The life of a freelance writer

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

San_Diego_Reflecting_Pond

It’s funny how I started off this blog on a sour note. Yes, I was complaining about the way things are as a freelance writer, and the fact that we seem to be taken advantage of more and more these days. The influx of cheap, mechanically spun, and unreadable content is flooding the internet like an overflowing taffy machine. The cleanup is going to be brutal. And hey, that is why Google keeps changing their algorithms so much. And those people that post jobs for such little money don’t realize that they are part of the problem. But I digress…because I have to right now. The idea of this post wasn’t to come whining again. No ladies and gentlemen, it’s due time I put together some sort of testament to where I am and how I got started. So grab yourself a tea, or a beer, whatever suits you and enjoy the read. It’s actually pretty interesting if I say so myself.

It all started in 2005 when I had been online for a few years and was just learning about computers, internet, and all the cool things that started happening. At that time, Google had just launched Adwords which was a pay per click advertising system. Why was this so awesome? Well it meant at that time, that you could easily build some simple landing page with a product to sell, then post some ads with the keywords for that product, and if you bid enough for each click you would get, you would show up on the first page in Google search results. It was a time when had I known what I was doing, I could have made a lot of money. I remember telling my friend Joe that we were both going to have Porsche’s. Did I get my car? No. Did Joe get his car? Well yeah, a few years later he got a Volkswagen. My point is that we didn’t know what we were doing and we didn’t have a chance. I lost a few hundred bucks not knowing what I was doing wrong. And those online guru’s who were selling all those cool ‘get rich overnight’ schemes got, well…rich overnight and left people including myself with nothing but spaghetti in our wallets. I learned things the hard way. I lost money the hard way. It wasn’t cool at all. But I didn’t give up.

I was born in San Diego, California where the sun shines all year around, and the beach is not so far away when you need to get away from it all. Apparently this wasn’t good enough for me. I ended up in Seattle, Washington somewhere with a crazy idea to go to Russia to meet the girl of my dreams. Yeah, I had already met her online and I was madly in love with her. At that time I have 30 websites up and running and was using Google Asense which is a free advertising platform you can use on your websites. If someone clicks on the ad, you gain some of the ad creators revenue. Sometimes it’s pennies and sometimes it’s more. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself here. I was also working on some project that had to do with Twitter. Twitter had just come out a few years before this and although it floundered like a fish on dry land for those first few years, it was starting to become popular. I had also learned a neat trick called affiliate marketing. I was not working for anyone else. I was working for myself online. I was making enough money that I was able to get my passport, get a Visa to Russia, and buy my tickets to go see this girl I was head over heels for. Did I do this? Yeah. I told myself every single night ‘You can do this, and you will do it’ and I did do this. Not only that, but while I was in Russia, there was some terrible fires one summer. The smoke in Moscow from the peat moss fires was bad enough that you couldn’t breath. So, I sold one of my websites, bought me and my girlfriend two round trip tickets to Spain. We stayed for 25 days. How many people do you know take a 25 day vacation? Those were the days and to be completely honest with you, one day I made $1500 cash in hand from affiliate marketing from one tiny free ad I wrote. The next day I had another $800, then the next day $400. Not too bad for some creative writing and selling the right product to the right crowd of people.

But things change, and the internet changes. Suddenly those sites where I was able to post free ads, saw the money they were losing. Instead they pulled all commenting and posting of links. Now these sites post their own ads and the little guy like me, ends up being the loser. Suddenly my income dried up and I was not so cool anymore to my Russian girlfriend.

In 2011 I ended up going back to San Diego with 2 suitcases and my ‘not-so-bushy’ tail between my legs. The Russian girl waited until I got home to email me and tell me goodbye. So yeah, that was terrible, and I learned some terrible things about the real world, and to never trust someone if they say they love you. Game over.

So it’s been a few years and I still haven’t had a day job. I’ve been online making money. Not a lot of it, but I have been selling my services as a writer for SEO content, doing creative writing here and there, and trying to get myself back in the game. Currently I study search engine optimization and how it affects writing. I am learning about guest blogging, and anywhere else I can use my skills, and my talents as a writer in the real world. I’ve always been good at telling stories, and you’ve not even heard the best. My life has been one wild ride. I have been to Russia, Germany, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, and I now live in Kiev, Ukraine. I was here during the revolution, and I’ve been sitting here in Kiev knowing that a huge Russian army is sitting on the border just waiting. How is that for fun! How I got here, I’m still not sure. The funny thing is I am a Taurus and we really hate all that moving around and no real place to call home. I guess I was meant to travel, and travel good I have. I’m a freelancer at Elance. It’s not a glamorous job. It’s more like the McDonalds of freelancing where it’s up to the freelancer how much they want to humiliate themselves. Me, I’d prefer to stay on top of things. I don’t take jobs writing 500 words for $1 and not even $5. I’m better than that. I’m a real world writer, and I’ve got the vocabulary and the skilled to prove it. What will I do now? It’s hard to say where fate will take me. Perhaps I will be as good of a writer as Stephen King one day. Well, maybe not…that guy is creepy! But one thing is certain; I’m keeping my head up. My father, the retired US Marine said to me once ‘chin up and eyes forward’. Good words that I live by. Words that keep me sane, and keep my spirit lifted.

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