You've probably come across the freelance writing debate of writing for the Web versus writing for print markets before. Some people still look down on Web writers, and think if we don't write for print markets, we're not "real" or "professional" writers. I think those views still exist solely out of ignorance. What do you think?
I think one of the biggest problems the print-only advocates have is that they look at one type of Web writing (such as SEO Web content writing that you'll see people doing for peanuts, and without any semblance of quality), and they equate it to all Web writers. What they often miss or neglect is the fact that most, if not all, of those print publications they write for actually have online versions. Those publications also hire equally-qualified writers to create unique articles for their online presence.
Personally, I prefer writing for the Web (although I have no problem with print markets, and actually wish I had more time to pitch a few). Here's why:
- Your work is published far more quickly.
- Your work is more easily accessible to more eyes (and it's easier for you to share it with people you want to see it - just link to it, email a link to someone, etc. - this also makes them easier portfolio pieces for clients wanting quick samples).
- Contrary to popular belief, you can earn just as much money writing for the Web as you can writing for print markets (if you don't want crap rates, you simply reject those gigs just as you'd reject one of the many print publications that doesn't want to pay you your rates - personally I rarely work for less than $.20 / word and have worked for well over $1.00 per word entirely online - equal to what print publications in my niches are generally paying).
- You often get paid more quickly writing for the Web. I believe I only have one client that is currently paying by check, where there's a delay after delivery. All other clients pay online before I start on the work, or with the payment due right away - there's no processing time to deal with in most cases. For larger publications, you may still have to wait for payments though, so check on their policies (or make your own clear) before working with someone new. Then you won't have any surprises.
- Writing for reputable Web publications can do just as much (if not more) for your credibility as print publishing (lets face it... I'm more likely to recognize a name of a reputable niche blogger these days than some "expert writer" who freelanced for some magazine, no matter how big the magazine is).
So what do you prefer? Print writing or Web writing, and why? Why do you think some people still look down on Web writers, and do you think they're justified? Do you see any other perks in Web writing that you feel I've missed?