When opening our Christmas presents early I was surprised to receive the Writer’s Market 2007. A handy book to have – it’s like a bible for writers, containing all sorts of publishing places and goodies. Agents, book publishers, magazine publications, contests, etc. I promised myself that one day I would comb through it and find places to send work that didn’t suck.
I did send off one piece to a contest with no entry fee (as 99% of them have entry fees, ranging from $5 to $50), and then later on I stumbled upon another and submitted something there as well, but as I nosed about in the book, I read an article about online freelance jobs and how there were a bunch out there to start in small and work your way up. This got my brain going and I did some poking around online and managed to find two good sites that had people listing freelance jobs they wanted done. My first thought? “Hmm, score.”
Now I’d already done one brassy attempt with the Rantoul Press, querying the editor about adding in a movie review column (done by me of course). I wasted a stamp on them because by the time I got home after dumping off the letter, there was a reply in my email saying “No, we’re not looking to add this kind of material.” The Rantoul Press is small and has no vision. Fine. I’ll put my services elsewhere.
On January 7th I responded to 4 online freelance job listings. On the 8th I responded to 5 more. On the 9th I did another 3. I made a new email through Gmail (pretty sweet setup I might add – kinda kicks hotmail butt). I figured by then I should stop and wait for some replies. Two of them were filled up. Another gave me some test articles to produce. Two others gave me a go, but I have some questions before solidifying anything. But the one that gave me the test articles, ah…
Unreel Media – freelancers write articles for them for website clients that need content. I had to write 5 articles with certain specifics involved, the most difficult one being using specific keywords numerous times without sounding dumb or redundant. The pay was $5 per article. I took it very seriously, did the necessary research, and with some skilled phrasing, got them to sound pretty sweet. I sent them back in and got a reply from the project manager saying she’d give them a close look when she had the time as a big deadline was looming.
On the 11th I got another email from her stating; “You are so totally hired.” Kickass. So now I work as a freelancer for Unreel Media writing articles and in the very near future will either be doing some for $6.50 an article or a ton for several months at $5 an article (as their payment depends on their length). *squeal* Nicole’s first freelance job! Yippee! I don’t know why it took me so long to find and I honestly don’t even remember just how I found those sites in the first place. *does that whole is-God-looking-at-me? looking up thing* And I’m pretty excited about one of the other two places. Just think – I get the job at Hayden’s (t’would be sweet) and I do freelance? That means paycheck + extra income. Heck, I already got my $25 from the test project. Granted it has to be done through PayPal and we already know I basically hate PayPal’s guts right now, but oh well. No counting my chickens, but still. There are those who make their living off freelance. It may not be glamorous, but it’s better than nothing.
Aside from that, you may still be wondering just where the heck that $100 eBay gift certificate came from in the first place. Well, you may remember I won $1000 from Epinions in December because of that contest they did.
Every month Epinions has a first Very Helpful review contest. Write the first Very Helpful review on a product. Piece of cake. The interesting thing is, I seem to be on a bit of a winning streak. Probably due to my case of writing insanely to make myself feel productive. After all, I did write 100 reviews in 80-some days, whereas normally it would have taken me around a year to write 100 reviews. But because of my prolificness, this has happened:
September: 1st prize - $100 Epinons Café Press Gift Card (more like shopping spree and this one took me by surprise since I wasn’t even really trying to win)
October: 3rd prize - $100 eBay Gift Certificate (now you know)
November: $100 Target Gift Certificate (this one I found out about recently and am totally excited about getting because I worked my ass off for it because I enjoy Target and could use a few things from there)
December: $1,000 (one of 4 or 5 major prizes that happened to be in the thousands)
January’s contest is for more money, but boy did December completely clean me out. My review output has dropped insanely, but still at one a day. They’re not all first reviews, but many of them still are. If I win, fabulous. If not, hey that just means someone else I probably know does and that’s cool.
All in all, the world of writing is going along pretty sweet. I rejoice in that.
Currently: In "yay!" mode