Posted in writing

Call for WRITERS!

one of the candidates for a new QCS logo... I've been playing!

Quality Communication Solutions (the company with which I’ve been freelancing full-time since September) is doing booming business, and needs some more writers!  QCS is stepping up its game, ramping up its marketing, revamping its website and logo (those are fun things I get to mess around with, thanks to my license-to-play in the form of a “Director of Media & Communication” title)–and yet we’re already at maximum capacity with regard to what our current team can handle.  Sooo…  We need more writers!

Let me tell you a bit about the gig (because, in case you hadn’t realized it yet, I’m trying to recruit YOU, my writing-friends) and then I’ll show you where to apply.

QCS is owned by Steve Brown–a writer himself, who just last month made the “leap” of quitting his day-job (well, night-job in his case) to manage this business full-time.  He does the work of bringing in clients, and distributes the content-writing assignments to his team of writers.

Resource Page for QCS Writers... Includes writing instructions, invoice form, Q&A forum, pay schedule, team updates, & other goodies

A day in the life of a QCS Writer…  Steve parcels out writing assignments as they come in from clients and posts each writer’s projects in an online file-management system, so I can log into my own folder at any time and see what I have lined up.  Every assignment comes with a 24-hour deadline, and when I’m done with each article, I upload it to the same online folder, where our editor can pick it up and take it from there.

When I have questions, Steve is available pretty much all the time on Google Chat and Skype, AND (this one I’m proud of) we now have a separate web-page dedicated to QCS Staff Writers’ Resources. (Check it out… Several of the pages are password-protected as private for the QCS team, but you can get a feel for what we have going on.)

Steve is looking for writers who can commit to at least 2,500 words per day (on weekdays), which is usually 4 or 5 articles. Weekend-work is always optional–if you’re looking for some extra on your week’s paycheck, you can pipe up to take some weekend assignments, but it’s not an expectation.

Pay for a QCS Writer… Steve pays all of us promptly every Monday via PayPal. [Pause here for me to happy-dance! I still can’t believe I’m getting paid to write!] For tax purposes, we’re considered independent contractors, so he’s not deducting anything from the payments, although PayPal does nip about 2% as a surcharge on each one.  The payscale for writing is a sliding scale according to how many words are in each article ($2.50 for 600 words being a pretty standard-sized piece). If you go with that minimum commitment, we’re talking about $50 a week…

But also keep in mind that you can  take on as much additional work as you choose–pretty much the only limitation here is how much you actually CAN write in a week.  (And that’s a different answer for each of us–so I truly can’t tell you “how many hours” the minimum work-count takes, because it will be different for you than it is for me.  It’s even different for me from day to day, depending on what topic I’m writing about…)  I know I’ll also be asked how much a person can reasonably expect to make–and that, too, is dependent on each individual’s situation and speed.  I don’t mind sharing that my weekly writing-check ranges from $200 to $300–because that’s the amount of writing I can “reasonably” fit into my life.

I very much enjoy the fact that I’m getting work handed to me every day instead of spending my time combing the internet for writing-jobs, so the time I do spend is time directly devoted to the word-count for which I’ll be paid.  All I have to do is write.  Although that does lead me to…

Challenges for a QCS Writer…  I realized after my last recruiting-post (just six weeks ago–business is growing fast!) that I’d done our newcomers a disservice by not talking much about what this commitment involves.  As I said, Steve is looking for writers who are willing to commit to a minimum of 2,500 words most days, and the deadlines are truly critical.  If we (as a team) don’t get our work to the clients as promised, we lose clients.  Simple as that.

Having said that, there’s also plenty of room for flexibility IF you communicate with Steve about your schedule.  When I was at the hospital for a few days because of Keoni’s knee-replacement, for example, I asked for less work than my usual–and when I was on the road for Western Byways magazine for a few days, I requested no work from Steve.  If he knows what’s going on, that’s not a problem–what IS a problem is when he assigns ten articles to a writer and hasn’t heard back when the deadline arrives, and then the writer explains why it didn’t get done.  At that point it’s too late, and somebody else is scrambling to get those pieces written before the client walks…  (Often that “somebody” is ME–so I confess I have an additional personal interest in bringing on new writers who can handle deadlines. [grin]

If you’re wondering whether Steve will consider a freelancing “newbie” whose writing experience doesn’t (yet) include writing-for-pay, the answer is YES.  Quite simply, he’s looking for people who (1) Write Well, and (2) Respect Deadlines.

