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Old 01-25-2013, 06:10 PM
daytonjenn's Avatar
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Default Eggs in One Basket - A Little Surprised

I'm constantly surprised at the number of writers who seem to put all of their eggs in one basket. I was guilty of it back in the glory days at DMS. I spent so much time writing there that I rarely did anything for any other site. I lodged a complaint about an editor who claimed and sent back (later rejected) multiple articles, went to a family reunion, and came back to find that my writing permissions were denied. After that, I made sure to diversify, write for multiple sites/clients, and never focus too much on one site.

I was reading through another forum today where a group of writers were talking about quitting their other writing jobs or other work at home jobs to focus primarily on this one writing site. Granted the site had a ton of work leading up to Christmas, but work has been pretty sparse then. I started thinking about all of the times over the last year that I logged into the same site and saw no work or very little work for a large batch of writers.

Multiple people kept saying that the site "always" or "nearly always" has work, which surprised me because I know that isn't true. The funny thing is that this same site hasn't had work in a few days, and several people even mentioned that it was odd to talk about writing there full-time (or only there) when there was no work available.

I don't know, I just don't get why anyone would choose to focus on one site, especially in today's climate where content sites either disappear, change things completely, kick out writers, or don't have enough work to go around. It's likely that the people who said that are those who haven't yet experienced the terror of not having work. When DMS fired me, I completely freaked out. I had multiple bills coming up and I had to scrounge like crazy to find anything. It's just hard to believe that people would quit other jobs to stay with one site that might or might not have work available.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:18 PM
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I argree with you; it's NEVER a good idea to depend on one site only!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:19 PM
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I don't think it's smart to get all of your income from one source these days no matter what type of job you have. Even if I had an office job I wouldn't count on it for every cent. Even when I waited tables in college I fixed up furniture on the side and sold it through flyers on campus. When I worked as a reporter I sold on eBay on the side. I just don't feel comfortable putting my life in the hands of any one entity, but I guess that there are a lot of people out there who do.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:53 PM
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If I had the security of a "regular" job that paid as much as writing did, I would put all my eggs in the "real world" basket, especially if my skills and resume were up to par. You can always find another "real world" job easier than a high-paying contractor-based job or writing gig in my experience. I think (whether we choose to admit it or not), that we all have our preferences..,maybe a select couple or few clients or content mills that we prefer, whether for their available articles, the pay or the user-friendliness of the website. An established freelancer or writer understands the importance of multiple eggs, but I try to keep it paired down to five or fewer at any given time, personally, for sanity sake...lol.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purse-onality View Post
I try to keep it paired down to five or fewer at any given time, personally, for sanity sake...lol.
I'm the same way. I have three private clients and then I'm on with many mills. The three clients keep me busy, so I don't dare take anyone else on. As is, I'm putting in 12 hour days and still often have to play catch up on weekends. If things slow down, I'll start sending out queries/resumes, but I haven't been able to take new clients on in a year now, I don't have enough time.

A stomach bug knocked me down Thursday night and I'm still not 100% today, but I can at least focus on work, so today's turning into a catch up day. Plus, a friend of mine bought one of those memory foam mattresses and she and her husband tried it for a week, hated it, and couldn't return it They went out and bought a pillow top mattress instead, figuring they could sell the other through Craigslist, but no one wants a used mattress, so it's been sitting in her hallway for months. When I was talking about needing to buy a mattress, she brought the story up and asked if we wanted the memory foam one. I guess it's too firm, which suits me fine, I like a firm mattress anyway. And that means, there has to be some shifting of mattresses today.

It all leads to my belief that I either need a clone of myself or more hours added to the day.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:11 AM
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[QUOTE=anng;3074065
It all leads to my belief that I either need a clone of myself or more hours added to the day.[/QUOTE]

I feel the same way Anng LOL I try to keep at least 2-3 clients going at a time. Simply because I have been in the position where there was tons of work and then all of a sudden nothing. Makes for a bad week when you're not getting what you were expecting If my son was in school then I would probably be able to take more on but for now this works out best. I have some sites I can hop on if I need to make up income for the week but with the 3 things I have going right now it works out well. I homeschool so between that, working and all the Mom/wife things to do it would be nice to have more hours in the day LOL
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:39 AM
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I have one primary mill I work for, 2 private clients, and about 6 people I do overflow for on a semi-regular basis. It seems like a lot but it's all part time work so I just accept as much as I can to keep me working 10+ hour days throughout the week and meet my minimums. So far it has worked out for me and I don't get too overwhelmed. I have turned down overflow a few times in favor of client work but I can usually fit it all in.

I remember when I started I had DS as my one egg. I was new to freelancing and was just glad to find something after being laid off that would pay what I was making before. Of course I joined it late in the game and they went under after about 4 months. But when you're starting out, you don't realize how quickly mills move along, even clients. You think it will last forever, or at least as long as you need to find something else. You get comfortable and don't find good enough reasons to keep looking for private clients. After I lost the DS job, I started looking for a regular job offline but then a month later, found nothing and came back to freelancing.

I feel like it's one of those things where you kind of have to learn your lesson the hard way. I had people warning me to not just count on DS but of course I ignored them.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:54 AM
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Default eggs in lots of baskets

My method still is to focus primarily on one site for work, as I did with DMS. The problem previously was that when I was writing full-tilt for DMS, that was my one and only basket. When DMS imploded, my eggs took a big hit because the basket was gone.

The difference now is that although I still mainly utilize only one basket, I have a ton of other baskets that I use when I need to. Sometimes a basket shrinks dramatically and my eggs don't fit in it, so then I go to the shelf and pull down some other baskets. There's the DMS basket, the TBR basket, the WD basket, the MP basket and so on.

I am not sure it's entirely necessary to divvy up the eggs among several baskets at all times, though. I understand that a lot of writers prefer to have a different method than I use, such as putting the rent egg in the DMS basket, the phone egg in the TBR basket, the electricity egg in the WD basket, and the car payment egg in the MP basket. It seems to me that either way is fine, as long as plenty of baskets are always available.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:11 PM
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I just acquired another egg, which means I work regularly for 2 online companies, but I also get quite a bit of work from 1 small mainly ghostwriting company and infrequent work from a couple of others. I also am still technically with Textbroker, but haven't done anything there for several months. The 2 main online companies both require a certain number of hours from writers, so I've just started a major juggling act. But, it's better than not having enough!
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:59 PM
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I've learned this the hard way too. However, I can understand how some people end up relying on one egg. During this time last year I was writing on TextBroker and I acquired two private clients with steady work. I was also doing regular overflow for people. It became hard for me to juggle it all, especially as a single mother with limited resources. My son stopped napping last year (he was 2 and turned 3 in February) and I was basically alone. It was difficult to manage all these tasks so I eventually had to stop working for some.

My opinion would be that if you can get private clients, always put them first. Certain content mills, such as TB, will still be around if the private clients don't last long, even if you are inactive. Since losing my favorite private client (main client cut the workload) I've been working primarily for TB and doing one gig on oDesk for the time being. Still on the search for new private clients!
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