Freelance Writing Income: To Disclose or Not to Disclose

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/04/freelance-writing-income-to-disclose-or-not-to-disclose/

I have noticed that some freelancers post their monthly earnings or discuss how much money they are making, either on their own blogs or on message boards. Have you ever noticed that the people who are willing to post how much they make are posting figures in the thousands each month?

To be honest with you, I’m not sure what I think about that. It seems like the topic of money is the last great taboo in our society. People seem more willing to open up about their sex lives than discuss how much money they are making…or spending, for that matter.

I was taught that to ask someone how much money they make is tacky and that volunteering that information is also in poor taste. When I was a little girl, my parents took me to a fair and a veterinarian was doing a presentation that day about what the job is like. When he asked if there were any questions, my eight-year-old self asked him how much money he made! He did answer with a figure that I have long forgotten now, but I still remember the severe dressing-down I was given after we walked away.

When I see someone posting what their earning are, I wonder about their motives for doing so. Are they trying to give themselves an ego boost by revealing this information? Are they trying to encourage existing writers not to give up or those sitting on the fence to give it a try?

To be honest, I don’t spend much time wondering how much anyone else is making. We all have different backgrounds and levels of experience and it’s not fair to compare the earnings of someone who has been freelancing for several years with that of someone who is just starting out. How much you can make will depend on many factors, including how much and how well you market yourself, as well as your writing ability.

I am curious to find out what the readers at FWJ think about this topic. Should we reveal how much we are making or is that still a no-no? Would you like to know what your fellow freelancers are bringing in? Would that knowledge help to spur you on to keep working or would you be discouraged if you found out that other people were making more than you?

Discuss.

Comments

  1. Regarding asking the vet his income, at a police dog demonstration, my then nine-year-old wondered if the dogs got paid or got vacations. Cop told her “I like the way you think.” :)

  2. Well, I for one am inspired by seeing the numbers that are posted by other writers/bloggers. It does show that there is hope for an income to increase if they are diligent and organized. However, if there are just random numbers and a lot of “how great i am” without tips and advice, I view it as just an opportunity for them to say “look at me and how much I make – - feel bad yet?”. If they are providing ways and information on how they achieved these thousands of dollars, I’m all for it. Without that info., I just yawn and become quite annoyed.

  3. I’ve seen this, too (one particular blogger comes to mind and yes, his monthly figures are always waaaaaay more than what I pull in, lol). I can’t answer for everyone’s motives but at least for this one, he seems to be encouraging and to let newbies know that yes, it’s possible to make a very good salary from freelance writing. I’m sure there are others out there who do it for ego, vanity, etc. Personally, I don’t disclose income, but I don’t even disclose income on various surveys I sometimes take; I just always put “prefer not to disclose” because to me, that’s highly personal info.

  4. I took the day off and spent it with my former sis-in-law and her family yesterday. They’re here from London for a few days and the topic of salaries came up. I don’t mind stating what I earn. It was taboo in the past, but to me times have changed. And in this case, it was strictly a comparison to see if those of us in the U.S. really are having a rough time financially. When compared to the cost of living in London (try paying 200 pounds for a winter jacket), I learned quite a bit. As I took them to the area stores, the price differences they were telling me was actually jaw dropping. The one that hit me the hardest was when they went into a local Speeder & Earl’s Coffeeshop with me. When Mitch was told the total for three coffees and a cookie for their daughter came to $4.58 – he choked. Couldn’t believe it. Then told me how the coffeeshop around the corner from their flat charges 5 pounds ($10) for a cup of coffee and that the last time he went in, he spent close to 22 pounds($44) for two coffees, a juice and three croissants. I can’t imagine paying $44 for bakery items.

  5. You know, I often wish they wouldn’t. I am very happy with what I make, and though I do make in the thousands (very lwo thousands) every month, I don’t make what most do. I also don’t work as much as most, and don’t spend much time looking for new work. I have several steady clients, enough work to fill the time I have to work, a two-year-old and a baby on the way, so my life is full. I make enough to pay down some debt and pay all my bills, so I am happy.

