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?