About 15 years ago, conventional wisdom asserted that unless you were a best-selling writer or had a steady gig with the New York Times (or similar high-quality paper or magazine), you couldn’t make it as a writer. There was definitely a bias toward freelancers that the market was tough, that it might take years or even decades to crack. Within the past decade, however, freelancers have found extraordinary new avenues for income because of the internet and the role it now plays in marketing and the dissemination of written information. Freelancers like me have been able to transform a part-time or side job into a full-time and uber-gratifying career on writing sites like Constant-Content.com.
Constant-Content is a long-established marketplace for written SEO-friendly content. Content, a catch-all term for various types of writing, can take a wide array of forms. Sometimes is pure journalism. Sometimes it’s destined to be featured online as well as in print. Content includes marketing materials, corporate blogs, product descriptions, web-page information, policies, white papers, and so much more. Constant-Content.com is a unique marketplace because of its dual structure. The site provides a platform where companies, organizations, or individuals can post jobs for the site’s network of professional writers and freelancers. The site also, and quite amazingly, features a massive content warehouse, if you will, of completed articles, blogs, reviews, and so forth submitted by the site’s more than 70,000 writers. A wide array of the site’s customers shop from this extensive catalog and may never even submit a formal request for a specific or group of writers.
The Important Part: Making Money on Constant Content
I have been writing for the site for about a decade. I worked as a small public library director (with glorious access to all the research any aspiring writer might need) when I started submitting to the site on a whim. As an English major who fell into library management, I always regretted not trying to pursue the writing career I wanted from the start. I chose Constant Content to try my hand at online writing and sales because the site was one of the few writing marketplaces that had positive reviews. People did sell material, they got to name their price, and they got paid through the site on time as promised. Ten years later, this is still how it goes.
Naming Your Price
One of the things I did when I started out was see what other writers were writing about and, more importantly, what was actually selling and for how much. I still do this from time to time, although I seldom generate unsolicited content anymore because I’m so busy writing for clients, but I always love to work on those unsolicited articles because I know they’ll sell–eventually–and they remind me why I love this work so much. When you submit unsolicited work, you’ll name your price. Most writers there tend to charge by the word. Depending on the scope of the work, a writer might want to charge for research time as well. It doesn’t matter; the fact is, you name your price. If it’s too high, it might not sell. It may never sell or it may sell in a few months. There’s no telling. If you price it reasonably, you have a good chance of selling it quickly–if the topic is hot, if the wind is right, if the ghost of Shakespeare is looking over your shoulder. Who knows? Again, there’s no way to tell, but my experience has been one of increasing success. The more I sold, the more I was able to make a name for myself on the site. Sales spelled credibility, but I also priced my work fairly and competitively.
When pricing, it’s important to remember that your cut is 65%. That’s not a 100%, alas. I’m not sure what the going rate for traditional agents is these days, but writers of yesteryear were often paying their agents, managers, and support staff a cut of their proceeds, and let’s not even get into what the publishers’ cut is on any published work. So, you price your work with something you can live with and go from there. I will tell you truthfully that I stopped begrudging CC their cut in the first few months I was on the site. They provide me a platform for my work, they pay proofreaders to check my work, they attract customers and clients to the site, they warehouse my catalog of work, and they ensure that customers pay so I don’t have to chase them down, bill them, or worry about any disagreements. Their cut is utterly worth it.
Of Course, You Have to Be Good!
I don’t want to pat myself on the back but I did win my 7th grade language arts medal, which hinted at my writing talent early on. I do have a BA and MA in English, so that helps too! It’s worth mentioning, however, that CC’s network of writers come from all sorts of backgrounds. There are journalists, marketing professionals, and even trained doctors submitting work to the site. The site reflects an international network of English-speaking writers who are from a myriad of different backgrounds. Many are trained in other fields but just happen to be good writers.
Even so, to make money on the site, you do have to write error-free material. All submitted work is edited or, rather, proofed. The editors don’t have to time to train people who can’t write well. CC is committed to offering high-quality content to customers, so amateurs without immediate promise won’t find a home here right away–at least, not until they improve their game.
If you think you might like to sell blogs, articles about gardening, or write for professional companies, you should take time to get to know the site’s platform. Once you understand the lay of the land, so to speak, you’ll be ready to write and submit work. It does take time to build your catalog and to attract repeat or regular customers, but I did it while already having a full-time career. Now that I write full-time, I can say with complete honesty that yes, you can, indeed, make money writing for Constant-Content.com.