Interested?  If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to post them in the comments here (or if you’re not comfortable with that, you can email me: kana.tyler@gmail.com–although I’d prefer the “comments” area just because it enables everyone to see the answers)…  Either way, I’ll be answering. :)

And if you think you’d like to give QCS a try, there’s a quick-and-easy application form on our Writer’s Resource Page.  I’m hoping to see you there!

**********

Feb 15 Addendum:  Great questions below (and hopefully some helpful answers) including what types of writing we end up doing…  And in response to one of the requests below, I’m attaching a few of the pieces I’ve written in the last couple weeks, so you can get a better feel for the job… (Click on any of the titles below to read the article; bolded words are the keywords provided by clients…)

Advertisements

Author:

I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

62 thoughts on “Call for WRITERS!

  1. Good news? … this is great!
    Bad news? … I’m surrounded by moving boxes – 99% of them empty.
    Good news? … move will be over by end of March!
    Even gooder news? … I’ll fill out the form then!
    Thanks for passing this on. :)

    Like

    1. And gooderer news still–I believe the application form will be staying open all the time! Steve asked me to put out an active call this week because we’re getting so swamped, but (more gooder news) the way QCS has been growing, he’ll likely be looking again by the end of March. ;)

      Like

    1. It definitely IS a different form of writing from what we do here… Which is why I enjoy having the blog for some personal and FUN writing! ;)

      Like

  2. Sounds interesting if I didnt already work a 40+ hour job and have two young boys.. The weekend idea sounds cool..just not sure I could commit. thanks for sharing Kana!

    Like

    1. REALLY good question! And one that’s actually difficult to answer, because the wide range of assignments we get pretty much defies categorization… :)

      But to give you a feel for the scope…I’ve written award-acceptance speeches, reviews of online casinos, job-application information for various companies, comparisons of HVAC systems and generators, an overview of Universal Studios, descriptions of “murder mystery” parties, blog posts about dealing with addiction, a sales page for a marketing company’s website, comparison lists (eg. “Top Ten U.S. Fitness Clubs”), and articles about baby clothes, quad core computer processors, bankruptcy, sports shoes, four wheel drive vehicles, residential solar energy, the history of diamonds, international cheeses, spring fashion trends, vitamins, and coffee makers… And that’s just the last TWO WEEKS. So I never really know what’s coming next–and I’m not sure whether that answers your question at all! ;)

      Like

      1. roger that! thanks, Kana! You’ve seen a number of my blog posts. Do you think I would “fit the mold’? BTW the other writer I have in mind is good at researching on the internet, too (and writing). We are both research fiends, among other things.

        Like

        1. I think we have of a diverse range of writers rather than a “mold”… :) I think Steve will be browsing blog-posts to get a feel for people’s writing, and getting in touch with those of you who have expressed an interest.

          Like

  3. Kana,

    Thank you for sharing this information. My current glitch is that I don’t have a Paypal account. The good news is I think I might be able to fit a little more writing into my schedule.

    Just wanted to let you know I’m considering this; coincidentally I was about to look for your previous plug about freelancing.

    Cheers,
    Nel

    Like

    1. The other good news is that it’s simple (and FREE) to set up a PayPal account, and then you can link it to a bank account or credit card and transfer the money electronically to where you want it. (Or, if your credit is better than MINE, you can apply for the PayPal card, which let’s you spend immediately whatever money just got loaded into your PayPal account.) I don’t have a bank account or credit cards, but I’ve linked my PayPal to a pre-paid card, so I transfer every Monday from PayPal to the card I use… Works out pretty well.
      :)

      Like

      1. The prepaid card sounds like an interesting option. How do I apply or get that? And by transfer from PayPal to the prepaid card, you mean electronic transfer right?

        Like

        1. Yes, electronic transfer. If you go to PayPal.com, there’s a “sign up” link at the top of the page (just takes a few minutes), and once you’ve created an account, you’ll have the option right there to apply for the PayPal card. And/or to electronically connect the PayPal account to an existing card or bank account… :)

          Like

  4. I was going to ask you about this before after you mentioned it last time. I didn’t manage it then, so I’m glad you’ve said it again now; thank you for sharing!
    I’m going to look it up a little later and see how well I can fit some extra writing in (and if my writing style is what they’re looking for!). Pay and exposure is nothing at all to be sniffed at.

