My diary never paid me for writing

Nor did I expect a few years back that anyone would actually pay me for writing. But I got lucky and it happened last month. I just sent an article from the blog to an e-mail address. They were saying that trip101 was looking for writers. I’m no writer, but I thought it doesn’t hurt to try. After filling in a form, writing an article on a topic imposed by them and a Skype conversation, it happened. Not sure how come they’ve chosen me…maybe this blog also had a bit of a contribution? In any case, it seems that I’ve become a writer.

The contract – a few details

In all fairness, the payment is low, although they have high expectations. The guidelines are very well written, one has to read them all before starting to write. They only pay $10 dollars per article (each article should have at least 1000 words) and they want at least 10 articles per month. It does require some work (and good internet connection) to get the articles written. Although the job is fairly flexible, there are a few deadlines to respect.

The excitement of starting something new

March was the first month, so there are now 10 articles published by me on their website, hence I have to brag about them. Yuhuuuu! The articles cover a wide range of topics that I’ve suggested and they’ve approved: from Romania, to Namibia, to Botswana, to China. If you’re curious to see some of the articles I’ve written, you can find them here – no, they’re not paying me for this, I’m just bragging about the first articles I’ve written that actually brought me an income.

When something complicates, everything complicates

The deadline for submitting all articles was the 25th of March – bad timing considering that from the 8th to the 18th I hardly had any internet connection and on the 18th I had to get out of Namibia, without having any plan. So the week before the deadline transformed into a “internet hunting” game. It got better once I arrived in Maun, two days before the deadline. I have to admit that it’s been a while since I felt like during the exam period back in college – studying until the very last moment (in Romanian we say ”making the pig fat on Christmas Eve”).

Top 5 things to remember after the first month

While writing for trip101 during this month, I’ve learned a few things:

  • Articles that have a clear structure, with sub-titles for each section/paragraph are much easier to read (on my blog, I rarely structure my articles)
  • For SEO purposes, the article should have a short meta-description (I usually skip that step on my blog)
  • When using images available online, one has to make sure that they are marked for reuse, otherwise you might get in trouble for copy-right.
  • If I really have to, I can write fast and I can focus for a long period of time on writing. Except that when I write for my blog, I get sooo easily distracted by all sort of things like food, tea, whatsapp/wechat/qq messages, e-mails, youtube videos, pictures totally unrelated to whatever it is I’m looking for, ideas for other articles that I can write etc. etc. So I end up spending too long on just one article.
  • Having an editor makes life easier – I do try to avoid making any grammar/spelling mistakes etc, but sometimes it still happens, so it’s very useful when someone else double-checks when you’re done.

We shall see what the second month brings…meanwhile, I’ll try to apply some of the lessons I’m learning from my mini-job on this blog. Perseverance is the key to success, they say! Whatever success means, I don’t really know. In any case, we’ve started!

Copyright to brett jordan on Flickr

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