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Handling Rejection

It’s a good thing that I don’t have thin skin. A few weeks ago I applied to write for Bright Hub. From time to time, I apply to new potential revenue generating sources to see if I can add it to my freelance writing basket. Sometimes it works out well and then there are times like this when it doesn’t.

After reviewing the Bright Hub site, I wasn’t quite sure if it was a fit, but I figured, what the heck, the worst thing that can happen is they reject me. Well, that’s exactly what happened. It took a while before I heard from them but I eventually received three (not one or two, but three), emails rejecting me.

Triple Youch!

One rejection was nice enough to say “Thank you for your application, but we are currently not accepting any new writers for this channel at this time” The other two rejections were less tactful: The subject of the email was “Application Declined.”Rejected

Woah! I can’t remember the last time I received an email like that. They did, however, give me the privilege of being able to “become involved in the Bright Hub communities by participating in discussion forums and commenting on articles…” It went on to say that if I proved my writing ability and knowledge in the forums they would reconsider my application. Whoo hooo. Thanks, but no thanks.

Thank God for Thick Skin

If I were a newbie, I would have been crushed. Such a blow would make me question my ability to put two words together to make a proper sentence. I’m sooo glad that I’ve progressed beyond that stage. Rejections are good for the soul. They keep you honest, grounded and determined.

Time to shake off the dust and on to the next.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Josh McWilliam January 19, 2009, 6:20 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Each channel on Bright Hub sort of runs themselves. If you applied to 3 separate channels, the Managing Editor of each channel would have reviewed your application. Each of their individual responses would have resulted in a unique email.

    We have been aggressively releasing a bunch of new functionality at Bright Hub recently, some of which has resulted in many Managing Editors not accepting as many new writer applications. You appear to be a talented writer, so I suspect this may have affected your application.

    As for the text of the email, that’s largely my fault. Much of the text is automated in our attempt to conserve the time of each Managing Editor. I came up with the text for the email, and after looking at it from your perspective, I am definitely going to re-visit it. I did not intend for it to come off so crass, so I apologize.


    • bumpylight June 13, 2011, 7:40 am

      Oh, dear. This post is way old, and it’s not all that graceful to dissect an apology, but I must! I simply must!

      The sentence “Each channel on Bright Hub sort of runs themselves.” should have been “Each channel on Bright Hub sort of runs ITSELF.”, or “THE channelS on Bright Hub sort of run themselves.”

      Further on, the passage “I did not intend for it to come off so crass” should have been “I did not intend for it to come {off|[across]} AS BEING so crass”, or “I did not intend for it to come off so crassLY”, or more simply “I did not intend for it to BE so crass”.

      (Yes, I’m aware that the commas aren’t conventional in my own writing.)

      • Felicia June 13, 2011, 7:55 am

        Bumpylight, I think I’ll have to seek your editing services when I finish my next ebook. 🙂

  • Josh McWilliam January 19, 2009, 6:45 pm

    I appreciate the feedback and the different perspective. My words don’t always match up with my intention, and building a product is always as learning experience, It doesn’t matter what you think you know, you don’t, and you don’t always get the proper feedback till you get it into the real world.

    So what the email should have said is, Thank you for your application! The timing of it may have been unfortunately off, not your fault by any means. If you have the patience, I would very much encourage you to check back in a couple months as some of the kinks will likely have been worked out by then.

  • Felicia January 19, 2009, 6:35 pm

    Hey Josh, thanks for commenting.

    I think the “Application Declined” gets to the point, but is a bit tough on some folks. I take it all in stride, but some folks might be crushed by the wording.

    Glad I was able to share a different perspective.

  • Kristin Peoples January 22, 2009, 4:52 pm

    I can certainly relate to this article. It seems like the declines come together. Writers are supposed to have thick skins but sometimes it still smarts a bit.

    Kristin Peopless last blog post..Do You Have Personal “Stop Signs”?

  • Seema Adnani March 5, 2009, 3:24 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I am glad, I reached your blog. Loved reading it and have been reading since 2 hours.

    I am a writer at BrightHub. I can well understand your point and agree with the strange feeling one gets when one receives the “Application Denied” reply. Even I got this atleast 3 times, still 4 channels accepted my application too.

    However, I just wanted to share that it is a great place to work. They give you decent revenue and you can choose your own area to write by just posting the outline and getting it approved.

    You can read me at http://www.brighthub.com/members/seemaadnani.aspx

    It may probably help you to know that currently applications are being accepted at channels like “Diet and Nutrition” “Mechanical Engineering” “Special Education” and “Online Learning”.

    Your blog is really interesting. I would like you to re try and I wish this time history does not repeat itself.

    Seema Adnani

  • Felicia March 5, 2009, 6:19 pm

    Thanks Seema for the vote of confidence.

    I’m not so sure that I’ll apply again. Not so much for fear of rejection, but I think I put a few too many assignments on my plate.
    Every so often I seem to over commit myself with writing assignments.

    I’ve read a few of your articles on Bright Hub. They were very informative. I’ve been considering taking a few online classes.

    In the meanwhile, I’ve got to get a few of the writing gigs off of my plate before I take on anything new.


