11/16/08

Freelance Job-Boards to Avoid - Digital Point Forums

Sigh. Here we go again!

I really appreciate it when other writers offer me suggestions for finding more freelance work. I've found some great new clients this way and even though I may already have a full plate of clients and content-creation companies supplying me with steady work, there's no harm in finding more just in case work slows down a bit.

So I always look at every recommendation other writers give me. That's how I ended up on Digital Point Forums - and I wish I hadn't.

Take a look for yourself: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/forumdisplay.php?f=102

This is the 'Content Creation' job board, where website owners advertise when they need new writers and writers flock to grab the jobs.

I guess I spent 20 minutes going through the posts. I spent the entire time staring at my monitor in absolute horror at the rudeness of webmasters demanding unique, quality work of 500 words and then offering $1 or $2 per article.

That's appalling! They want content so they can make profits from high keyword placements, increased ad revenue and high affiliate sale commissions - and yet they treat the people who will be making their profit for them like SLAVES!

I hope you're as disgusted as I am right now, because it gets worse.

Not only are the writing jobs advertised ridiculously insulting to writers - but the writers are lined up begging to be considered for these same jobs.

Yes, you read that correctly. Writers respond to these job boards begging to be given these low paying slave-labor jobs. They even start new threads trying to undercut each other for lower and lower prices.

If you plan on making a career out of freelance writing, then I strongly suggest you AVOID this site completely. You have far better options available to you that will pay you properly for your time and effort - as any professional deserves.

Enough said.


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18 comments:

Catana said...

I bookmarked Digital Point on someon'es recommendation. Will delete that one pronto.

You're changing my life, lady. First I quit Triond, and now I'm actually considering looking for legitimat freelance work. Where will it end?

Bianca Raven said...

LOL Pleasure to be of service.

Tell me - what was your log in name at FB. I'll be happy to log back into their forum to send you a PM with a few good links to bookmark...

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am very interested in working from home doing online freelance writing. I have spent hours researching the pros and cons of freelance writing. It seems that many writers are taking these low paying jobs for two reasons. Frist, they claim that you have to "pay your dues", so to speak in order to gain a good rating on such sites such as Associated Content and Constant Content. Secondly, they also claim that there are people in impovished areas or situations that are willing to work for these low wages and undercut the higher bids. Is this true? What did you encounter when you were just starting out? How did you get around this? I am about two seconds away from taking that first step, but I am still getting cold feet. Please advise. Thanks!

Bianca Raven said...

Yes of course there are writers out there willing to work for $1 an article. There are even writers out there who feel that writing for sites like Associated Content will get them started.

I don't bother with the above things because I don't agree with either of them.

Writers who undercut and write cheap are only reducing their own income. They are no threat to a writer with clients willing to pay real money for real quality work. It takes time to find and build trust in those clients but it can be done.

And who says you need to 'pay your dues' to a pittance-paying revenue share site? Go and pay your dues to a proper paying site instead and earn income while you're learning.

Be patient. Visit professional freelancing sites and learn how to approach future clients like a pro. The Absolute Write Water Cooler is my favorite professional freelance forum to learn and hang out for this kind of thing. Give them a shot.

:)

Anonymous said...

Bianca,

You are awesome! Thank you for responding to my earlier post.

You are unyielding in your opinions. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog before I started my freelance business. As I stated earlier, the majority is saying that Associated Content is the way to begin. You have given me the confidence to start elsewhere.

Also, you are giving away so much GREAT and INSIGHTFUL information for free! When I read your posts, I don't feel that someone is trying to sell me the latest get rich quick scheme.

Thank you for your honesty and professionalism!!!

2ThePoint said...

Hi,

My experience on Digital Point has been somewhat different (touch wood). I joined at the same time I got into paid web writing. I was very tempted to go for the $0.01/word gigs but felt like total sh*t after accepting the 1st one and knew I wouldn't be doing that (to myself) again.

I also found DP's Copywriting section helped keep me focused on my self-worth.

I've been fortunate enough to get writing opps on DP that pay me more than the usual rates one often sees on there.

take care...

Bianca Raven said...

I'm glad my little blog has helped to inspire so many writers to aim at better rates for their time and effort.

That was my aim all along and I'm glad to see people are listening!

I really get upset when I see writers under valuing themselves for such low pay. Your efforts are worth so much more, so be sure you charge well for your work and you'll find that writing can be very rewarding.

:)

Anonymous said...

Raven, you have saved my life! I'm a single mum in the UK, living in the costly South East of England and trying to forge a new career from home, after bad health put paid to my previous career as a freelance fitness instructor. I'm a professional woman; intelligent, erudite and well educated - why SHOULD I work for nothing? Yet thesecompanies are making billions from people doing just this.