    I guess when others post how many thousands they are making, it makes me feel like less of a freelancer. I don’t get .50 per word, but I don’t like to do the type of work that requires interviews and such and pays that much. I like my hourly rate, but I sometimes feel like I am “selling myself short” when I hear of others making so much more. But, I got one of those higher paying gigs once, and it ended up taking up so much of my time that i had to let other clients go, and in the end it was not worth it, nor was it enjoyable. So, I guess I wish people would keep it to themselves, although that may not be the popualr opinion.

  6. Deb,

    I understand where you are coming from, as I was taught the same.

    I think when a forum is designed to guide people through a business, however, the rules change. Particularly freelancing, when we are either setting our own rates, or determining if a rate is fair. My hardest battle with being a newbie has been getting a clear cut answer as to what I should be charging. Even a range would be helpful. Telling people they need to figure it out for themselves, determine what is right for them, etc… only goes so far when we dont even have a range in mind of what we should be shooting for. I have not booked any jobs where I had to quote my rate. I get the jobs where the rate has been quoted to me. Obviously, I need some guidance.

    I dont think any of us should have to feel like we need to disclose our total monthly take, but hearing some clear cut numbers like: “on one blog where you post 5x per week you should expect to earn between $80 – $150 per month” would be very helpful to newbies. Or “a blog that gets x traffic can make between x & x dollars a month in ad revenue.”

  7. With my family and best friend, yes. With anyone else, I don’t really feel comfortable. Maybe a ballpark figure when I’m making thousands. ;)

    I sometimes get the feeling it’s all MLM – look how much money you can make, too, if you just sign up to be a part of my group! And only the top few really make that much money. But there are a few bloggers who I feel are really trying to encourage others to work smarter and earn very good money.

    Is it possible to make a decent living wage? Absolutely. Will anyone get rich? Not likely.

  8. @ Phil: I guess my brain was working well back then, LOL! It seemed like a fair question to me.

    @ Ann G: I have heard that having a 100-year mortgage is quite common due to the high price of housing. For $10, I hope the coffee over there is exceptionally good! :)

  9. @kitty – blogging can range from about $5 per post up to $100. The average, though, is around $10 per post for short, newsy items. It’s more for longer articles that require more thought and research. I wouldn’t take less than $10 for a 100-word or so post.

    Having said that, some networks give you a small base plus traffic. It can be very low wages per post until you build up an audience. I am getting ready to try one of those soon, as it has potential to be good. Yes, I’m taking a gamble, but it’s with an established network so I know they’re not just promising something that will never happen.

    But for other freelance writing, it really can vary. Anywhere from $50/hour up to hundreds per hour. You have to figure what you need per month to cover all of your bills and overhead. Then figure out how many billable hours you can handle a month (don’t forget to leave yourself time for marketing and admin tasks). Divide what you need to make by your available hours, and that’s a starting point for your wages. Then pad it a bit because you will sometimes come out ahead, sometimes not.

    Sorry to be so windy, but I hope that helps. I guess I need to write a longer post on this, huh? :D

  10. @Jodee–From what they told me, American coffee is very weak. I’ll quote my former-sis – “It’s like American’s can’t decide if they really just want hot water with a touch of coloring or not.” Speeder and Earl’s here does a pretty good espresso I think, so I had them try that and they said it was still not as strong as the Italian espresso they’re used to, but certainly not as bad as Starbucks. I don’t like dark roast coffees as a general rule, so I have a feeling I’d hate London coffee.

  11. I don’t know how I feel about it. I feel talking about how to manage your finances is great, but talking about how much you make is a bit strange. If the motivation is strictly to encourage others then I don’t see a problem with it, if it is your decision and you are not being put on the spot to tell people.

    I don’t work full time as a freelancer, so I don’t make nearly as much as some people I have seen. What I think is often neglected in the discussion is how much TIME is spent working. You may be making $7000 a month, but how much time do you spend working? That is usually my question.

  12. Growing up poor and in England, I also was taught that asking or telling how much you earn is tacky. I also think it’s nobody’s business and find people tend to judge you too quickly based on how much you make.

    It’s funny because now I live in the US and some friends were recently bemoaning how “poor” they are by telling me how many tens of thousands they had lost on the stock-market this year. I was shocked because a. I’d love to have that much money in the first place but b. it felt as if they were trying to brag about how much better they were somehow by having this much money.

