Working Freelance Writer
Working Freelance Writer

What’s it Like Working With nDash?

What’s it Like Working With nDash?

Many of you know I’ve been freelance writing since 1999. Throughout those years, I’ve worked with many writing platforms. Some of them were a great way to help a new writer establish clips, like Suite101 (closed 2014) and Demand Studios, for example. In the beginning, editors talked to us every week about our assignments. Before long, that all went away. Demand Studios also went through a complete overhaul in 2016 and is now Leaf Group.

Other websites were terrible, like Themestream, because many writers took advantage of the fact that they paid per click. You can find a couple of writers reminiscing about their experiences with the site here and here. Don’t get me wrong—I loved the concept, published a lot there, and was part of the list of writers who were left unpaid during the unexpected shutdown. However, as much as I loved the concept, it’s what caused the website’s demise.

Anyway, I’m getting off-track. We’re talking about nDash here.

I’ve been working with nDash since October of 2018. Even though it hasn’t been a year, I want to discuss why this experience has been such a positive one in comparison to other platforms. Yes, I work with many. The main reason I work for many is that, like thousands of other freelance writers throughout the world, I have income goals.

It isn’t a good idea to put all of your eggs into one basket. (I wrote about that here: On Putting Your Eggs Into One Basket)

For one, a single platform isn’t sustainable. For another, in the past, I made the mistake of depending on a single platform, and the project’s budget ran out without notice (no, I’m not talking about Themestream—that was a separate occurrence a lifetime ago). We’re still waiting for that writing team to resurrect. We receive periodic emails from the editor, but who knows when or if that project will ever launch again.

Working with nDash has been a completely different experience.

Many reasons make nDash stand out for me in comparison to other platforms. I’m going to outline three primary reasons:

Communication:

The communication is stellar within the platform, through social media, and via email. It’s exciting to receive a random email from the marketing department or the head of customer success about a project, help with a client, or something I’ve written elsewhere on the web. Out of all the other platforms I’ve written for in my twenty years, this is the only one where I’ve ever received this much connection. That’s the first reason I feel like they’re setting themselves apart.

Growth:

I feel like, since I’ve started working with nDash, I’ve been growing steadily as a freelance writer. You’re probably thinking, “Jenn, you’ve been doing this for twenty years. You’ve been there, done that, and grown into the t-shirt.” That’s not true. In my opinion, a genuine businessperson is continuously learning and growing. That means I’m learning how to meet a client’s needs better, address time management skills more effectively, research using higher quality materials, and so on. There are always ways to improve, and I feel like nDash is helping me achieve that.

Opportunities:

I’ve been working a lot with direct orders and assignment requests over the last three months. Under most circumstances, it’s a mix of those and pitching. When I pitch, I expect around a 25% rejection rate. Previously, I would log each of my pitches so I wouldn’t duplicate them to the same client accidentally. Now, I’m using a different strategy. I pitch on four different platforms, which means I’m creating a steady list of ideas. If a rejection comes in, instead of marking it off and moving on to another idea, I’m putting that idea into a new list

That list is an opportunity that’s available through nDash. It’s their publishing platform where writers can create content. Topic categories include business, culture, science, travel & leisure, learning, and general. Once you pick a category, you enter your content’s title, keywords, and price. Then, you’re launched to an area where you create the content’s draft. There, you can edit to add subtitles, bold, italics, links, and feature images.

As soon as the content is available for sale to potential clients, it publishes on your profile. It’s an excellent opportunity for turning rejection into an acceptance.

More about that here: Turning Rejection Into Acceptance

How Does it Work?

Before anything can happen, you need to set up a writer profile and request verification. You can learn more about how to do that here. Ideally, your profile should contain:

  • Several blurbs about you and your career (I copied mine over from my LinkedIn “About Me” section).
  • Your career experiences.
  • Industries you write about–it’s a good idea to have ten or more topics selected within each category.
  • Set the price for each type of content you write.
  • Upload your writing samples (each time I have a new one, I add it in).

The Dashboard

I admit, when I first started using this platform, I found it a little intimidating because it’s so different from the others I’ve been using. However, once I got used to it, I found it easy to work with and incredibly efficient.

The dashboard’s sidebar contains buttons that read:

  • Assignments: a list of all your current “in-progress” assignments.
  • My Clients: these are the companies you currently have a working relationship with on the platform.
  • Companies: where you can pitch ideas—it’s separated by my prospects, suggestions, and all.
  • Ideas: this section lists direct content ideas you’ve submitted to potential clients.
  • My Content: drafts you’re writing, have published, or sold through the publishing platform.
  • My Profile: where you can edit the content on your public profile.
  • Referrals: there’s a referral link on your profile you can share through social networks and your website.

Along the top of the screen, you’ll find a link that reads, “Browse Assignments,” next to a box for searching companies on the left side of the screen. On the right side of the screen is where you’ll find an icon for creating content, pitching industries, and your profile. The main area of the dashboard is where you’ll find a section for your assignment summery (assignments in progress, due this week, recently completed, and recently pitched), direct requests, assignments in progress, new brands to pitch, and open assignments.

The Pitch

One of the most significant differences I want to point out regarding working with nDash is the pitch. You’re going to work with pitching a lot. If you’re not comfortable with writing pitches, I recommend practicing. You’ll find this highly beneficial in the long-run. If you’re unsure how to do this, nDash has a guide showing you—Pitching Content Ideas: The Freelance Writer’s Guide. Trust me, this is a skill you’ll find invaluable once it’s mastered.

Final Thoughts

You’re probably wondering how often I receive work from nDash. Great question! If you factor in how many weeks I’ve been working with this platform, it’s been roughly one assignment per week. I work with top-notch clients who pay market rates and value the writers they hire. To me, that matters a lot. They’re not demanding a lot of work for little pay, like so many other platforms that tend to make the naughty list. Instead, you’ll find a high level of quality professionals looking for skills and are willing to pay for them.

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