Tag Archives: Blogger

A Letter to You… Insecure Black Girl

“If any female feels she needs anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” – Bell Hooks

Dear Black Girl,

Know that you can rise above this common feeling of restlessness and displacement; that these insecurities can only thrive if you let them. Don’t allow the stressful demands of the world require more than you’re willing to give. And, if you’ve been hurt, forgive and forget. Forget the people who bred your insecurities; forget the moments you fed into them; forget that there were ever any in the first place.

Source: A Letter to You… Insecure Black Girl


Join Me and A few Friends who share our ideas and insights on Black Girls Blogging, in business for themselves, and most importantly- lacking  mastermind group of their own.

Octavia Carpenter- your ever-evolving Freelance Blogger!


Mistakes this Freelancer Is Glad She Made

While no freelance writer should miss a deadline or mismanage clients, some mistakes could create an opening you weren’t aware was available.

writing-1170146__180.jpgI once had a client who only wanted re-writes of old content from Competitor sites. I must have misunderstood the role because the job description asked for “%100 original content for Topics provided and workloads completed by the end of the week”. They asked for 3-5 articles a week and sent what I assumed was an example of work to be completed.

No, what they wanted was simply my version of events of what the article detailed; a paraphrase of sorts. This is not what I do- Nor was it what I did for them. Instead, I drafted Ten Articles of original content, quotes, back links, and more based on the topic of the article and relevant/follow ups on it as well. While they were impressed with my work and published nearly every piece, they never paid me.

Counting My Loses & Setting A Standard

I counted it as a “loss”, but was impressed with myself for defining my standard as a Content developer aside from just a freelance writer! I have a lane that I stick to and I am not shy about that.

I don’t hold my nose up at those who do feel that simply passing Copy Scape is something to strive for.  However, I want to do more than just copy and paste my life away, edit and re-dress someone else’s work. There has to be more to it than that, right?

Have you ever heard of any one making six-figures from a copy & past job? Neither have I. I plan on writing for television blogs like my girl Wendy Williams or editing material from some government grant paper. I plan on working on stuff that really pays.

Work Worth My Reputation and Time

A freelancer has to invest in projects that are worth staking their reputation on and investing their time in.

Sure a few good gigs to buff up my portfolio is something to be grateful for, but I also don’t want to tarnish the brand. Gaining a reputation as an article writer, content spinner, content developer, or strategist, or whatever your preference is a hard enough thing to do without having to dig through the trenches and still end up doing remedial work.

At the most these jobs offer $20-$40 a week for 10-15 articles per job. While most professionals could push out more than thirty rewrites a week- I don’t have time for that. Seriously! I work between Naps, feeding rotations such as lunch, snacks, treat times, and dinner, laundry shifts and Diaper changes, and every so often in the midst of a temper tantrum. If I have to sacrifice my time from my children, it will be for more than Pizza Money.

A Freelance Writers Mistakes Can Give Them Purpose

Long Story short, I am glad that I am not a carbon copy, Edward-Scissor-Hands, article writer making a living chopping up the work of others. I am glad that this experience was more of an eye opener than an embarrassment.

While this was the first of many mistakes as I began Freelance Writing, It was the most memorable because this is where I gave myself the definitive title of Content Developer.

I stopped just writing anything, became more selective in my jobs, and found long term clientele with clear content needs and strategies to get them done.

I saw an increase in Client consultations, reader conversions, and Positive feedback from following clientele. I simply stopped settling all because a mistake made me re-evaluate my potential versus my earning.

Gab Brand Wants to Hear from You!

What Mistakes have you made that changed your outlook on freelancing? How have you recovered and what advice would you give other freelancers?

Share your tragedy with us here at Gab Brand and help other freelancers see the light at the end of the tunnel. Can’t wait to hear your gift of gab!


Gab Brand

Why I’ll Never Work For Free: A Content Developers Trauma

Tales of a Freelance Writer

Have you ever worked one of those writing mills like Freelancer or Guru? Nine times out of ten, a client has asked you to write a sample article of some sort, to gauge whether or not you would be a good fit. They often don’t offer to pay you and to top it off, even if they deny you for the job, they publish your article anyway. The audacity, they won’t even give you a decent By Line; Jerks.

Content Development is a job that reuires a lot of work, attention to detail, self management, and other universal skills. Why wouldn't you get paid for any and all work you submit?
Content Development is a job that requires a lot of work, attention to detail, self management, and other universal skills. Why wouldn’t you get paid for any and all work you send?

I have had this happen to me several times as I started out content development. I actually wrote nearly ten original articles for a client who always claimed that this article was lacking something and that article was too similar to another article. Yet over time, I noticed every one of these articles published with no changes made to them what so ever.

I have seen websites built on content that has been weaseled out of decent writers just looking to earn a decent buck. Eventually, I left him to smoke the very produce He so desperately needed material on as I got paid to write for his competitor; Serves him right.

Assumptions & Realities of Freelance Writing

It is easy to assume that, because you delivered an awesome piece of work, you would be a shoe in. When that doesn’t happen, and your work still surfaces somewhere, you are left looking like a sap.

Don’t let Employers get over on you. Take measures to make sure that all your work is worth the time you put in, hired or not.

  1. While Writing Mills urge you not to send any work without getting your contracts right, “Employers” will always find a way around that. By contacting you through outside channels like Emails, Skype, and even Social Networks they can surpass the sites typical employer guidelines. Make sure they go through the proper channels of communication to reach you and that you keep proper documentation of all conversations– for clarity of work and security of payment.
  2. Never fall for the “writing sample” scam. Any decent employer will be willing to pay you for the time you have invested. A smart Employer will also know that if money is on the table you are willing to put in an extra amount of efforts as if the job was a good enough incentive.
  3. Work with a Milestone System. This way you can make sure that you are completing the task as the client ask, but you can also split payments up based on draft deliveries and deadlines. A project of $200 and three drafts and one finalization would be four payments of $50. Not bad for a newb and no fear of back peddling.
  4. Some suggest using a watermark on drafts and submissions. While this is mostly with print publications, you could also try sending you drafts as pdf files with a watermark added into the background.
  5. Send Employers to previously published works. If you have had luck enough to find work already that was willing to give you a By Line or even reference letter, it is always best to have potential employers check it out. It shows your background and versatility, and what’s more, you’ve already been paid for it.

Notes for Hopeful Freelancers

Try not to be enticed by work offers where you have to send in drafts before-hand. Never send a draft where the employers have made no intention of paying you for it. Remember that once you give the work, it is theirs to use at their discretion, whether you have been paid or not.

It is easy to be held hostage by the need to work.

Conclusion: Protect your Time and make sure that your employer values your efforts!


Gab Brand