Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jumping for Joy: My 1st Big Freelance Writing Success

Ever wonder if you can really make money writing articles? I've been trying to do just that -- for about nine months now -- mostly freelance writing for the Yahoo! Contributor Network (YCN). I've had some modest success here and there, but then had to take a break during July (family-in-the-hospital stuff). When I got back to writing again in late July, I had my first big breakthrough success with one article.  

Like the omg! oMG! OMG! the page views just soared in one day big success!

Like 180,000+ page views! Like $200 worth of page views!

I was so stunned and giddy that I wasn't able to concentrate enough to write much afterwards - LoL! Here's the scoop on what happened:

Getting Freelance Writing Assignments for Yahoo! Sports:
  • I grabbed an open assignment from the YCN assignment desk for the Olympics (Archery TV schedule). Although tedious, it was easy to write. The Yahoo! Sports editors accepted and published the article, so YaY!
  • Picked up another Yahoo! Sports assignment from the YCN desk the following week. Several college football articles were offered like team profiles, stadium guides and such.  I tried a few of those, but they just didn't work well for me - like I had writers block or something. Then I tried again with something fun: my Florida Gators Tailgating Guide.
  • Then a steady stream of Olympics assignments appeared in the assignment desk all the way up to the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and well, really... throughout the whole thing. Again, I grabbed several assignments and tried, but just struggled to get much of anything together for most of the topics (athlete profiles, venue guides, etc.). Except for one topic that almost seemed to write itself...
Writing the Article:
  • So my big blockbuster success article was about the Olympics closing ceremony traditions
  • It was fun to write about because I love the Olympic ceremony shows and I learned some fun things I didn't know before when doing the research. The words seemed to just easily flow into the article.  
  • The Yahoo! Sports editors had given an example to use for the format. I followed the example, but added a separate "Fun Fact:..." sentence below each paragraph in the subheadings. The editors must have liked it.... 

Waiting is the Hardest Part:
  • The editors accepted it pretty quickly - YAY! The upfront was a whole $5, but I was hoping that since the Olympics coverage on Yahoo! was the hot feature thing at the time, that my article would get some substantial views. Like 10K or more page views to break my previous 8.5K page views. 
  • On Sunday, the day of the closing ceremonies, I was surprised and excited that it had received almost 20K page views. I assumed the numbers would then trail off after that. 
  • On Monday, the page views skyrocketed to around 180K+. The best part? I get a $200 page-view-performance bonus!  Stunned and giddy, I couldn't concentrate enough to write much for at about a week or so afterwards. 

It got better after that too! I soon got several "targeted assignment" offers to write for the U.S. Tennis Open. I accepted several of them and when I went to start writing one, noticed that the editor's example to follow that was given in the assignment was my very own Olympics article - how frickin cool was that! 

So writing freelance articles for Yahoo! Sports  -- my new favorite writing venue! I've read in the YCN forums that there's a reason why page views for sports articles are consistently better - but I'll share more about that next time.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog & please feel free to comment and share your writing successes or goals in the comments section.  

Image: speedy2 at sxc.hu