I’m not going to get all emotional or anything, but something a little bit sad happened today that happens to hit home on a personal level for me as a successful freelance writer.
When I first started my freelance writing business a few years ago, I did not really know how to go about finding freelance writing gigs without cold-calling businesses or waiting for someone who knew I was a good writer to ask me to write something for them. Obviously, this is a good way to both starve to death (waiting) and to crush your soul (cold-calling). For months I scoured the Internet looking at job boards, message boards, forums, and Craigslist, looking for ways to find freelance writing jobs.
I understand enough about business and the world in general that it is easier for me than some others to smell a rat. A lot of people just assume that whatever they read or hear must be true. The axiom that if it is too good to be true, it probably is, comes up short just enough times to make them wonder if maybe, just maybe, this time is different. Unfortunately, there are plenty of rats out there on the web, and a lot of them are all too eager to prey on entrepreneurs or beginning freelance writers. Luckily I was able to avoid them and succeed in starting a writing career on my own.
I also can read between the lines and know the difference between respect and envy. Many of the top bloggers out there are good at building traffic and selling ads and getting people to sign up for email lists and selling ad space on their websites. That does not mean that they are necessarily good writers. It does not even mean that they want to be writers at all. Many of them view writing content for websites as a necessary evil to keep from getting penalized by Google search results. Obviously, these are not good resources for those of us who actually aspire to be writers and want our success to come from the quality of our writing, not from begging other webmasters for links with the right anchor text to our keyword targeted webpages.
Freelance Writing Gigs
When I first found Freelance Writing Gigs at freelancewritinggigs.com I was skeptical. Why would someone give away lists of jobs being posted for freelance writers instead of selling access, or at least making people register and end up on a mailing list?
As it turns out, Freelance Writing Gigs was legit. It was run by a writer who just liked helping out other writers. (Sounds like someone else I know <grin>.) I never told anyone about the website even though it was one of the easiest writing job boards to find online. I figured, that filtering out the dumbest ones, the ones that couldn’t see how it was the best site out there, lowered the amount of chaff that needed to be sorted through for clients to find good freelance writers.
Like many websites and online businesses, it started out as a side business, one of those things that you hope pays for itself someday, but that you don’t really expect to ever get to use to pay the bills. Over time, Freelance Writing Gigs grew into a solid community of writers and a great resource for freelancers. I got my first writing gigs thanks to links from freelancewritinggigs.com and, more importantly, found numerous other online resources that I had not previously been aware of.
This week, the owner of FWG as it has become known around the online writing community sold the site to Splashpress Media.
I don’t harbor any ill-will toward the owner of the site. How can you complain when someone doing something valuable and time consuming for free decides to stop? However, I will be sorry to see it go. Splashpress Media indicates that they intend to carry on the FWG tradition, and they may well, but no matter if it is better or worse, it won’t be the same.
So long, FWG. You will be missed.