Change is inevitable, yet we often tend to resist it, even if it represents a GOOD change in our lives. Each new year typically brings change in some area or another, whether in our personal or professional lives, or both.
A major change that began in 2011 and continues into 2012 is the restructuring or closure of many of the so-called “content mills” that previously hired large numbers of freelance writers to produce content for numerous sites. These changes derived from Google changing its algorithm, which in turn affected search engine rankings – meaning lower revenue earnings for content companies.
I don’t even pretend to understand it all, but I’ve seen the results. A number of the companies I have written for over the past couple of years have either already disappeared or have so drastically changed their business models that it no longer makes sense to continue writing for them. Many well-known companies, such as Bright Hub, Demand Media Studios, and WiseGEEK, have either substantially reduced or stopped providing work for freelancers and have lost many good writers who weren’t willing to accept the changes or didn’t want to wait around to see what was going to happen – if anything.
While on the surface, this seems like a BAD change – the trend taking place is that truly professional and proactive writers are discovering a world of much better opportunities beyond content mills. Many of us – meaning me and my fellow writers with whom I regularly interact in virtual forums and support groups – have learned that private clients not only exist, but abound and need writers who can provide high quality, professional work. It often requires stepping outside your comfort zone, tackling different types of writing, or investigating whole new fields that are related to writing, such as curriculum development or resume writing.
Whether any content mills survive to see the next new year – who knows? But as long as there is an Internet, and site owners in need of content – as well as offline clients in need of various types of written material – the written word will continue to be in demand and writers who plan ahead should always be able to find work to maintain their freelance lifestyle.
“Seldom do your circumstances change without something first changing in you.” ~~ Joyce Meyer
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