Welcome Writers: What’s Up at the New Master Dayton

Originally published August 2012

Well this new home for my freelance writing blog has been a long time in coming, and it might be a weird transition that takes some time or even requires the metaphorical “do over,” but here we are kicking off the new chapter. The old Master Dayton blog is still there and I’m sure there will be plenty more still added on, but over time we’re switching things over here because it’s over here where I actually have full control of things, and there’s something to be said about owning your own home versus renting an apartment – and at the end of the day Google owns Blogger, but I can at least own masterdayton.com.

If you didn’t catch the long pause between there are here, check out this blog post on the old site on 10 ways I failed at freelance writing blogging to get filled in on that section, and then read on for a run down on some of the major changes that all of us had to deal with ever since Penguin created an entire generation of marketers who hate any animals that are black and white, since Pandas weren’t exactly in style before then, lol. One of the constants of the online world is that things will change. Whether you’re focusing mainly on online freelance writing, Internet marketing, creating residual income, or some combination of all of the above – all things online change. That’s the nature of the Internet and that’s the nature of the world we live in.
One of the most important qualities you can display is an ability to just roll with the changes. Sometimes you’ll get hit, sometimes you’ll get helped, but you need to have the drive to just keep on going. There’s a lot that’s changing not only with how the online freelance writing market works, how the online freelance Internet marketing works, but also what’s going on with Master Dayton. So without any further ado…

On Web 2.0 websites
Don’t even know where to start with this mess, especially as seeing my experience with keywords, marketing, and finding some hidden gems has perhaps made my opinion on the current state of web 2.0 sites a little outdated or unfair compared to beginners who are just getting going. Are web 2.0 sites (like Squidoo, HubPages, Wizzley, etc) still worth it? Well there’s no question they’re not what they used to be…although for some people Squidoo is even better than ever before. In many ways the effort doesn’t seem worth the payback except that sometimes you still spot some early keyword success with these sites. HubPages put a huge dent in my Amazon earnings, but since my Amazon earnings were doing well my HubPages payout has gone up.
But is it still worth it?
The problem here is that I fully realize a ton of my HubPages and Squidoo success comes because I’m established at both sites, have spent years promoting them and working in Internet marketing and online writing and that is why I’m still making hundreds of dollars a month from both sites. I’m not convinced building them from scratch makes sense anymore, to be honest. But since I’m not working on them from scratch and don’t see it as a good use of my time to do so, I can’t really give a completely accurate answer as so far as the beginners go.

Are web 2.0 sites ever going to go back to the glory days when HubPages could make you a full time income off AdSense and Amazon, or when you could shoot eHow articles and Squidoo lenses to the top of the SERPs with just a few internal links? Not likely. Those days are probably gone for good and the reinforcement of manual reviews on Google make it unlikely anyone is going to fill the gap the same way. Not with the efficiency those sites used to have for ranking.

I hate saying one of the most useful ways to use Web 2.0 sites at this point might be as article directories for backlinks to better money sites, but that might very well be the case. Can you still make decent money on sites like HubPages, Squidoo, or Wizzley? Sure – but there’s a lot of work involved and at the end of the day you might be better off pouring all that effort into your own blogs, websites, and other pages. That’s where I stand on these pages – although out of all the Web 2.0 properties I have the Squidoo lenses are doing the best and showing the most upward mobility by far.

Just a little bit of food for thought.

E-Book & Kindle
The long awaited project is finally really coming together. What form it takes might be another story. I’ve known for a long time that I really needed to put together an e-book or full training course on breaking into freelance writing, especially online and with a special focus on beginners to get them over common hurdles and into the high paying markets. For the longest time I thought this would take the form of an e-book and a full version still very well might. But obviously in the time since the old blog started fading away and this new one is moving in to take its place, Amazon Kindle has exploded. While so far I haven’t taken advantage of it (thought I did publish my first complete novel My Brother’s Keeper on Kindle – so that’s a proud start in and of itself) to this point, there’s no doubt there’s enormous potential there and the first of its time that’s truly completely independent of Google and other search engines. That’s a huge plus.

The other benefit of Kindle are reports. I don’t feel like I can write a 60 page e-book on succeeding at Constant-Content, for example, and I certainly wouldn’t feel right charging $20 for it. On the other hand a no-nonsense 15 page report for just $2.99 on Kindle…or maybe even 99 cents? I can fully do that. Ditto with working out the best strategy for HubPages post Panda and post Penguin, or how I’ve built the Squidoo lenses that really truly work for me and have survived Post-Panda and Post-Penguin just fine.

