As a freelance writer, it is important to pay attention to who you write for. I learned some lessons from a site called Today.com. If you look it up, you will see it has been bought out by the Today Show. It no longer exists as a place to blog. The blog has now moved to Blogdog. All of our articles with it.
I recently wrote a post about the move. At the time, I was optimistic about it. However, since then, lots of things have changed. You can no longer access any of your posts, but your posts are still live! So, someone is getting money and it is NOT you! It is a scam!
I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND BLOGDOG! I repeat, do not sign up with Blogdog as a freelance writer. If you don’t want to take my word for it, read this blogger’s post about the Today.com scandal. In addition, I found an old ad to sell the BlogDog site from 2006. Interesting read.
Things I Learned from the Today/Blogdog Scam
- Make copies of everything you post. Even though I can currently cut and past everything from the Blogdog site, who knows what the future holds! If a site goes completely off the air, you will lose EVERYTHING!!
- Pay attention to the success of a site. If a site is not doing so well and it seems to be going downhill, they may be pulling the plug. This is no guarantee, but it may happen. Stay on top of blog posts and news about the site. If you notice lots of change (for the worse), it may be a good time to start thinking about juggling your work to a better site.
- Do a online search. One way to look at this is to run a search on the site and see what others are thinking or talking about. I found this blog called To To Hell with Today.com. Basically, it is filled with the bitching of Today.com exiles. The site existed before Today.com sold their domain name to NBC. Maybe this was foresight?
- Stick with well-established active sites. There are plenty of reputable sites out there that will give you opportunities to freelance write. Find a couple that suite you and stick with it. I have decided to go with three, plus my two blogs.
- Read the sites forums. Stay on top of what is going on with other writers and the administration. Some people will complain regardless, but it is a good place to get the lowdown. You do not have to spend hours in these forums, but have a peek. If there IS no forum or community support for the writers, it may be a place you do not want to consider.
- Read the fine print. This is important whenever you sign up with a new site. There may be stipulations in pay, duplicated content, putting your work on other sites, and other legal jargon you may want to be up to speed on.
- Control your own site. While reputable sites like Suite 101, eHow, and HubPages have high Alexa and page rank, you do not have complete control of those websites and your articles. You may not get the traffic right away, but you still have 100% control of your own site.
Freelance writing can be a lucrative career and an enjoyable one. I would not let this scare you away from putting articles on sites. Just stay aware, be smart, and keep track of your work!