There’s never been a better time to be a freelance writer. Writers have never had it so good, because Web content is the new advertising.
This means that far from the old (and sadly still ongoing)“$2 articles” situation, companies are prepared to pay well for content… AND they need a lot of content.
“Paying well” is relative. However, when you’re creating native advertising and placing the content, you can expect $1 a word.
Let’s look at what’s happening, and how you can position yourself to take advantage of the situation.
Content is the new advertising
Pretty much everyone is looking at content as advertising now. Indeed a July article in ADWEEK was titled, “Pretty Much Everyone Is Doing Native Ads Now – WSJ, CNN, NBC.”
Why? Many reasons. Consider these three: ad blindness (ads are automatically distrusted and ignored); a highly fragmented audience; and the need for more and more content on all high-traffic websites.
Websites like Forbes, WSJ and CNN have a raging need for content. Years ago these companies would have been outraged at the very idea of native advertising. Now they can’t be sniffy, because they NEED content to maintain their audience. It’s truly publish or perish, and big content sites need LOTS of content.
How much content? Let’s see. Forbes led the charge into native advertising/ sponsored content. Here’s how much content Forbes.com publishes:
You’ve said that Forbes.com has 1,000 contributors producing 8,000 pieces of content a month — that’s a lot. By what criteria do you choose those contributors?
… we built a human system where we seek knowledgeable contributors in those different verticals. We interview them, look at their work, talk to people who know them, see if they have communities …
Forbes publishes 8,000 pieces of content a month. From 1,000 contributors. And not just any contributors. Those contributors need their own communities in specific verticals. (This is why I nag you about platform. :-))
How to take advantage of native advertising
As a freelancer, you can take advantage of the popularity of native advertising (sponsored articles as content) if you can write articles, and can place those articles as advertising for your clients.
I’m sure you’ve heard of “guest blogging.” In a sense, native advertising is a form of guest blogging.
You get traffic and sales for a writing client by finding high-traffic websites, relevant to your client’s audience, and writing articles which are published on those websites. The content is sponsored by your client – he pays you, and he pays the website on which his content appears. The content may appear under your client’s name, rather than yours.
We’ll have more to say about native advertising, and how to get these kinds of gigs in the weeks to come.
Talk to people
If you want to create native advertising content for your clients, talk to people. You can set up these deals. All you need to do is find websites which will accept native advertising from your clients, then create the articles – and charge appropriately.
You’re creating advertising remember. It’s a copywriting situation, so you can charge whatever you like. Don’t be shy. 🙂
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