Earlier this week, I accepted 6 assignments from Associated Content. Normally, this wouldn’t be a particularly exciting event, with “Hey, Good for you, you might make $30 this week,” being the most generous response it would normally warrant.
But these six assignments in particular were special, thanks to their unique status within Associated Content. They were all “targeted assignments,” each paying $15-$20 a piece. For what may be the first time in my life, I’m getting more per-hour for my writing than I am at the fast food restaurant where I work!
What I learned from Associated Contents recent “targeted assignments” is this: if you want a shot at assignments that actually pay, list some very specific areas of expertise in the “Interests” box on your profile.
No one cares that you like “philosophy,” I guarantee that associated content isn’t offering any peer-reviewed assignments, and even if they were, they’d give preference to someone who offered an interest more specific to their particular needs. For example, if they wanted a a short bio on Jean-Paul Sartre, they’d choose the person with a more specified listed interest, like “Sarterian Existentialism,” over someone who just lists plain old, boring “philosophy.”
Its this principal of specificity regarding relevant, traffic-drawing interests, that I think gets the attention of AC editors, and draws targeted assignments in your direction. For example, the 6 targeted assignments that I recently received were all related to Marathon running. Apparently Yahoo! (AC’s host website), is trying to run a little section devoted to the sport.
Of course, it didn’t take long for my shrewd, deductive self to notice that the second “interest” shown on my AC profile was “running marathons.” Go figure.
Of course, this would all be too obvious to be worth noting were it not for a couple key facts:
A. marathon running was my only interest listed that was both specific, and relevant. In other words, when AC editors had assignments requiring a talented writer with niche experience, this was the only listed interest working in my favor.
B. By listing “marathon running” as an interest, I made $100 dollars.
C. By listing more specific, relevant interests, I could make hundreds more dollars.Already, I’ve gone back and added “blogging,” “Internet marketing”, and “SEO,” to my interests, and I think I might go back and add even more things as soon as I get a good brain storming sesh in. I have a strong gut feeling that reliable, high quality performance, and a myriad of declared interests (that I can actually back up with knowledge), will gain me a good enough reputation with AC editors to create for myself a nice little part-time job out of targeted assignments.