Wednesday, February 29, 2012

*UPDATE* Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site:

I haven't updated this Examiner review in many years, so I figured now would be a great time. Things have changed a lot with Examiner since I first started. I was actually beginning to get some subscribers and readership. Unfortunately, something changed that ruined Examiner for me. 

I had one relatively good month. Back when Diablo 3 first came out, I wrote an article about the error codes many were experiencing when trying to play online. It was the only article I wrote that was promoted by Examiner on their Facebook, Twitter and featured pages. It was also before their site-ruining changes. I earned $150 that month from that article alone. Unfortunately, I would never again see cash from Examiner like that. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Freelance Writing Site:

Just did a video review of; a freelance writing site. Take a look at it and see what you think. If you're interested the go here and see what they have to offer. Again, be sure to vote on my poll and comment with any questions, comments or ideas.

Freelance Mike Out!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Writer For

Hello again! I recently applied to become the San Diego Examiner for Games and Technology. I am very excited about this site and, after using it for a bit, I will do a complete review, both written and video, covering everything I learn over the next few days. Hope everyone is enjoying the site and please vote on the poll below to let me know what you want to learn more about.

Thanks for your patronage and I look forward to your comments and votes.

Freelance Mike

Thursday, February 23, 2012

*UPDATED* Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site: MyAMS - Now with Freelance Writing Pay Rates

UPDATE #1: Quick update freelancers. My friend Stephen Davies commented something very useful to everyone looking for payment information regarding MyAMS aka His comment is at the bottom of this post but here is the meat and taters of it:

Good for starters or as a filler but better sites exist. Pay rates are really embarrassing for writers, no matter your experience level. Scripted is better, as is Great Content; Problogger for job hunts; iwriter is another abysmal site imo. One of the best ones is Writers Domain.

anyway on MyAMS, or London Brokers, rates are:
Minimum of 300 words: $2.00 per article
Minimum of 400 words: $3.00 per article
Minimum of 500 words: $3.50 per article
Minimum of 750 words: $5.00 per article
Minimum of 1,000 words: $6.50 per article

Writers Domain pay $15 minimum for 400 words. MyAMS want to pay $3.00....

They have been around for a while as their margins are probably high. They always win on the profits.

I have a LinkedIn group, over 5000 members, where writers discuss opportunities and how to find work every week. Do join as you can gain useful info.

Those rates are pretty much dead to rights. MyAMS is bad when it comes to pay and even worse when it comes to the amount of drudgery they expect from writers. You'll never get burned out quicker than when you write several UAWs in a day. Anyways, be sure to check out Stephen's LinkedIN group. It's an awesome resource for freelance writers and something you should keep in your toolbox.

UPDATE #2: Hello again everyone. It's been a few months but life got a hold of me and I had no time for writing. I'm going to start again though and would like to update my opinion of MyAMS. Let's jump right in.

I've read the comments below and looked into the policy over at MyAMS. On their FAQ they state:

Do I have to be a native English speaker?
Yes. This is an absolute must and there is no exception to this rule. If you are not a native English speaker but still join us, please note that we close your account and don’t pay you for the work you have delivered. We also don’t use the articles you wrote of course.
We have writers from USA, Canada, England, South Africa.

This is taken directly from their FAQ and is ridiculous to me. Wouldn't you make that decision according to the skill of the writer? Not their nationality. I know many excellent non-native writers. I've looked into this more and realized that MyAMS is not the only site that does this. Most Pay-upfront sites require the author to be from an English speaking country. I guess it's just the name of the game.

On to another thing I've noticed over the two or so years I've been associated with MyAMS. Their affiliate pay scale, and pay in general, is pretty low for the amount of writing. I've stopped writing all together for them as the amount of time versus the price per article is unbalanced. Also, I have over 500 affiliates and receive maybe $10 every 2 to 3 weeks. That's it. I feel they either don't register all of my affiliates or they don't pay when I've been inactive for a couple weeks. When I do log-in I typically have to click a link that "reactivates" my account. I think that's just a slick way to not have to pay.  Thanks for reading.

Okay, so this is a freelance writing site that I work for as an affiliate. I want to be upfront with that. However, I am going to try my best to provide a completely unbiased review. The site has many unique features and the pay is decent; you're not going to get rich from it, but you can make a relatively good wage and they pay every Friday morning through PayPal or Payoneer. So, let's get started.

The Pros of Freelance Writing for this Site

MyAMS has a unique Job Board that, on average, has upwards of 500 projects available at any time. They also include a couple different types of bonuses. The first type is a 5% bonus on all there articles that are not urgent. A writer can get this bonus by turning in the project within 24 hours. In regards to the second type of bonus, it works a little differently. This bonus is based upon an urgent article. These are projects that typically have less than 24 hrs to complete. They pay an extra $1.10 depending on the urgency of the project. By examining the job board, you can find projects that are urgent and pay a lot more for a lower word-count. This a good way to make extra money while doing less work.

Another cool thing that this freelance site offers is titles. Each title pays 1 cent. Most projects need 25 titles. Some need 100 or more. The great thing about the titles is that MyAMS provides what they call a title spinner. This unique widget can help you create the titles quickly. For example, 25 titles typically take about a minute to create. So, it is important to look for projects that need titles as this is a very simple way to make some quick cash.

