The Struggling Writer

The chronicles of a freelance writer as he tries to make a living.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New Gig: Phoenix Special Needs Kids Examiner

I just got accepted to as the Phoenix Special Needs Kids Examiner. It's one of those "we pay you a part of the revenue sites". I've been reading about it and my hope is that I can swing $10-$15/hour writing for them.

"Wait a minute," I hear you say. "Didn't you quit a $10/hour writing assignment? What's going on, you big hypocrite???"

To which I reply, "Shut up!"

But seriously, folks, I thought a lot about the low pay. This is WELL below my usual writing fees and it's exactly the kind of job that I don't think writers should take as a rule. However, sometimes there's more to life than money.

I've talked occasionally that a big part of the reason I'm a freelance writer is it allows me to help care for my niece who has many neurological disabilities. All this time I've looked for an outlet that I can write about special needs kids but I have to balance that against the fact this is a job and I need to make money. I can't afford the time to write just for the heck of it.

This is a subject I know well and am passionate about. I can bang out postings with a minimum of research, thus improving my hourly rate. I don't expect this to be a lucrative assignment, but it's something that's important to me. After a few months if I'm not making some minimum rate I'm going to have to seriously consider walking away from it, but I'm hoping I can make this successful enough that I can justify my time.

The problem with LTK was that I didn't care about the subject. I had little control over content or keywords. The time spent formatting and cross linking and other nonsense was absurd. I'm excited about Examiner, not for the money but for the opportunity to help people in Phoenix and elsewhere deal with the issues surrounding raising a child with disabilities. My only regret is that I didn't get this assignment a couple of months ago because there have been some rather disturbing events surrounding state benefits to families with disabled kids but that's not going to end soon.

I plan to write about my Examiner experience a lot here, talking about techniques I'm using to generate traffic, find article subjects and so on. My plan is to openly discuss my earnings but I need to double check that with Examiner first. Some places forbid their people from discussing earnings, usually because they don't want people to realize just how little their authors make. In this case I think an earnings discussion is necessary because if you do take an assignment like this, you have to make it as lucrative as possible.



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