Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Writing for the Internet is indeed a fragile proposition

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Two things happened over the weekend that illustrate the ups and downs of freelance fortunes — especially if your freelance writing involves doing much business on the Internet.

First, I got “Google slapped” as it’s become known: The Google Page Ranking of one of my blogs dropped to zero. That’s a big “0” — as in zilch, nada. As it happens, that particular blog is a “moneymaker” for me on which I do paid blog posting. It represents a significant source of income. Now that the Google Page Rank has tanked, the opportunities for paid blogging have fallen also.

Secondly, we’re currently going through a serious ice storm where I’m living, and my Internet access is pretty iffy with a lot of ice coming down and thunder booming around (what a privilege to live in the Ozarks). Well, what can I say? Even things like the space program and airline departures suffer from the outrageous changes in the weather.

It has been a real learning experience for me this past weekend, with Google slapping me down and with the threat of ice knocking out the power even as I type this. My best advice for you would be this: Don’t rely solely on writing for the Internet for your income. Keep the day job, or at least open up a number of streams of income.

Now if I could just persuade Google to lift that Page Rank back up …
[tags]Internet writing, paid blogging, Google Page Rank, weather, advice for new writers, writing tips for garyspeer.com[/tags]

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4 Responses to “Writing for the Internet is indeed a fragile proposition”

  1. Kathi says:

    What makes your google PR fall like that?? It happened to me, too!!

    Actually this page is showing PR=0 (or was this the page you meant, I’ve only had half a cup of coffee at this late hour ;))

  2. Gary says:

    Hi Kathi,

    I really don’t know enough about Google madness and mayhem to be sure, but I think they’ve decided folks who get paid to blog are unworthy of their anointing.

    Or something like that. It all has to do with Google being not only a search engine but an incredibly profitable money machine through the ad revenue they bring in. Obviously, they don’t want people buying ads on blogs or any websites unless they buy those ads through Google.

    I don’t know whether you are involved with paid blogging, specifically with PayPerPost, but it seems that many PPP bloggers are losing their Google PR.

    As for the PR of this blog — I don’t use IE or the Google Toolbar, so I don’t know what’s showing in your Google Toolbar. I know my main page on the blog has a PR of 3 — so far. I expect, unfortunately, that it’ll be dropping, too.

    When it reaches a PR of 0, I’ll have to continue finding other income streams online or, shudder, go back out there and get a new day job.

  3. Kathi says:

    Gary – yes, I do PPP. I wrote several posts which were rejected, because they showed up under “qualified posts”…In fact, I got auto-approved on one of them and a few minutes later I got a rejection letter on the same post.

    I have complained – both loudly and publicly – and as of this moment (a couple of days later) have been ignored ALMOST as soundly by PPP as I have been by Google. I say almost because I did get a note from someone saying that she’d “check into it” … but nothing further.

    To say that I’m angry would be an understatement. I guess I need to take the biblical injunction to pray for those who spitefully use me to heart…

  4. Gary says:

    Yeah, I guess it’s a good lesson about the ups and downs of all freelance writing, really. The bottom line is: We’re ultimately at the “mercy” of the client. In a pure freelance arrangement, the protection might be a written contract. But when dealing with Google and PPP — we really just have to go with the flow.

    Concerning PPP issues. I had a post with them last month that I wrote but was unable to submit. I checked and rechecked everything. I still saw no reason why I couldn’t submit the post.

    The “Customer Love” people finally got back to me and gave me some mumbo jumbo about the number of posts per blog causing the system to reject that post. I appealed their explanation, even detailing step-by-step why that wasn’t an issue. I got a “I’ll check on this again” sort of reply and heard nothing back.

    And, yes indeed, these things really can be a trial, a real lesson in applied Christianity, eh?

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