Sometimes, if you want higher paying work, you need to figure out where to go to get it. Contently might be one of those places.
Update #2: It appears that anyone can sign up for Contently, so head on over and see what you can accomplish!
Update: Unfortunately, I am out of invites for Contently 🙁
Not too long ago, I found out about Contently, a web site aimed at connecting freelancers with clients looking for high quality work. The idea is is to help freelancers earn more money for their work, and to help clients find high quality content. I signed up a few months ago, and honestly haven't been very active. But that hasn't stopped me from hooking up with a new client via the site.
What Does Contently Offer Freelance Writers?
First of all, it's important to realize that you will be vetted as a writer when you sign up for Contently, so you need to request an invitation. (I have three invites available, so the first three people to email me get them.) Once you're in, you choose areas of expertise, and put together a profile and a portfolio. One of the great features of Contently is that you can enter blogs that you write for, or posts you've written, and they are pulled, and appear in your portfolio. You can choose “featured” items to highlight your best work. It's also possible to organize your portfolio so that only work from one publication appears. Your bio consists of a short version, and then an extended version. Add awards and honors as you see fit.
Once you have everything set up, you can look for work. It's possible to organize work according to pay (the lowest level is $50), word count, keyword, and category. If you've chosen areas of expertise, you will be shown the available projects in your preferred categories — but that doesn't stop you from looking in other categories. Right now, there aren't a lot of projects available in the marketplace, but it doesn't hurt to get on and put together a bio and a portfolio.
I was contacted with a project offer through Contently, and am working on setting that up through Contently's dashboard. The dashboard helps you organize your clients and projects. You can quickly see your clients, assignments, and even story ideas. You can add story ideas for each client individually, submit projects, and perform other work-related actions with the help of the dashboard. You are paid through PayPal. And, what I love about it is that you won't be charged any PayPal fees.
Will Freelancers Really Be Paid More?
If you do high quality work, and if Contently manages to attract people looking for content, chances are that you will be paid more. The idea behind the site is that content is king. And if recent updates from Google are any indication, there really is a push toward more quality and less keyword stuffing and throwaway linking. Which means that clients might be willing to pay more for better content. For now, Contently is a little light on the opportunities. However, I think that it could be something big, and it doesn't hurt to have your portfolio on a site that promises to be a better marketplace for freelancers than the low-balling marketplaces of the freelance world.