In my time online, I’ve mostly done ghostwriting, blogging, and freelance writing. I’ve put a lot of effort into improving in those areas and bought countless courses and participated in various collaborations to help boost my productivity and my success. I’ve learned a few things along the way about being productive, finding success, and what ‘coworkers’ are like online. Some of them are quite negative and today they are all sitting heavy on my mind, so I thought writing about it would get it out of my head and, hopefully, allow me to move on with a little more optimism.
1. Most People Don’t Want To Help You Out
I’ve done many collaboration challenges over the years, and I’ve put a ton of effort into them. Not just in writing, but giving feedback, leaving comments on other people’s blogs, and being genuinely interested in what other people are doing and how they are doing it. That’s the whole point of collaborating, right?
What I’ve noticed is that my interest in other people doesn’t seem to be reciprocated a lot of the time. Most people want you to see their work and help them out, but they are not willing to help you out in areas that you need it most.
For instance, leaving comments on each other’s blogs is a great way to help each other out in the blogging world, but most people don’t do that, and if they do they are very generic comments that don’t contribute at all to the article.
To me, it’s just like having co-workers. Even when I worked offline, I would help out coworkers without expectation of recognition. I wasn’t a goody-two-shoes, but I gave a shit about other people. I even remember some coworkers getting praised by our boss for things that I had done. It never bothered me because my whole intention of helping people out was to help them have more success in whatever they were doing. So I was glad that it had worked.
Most people won’t go out of their way to help you out and improve your success.
- They want the raise.
- They want recognition.
- They want positive feedback.
- They want the comments.
So why would they help you get those things?
That mentality is totally wrong in my mind. If you help other people out, then karma helps you out. It finds a way to bring more of what you give to others back into your life, even if it’s not through your coworkers. And that’s happened to me over and over again. When you do the right things, you often get rewarded in one way or the other.
2. Without A Product You Are Still Working For Other People
Writing online feels like you are working for yourself, but you are not if you don’t have a product. It took me a long time to realize this. One really bad affiliate manager and a huge loss in income made me realize that writing online is pretty similar to working offline… you are still at the mercy of other people.
- Your client can stop requesting.
- A product that you are an affiliate for (and doing well with) can get discontinued.
- A company can end their affiliate program or downsize their commission payouts at any moment.
- Your writing can get refused by a client, despite putting hours of work into it.
I constantly live in fear of ‘losing my job’ because of all this.
And the problem is that when you write online, getting another job that pays can take time. You need to find a new client, build a new blog, get a new idea, write new content, and find new ways to pull in some money.
The good news is that if you have done it before, you can do it again. For instance, if you create and sell a website, then you can do that again if you want. Or, if you find success as an affiliate with one company, then you can become a successful affiliate with another company.
Once you have success, you have the blueprints to success in your mind. You’ve been there and done that.
But, having your own product or service gives you a bigger guarantee that you won’t just lose your job and all your income in one fatal swoop.
For at least the past two years I’ve had this realization and I’ve been trying to come up with a product that I can sell or a service that I can provide. I can’t think of one thing.
- I’ve taken courses to try and help me discover what I could create besides content.
- I’ve meditated on it.
- I’ve researched it.
- I’ve stared at the stars thinking about it.
- I’ve tried to bring the answer to myself in a dream.
3. You Don’t Know If You Are Getting Paid What You Actually Earn
This isn’t always true. When you ghostwrite, for instance, you work out a price to get paid and then get paid it. But, when you are an affiliate, companies use software that shows you various things, such as how many clicks you’ve had and how many sales you’ve had, and you’re never sure if the stats are 100% accurate or not.
You don’t get to see the backend and whether or not the software is really counting all your clicks and sales. Or, if the person running the software is leaving out certain clicks or sales from your view.
Sometimes (all the time) I wonder if what I get paid is real or not. It doesn’t always feel real. It doesn’t always make sense to me when I see the final numbers.