They also offer a comprehensive help page and Live Support. The help page covers every type of project they offer, how to use their system and a plethora of other advice. It also has numerous video tutorials that are very helpful. The Live Support is almost always on line and you can have any questions answered immediately. When they are offline they will get back to you quickly with answers to any questions.

The Cons of this Freelance Writing Site 

The site is still under development, so if you dislike ugly websites then you will hate this one. It's plain but functional. However, some of their seemingly simple functions do not work as intended.

As an affiliate for their freelance writing site I have noticed that not all of my writers show up on my payment page. I have contacted their accounting department about this and still have not received an answer. It makes me worry that I am missing out on payments because they are not properly tracking what my writers turn in.

You will not get rich from this website. However, it is a good starting point and they always pay. The only bad part is that they take full control of your work once you submit it, so there is no real way to build a portfolio through this freelancing site.

There are a ton of projects to choose from, but many of them can be very boring unless you simply enjoy writing no matter the topic. Most are UAWs which includes 1 original and 2 rewritten articles. This can become an arduous task when you do them over and over.

So, Why Should Freelance Writers Work For AMS?

There are many reasons. The most simplest is that you can completely stop bidding on freelance sites and work strictly for them. You will typically make more money than projects on the aforementioned websites and you will never have to worry about getting screwed out of a payment by an unscrupulous employer. Which I have experienced many times, and I am confident you all have as well. They pay every Friday morning and there payment screen does a relatively good job of tracking your jobs and how much you are owed.

After a year or so of working for other auction sites I finally discovered MyAMS and was ecstatic that I could finally pick and choose the projects I wanted to do. The Job board is by far the coolest thing I have seen. It tells you everything you need to know in a glance; how much the project pays, the deadline, any applicable titles and any special instructions.

If you're tired of placing bid after bid on site after site then I highly suggest you check-out MyAMS. Or, watch my freelance writing video reviews on my channel and embedded here.

Thanks for reading and Freelance Mike Signing Off!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

HELP! I Need Freelance Writing Ideas!

I finished a really fun and, hopefully, helpful video and written review of ContentSpree; a new freelance site strictly for writers. But now I am lost as to what to write about next. I need your help here. It's really simple though.

Just vote on the poll below and let me know what you want to learn more about. Once I get a few votes on a certain topic, I'll write a post covering it.

Or, leave a comment. Ask a question or tell me one of your ideas. I am always learning new things from other freelance writers. In this way we can help each other and, hopefully less experienced writers will pick-up a thing or two along the way.

In this world of internet entrepreneurship, the freelance writers in the mix need to stick together and help each other as much as possible. That is my sincere goal and I want to jump-start that community cohesiveness here.

So let's do it. Let me know what your thinking, where your concerns lie and I will do everything I can to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

Freelance Mike Out!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site: ContentSPREE Buyers Side

So I finally found the time to write this review of the buyers side of ContentSpree. If you read or watched any of my previous posts then you are familiar with the basics of this new freelance writing site. I spoke with Andrew, the webmaster of CS, about his goals and future plans for this writers-only-website. His excitement and energy about the direction of CS and his genuine desire to provide a better, securer atmosphere for buyer and seller piqued my interest. Over the course of this series of freelance video reviews I have seen Andrew's ideas begin to take shape. This review is going to cover the buyer's side, so I will start with those changes.

Already, over the course of a week, the amount of quality writers available has risen tremendously. When I say quality I mean the exact definition of the word. I have used many other sites to hire proofreaders and editors for my work, as I do not have the best grammar (I am sure some of you have noticed), with typically the same results: digging through dozens of useless bids to, hopefully, find that one person who can actually meet your needs. Then, if your lucky, that one person might complete the project to your liking. That's if your lucky. Andrew and I agreed about the lack of writing specific freelancers on the other websites. It seems CS is on it's way to becoming a hub for talent in an internet field that is rapidly growing.

And I really think that is what Andrew is trying to provide on the buyer's end of CS. A place where the growing masses of internet businessmen and women can find skilled and professional individuals to provide them with intelligently built content.

As I browsed the different categories of writers and read their profiles, I found legitimate credentials in their resumes and flawlessly written articles in their samples. I inspected a few written by a person who claimed to be skilled in SEO and keyword placement. I  know a thing or two about these tactics as well, so I figured I would put his content through the Freelance Mike Inspection for Quality Assurance (actually, I just made that up but I did go over his work thoroughly). I found them to not only have proper keyword density and placement, but to read naturally and flow perfectly. His grammar (as far as I could tell) was impeccable and the point of each article was clearly and concisely made. All in all, ContentSpree does not lack for talent.

One of the main points Andrew made as we spoke was ease-of-use. He certainly achieves that with this Beta version of CS. The site is simple to navigate and easy to traverse. He provides multiple ways to access various areas and it's ridiculously easy to post projects. Want to invite a writer to a job? Simply jump to their profile page and click invite, a box pops up to confirm and they're encouraged to bid through a message sent to their inbox. With notifications, the writer will receive an email as well. If there are a few writers that have worked well in the past or just ones that meet your requirements simply add them to a watch list and they're easily accessible anytime you post a new project.