    My money, my business.

  13. @ Ann G: That’s good to know. I do enjoy a light or medium roast coffee. If I ever make it to England, I may stick to ale instead. ;)
    @ Fiona: It sounds like those people are doing bragging in reverse, you’re right.

  14. Englebert says:

    You know: I don’t really care what people are making but I have no problem with folks disclosing it, as long as they are honest. As a freelancer, I have a full-time job and basically look as freelance income as my “extra” money. Also, it never goes as far as it seems as I am usually an independent contractor and have to pay taxes out of the earnings.

    Last year, I made about 11 grand in freelance income, which for me, was good as I have a full-time job. Basically, I would not want to make more than 20 grand because that would just require too much work. If I can make in the 5 to 15 grand range per year, I’m very happy.

  15. I think it’s great that writers are disclosing their earnings. To my knowledge, there are no recent national salary surveys for writers. New writers often don’t know what to charge and the work of writers has been devalued in today’s marketplace.

    Some writers will work for absurdly low rates. The market has responded by reducing compensation and expanding the rights they claim. One magazine I wrote for in 1995 paid $1000 for a 2,000 word feature; today the same publication pays $500. Why? Because it can!

    Perhaps if more successful writers publish their salaries it will encourage other writers to raise their rates.

  16. I don’t know what I did – sorry if this is a duplicate comment.

    I post my earnings all the time. My motive is to show people that it is possible to make money as a writer. My blog attracts a lot of beginners.

    I also have a blog focused on internet marketing. I’m new at it and I posted my earnings from last month – a whopping $79. Ego? I think not – it’s pretty humbling seeing that number!

  17. Hey D -

    I apologize for this being totally off topic, but do you have any idea why Technorati is telling me your last post was in November ’07?

  18. I’m always leery of people who are quick to reveal how much money they earn. In my opinion, it’s no one else’s business. I don’t see a problem with a fellow writer or blogger offering a ballpark figure. Newbies might consider this information useful, in which they’ll know their earning potential. On the other hand, if a fellow writer constantly tosses out their monthly earnings (especially when it doesn’t pertain to the discussion), I would question their motives. Let’s be honest…some people enjoy rubbing their success in the face of others.

  19. I agree that my salary is no one’s business. My 11 year old daughter says many kids in her class know what their parents make and share it with others. My children do not know how much my husband and I bring in and never will. She understands it is not her business.

    However, getting a general idea of what the going rate is in a business is helpful. Being new to the freelance business this is often my question. You don’t want to go into a job asking for too much (or too little). Currently I run an in home daycare and I don’t have a problem telling fellow providers how much I charge. In fact, referral agencies have a rate sheet that gives the average rate for any given area in the city. This is available to both other providers and parents looking for care. It is helpful to know if you are being competitive or not. But in telling someone how much I charge a week to watch a child I am not necessarily giving my total income.

  20. Nice post, Jodee. And thought provoking too.

    Personally, I won’t disclose what I earn. I might say “I’m able to pay the mortgage each money” or “I earn as much as I did with my office job” but I never comfortable revealing actual figures. What if a writer isn’t earning what I earn, does that mean she’s a failure and should hang it up? No! And I don’t want her feeling that way.

    I understand seeing another writers numbers gives some people something to aspire to, but I don’t want anyone else to feel inadequate either.

    And Jodee, I too was raised that it’s impolite to talk money. I’m never comfortable with it.

  21. I’m not a freelance writer (yet), but I’ve been scanning some Freelance Writing blogs for a short time to try and pick up some information so I know what you are talking about. Personally I don’t think it is taboo to discuss income, but it is in poor taste talk about it all the time.

    Additionally, I’d take some of those figures with about as many grains of salt as I do the size and number of fish posted on some of the fishing forums I cruise.

  22. If this is something people want to reveal to help out others, fine. But I agree it’s tacky to ask this information, or to expect it.

    I also am not comfortable when an ad (for writing on the web, or in the classifieds in the newspaper) asks for applicants to send in salary history or what they have been paid for previous writing gigs. I think this should be part of negotiations later if the person hiring is interested in the applicant, and vice versa. It is really no one’s business, not even a potential employer.

    Does anyone feel the same way about this?

