Monday, April 4, 2011

Freelance Writing is like Cows and Milk

You know that phrase "why buy milk when you can have the cow for free?" really applies to some elements of freelance writing, particularly travel and restaurant reviews. And I'm adding a new section to my book that illustrates how ordinary people who are potentially extraordinary freelance writers aren't using their cow to sell people milk and are, instead, giving it all away for free.
Just take into consideration a restaurant review. If you're like me, you frequently visit sites like Yelp! to find out what people think about your dinner destination. If not, maybe you'll read the local papers or Google reviews when you go for directions. Some of those reviews are really great. I consider a "great" review one that gives me details about parking, hours, the best time to go, which meals to get, which meals to avoid, and if it's suitable for whom I am bringing. Other reviews are not-so-great. Yet people still give 300-400 words per review. For free.
I've been paid anywhere from $5 to $15 upfront for restaurant reviews of the same word count. Some reviews are still earning me residual money for pageviews!
So if I was given, on average, $10 for an unsolicited restaurant review, that pretty much covers my lunch or most of my dinner's main course.
By the way, if you get paid to write a restaurant review, it can be tax deductible!
Am I a restaurant critic or food snob? Heck no. I just like to eat out. And if I like the place, I love to write about it. Moreover, I like to get PAID to write about it.
I even take it one step further. If it's a local restaurant I'll visit over and over, I give them a copy of my review. Usually those restaurant owners are more than cordial and throw in a few freebies or at least treat me like a special customer. I'm completely fair about it; I don't let them know I'm reviewing the place until AFTER I've had a meal there.
There are some writers, as I've mentioned, that do great reviews. A few I've seen on Yelp! are really, REALLY good at it. I've been sold on restaurants just from reading their works. But the difference between those guys and me-or you- is that I get PAID. I like my cows and my milk, too!
If you want a FREE preview as to what I'll put in the update, send me an e-mail at It contains the finer points on making your restaurant, product, or destination reviews stand out from the rest. Until then, safe travels and happy eating!

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