    Like

    1. We have quite a variety of writers & writing-styles on staff already–which is a STRENGTH for the company, as Steve gets to know us and parcels out some assignments specifically to individual writers’ strengths… So as far as “style,” I think he’s primarily looking for solid writers who can produce error-free work (on deadline, of course)… If you decide your schedule can accommodate it, I’d definitely encourage you! :)

      Like

    1. As I’ve shared with a couple other people who have arrived at the same conclusion as yours, QCS is likely to continue needing to add writers, so this definitely isn’t a one-shot-only opportunity! :) File away the thought, and if you decide you’re up for it down the road, you know where to find me (and that application)! ;)

      Like

  5. Hi Kana,
    How much research is part of the writing? My day job requires a lot of technical writing and I do a lot of research so I’m used to it but i’d like to know what to expect from the research time commitment. Thanks very much, this could be wildly interesting.

    Like

    1. “Wildly interesting” pretty well describes it! ;) Most of the assignments I get require SOME research (Google is definitely my friend!), but the majority don’t call for EXTENSIVE research… For many of the topics I listed above, the company’s website (provided with the writing-assignment) gave me most of what I needed, with a little Googling for gap-filling… The majority of the time the client actually includes the specific resources they want us to write from, and I’d say on average I spend just five or ten minutes on pulling up additional resources for a topic. Hope that helps! :)

      Like

  6. I noticed you explained (in a previous comment) what kind of things you write. However, do you have any examples I could see? Plus, do you think Steve would be open to me starting out very slowly (one assignment a day or something along those lines) just to see if I could do something like this? I’m interested, but I’d hate to promise something I cannot provide.

    Like

    1. Sure–give me a few minutes, and I’ll add some samples to the post above. ;)

      Steve is actually wanting to avoid bringing on one-a-day article-writers, simply because there’s sort of a break-even point on HIS end of the time-and-cost he spends on each writer, compared to the “value” (in this case, number of articles) he gets from each of us… So that’s why he’s looking for a minimum commitment. Which leaves the ball in your court, really–whether you choose to take the “leap” and give it a go… :)

      Like

      1. Okay. I completely understand on the one-a-day articles. I’ve just never done anything like this, although I am all about making extra money and getting some experience under my belt, and I’m a little wary. Any suggestions on what to ask yourself before committing?

        Like

        1. Hmmm… (First, I have to say that all these GREAT questions are telling me what aspects I need to include NEXT time I write a recruiting-post… ;)

          I guess some of the relevant questions would include an assessment of how much time you would need to set aside… That’s a different answer for each of us–but if you can estimate how long you’d need to write 500 words on a randomly assigned topic, you’d be on your way to figuring out how much time you’d need, and whether you have that time in your schedule.

          Speaking for myself, I generally spend considerably LESS time on an assigned topic than, say, on a blog post of the same length, for the simple reason that I’ve already been told WHAT to write (in a general sense), so I’m not spending the “pondering-time” that a personal post takes me…

          And on a more personal level, another question only YOU can answer: would you enjoy this enough to keep doing it? For me, it’s a fun challenge every day to see what’s in my project-folder and writing about so many different topics, many of which I didn’t know anything about before I started… And on the flip side, there are also assignments that are kind of on the mind-numbing side (for example, I did a series of nearly 200 reviews of online casino slots games, most of which were exactly the same as one another except for the themes & graphics, and I was thoroughly tired of them by the time I finished…) BUT even the dull assignments are brightened by the reminder that I’m getting paid to do them–and in my case, the money I’m making with QCS is sufficient (combined with my hubby’s wages) to keep paying the bills, which means I DON’T have to go out and suffer through whatever crappy-ass minimum wage job I might be able to find in this economy… I get to stay home and WRITE. The writing-for-pay AND the writing-for-me.

          So I guess those would be the main questions I’d suggest (and my own answers)–but the rest is up to you! :)

          I did add a half-dozen articles above, kind of a sampling of assignments I’ve done in the past couple weeks, so I hope that helps. :)

          Like

          1. Thanks Kana. I took a look at most of them and I like that they pretty much go all over the place in terms of subjects. Do you think Steve would allow me to work only on the weekends? I could commit 2500 a day but only 1-2 days at most, at least in the beginning to try it out.