  23. @ Rhonda: Yes! My salary history has nothing to do with this particular job and its potential salary.

  24. Like Becky says, freelance writing payments are all over the map. Prolific book writers can live quite comfortably, while newspaper stringers need to be extremely frugal. Really no idea on blogging rates beyond what I read here.

  25. I only blog about if it’s relevant to the point I’m making. I don’t give out dollar amounts, either. Something like “Ever since I gave my cover letter a confident voice, I earned 3 times more per client”. The same goes for any interviews or questions people ask about how much I make as a writer. Also, I usually only do it on my personal blog, visible only to friends and family. Does that count?

  26. Catherine says:

    I think it’s great that experienced writers are posting their income at WAHM and Absolute Write. It’s very inspiring to others. However, just because one writer provides this information, it doesn’t mean all writers are obligated to spill the beans too.

    If a writer is uncomfortable about posting their income, let them remain silent but I don’t think they should criticize others for doing so. Honestly, I don’t think posting your earnings is much different than providing folks with a list of companies/clients you write or blog for. I suppose either could be viewed as an “ego boost” by some.

  27. I was also raised to believe it’s none of my business what anyone makes. Am I curious? Sure. I also know I’m not going to be a big earner anytime soon because I have two small children and I work around them – that’s my priority right now. What’s helpful to me is knowing going rates – how much does an experienced proofreader (2+ years, say) charge per hour? Per page? I know what’s a ridiculously low pay rate, but I’m not always sure how to bill myself, though I do have different rates for proofreading as opposed to copywriting. Sometimes it’s good to have a ballpark figure to work with.

  28. I will discuss exact amounts with someone that I feel close to and comfortable with, but as far as broadcasting to a large number of people, I won’t do it.

  29. I, like Deb and Jodee, was also raised with the notion that it’s impolite to discuss salary and money. Not only don’t I like disclosing to people what I make, I don’t really like to know what they’re making either! Feel free to disagree with me here, but I think it brings about a unnecessary air of competition. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of freelance writers out there–some of whom are well-established, some of whom are not–all with different niches and degrees of talent. Knowing what Writer X makes may encourage some people, but it might just as easily discourage them, too.

    I agree that it’s important for new writers to know what is a reasonable rate to charge and receive for work, but can’t that be accomplished by discussing rates and not income?

  30. I think if I finally got to where I was making even close to 1000 a month writing I’d want to tell everyone! I have to agree that I still think it’s a bit impolite to discuss your earnings.

  31. Yes I’m with Kitty. I think it is more beneficial to know what it costs to do one piece of writing over another.

    I’m still fairly new and it is hard to set prices. If I had a cow or chicken and wanted to sell milk or eggs, I readily can figure out what others are making doing the same. If I want to write an article, proofread, edit or ghostwrite, there are too many entities out there spouting prices. Many post either inflated prices or lowball prices and finding the middle ground is quite a task. And…many others keep that information silent, until they want to lambast you in a forum for taking low wages, then they still won’t give up the goods.

    So if any one is going to post earnings, do it in an educational manner that shows what you have to do to earn the money and what types of clients are paying for what types of work… I certainly don’t need to be wasting my time insulting potential clients with confusing fees. I also need to know which clients are trying to insult me as they come to the table expecting more for less.

    Great topic.

  32. I love reading about what other writers make. It gives me a push to do more with my own career. I agree that it would help if the bloggers were more specific. For example, “I made $3000 last month and I wrote 10 articles, 10 sales letter, and 20 pages of online content.” This helps even more because it helps us understand how much work is involved.

  33. I understand why people think it’s tacky, but I actually appreciate the writers that post their breakdowns on the writing forums (like Diana’s example). It is a little inspiring and gives you concrete examples of what’s being paid for different types of projects.

    I think it’s more common for bloggers to reveal their salaries than other types of writers. I believe Deb’s salary was listed (I’m guessing with her approval) last year on Paula Neal Mooney’s highest paid bloggers list.