I started off doing the usual 'paid survey' work, quickly realised it was a total rip-off (though I still do a few of these for fun - lightspeed and Toluna are the best so far) I joined a site called Eulance, simply because I thought they were based in the Eu rather than the US (they're not, they're based in Singapore) No end of jobs came up asking for 'paid review work' paying $250 dollars upwards per month. All scams - most of these turned out to be signing up to be a Ciao 'friend' for the person placing the ad - no direct revenue at all. But that got me thinking about paid review work in general. I've written a few really good write-ups for Review Stream, but even though they've been published my account still reads zero. I've earned 675 DooYoo 'miles' from just one review on that site, but I don't know what this translates to in real money. I've tried my hand at the paid blogging work too. I've built a blog as I needed to anyway, but don't think I'll bother marketing it for advertisers. I'd appreciate some feedback on review and paid blogging work - has anyone here generated a sensible income from either of these, or are they - as I suspect - an insult to my abilities as a professional?

The trouble is, I've no journalism qualifications and can only 'prove' myself by what I provide in a portfolio. When I discovered sites like AC and DP it seemed like a dream come true. My feeling is, I've invested hundreds of hours of time, and not a little money, on my new freelance career and all I've got in return is to be ripped off (courtesy of Freelance Homewriters and a cold caller who targeted me via a survey I did). I've yet to earn a dime in my paypal account - in fact, I'm quids down.

I've been looking at sites like Helium, Suite101 and Associated content, as well as the review sites I mentioned. Digital Point came up when I was googling for something else, and I must admit I was almost suckered in - it looks very professional. On closer inspection, it looks a lot like Eulance so I'll avoid - thanks for that! I've passed my Elance entry 'exam', and reckoned this was a legit site to bid for work, but of course I need a portfolio of proven publishings. I guess this is why myself, and so many others, are content to bid for next-to-zero wages, but you've proved this is NOT the way to become a published and respected author.

The trouble is, if I google up a paid writers site I've seen advertised, there will be as many blog posts enthusing about it, as there are saying it's a scam. So I don't know who to believe. Thank god I've found an honest site at last - one that's composed by a 'real' journalist! If only there were more sites like yours, and fewer that are obviously 'paid to blog' scams.

I've put this site at the top of my favourites page, and will refer to it often. But it's so nice to find someone saying "No, it is NOT okay for a newbie to earn tuppence in commission for a 500 word, finely crafted essay."

Bianca Raven said...

Hi Single Mum in the UK. You don't need to have journalism qualifications to earn a great living online. As long as you can write coherently on a topic and find clients willing to pay you for your efforts then you're off and running.

I do have journalism qualifications but I've never once needed to use them or display them to find clients for online writing.

Just remain focused on building your freelance business to include things that you enjoy doing and break up your day with these things.

Not only will you be earning money but you'll be enjoying your job at the same time
:)

A CO Trainer's Notebook said...

Hi Bianca,

Your blog is a gold mine of information on enhancing the self-worth of the writer. You're very generous! I've bookmarked your blog and it will be among my writing guides and inspiration. Thank you! Thank you, Bianca!

France

parsibagan said...

I am at a loss of words to describe myself. Though English is not my mother tongue, I try to get across my thoughts in writing and generally succeed.

Your blog is a virtual gold mine for people like me and will help me to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I beg to be sorry for any grammatical mistakes made in this post, but as I mentioned before, English is not my first language.

God Bless You for your insights to a budding writer like me.

beybes_08 said...

This is so true. I used to be one of them, but I realized that I'm worth more than that especially when it's ghost writing.

parsibagan said...

It makes me sad to see so few comments on this awesome `blog'. I guess the correct term for it would be a `work of art'

Bianca Raven said...

Why does it a lack of comments here make you sad? There are some posts that have prompted plenty of responses and others where people just don't feel the need to comment I guess.

I actually enjoy the feedback - after all, if no one ever responds, how will I ever know if I'm on the right track or not??

parsibagan said...

Viewing the number of people who are active in DP, I believe that they would be better off, at least those who do have a knack for writing, if they participated in here.

You are providing them with so many opportunities. Sorry, if my last post hurt you in any way, but I was just speaking out my heart.

Anonymous said...

Another in a long line of scam sites to avoid is Digital Journal. They promise you the moon with thier impressive looking 'Digital Journalist' credentials posted alongside your name, but if you begin to actually make a splash with thier readers, they begin to tear your work apart via email. See, the site's owners are scamming thier advertisers by posting stories of thier own, requiring the obligitory click and vote on thier story, which then pushes all other 'news' stories to the bottom. If a large payment becomes due at the end of the month, they will find some reason to 'downgrade' you to 'blogger' status, which is unpaid. All of the work you put in during the month, and that they recieved revenue for, will be shifted to the blogger section and you get nothing for your efforts. If anyone ever tells you the virtues of Digital Journal, run in the other direction.

Anonymous said...

As a writer with one of those sweat-shop sites, I have to say that I'm very glad I found your blog- I make VERY LITTLE MONEY writing for the site- it's sad because I would like to break away from this- these sites are actually hurting the writing industry by paying so little- they complain about the quality of their writer's work and yet they offer no financial incentive for their writers to improve their content- it is a hard cycle to break out of, when you must buy gas for your car and milk and bread for your table! I hope I can find suggestions from your blog for breaking out of this "writer's slavery" ! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you a bunch are not enough words for my gratitude towards you... You are doing a very good job... When I was frustrated and tired of lower payment, I came across your blog.....All the reference websites you have provided are very useful..... God bless!!!