Do you ever read about freelance writers earning $100 or even $300 for a blog post and wonder, Wow, what’s the catch? Do you hear about freelance writers selling white papers for thousands of dollars and say, “Well, they must have a journalism degree,” or “They must have decades of business experience.”?
I know I used to.
I’d piddle away my hours writing restaurant reviews for $5 a pop or, if I was really lucky, an 800-word article about car insurance rates for $25.
One time, while on vacation, I refused to check out of my hotel because a last-minute writing assignment about speed limits in different states came up for a whopping $20. The hotel staff kept knocking on my door, wondering why I wouldn’t leave my room (in my defense, I still had an entire hour to check out, damnit).
On the rare occasion that I would look up from my keyboard, I’d hear about some blogger or freelance writer who asked and received a ridiculous amount of money to write about subjects X, Y or Z- the same subjects I wrote about for a fraction of the price. I figured this person probably worked for a big corporation or agency- or had been writing for the last 30 years.
My writing buddies, who also received the same types of low-paid assignments, didn’t even try to understand how one could be paid a real, living wage through writing. Instead, they spent their time calculating how many articles per day they could produce in order to earn an extra $500 or even $1,000 a month. Some of these writers even set up formulae on how many words per hour or day one had to generate in order to “break even” and cover the bills.
When Google Animals Attack
While my fellow writers were patting themselves on the back for churning out 10 articles a day, something strange was happening in the land of Google. Various animals like Panda and Penguin started wrecking havoc on keyword- and/or link-stuffed content- the same content that most of us low-paid writers were producing.
Content mills like Examiner and Associated Content (now Yahoo! Voices) responded by gathering their writers together and saying “Hey, c’mon people. We know you can write better quality stuff that’s in line with Google’s new standards. Just don’t get it into your heads that we’re going to pay you more for that content. In fact, we’re dying out here- so expect to be paid even less. And, as always, keep up the good work!”
Quitting the mill
I’d had enough. I quit the content mills and bidding sites like oDesk and Elance and struck out on my own.
Yeah, it was scary. Potential clients asked me about my rates and whether I had samples for them and I just responded with a blank stare. One client had me create a bunch of marketing content for him at 5 cents a word, which I was ecstatic to produce at the time. Little did I know that such content could’ve made me at least five times the amount he was paying.
Looking back, I wish I’d had a teacher who would’ve advised me about writing rates in the real world. I wish I’d taken a freelance writing course or two on finding decent writing gigs and negotiating fair payment for my work. When I think of all the money I missed out on by happily accepting the first low-ball offer that came at me…
Of course, I also wish I hadn’t wasted all those years writing for content mills and bidding sites- places that not only paid slave-labor wages but also did nothing to enhance my reputation as a writer.
However, what’s in the past is past. And at this point in time, I’m resolved to keep increasing my earnings year-over-year and helping other freelance writers do likewise. In fact, in case you missed it, I’m currently offering a freelance writing course on I’ve Tried That for just $49. The course is called Jump Start Your Freelance Writing Career!
My course helps you get a jump on your freelance writing career and make good money right away. My course also saves you years of frustration with joker and no-pay clients- the kinds of clients that make you wonder if high-paying writing gigs even exist.
Most assuredly, they do. However, you have to know how to find good-quality and high-paying clients. You have to ask the right questions. And you have to know how to negotiate and then re-negotiate your rates. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on a lot of money and never be able to support yourself from your writing.
There’s just one hitch.
Registration for my freelance writing course is almost over.
That’s right- registration for Jump Start Your Freelance Writing Career! is about to close. The course starts this coming Monday, the 27th of January, at which time the doors will close to any new students trying to sign up. So, if you are hoping to take my freelance writing course and start earning big bucks in 2014, please do it soon.
Incidentally, you’ll be getting a lot of well-researched information for your money. I’m talking about job boards and lists of blogs/websites that pay a minimum of $50 a post. I’m talking about hidden writing jobs that clients don’t even list online (or offline). I’m talking about negotiation strategies. I’m talking about knowing what writing gigs typically pay- so you aren’t fooled by smooth-talking clients.
With all this information delivered to you on a weekly basis over the next four weeks, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate for higher rates and better writing gigs. You won’t have to worry about being without clients- because clients will start coming to you. And you’ll feel more confident and capable of taking on those big writing jobs that pay for months or even years. So don’t delay!