    -Kori

  34. I come from a 9-to-5 where you could lose your job for discussing your salary. It can create a tense working environment when people are demanding more money because so-and-so makes more for doing the same job. As a freelancer I still keep my exact numbers quiet. However, giving estimates of what to expect can be very helpful to the community of writers. Also, if a company posts their rates online then I will definitely repeat them. ;-)

  35. Tish Davidson says:

    I agree that information on dollar per hour worked or pay per words/pages written is more helpful than absolute dollar amounts since the amount a freelancer need to live on comfortably varies with where you live, how you define comfortable, how many people you support or how many other people contribute to your household income. For example, if I had to buy health insurance instead of being on my husband’s work policy, it would make a serious dent in my earnings. I don’t mind telling people what I make if they ask, but the amount varies wildly from month to month. The first quarter of this year, I have made more than I have ever made in any quarter in 20 years. But after April 9, I have absolutely no more work booked (although I am always looking), so it would be meaningless to project first quarter earnings for the entire year.

    I’ve always told my kids what I make because I want them to understand that even though I am home and don’t go out to work like their dad, I am working. I also believe it is important for older kids to understand how much money it takes to run a household – what comes in and what goes out and the choices you have to make. They need to understand that the things they take for granted – heat, electricity, clean water – are not free, the cost of paying for things over time using credit cards, the bite taxes take out of your income, etc. Money management is not a skill taught well in schools in the US, so you have to talk about it at home if you want your kids to be able to handle their money well when they start living on their own.

  36. @Kori- My salary was listed at Paula’s blog but it wasn’t correct nor was the blog attributed to me.

  37. @ Deb: Thank you! :)

    @ Chelsi: You are getting that message because my last blog post here at FWJ was last November.

  38. I don’t feel that I need to know any one person’s specifics, but as a noob I would be thrilled with anonymous information. I need a better grasp on average/standard pay rates.

    As for my own information, I don’t mind sharing if someone approaches me for help or advice, but I don’t make it a standard part of daily conversation.

  39. I am generally very open about the amount of money I make… that was, until I got my first REALLY big client and was making a huge amount of money. At that point, I felt very uncomfortable talking about exactly how much it was. Not sure why… perhaps the cultural reasons you stated, maybe because I didn’t want people to feel bad because they weren’t making big bucks. I’m still not sure. My billable hour didn’t change all that much, I was just billing a LOT more hours and the bottom line was mid to high figures per month… and yet, as thrilled as I was, I couldn’t tell anyone. Didn’t want em to know.

    I do know this, when people don’t talk about how much money they are making, the ONLY entity that really benefits is the employer/client. Most people undervalue themselves.

  40. I think the temptation to know what other freelancers are making is based in part to the nebulous nature of freelance pricing. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to charge and what to expect as income.

    Like many here, it’s outside my comfort zone to talk numbers, but I think it is helpful for freelancers to share ranges and the work involved to earn that kind of money.

  41. Argh.

    That should be mid to high FOUR figures per month.. part time.

    Like the other part time freelancer who commented, I tend to make $10K-$15K/yr part time… except that I’m a full time mom instead of a full time worker. This past year, I made a bit more than that, but I also worked a good bit more than I really wanted to.

    Go figure.

  42. On my Millionaire Blogger blog, the entire premise is to track how much I earn by blogging. Every month, I list specifically what I’ve been paid and how I earned that money, be it from network blogs, advertisers, etc.

    Why? Because there are a lot of people out there who think that blogs can never make money. They look down on blogging as something that’s not a true job or they want to get started but don’t believe in themselves. Millionaire Blogger is all about showing people that they CAN do it if they put in the work. I don’t think that it is tacky at all to post that kind of information.

    For the record, I don’t make thousands of dollars blogging…yet. Someday, I hope to, and I hope my readers are there to see that – to see how over time, if you work at it, your earnings will grow.

    Also for the record, blogging isn’t all I do, so this isn’t exactly the same as sharing my income – it is just a piece of my income. I wouldn’t feel comfortable posting my entire income online, but I would be more than happy to talk about it with any aspiring writers and college students. Good writers need to believe in themselves!

  43. If someone asks, I’ll tell them what I made in a given month. I’ve got nothing to hide.

    When I read this post, it sounds like there is disbelief that a writer can make thousands of dollars a month. Why? Lots of us do. I’m not ashamed to say that in the first quarter of 2008, I earned almost as much as I did in a full year at my last office job 3 years ago.

