A blog for Kenyan iwriters. Get first hand information, gained from experience on how to survive on this competitive writing site, and get the best out of it.
A few weeks ago, I came across this awesome website. I liked the discussion going on. My usual curious self wanted to read more, so I subscribed to the website, and followed on Twitter. I even participated in one of the hashtag campaigns on Twitter. I liked the discussion. Better still, it got me thinking, ‘should we call the shots as writers?’ By this I mean, ‘should we sort of say how much to be paid?’
Moving away from Content Mills
Well, like I said, I followed the discussion. The elephant in the room was ‘moving away from content mills’. Well, I know many content creators work from content mills, so it may sound like this ‘move’ is sort of proud. On the other side, there is a possibility that we could be ‘underpaying’ ourselves.
The above sentiments are legit. Have you ever done a post, gave it your all, but when you remembered how much you were getting paid for it you got demotivated? Like a deflated ball? Here is a realistic view: most of the times, you only need an hour or so to put together a blog post. Where do you get the infor? On other sites. Remember, someone else put the effort to do a background research that resulted in the post. So, if you derive your content from their work, you have really not put in so much effort.
From the writer’s perspective, as you gain experience, you need to get paid more, right? If you are on iwriter, this could mean moving from standard to premium, premium to elite, and elite to elite plus. This takes time, and constantly getting high ratings.
$100 on Upwork
My earlier discussion was actually based on setting your rates. I actually read about a lady who set a rate of $100 per hour on Upwork. What? Well, she decided she was going to call the shots from the word go. She set up a very professional website and defined her clients. She targeted them. Another advantage that she had was that she has an educational background in the niche that she chose.
Well, I also attended a training by BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) during Storymoja Festival. The ‘moving away from content mills’ discussion made sense from the presentation.
Please note that I do not despise content mills by any standards. In fact, this blog is built on one! In my view, they are a great place to start. When you have worked for some time, you may get some really awesome customers that will help you a lot. You develop a customer relationship that could develop into a better business deal in future.
Why the move?
You need to move away from content mills if you want to expand yourself as a writer, and become an authority in your niche. Better still, it will help you get some passive income.
The way forward?
I can share some insight here, if your goal is to grow.
– Identify a niche that you are passionate about
– Identify your target audience
– Set up a website
– Self-host it
– Create original content (diversify it in terms of format- gifs, video, audio, infographics)
– Share via social media
It has never been wise to burn bridges. Like I mentioned, you could have established some great customer relationships on content mills. If they send you work, do it. If they refer to you, go ahead. I don’t see this as selling yourself shot. It is ensuring that your former clients can still speak well of you. You never know, they may be your first marketers when you rise.
Calling the shots? Yes, but very smartly.
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