            Like

    1. On the days when his writers are flaking out on deadlines and clients are clamoring for their orders, YES. But… I believe overall he’s tickled to be pursuing this dream he’s had for a while, and happy to be managing QCS full time rather than working nights at the Post Office (and then trying to deal with all of US on just a few hours’ sleep)… And aside from the difficulties of having to put up with people like ME, it’s a pretty sweet deal to be able to make a living doing something you’re truly invested in. ;)

      Like

  7. Kana, I am saving this email notification of this post in a special new folder at my email service. I think I have a pretty good idea of what your boss is looking for in terms of writing style judging by your posts here. I appreciate you listing the titles of some of your work you submitted to this service. I am giving myself 24 hours to really meditate on this one. I could use the extra money–and I am very good with deadlines for almost anything. I once did paralegal work where a midnight deadline was present almost every workday for death-row appeals to be filed in federal court. I would have no problem notifying the boss is something in my life came up to prevent me being given assignments for a few days, a day–whatever. Will be in touch again tomorrow. Thanks so much for this information about a new opportunity for free lance writing.

    Like

  8. Thanks for opening this up for discussion and allowing additional questions. Three questions:

    (1) What about those people who usually don’t write under their actual given names? When articles are submitted, will they always include a byline (which must reflect actual given names)?

    (2) Also, I noticed some of your articles include a resource box, and some don’t. How do you make the determination on whether resource materials are credited?

    (3) I’m going to assume you have alternate ways to reach Steve for those days when your computer decides to die an untimely death and you are suddenly scrambling to find a keyboard that will allow you to (a) notify him that you are dead in the water until your computer is fixed, or (b) notify him that you are using an alternate source and may have to slow down until your computer is fixed, or (c) hope that it goes unnoticed because you’re still cranking out content, but want to let him know that behind the scenes it might look a bit different than usual. I live in fear of dead computers. The only thing that scares me more are power outages. Seriously, you have alternate means (other than online) to reach him once you become part of the team, yes? I like to plan ahead, and cover all my bases.

    One final comment: Really appreciate you answering all these questions, and especially for including links to some sample articles you’ve written. Seeing the end product really helps answers lots of otherwise unasked questions. Much appreciated.

    Like

    1. MORE good questions! :)

      (1) The work we put out doesn’t actually go out under our names at all, so no worries about pen names. (Of course, if you’re looking for credited work that you can point to, this isn’t going to be it… Having said that, I think it’s just as legitimate, if you’re using your QCS work as a resume-item, to list the experience itself, list Steve as a reference, and provide samples if requested–with the explanation that they were written by you though not credited to you, and Steve could confirm…)

      (2) All the specifics of formatting are provided by each client. Keywords (and keyword density), often the title they want used, whether they want hyperlinked sources (and if so, what kind, sometimes the specific urls), whether there’s a resource box at the end, and sometimes even down to the details of how many subheadings they want, or a request for a bulleted list, or a request for type of writing style (conversational/second-person, or objective third-person, or sales-hype)… So I seldom have to make decisions about formatting or elements of content. Steve’s process with the client results in a pretty thorough set of instructions for us at the writing-end.

      (3) Yes, Steve has a toll-free phone number that goes straight to his cell phone, so we can reach him even when our technology crashes!

      :)

      Like

      1. You rock .. and you’re quick … I just came back to tell you that while I was perusing the QCS Staff Writer’s Resource page I found the answer to # 3, (and also found it on the QCS home page). I’m an official newbie, but interested in possibly pursuing this as an opportunity. Figured I would take a few of your samples pieces above, and give it a “test run” by making like I had just been given the assignment based on what the keywords are in your article, and see how long it would take me to crank out a similar piece (word count, research time, etc). Really do appreciate the real-world examples of some of your sample writing. That helps bunches. Thanks again!

        Like

  9. Kana – I’ve just completed my app to Steve’s attention. Thank you for alerting me to a new chapter I didn’t know I was looking for. Isn’t that how the best stuff happens? Will keep you posted. Dan

    Like

  10. Thanks for the post, Kana. Here are my questions:
    – Can a writer refuse a specific assignment for personal reasons?
    – Do clients ask for articles written n specific styles (i.e.dramatic, comic, statistic heavy, and does Steve assign the articles to writers based on their style, or is every writer expected to adapt their style to the assignment?
    – How far in advance are pieces assigned?