    I look at writing as my full-time job. I don’t have to worry about child care. I’ve never been comfortable having big chunks of free time during the day. So yeah, I put in a 40-hour work week, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. But that’s what MY goals are.

    One thing that really helped me this year was putting together a business plan. I picked a monthly income goal, even though I thought it would be a real stretch, but here I am, hitting it regularly. Perhaps the topic of a business plan can be a post for another day.

  44. There was this guy at a forum who posted his earnings for the month. It was a big amount – at least double what I am making right now – and there were a lot of people there who went WOW! Except that he had neglected to mention that he has a little army of writers who work under him, and whose collective billing brought in that huge amount. I am guessing he took about half of it home – which means he made just as much as me!:)

    I realized a long time ago that there is a lot of inflation of actual income going on. Not always, but often enough to be cynical about it. It’s sad.

  45. @Preschool Mama – See that’s the thing. I could throw out a number and I know the majority of you would believe me, but would it be true?

    John Chow and ShoeMoney shows people the proof. When someone throws out a vague figure, with no breakdown whatsoever, how do I know what’s true? There are a lot of considerations when it comes to a salary comparison.

    Did anyone else help with the project and if so, what is that person’s pay? Do you work 20 hours or five? Was this a whole bunch of small projects or a couple of huge projects needing skilled research? Were you paid for web content or a medical journal entry?

    Would I want to work 17 hours a day for $7500 per month or 8 hours a day for $5,000 per month? Is more money necessarily worth the time away from family or the stress?

    Lots of considerations.

    Vague blog posts don’t impress me. Details do.

  46. Personally, I see nothing wrong with someone wanting to share their earnings, but if they don´t , that´s fine, too. I don´t find it discouraging to see that others are earning more . . . it gives me a better idea of whether or not I´m undercharging. When I first started freelance writing, I would take on articles for $2 a pop, not knowing any better. Now I would never dream of doing work for such low pay!

    That being said, though, I think you have to take many people´s earnings with a grain of salt. I would trust someone who shows proof and also people who are obviously expert writers, but if someone says they earn thousands of dollars and yet they have just started a blog and have spelling mistakes all over . . . well, I´m inclined to doubt!

  47. I don’t know. I remember when Carson (ContentDoneBetter) did it on his quest for 100K in a year. I didn’t find it tacky at all. But, I felt I knew him fairly well before he did that and had worked with him on occasion. It’s a little different to me when writers that I’ve never heard of or talked to before are coming out of the woodworks with amazing claims.

    I did grow up in a generation where that was the worst question you could ask someone, now it seems that everyone is talking about it.

  48. I’m late to the party (but you knew I’d come, didn’t you?).

    I love reading about what other people are paid. I’m morbidly curious.

    And yet, I don’t feel that anyone should know what I make. I feel it’s not right.

    Double standard? Nope. Just natural human curiosity and natural human need for privacy.

    I believe we all start somewhere, even those who work for pennies. Some end up earning tons of money. Some go for middle range. Some can’t get higher rates. That’s fine.

    If it’s not a matter of ethics, what you earn is no one’s damned business. If you’re doing something morally or ethically questionable, then your rates are up for question.

    We’ve mentioned a few times on our blog what our yearly income is. When we have, it’s been for relevant reasons, in the comment section only and NEVER to make anyone else feel small. We’ve never blogged about our earnings and never will.

    When we do mention writers rates, we point readers to http://www.writers.ca, the Professional Writers Association of Canada, which is the industry I look to for suggested rates. That’s all. What I charge or bring in is my affairs.

  49. Catherine says:

    “Would I want to work 17 hours a day for $7500 per month or 8 hours a day for $5,000 per month? Is more money necessarily worth the time away from family or the stress?

    Lots of considerations.

    Vague blog posts don’t impress me. Details do.”

    There is a post at the blog you’re referring to that states the writer works about 40 hours per week. I think there also is a breakdown of how many projects were completed each month.

    In all fairness, how is what this person is doing any different from what Carson (Content Done Better) did a few years ago? Weren’t you very supportive of him back then?

  50. PreSchool Mama, I think I know who you’re talking about. It actually amuses me whenever he posts about his “income” on the board and on his blog, and just about everywhere else.