  • Seema Adnani March 6, 2009, 8:34 am

    Thats nice Felicia. I agree, sometimes in the mad rush of work, we take up so much that we do not leave room for some of our own personal work/chores too.

    Do let me know, the degree/certificate that you are intending to take up in online learning, it would be great to write something for someone who is already waiting to read on it.

    I read about Demand Studio on your blog at length. Do you have any suggestion. I am planning to join it. Any better site compared to that one from the cache of your experience?


  • Felicia March 6, 2009, 10:10 am

    Demand Studios has its good and bad points. For a quick $15 its just fine. The problem I’ve found lately is that the editors are…hmmm, let me see how can I say this. They don’t always know the subject matter they are editing.

    Recently I wrote an article on becoming a commercial insurance broker (I spent many years as one). The editor requested a rewrite. When I read the editors comments it told me that the editor was not familiar with the field of insurance.

    I wrote back giving an insurance overview and that I was not willing to make modifications because the modifications suggested would force me to disseminate incorrect and factually misleading information. I also mentioned that for $15 it just wasn’t worth it.

    Funny thing is that the editor ended up approving the article as I had written it originally. It’s a little frustrating when you know more than the editor and the editor has the ability to request rewrites.

    Since then, I haven’t written any articles for them. The frustration just wasn’t worth it. I have an on again, off again relationship with Demand Studios.

  • Seema Adnani March 6, 2009, 3:07 pm

    Okay! Point taken.

    I tried registering today for 5 times and it answered “incorrect validation code”. I kept wondering what that was. The verification code that I had entered was perfectly right each time. I wonder what they meant by “validation code”. Since you are aware of the site, your help is invited.

  • Felicia March 6, 2009, 3:21 pm

    I’m not quite sure what the problem is. I signed up with them about a year ago. Since then they’ve made many changes. Many of the changes were recent ones.

    It could be a problem with their site or maybe a browser problem. Sometimes when I run into errors like that, I close my browser and open it again. Sometimes I even reboot. If that doesn’t work, send them an email to see if they can resolve the issue.

  • Seema March 17, 2009, 8:43 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Any idea about this. I just got a response from DemandStudios that they can take only US work permit/Valid Tax Proof holders as writers.

    Seema Adnani

  • Felicia March 18, 2009, 7:46 am

    Oh Seema, my mistake.

    Demand Studios only accepts US writers. I should have mentioned that to you.

    The internet has flattened the world and I keep forgetting that I’m communicating internationally. I apologize for the oversight.

    I can’t remember if you mentioned whether or not you write for Suite 101. They accept international writers. Give them a try.

  • LilyRose January 15, 2010, 10:45 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful site 🙂

    I have to chime in on Bright Hub. In a nutshell, I would not write for them. Felicia, consider yourself lucky to be rejected. It’s quite a mess over there.

    I currently write for BH and wish I never got involved with them. They have very strange rules that don’t make sense at all, and are very cold to their writers. On my first point, you have to have an average of 100 page views per month, otherwise you are put on a “remedial schedule.” Now here’s the unfathomable part: the month is the calendar month. So if you’ve submitted an article to the Managing Editor on January 5th for example, and they don’t publish it until January 15th, you’ve already lost half a month of page views – to no fault of your own. This rule would make more sense if it was literally a 30 day system, instead of the calendar month, right?

    Also, they have a very cold response to their writers. The rejection emails you rc’vd was representative of how the admin treats writers. And instead of addressing issues, the admin simply defends their choices and says, “we are a team environment,” instead of listening to writer suggestions.

    On a positive note, I have a wonderful Managing Editor and Contributing Editor in one channel – both are friendly and encouraging. However, the other channel I write for, the Editor is new and has lashed out at the writers a few times already – and she was only hired in January! She has written very unprofessional things in forums and emails.

    Another positive note, the fellow writers are very friendly and helpful and great to answer questions.

    So Felicia, you had the right path chosen for you. My last’s month revenue was so low for all my page views and work, that I’m hoping this site is not a scam. I don’t think it is, but my gut tells me something is very wrong here. It’s sad bc I really researched BH and thought it was reputable . . . oh well . . .

    I hope this outlook helps your readers. Best wishes for a wonderful year and I know you will reach any goals you set!

  • LilyRose July 6, 2010, 11:28 pm

    Hi Felicia, while I was here I thought I’d write a 6 month update on Bright Hub.

    I was promoted to a Senior Writer, but it doesn’t mean much. I’m finding the $10 upfront per article isn’t really worth it. There’s a lot of work that goes into each article, no matter how quickly I write. The revenue is terrible. I have yet to make over $15 a month in revenue, and I have a substantial amount of page views a month.

    I’ve decided I’m sticking it out with BH for a year. If the situation doesn’t improve, I will write the minimum. I think it depends a lot on which channel you write for as well – it seems the more obscure medical and scientific articles do incredibly well.

    I would say to your readers, it’s definitely not worth it. The keywords don’t work and there is way too much work for a $10 article. It’s basically cheap labor.

    The things that have improved are the Dashboard is so great and easy now. Much improved. BH also added a community manager, a liaison between the writers and admin, so it’s a bit more writer friendly.

    If you apply to BH, proceed with caution 🙂

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