    Thanks again!

    Like

    1. Good questions!
      * Yes, you can decline an assignment–it’s just important to do it RIGHT AWAY so Steve can re-assign without losing time and “crunching” the writer who does take it…

      * Yes, clients do ask for specific writing styles–usually the request is only as specific as “second-person casual conversational,” or “professional third-person, not a heavy sales pitch,” or things along that line.

      * Steve definitely does tend to send specific articles to individual writers depending on their strengths, although there are also cases where we all just get to “step up” to whatever is required.

      * Almost always we’re working on 24-hour turn-around. Sometimes when we get a big list of assignments all at once from a client, Steve will give us a “batch” all at once, with deadlines spread throughout the week. (For example, I’m writing a series of casino reviews right now–he gave me the whole batch of 70, and I’m turning in ten a day.)

      :)

      Like

  11. Kana … really do appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions.

    (1) When you get your 1099 at the end of the year, does it reflect the base pay rate, or does it show base pay, minus the applicable fees? (PayPal fees, CopyScape fees, etc)

    (2) In reviewing the submission process, I see that all pieces must be scanned through CopyScape before submission. Once you come on board, do you get an ID and password, or do you have to scan them through CopyScape Plus at your own expense?

    again, really appreciate your time in answering these questions.

    Like

    1. (1) This year will be my first 1099 (I started with Steve in September), but I’m pretty sure it will be the base pay rate. Steve doesn’t have a view of the PayPal fees at our end, and doesn’t track CopyScape numbers/usage either.

      (2) CopyScape is our own expense–although you can minimize that by pasting in multiple articles at once and running them as a single five-cent check, rather than running them through individually. (Even one-at-a-time, it IS just five cents each using Premium.)

      :)

      Like

  12. Was referred here by another blogger, and glad of it! I applied and Steve was interested in hiring me, but I decided that the commitment was just too much to take on now with two other jobs. It might be something for the future though, so thanks for posting!

    Like

    1. That’s just fine–he’s looking at blogs to get a feel for writers’ natural style and abilities, and he recognizes that when we blog we’re not “auditioning” per se. :) I imagine you’ll hear from him within the week.

      Like

  13. I’m kind of interested in what the QCS retention rate is.

    I know someone he put on and I watched her struggle to make the assignments trying to hit a production rate she would need to make any money at it. After her three weeks working for Steve she calculated she had earned around $1 an hour.

    I know you have to get your 300 word writing time down to under 15 minutes to even have a shot at making any money at it. She wasn’t getting there and ended up quitting in frustration. Is this a common occurrence?

    Like

    1. Great question! And I’m happy to answer that (so far) our retention rate in this “round” of hiring is looking better than the last go-round–maybe thanks in part to some “mentoring” which we were entirely missing before. There’s a pretty steep learning curve in getting started, and as I’m fielding questions from our current group of new writers, I’m realizing how “high and dry” the last group must have felt!

      But it’s also true that this gig isn’t going to be for everyone.

      Speaking for myself, I wasn’t making anything near “minimum wage” (from an hourly perspective) when I first started, but I was happy to be able to make SOME money at writing, and make enough to put off having to go out and FIND a crappy minimum-wage job somewhere else. And as I’ve gotten in a groove, I’ve gotten a lot faster, which is something I’ve shared with the new folks (and which some of them are already beginning to see, to a small extent, for themselves). Last weekend I put out 30,000 words in two days, which is WAY beyond what I could possibly have written a few months ago (witness the fact that I didn’t come close to finishing NaNoWriMo!), so this has clearly been good “training” in that regard. At this point I bring in more per week than I did full time at minimum wage, so I’m comfortable in the fact that I can stay home with my kiddos and keep doing this…

      As far as overall retention rate, I’ll be better able to answer your question when some more time has passed with this group (which nearly doubled our writing team’s size)–but there is, at least, a core group of writers who have been with Steve for a pretty long haul–and I’d be the newest among them. :)

      Like

  14. Kana, how many hours a day to you put in on this? I love writing..and I did meet and surpass nanowrimo writing thing but am just curious here on how much time you invest. I am interested.

    Like

    1. I put in at least eight hours a day myself–although that’s not representative of the “usual”… (That’s a rate of forty or fifty thousand words a week, usually–but I’m treating this as my full-time job, which isn’t the case for most of the team.)
      :)

      Like

Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s