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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Writing in Internet from a third world country

I am trying to break into the American writing market for the last 1 year. I admit that my effort was not consistent and there were frequent lapses and on the other hand there are limitations that I had to work on. Nevertheless, I had continued pursuing my dream as much as I can. It is not that I have become successful already or I feel I am on the verge of realizing my dream. Still, I feel that I have got some real life experience that I can share with my fellow writers in Bangladesh who want to get established in online writing. Of course, the first problem is of language as to earn money we must write in English and the editors in Net are very demanding about the quality of grammar, punctuation and spelling. However, if I was not confident of my English language skills in the first place I would not dream of entering into freelance writing from Bangladesh.

The problems: No credit card or Paypal
An American writer cannot think of writing without a credit card. Now Paypal is becoming the industry norm for online transaction. However, for Bangladeshi writers, these two things are like a dream and there is no sign that it would change in the next few months or even years. Not having any form of online transaction affects us in two ways. First of all, it makes it very difficult for us to receive payments of our own writings. In many freelance writing works related postings it is clearly written that payment will be sent by Paypal or the writer must have a Paypal account. However, more than that because of absence of online transaction we cannot pay for online resources such as Writers Market. Most of the good services for the writers online are less than US $50 and it is quite affordable for us.

Technical and marketing know how!!
When I first thought of freelance writing through online, I just thought that I want to write and I can write and that should be enough. The more time I spend with net I realize that writing is merely one arm of the triangle. A writer must have good technical knowledge and sense to flourish online. On one hand, it is really necessary to have some preliminary ideas about web design and blogging. On the other hand, it is more important to know about technical aspects of writing like keyword articles. Then writers have to know about the websites from where they can download resources that are helpful in writing. I like download.com and most probably thousands of writers like me visit this website all the time.

Cultural difference
Cultural difference can really be a great obstacle for a freelance writer from Bangladesh. Many of us have the weird idea that life in USA is similar to what we see in Hollywood movies and American TV serials. Lack of knowledge about American life and culture only decreases our chance of being successful in that market.

Unfamiliarity about Bangladesh
Each week, I send 10 queries by email in response to the job postings posted in different freelance writing related websites. Most of the time, I do not receive any reply from the advertiser.
Against all the odds
I am trying my best to fight against all the odds and establish myself as a freelance writer in the western markets. For the whole of 2005, I was frustrated about my prospect and gave half hearted effort. This is the worst mistake I have done because with every passing day I feel more and more optimistic about my prospects in freelance writing. I just wish that I had started my quest 5 years earlier not in 2005.
I started writing this article about the problems of Bangladeshi writers and then most of the time talked about my own problems. Well, I am one of the very few writers from this poor country who are trying to make their marks in online writing.

5 comments:

  1. Razia3:18 AM

    Congratulations! I was missing such writing from Bangladesh. Hope others pick up on this.

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  2. Thanks madam. If you like then I can give your email to the subscribers list so that whenever I update something, it will go to you instantly.

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  3. The odds are very much stacked against you Razib, so you must have a really strong love of writing to follow your dream. I think you're very brave to fill this empty hole with your knowledge. There is obviously an uadience for this, and your determination will surely pay off. Thanks for educating me about Bangladesh - I've been interested in your country since the George Harrison Conert For Bangladesh.

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  4. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Dear Razib ahmed,

    Thanks for your informative article about online writing. I am a senior content writer in an IT firm. My job is to write articles for our web sites. We build website mostly on American products and services. Whatsoever, I am also looking forward to be a freelance online writer. To write online articles, knowledge of keywords and topic selection is vital. As you have practiced writing for quite a long time, I wish, you will catch your dream real soon.

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  5. I have many ideas about this I would like to discuss with you. What's the best way to do that?

    ReplyDelete