Years ago, all I knew was that I wanted to find a way to make some money online and my strongest talent was writing. So I figured that's what I'd offer clients --- writing services as a freelancer, right?
Well...I didn't really understand just how awful (and hilarious) it would be working as a "content writer" for people who needed it on just about every topic imaginable.
I've heard many people over the years claim that a decent writer with real talent can literally write well about "anything" regardless of whether they have an intimate knowledge of the subject matter...
I guess now I look back and know why that is!
I figured I'd share some of the actual topics I wrote about for clients in my earliest days, to give others who are just starting out an idea of what they can expect and everyone else a good, hard laughing fit.
First, there was a large volume of stuff related to Internet Marketing, which everyone would expect, with topics such as:
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Domain Brokerage
- Facebook Tips/Tutorials
- Twitter Tips/Tutorials
- Social Media Tips/Tutorials
- LinkedIn Tips/Tutorials
- Business Blogging
- Video Marketing
- Wordpress Plugins
- Search Engine Optimization
- Copywriting Tips
- Graphic Design
- Web Hosting
- Making Money Online
No big surprises there or anything...
Next, there were the popular Evergreen Niches like Health, Weight Loss, Fitness, etc.
- Tips for OCD
- Eating Disorders
- Asperger's Syndrome
- Social Phobia
- Contact Lenses
- Laser Tattoo Removal
Although the outer fringes of what would fall into that category started to get comical at times...
- Online Dating for Gay Men
- Feminization Hypnosis
- Summer Fitness/6 Pack Abs
- Yellow Diarrhea Causes
And NO, I'm not joking.
Yes, someone DID actually have me write a 700 word article about what causes yellow diarrhea.
Then I'd get some clients who just had a batch of keywords already in a spreadsheet and I had to create a certain volume of content around them.
For example, one client had an e-commerce site that sold various types of cookware.
And for that project, I was simply told to write stories about cooking or food that were "enjoyable to read" and which featured the following keywords:
- Chef's Knives
- Induction Cooking
- Silicone Bakeware
Some had already chosen the titles of the articles they needed me to write:
- Gemstone Classification
- Gemstone Values
- The 6 Ages of Antique Jewelry
Those are pretty boring, so here are a few of the more "unexpected" topics (and yes, every one of these is an actual topic I was paid to write about).
- Handling Objections
- Hostile Work Environments
- How to Sell Products in Walmarts
- Hiring an Architecture Firm in UK
And if you think it sounds boring as hell to write about these things, we're just getting started!
Even worse than writing original content on a boring topic is being paid to REWRITE existing articles about things like:
- Optimized Closet Systems
- Windmill Electricity
- Floor Rugs
And just when you thought it couldn't get worse (it can, trust me) someone approaches you with already written articles about FLOOR RUGS and asks you if you can rewrite them to "pass Copyscape" FOUR TIMES.
Oh, and it's on FIVERR.
Yes, this happened.
And yes, I did it.
Sentence. By. Sentence. Four. Times. Each.
Just to show you what that might look like:
|"Floor rugs can be seen from the most lavish palaces to the more common and humble homes."|
1. Floor rugs are commonly found in dwellings both grand and quaint. |
2. Floor rugs are universally featured in homes of different class and grandeur.
3. No matter how fancy or simple a home is, floor rugs are found in all different types.
4. Floor rugs can be found in the extravagant mansions of the rich, as well as the more modest homes of the world.
I was more than a little anxious to find some longer-term clients with bigger, more serious projects to work on.
So I was pretty excited when someone hired me to write an entire YEAR worth of autoresponder emails for them!
They all had to be about "How to Invest in Penny Stocks" and he wanted at least half of them to be active promotions for Clickbank products that quite frankly looked like total scams.
After writing 36 emails for him, I had to freakin' quit before I lost my mind and all my self-respect.
Another one of my earlier experiences with a "bulkier" project was when one of my clients who did SEO work for clients of his own approached me and asked if I could pump out a bunch of 150 word blurbs on a list of keywords he would provide.
Sure I could! 150 words is almost NOTHING, right? That should be a breeze, go ahead and send me the list!
Here it was:
- Asics Trainers
- Barbour Jackets
- Dental Implants Cost
- Botox Leeds
- Exercise Mats
- Find a Bookkeeper in London
- Fred Perry
- Jack Jones
- Kids Swimwear
- Maximise Stag Do
- Military Clothing
- NHS Dentist Finder
- Solid Oak Kitchens
- Stand Out Designer Clothing
- Trail Running Shoes
- Underfloor Heating Cost
- Wooden French Doors
- Yoga Clothes
- Mens Hats
Well...so much for that theory. LOL ;-)