  51. This is a phenomenon that has my hackles up from time to time. I used to read a writing blog faithfully until the earnings challenges and postings started up. Why? Up to that point the writer had been going on for a good while about how they were barely making ends meet and constantly begging people to leave a tip.

    I am in the economically depressed midwest; I have one weekly gig I can count on, my part-time job crashed with the housing bust and this person making how much needs me to pay for their blog. I’m on Google because I don’t have money to throw away on blogging but I love the blog world so I would rather blog on Google than not at all.

    Sorry, this isn’t a very good first impression. I forgot how much energy was linked to this topic.

  52. I once heard a theory that if more people talked about how much money they made, inequalities in pay would be less frequent because people would demand to be paid the same as their peers. I’m not sure I fully agree with that (and I think the theorist was talking about work on defined pay scales) but I do appreciate freelancers talking about it in the context of helping each other out. Especially since I’m just starting out and am still learning what’s fair and what’s typical.

  53. I’ve told people how much I make. Usually when asked by a new writer who wants to know if all blogging jobs are low pay, or to encourage someone who is feeling discouraged about their income. But I’m generally forthcoming about everything — sex life included. LOL I don’t feel like it needs to be a secret. I know there are folks who earn more and folks who earn less. To me, it is no big deal.

  54. Ronaldo says:

    It seems to me that posting incomes for freelancers will encourage new players in the arena. It is general knowledge that the price for gigs is governed by supply and demand.

    I would also like to enter the playing field and I need the rulebook-rates etc.

  55. @Catherine – I’m not unsupportive. I think my point is if someone is going to say “I earned $7500 last month and you can too” I want to know how. Knowing a broad monthly figure won’t tell me anything – What kind of writing does this person do? What are her rates? What kind of work was involved with each project?

    With Carson, he issued a challenge to himself (with much fanfare) to earn $100,000 in a year and posted updates. His rates were also listed at his website so we could see what he charged. We knew what kind of writing he took on and how much time he spent on different projects. He didn’t just go to different forums and say “I made $7500 last mont.”

    Please don’t read into this that I’m not supportive, because I am. I applaud the writer for surpassing her goals. I just feel if a someone is going to post income as a motivator for others, they’re going to have to tell how they came about that total. Are these academic papers? Does she sell PLR? Is she a journalist? Do all her clients pay the same fee…and who set the fee?

    Lots of considerations..and support.

  56. In all fairness…

    I didn’t look at the blog at first because it was down. I saw the post at WAHM at it was very vague.

    The writer did say her income was from 21 writing projects. I don’t know what types of projects or the rates though.

  57. For 21 gigs that’s not a huge amount. Kind of average.

  58. Working Hard for the Money says:

    Great topic! Although what I will share is a little off base, it still runs parallel to today’s topic.

    My partner’s aunt is CONSTANTLY asking us how much money we have for income. And I am not talking about questions such as ” do you make good money at your job?”! No, I am talking about direct questions such as ” how much money do you make an hour?” or ” how much money do you bring home every month?”! To me, it is appalling that they ask! They are much older than us, and have much more money than we do, so what concern is it of their’s? The only thing I can think of as to why they ask is because we rent from them, and they want to know if they can charge us more in rent! Of course, when they do ask, I always answer with my famous line of “I make enough to pay my bills”! I just do NOT understand where people feel so comfortable enough to ask another individual, related or not, how much money they make! I have never cared to know how much others make at their job, and I wish that others would feel the same way about mine!

  59. @ Working Hard: That is so rude!

    When someone asks my father a question that he thinks is too personal, he just says, “Well if anyone asks you, you just tell them that you don’t know…” This might work for you, too.

  60. Hi Deb

    Not everyone who posts up their monthly earnings is making money in their thousands. I’m such an example. Sharing or not sharing that info is a personal choice.

    One of the things you mentioned here is that you were taught that talking about money was tacky – you’re responding from that place. I was taught that there’s never enough money, that you need to work yourself silly over 3 low-paid jobs rather than get one well-paid job. The realisation of what I’ve learnt from my parents is one thing – whether I choose to do something about it (unlearn it), or whether I feel I need to do something about it, is another.

    take care and thanks for broaching the topic…

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