Since this blog is all about helping writers earn more, it may seem strange to you that I do not provide any writing-job ads. I can tell you that I have no plans to add job listings, either.
I’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while, but let me share with you today the reasons why I don’t have job ads on Make a Living Writing:
- Most online job ads don’t offer good pay. Yes, there is the occasional real live, great-paying freelance writing job that pops up. I know because back when I was still scanning the online ads, I got a couple of them. But for the most part, the hours you have to spend sifting through the garbage (“Write us a sample for free!” “You’ll get exposure!” “We’ll pay you for traffic!” “We want you to post 10 times a week for $50!”) make trolling online job ads one of the least time-effective ways to find truly lucrative gigs.
- Writers already waste too much time on online job ads. Practically every writer I’ve ever worked with in my mentoring practice has confessed to me that they can easily blow four hours a day or more obsessing over these easy-to-find online ads, rather than turning to more effective marketing methods such as cold-calling, in-person networking, email marketing, using your social network, or sending well-crafted queries. It is so easy to fritter away the hours mooning over these ads, fantasizing about getting these gigs, and crafting submissions. I don’t want to contribute to this problem by listing more job ads here on the blog.
- Mass ads are too competitive. When you’re seeing a Craigslist ad, you know that 200 people are going to respond. Your simple odds of getting noticed and hired are tiny. Is this really the battle you want to fight? I try to encourage writers to seek out specialized, niche job boards such as Gorkana’s alerts on financial and healthcare-related writing jobs. I got a major gig off Gorkana this year, so I know this strategy works. Since I can’t possibly hunt up specialized jobs for everyone’s niche, I prefer to stay out of the whole job-board racket and steer people to good resources.
- Applying to online job ads is passive and often demoralizing. When you’re applying to online job ads, it’s a passive dynamic. You’re letting the universe tell you what’s available. Where with pro-active marketing strategies such as cold-calling, querying, or networking, you are empowering yourself to get the clients you want. This is the mindset I want to encourage writers to have — that you are in control of your freelance-writing career. Many writers have written to me about their feelings of despair at applying to jobs they know hundreds of others are going after. You can easily send 10 or 20 resumes a week and get not one peep. This does not help keep your psyche in a positive head space about being a freelance writer!
- Other writing sites have writer job ads already. If you still really want to troll the ads, you can head on over to Anne Wayman’s site, About Freelance Writing. She puts up job listings three times a week, and does a good job of compiling them from many sources. In case you’re wondering, I’m not recommending you look at her job ads because I’m putting on Webinars with Anne and like her personally, but because I think it’s useful that her ads are only three times a week and not every day. This performs a certain awesome triage in culling the ads, in that there’s usually a day or two of delay before her ads go up. That means all the really lame, mass ads will have dead links soon after she posts them — and that helps you avoid wasting time. Any professional company that needs something specialized and offers real pay will have their ad up for a week at least, so you miss nothing valuable. And it keeps you out of the cesspit of looking at online ads daily and wasting umpty-leven additional hours. If you commit to only looking three days a week instead of five, you’ve freed up two days for other marketing tasks that might prove more productive.
Do you think I should have online job ads? Leave a comment and let me know your experience finding work through the ads.
Photo via Flickr user an1m8or