ContentSpree is still in Beta testing so I'm sure a lot of Andrew's other ideas will be implemented over the coming months. As it is right now, I think CS has the potential to be one of the better freelance writing sites available. And the fact that it is strictly for writers and the buyers that need their work is what I like the best. I believe that the growing market for internet content will help propel CS and Andrew's past experiences and future goals will make it a profitable venue for individuals to ply their written web wares.

Be sure to read and watch the previous segment of this series and my freelance writing reviews.

Until next time, this is Freelance Mike signing off.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Freelance Writing Site Strictly For Writers: ContentSpree

Here is the buyers side video that I put together. Take a look at it and decide for yourself whether this Freelance Writing Site can be beneficial for you.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Freelance Writing For Profit: ContentSpree's Video

Hello all! It's me again, Freelance Mike, with a quick post and video. As you all have seen I have been reviewing a Beta freelance writing site called ContentSpree that is, finally, strictly for writers.

Andrew, the Webmaster of CS, has an energy about him that came through during our Skype convo. His plans and ideas are unique and interesting and I wanted to share their freelance writing video here. We went over many things that can be watched here and read here.

So take a look at their quick video plan-of-action, so to speak, and decide for yourself if CS is worth checking out.

Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site : ContentSPREE Writers

First off, I would like to thank Andrew - the Webmaster at ContentSPREE - for giving me an exclusive interview of his beta freelance writing site. We had a good discussion about the future of ContentSPREE and what he wants to do differently than other providers. He had many interesting points concerning future plans and his back-story is just as compelling. I'd like to cover them all here as well as an overall review of the beta site.

Watch "Let's Review A Freelance Writing Site : ContentSPREE Writers" to learn more.

Now as Andrew and I spoke over Skype he explained in detail his vision for his site. But before I go into that I would like to fill you in on his background and why he decided to create CS. It's highly relevant because I believe we all have gone through what he did.

Andrew began just like 99% of freelance writers out there, myself included: Bidding on multiple projects on multiple sites. Bidding on project after project only to have it suddenly closed, awarded to another writer or, if luck (or bad luck) was on his side, himself. After dealing with unscrupulous employers that never paid, user-UNFRIENDLY interfaces that took hours to setup a simple profile, low-pay for writers and lax security for buyers, Andrew had seen, learned and been upset and angered enough to create a plan; a vision.

This is his vision:

•    Ease of use

Through Andrew's dealings, whether good or bad, with other freelance sites he began to see a disturbing trend. As he explained it to me, and I am paraphrasing here, "Most sites are extremely difficult to navigate. And when I say that I mean on both sides of the coin: the writer’s side and the buyer's side. The navigation is confusing and typically difficult to use. With ContentSPREE, we want the writer to be able to easily jump from open projects to works-in-progress without having to switch screens or even tabs. We want to streamline the entire bidding process and make it quicker and more efficient for the writers."

He said that last after we both had agreed and laughed about the arduous and time devouring nature of other freelance sites and their bidding processes.

In my honest opinion, Andrew has delivered a sound platform that is simple to use.  When you check out the video reviews of ContentSPREE you'll see more clearly what I am describing here. Because if a picture is worth a thousand words then what's a video worth?

•    Higher Pay For Writers

As we continued our discussion, Andrew went on to describe how he wanted to implement new ways to pay writers more for their work. A current implementation on the Beta version is a higher minimum bid than any similar freelance site that I have seen. This basically means that ContentSPREE will only allow employers to post projects at a set lowest bid amount. On Andrews’ site it is currently set at $50 with no way for the buyer to lower that amount. This translates into more money for the writer.

Some of his future ideas are interesting and promising for a freelance writer. He mentioned increasing pay based on word count and higher payments depending on the type, urgency and difficulty of the project. These are all unique and clever ideas that I have never seen on a bidding portal such as this and if Andrew follows through with them all then I have no doubt that his site will prosper and help writers do the same.

•    Contests

Another idea he briefly went over was contests. We’ve all seen the typical contests on other sites. They are difficult to enter, require massive amounts of input and entries and, sometimes, even cost the writer to participate. Andrew wants to go in a completely opposite direction. However, as he explained it, he’s treating it as an experiment and has not decided on whether he will implement it into the finished website. I explain how his current contest concept works in my freelance writing video review.

The number one thing that I love about CS so far is that it is strictly for writers. There is absolutely no competition between web-designers/writers or logo creators/ghost writers, etc., etc. When you bid on a project your bidding against other writers only. This ensures quality freelancers for the employers, which is very important for the overall prosperity and growth of this freelance writing website. I delve into the buyer side of CS in an upcoming video and written review.

I have high hopes for Andrew’s direction with ContentSPREE. This could be a prosperous and reliable source of lifestyle sustainable income for anyone that can write fluently in the English language.
Be sure to watch the video review and make any comments you like. I would love to hear about what you think, any new things you may have learned or answer any questions you may have. Stay tuned.

Freelance Mike Signing Off!