For example, I’ve had people tell me that they’ve bought something through my affiliate link, but when I look at the numbers, the sale isn’t there. There are many things that can go wrong to make that happen, but it’s hard not to believe that I’ve been ripped off in some way.
Sometimes (all the time) I feel like I should have made more than I did. But I can’t know for sure. Only people who set up how much you earn, how you earn it, and what you get paid know if the numbers are real or not.
It’s not like getting a new job where you work hourly or on salary and you know what you are going to be paid. I miss that safety in knowing that a steady paycheck will be coming in.
Maybe I’m just too untrusting in this regard. But, when you can’t see the details for yourself, and the numbers don’t add up, it’s hard to just blindly accept that it is what it is.
4. Too Many People Will Steal Your Ideas
It’s hard to say that you had the idea first when it comes to writing online. Obviously, we all can have similar thoughts on subjects and write similar things. But I’ve had my share of experiences where other writers and bloggers have stolen my work.
For instance, when I was a ghostwriter for iWriter, I had clients reject an article for one reason or another, which meant that they didn’t have to pay me, but also that they didn’t get the article. So, I would put the article up on one of my sites. Then down the line, I would find out that my article was on their site despite the fact that they rejected it. What they did was reject my article to not have to pay money and then use it anyways.
That happened to a lot of people on iWriter. I don’t know if they’ve found a way around that.
Another thing that happens to me a lot is people stealing my titles. It sounds so stupid that people would copy your title for an article pretty much word for word, but it happens. I’m sure they do it to get more clicks in the search engines.
For instance, after checking out the search engines to make sure I wasn’t copying someone else, I originally titled my Duality review, ‘I took Mindvalley’s Duality by Jeffrey Allen. Here Are My Thoughts’. After a while, I was looking in the search engines and noticed a website suddenly had the same title pretty much word for word. What’s worse is that they ranked ahead of me in the search engines, so it looked ridiculous. Of course, people would click on their title instead of mine because it was the exact same title and why click on it twice?!
This has happened a lot. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe we think a lot alike and want to title our reviews the same way. It doesn’t seem likely, but maybe.
I can’t tell you how mad this kind of stuff makes me. I had to go in and change my original title (and let them keep my old title) because it looked too stupid.
I’ve had a lot of people steal my work since I’ve started writing online.
- I’ve had people copy parts of my reviews. They don’t actually use the product, so they need to write a fake review. To add an element of realness to their review, they steal parts of my review and combine them with a rewrite of the sales page.
- I’ve had people copy my articles and publish them as their own.
- I’ve had people steal my pictures and use them as their own.
I’ve had too many people stealing my ideas. I know that everyone writing online with original thoughts has experienced this.
And, getting these idiots in trouble for it is too much effort and doesn’t usually pay off. You can write to them until you are blue in the face. They don’t care if you are upset. They care about themselves.
5. Too Many Bad Experiences Will Make You Want To Quit Writing Online
Sometimes it just seems easier to get a job doing anything offline. At least you are guaranteed income and you don’t have to worry about people stealing your work, being out for themselves, holding you down, or screwing you over.
Well, you still have to worry about those things a bit, but, in my experience, not as much as you do when you are working for yourself writing online.
I have had one affiliate manager who has made me want to quit everything online more than once. I’ve talked about him before. He’s useless, and I depend on him to not be useless because I like the company he works for and want to promote their products. But sometimes I feel like he is screwing me over just because he gets his kicks doing that kind of stuff.
The problem with writing online for over a decade is that getting a job offline seems extremely daunting. So you feel overwhelmed and ready to give up with your writing online, but also not ready to put yourself out there and explain in an interview what you’ve been doing for the past decade and why your references from past jobs probably won’t remember who you are anymore.
Writing Online Isn’t All Bad
If you are thinking about writing online, I don’t want to scare you off from it. It’s not all bad. There are many things I do enjoy about it when I’m feeling optimistic and not overwhelmed.
Lately, everything is catching up to me and there’s been a ton of pressure and all I can do is whine and moan to myself and my husband and write an article about how I feel.