Getting a Better Gig

Maybe you should consider branching out.
 You don't have to settle.  Ever.

In my blog stats this morning, I discovered that someone found FWT by searching "content mills" because of a post I wrote on the controversy surrounding content mills

Someone else found this blog today by searching "not accepted at Demand Media Studios" because of my post on how some people choose to write for Demand Media Studios.

It made me think...

If Demand Media Studios didn't pick you for their stable, SO WHAT

That doesn't mean you're not a good writer.  What it means is now you've got a better opportunity.  I'm not knocking Demand Media Studios - for some writers, they're a great option.  I am saying that some writers toil away for Demand Media Studios and neglect the bigger picture - and the bigger picture is all about getting bigger, better clients.

My only personal problems with Demand Media Studios are:
  • The pay is low
  • The well could dry up
But those are my personal problems with them - I always say that if you're happy getting what you're getting, then it's nobody's business but yours.

What if I could suggest an alternative to writing a $15 piece for Demand Media Studios?

Even if you already write for Demand Media Studios, skip a How-to and try what I'm about to suggest instead.  If you've been rejected by Demand Media Studios, it's not going to hurt you to try, either.

Ok, so you'll temporarily miss out on your 15 bucks.  Don't worry about that now, ok?

Let's say it takes you a half-hour (Jeez, I hope so) to write that $15 How-to.  Try spending a half-hour doing this instead - and let's see where it gets you.

Your Half-Hour: The Breakdown

These are five-minute sections, so you'll see six steps.

Step 1 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

Create a Craigslist account.  It's easy, and it's free.  They'll ask for your phone number, and they'll send you a text to which you reply with a secret code.  This will take about two minutes.

Think of the name of your small-town newspaper and scribble it down on a Post-it.  If you don't live in a small town, think of the small town(s) nearby.  Scribble down every small-town newspaper name that comes to mind.  Rack your brain so you use your remaining three minutes.

Step 2 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

Open up your word processor program.  Come up with five ways your writing skills can help businesses.  Here are a couple of suggestions to shave a few minutes off your time:
  • Words sell products
  • People can't buy unless they've been informed
  • Your writing skills save business owners/execs time because writing is just downright difficult
You get the picture.

Now put those five ways into words that focus on your potential clients - NOT on you.  Try something like this:
Writing quality sales copy takes your valuable time...

Your five minutes is up.

Step 3 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

Log in to your Craigslist account.  Go to the city or town you want to advertise your mad skillz to - and remember, people in NYC and LA have more money than they do in El Paso, Texas.  There's also a much bigger pool of potential clients.

Copy and paste the wonderful text you just wrote into an ad.

If you have time left, change the words a bit and post it in a different city.

Step 4 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

Write - in about 15 to 20 words - a service you provide and the price.  It should look like this:
Affordable press release to advertise your business: only $299. Call Angie at (808)111-1111.

Step 5 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

Visit the site of one of those local, small-town newspapers and find the "Classified" section.  Oh, my goodness - look at that.  If your product or service is under three hundred bucks, it's free to post a classified ad.  (If it needs to be under a different amount, advertise a different service - like four pages of content for $199, or two for $99 - you get it.)

Post your free ad.

Step 6 to Getting a Better-Paying Gig than Demand Media Studios:

You can either take your last five minutes to post your free ad in other papers' classified sections or you can get on your Facebook page and use the "Note" function to copy and paste what you used for the Craigslist ad.  Then let all your Facebook friends know and ask them to share it.

Sooooo... why am I saying all this works?

I've gotten clients from Craigslist (in fact, my first two private clients came from there, and I still write for them both).

I've gotten calls for press releases because I placed a short, free classified ad in a local paper.

I've gotten clients from Facebook because friends passed my links around.

Give it a shot.  If it doesn't work, you're only out 15 bucks and a half-hour - if it does, you'll make more money than you would've at Demand Media Studios anyway.

Have you done any of these things and met with success?  Have any other alternative suggestions?


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© Angie Papple Johnston 2010. Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.

Image courtesy of StellaB at