Is the content writing industry dying? It may be time to adapt

I have been writing content for websites since the year 1999.  I have seen the industry pick up and I have seen it wane.  Right now it seems like it is waning big time. For the past 5 years or so, I have been doing a good chunk of my writing for Associated Content, now Yahoo Contributor Network.  This pasy year, my payments (based on reads) have plummeted.   I only signed on because I felt like as the years went on, my monthly payments have gone up.  However, this is the only industry I have ever worked in where your pay goes down the longer you stick to it. Makes me wonder if I shouldn't turn in the towel.

I feel like the economy is half of the problem.  As more and more people lost their jobs, more and more people became freelance writing.  The market has been over saturated with writers, some who would accept a pittance for their work, and so many of us are low balled in response.   People want to publish our articles, of course, but they don't want to pay us mush.  It is truly distressing.

So what it comes down do is that my writing career may have just had a season.  Fortunately, my writing has led my in a direction that I want to pursue.  I went into writing full time because I became a homeschooling parent, and I am thinking I want to devote more of my time to helping homeschool families.  You may or may not have noticed that most of my articles are focused on homeschooling and not the large array of topics I used to write about.  I think specializing in a single expertise area I am passionate about will make a difference, whether I continue to make money writing, or move to counseling.


Starting to Freak Out about Paying for College

The summer before last, I took on a writing project where I spent the summer interviewing financial aid officers at colleges and writing articles. It was very eye opening.  I learned how to help my child maximize scholarship opportunities, and what even middle and upper middle class families can do to help pay for college.  They told me that the children needed to choose a college based on what they got on the SAT or ACT.  These scores needed to be compared to what the average scores of students of their selective schools were received. To maximize a grant award from a college, their test scores had to be in the top 25% of the average student in the school.

This means that if the child received a score in the 60th percentile of students, that it would not be a good idea to apply to the Ivy League schools; not if you are hoping for a scholarship anyway.  If you are a A student, then apply to A schools.  If you are a B student, apply to B schools, etc..  I documented all of this information, and was prepared for our turn at college entry, grants, and scholarships.  So why am I still freaking out now that we have mailed out the first transcript/homeschool portfolio?

It is because with all of my knowledge, I still know college is going to cost us.  I know the FAFSA people are going to point at us and laugh.  We don't meet low income guidelines.  I know the financial aid office is going to point us toward private college loans to cover a good portion of our child's college bills. Fortunately for our kids we don't plan to insist they go to college, and then stick them with the bills.  The plan is to figure out how much they will get in grants, and any financial aid that might happen, and split the balance.  We will pay half of it, and they will be responsible for the rest. This way, the kids will think about the cost of the college they choose, but will also get a reasonable amount of help from mom and dad.

To give myself a small bit of relief, I used the Discover student loan calculator to determine the worst case scenario of what college would cost for my oldest child, if he chose the most expensive college on his list. If we split the remainder of the college cost after any awards, both us, the parents, and the kids may need to take out loans to get a college education.  It makes me kind of sad that college is going to be costly during a time when our savings have been depleted, but it is good to know that we will be able to help thanks to the ability to get a combination of Federal loans and private college loans.


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My specialties: Homeschooling, Home design, and Family.

 You may have noticed that in my job as a content writer, I stick to a few distinct subjects.  I write about homeschooling, because I have been homeschooling for about a decade now.  I write about decorating because before I became a homeschooling mom, I worked as a design assistant and did freelance home decor and painted children's rooms.  Beyond those subjects you will find everything home and family.  I write about what I know. 

On any given day, one one of my blogs, or in my paid article assignments, you may find my going on about mirrored furniture, a rattan lamp shade, or a hillsdale furniture etagere.  One the other hand, I may be answering questions about how to homeschool, or even offering information on college entry and paying for it, subjects I have spent a great deal of time studying. 

While I have been called prolific by many of my clients, these are my very favorite subjects to write about, and I write about these most passionately.  So if you are looking to hire a writer who covers these subject matters, I am your gal, though if you give me a subject I find interesting enough, I will probably do just as well with those too.


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