The only question is, should I put the large complete course in traditional e-book form, or put it on Kindle? I’m still not sure on this as I like PDFs and traditional e-books better in the sense I can deliver packages of videos, much better formatting on screen shots, etc. Some things like that to me just work better on the computer than on a Kindle. So my thought is the full e-book will come out just like that: as a large e-book and full course. But a lot of helpful individual reports and e-books focusing on specific aspects of freelancing could make great Amazon Kindle gifts and be a natural fit for that form.

Expect a lot of Master Dayton reports and e-books coming up in the future – and I’ll make sure they’re all easy to find from this site. The most important thing here is getting back to blogging – designing the site and adding extra pages and all that shiny stuff comes much later.

Old Master Dayton, New Master Dayton, Master Dayton for Hire?
So what’s going to happen to the old blogger blog? Well you can still find it HERE, and I will probably still add new updates although masterdayton.com is going to be my main focus from now on. Many of the new posts on the old blog may even be summaries pointing to much more detailed posts on the new site. In the long run it just doesn’t make sense to keep building my brand on a blogspot blog, no matter how well it has worked in the past.
And yes, on a limited basis I am taking on new clients take a look at my professional writing services page to get a look at where I’m at as far as charging per page, services offered, and how I’ve chosen to present myself. This doesn’t mean it’s the best way or only way to do so, but that’s where it is in case you’ve ever wondered. You can also find that link under the services page, along with a much briefer synopsis of what I offer.
The e-mail mailing list
So while taking a staff writing job for a while over the past year to take a break from burn out, pay some medical and legal bills, get out and meet new people, and just reevaluate life in general – I spent an hour before work each day in the break room writing a nice 10 part e-mail course in my notebook. That was February and the notebook went missing in March. Sometimes life just works that way. I’m still going to put a course together at some point, but I don’t want to put a timeline on when. In addition, I’ll be focusing on doing a much better job with updating everyone on new blog posts, article sales, or anything else going on who signed up for the list.

Moving on from just helping beginners
Moving from just beginners – where I felt I focused on too much, to making those next steps to full time freelance writing. This should be a natural movement, anyway. The old Master Dayton blog is still up and many of those old posts I intended to re-write anyway as markets have changed dramatically over the last several years.

A lot of the information there is still great and still useful, but a lot of it has also become outdated, as well. New direction, new posts, new information. Hopefully it will work to everyone’s continued benefit.

I’m looking forward to making this blog even more useful, more helpful, and full of more freelance writing advice than ever before.

Finding new clients
One of the major differences between the old Master Dayton freelance writing blog and the new Master Dayton freelance writing website will be more emphasis on finding new clients and finding repeat clients. While the recent Google updates have hammered many Internet Marketers, it’s also opened up so many more opportunities for good freelance writers since $1-$4 articles from India, China, or the Philippines just don’t do it with the search engines any more.

While many content mills are gone or shadows of what they used to be, freelance writers who are willing to go a little further to find new clients have more opportunity than I’ve ever seen to charge $20, $30, or even more per page. It’s harder than just signing up for Demand Studios or having tons of mid-level marketers or business owners willing to pay decent wages on Guru.com or Elance (there’s less good jobs in those places, actually) but the work is there.

I will qualify that with saying you have to be a good writer – but even average native English writers have a lot more demand than there was a year ago. Finding clients is a critical part of online writing – and it’s a topic that we’re going to cover again and again because it is important.

Google updates
Google updates starting with the letter P and involving white and black colored animals have wreaked havoc with many Internet Marketers. These updates have also been very good to some online freelance writers who are suddenly finding themselves in more demand than ever.

When it comes to Google updating their Algorithm, it’s going to keep happening. But someone has to end up on top. SEO isn’t dead – but the old ways of lazily and blatantly manipulating rankings without providing anything of value are.

It’s good to be back, and it’s good to have a site that I can control so I know my freelance writing blog posts won’t ever just arbitrarily be removed like they could be on the old blogspot blog. The blog posts on this one are going to alternate. You’ll see some short updates, you’ll see some long and wide ramblers like this one covering a wide range of online freelance writing topics, and then there will be plenty in the middle – focusing on one small niche of writing topics.

So sign up for updates, bookmark the page, and welcome freelance writers to the new and soon to be improved home of Master Dayton.