics are a bit challenging and you will need some type of source or reference. It is also not uncommon for the same thread of words to be used in your article as it has been in another, hence marking it as plagiarism. In cases like this, you may feel as if you put your own words into the piece but the fact is that there is another article somewhere on the vast world wide web with that same thread of words.

The Thesaurus is your best friend. I even have one embedded into my task bar on my computer making it easier for me to find alternative words.

CHECK YOUR WORK

The most important step is to check your work and ensure it is 100% unique. There are many plagiarism checkers online, including the most popular and widely used Copyscape. There are also some free plagiarism checkers which I have come across online and will list them here for my readers. Each have their own limitations (free always comes with a catch)

(Please share your method of producing 100% unique content below in the comments)