When a Freelance Writing Job Doesn’t Pay


There is perhaps no other topic in the freelance writing world that generates more controversy than the concept of writers writing for free. Bring it up and lines in invisible sand are drawn, commenting spikes and in the case of Harlan Ellison, a few F-bombs are dropped. It’s understandable. Shady publishers and editors prey on vunerable writers who want to see their names in print. Writers are constantly burned by “write for free now and earn later” promises in which “later” never comes. However, in the angry buzz of the debate something gets lost. Choice and education. There will always [Read more…]

Writing for Free or for a Low Pay – Don’t Let Anyone Else Judge You


I’ve been told that an ongoing debate that can get quite ugly on this site relates to whether or not people should take writing opportunities that are unpaid or offer a very low payment. Let me preface my opinion on this topic by saying I don’t think anyone should judge why another person takes one job over another.  Every person, whether they’re a writer, an actor, a business person, or work in any other profession, has unique experiences, education and circumstances.  To judge another person’s willingness to take a job that is unpaid or low paying is completely unfair.  Until [Read more…]

4 Measures to Put in Place So Your Freelance Writing Clients Won’t Rip You Off


As we discussed in yesterday’s piece about the dark side of freelance writing, sometimes freelance writing clients try and get out of paying us or flat out rip us off. While it’s true that it happens, it’s also true that there are things we can do to prevent being taken advantage of by our freelance writing clients. In fact, there are a few simple measures to put in place to make sure we’re paid as promised. Prevent Being Ripped Off By Your Freelance Writing Clients 1. Request a contract: Do you make sure your clients put it in writing? You’d [Read more…]

The Dark Side of Freelance Writing: When Clients Don’t Pay

tales from the darkside

We often talk of the benefits of freelance writing, extolling on its flexibility and comfort. Something we don’t cover enough is what I call the “dark side”  of freelance writing including scammers and non payers. One thing I learned over the years is how so many freelancers are embarrassed after being “stiffed” and don’t want to admit they’d been had. I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of. The more we talk about these situations, the more ammunition we have to protect ourselves against unsavory clients. Here’s a question for you: What do you do if a client doesn’t [Read more…]

Setting a Freelance Writing Rate Equal to the Task


Today’s freelance writing clients are looking for a lot more bang for their buck, especially those looking for web writing.  Many aren’t looking for a mere writer, they want someone who uses SEO, builds traffic, moderates and responds to comments and more.  Before accepting a project and setting a rate, always find out what the job entails and set a freelance writing rate equal to the task. Straight writing is one thing, but if your client is adding bells and whistles, make it clear the rates are going up. We all know interviews, research, mileage and expenses are often added [Read more…]

What’s the Point in Having a Freelance Writing Business if Not to Make a Profit?


I’m noticing an interesting trend with each new crop of freelance writers.  They’re earning money but they have no clue if they’re pulling a profit. They’re making ends meet, but they don’t necessarily have money to put away. Many don’t even factor in taxes or overhead which can be a rude awakening during tax time. With that in mind, I’d like to offer up my brilliance for the day: The purpose of any business is to pull a profit. If this isn’t happening, you may not be making good decisions…or you may not be aware you’re not making good decisions. [Read more…]

5 Things to Consider When Discussing Rates with Other Freelance Writers


Jodee Remond featured a thought-provoking discussion the other day in her post “Do You Want to Hear About What Other Freelance Writers Are Making.” In this post, Jodee discussed whether or not freelancers should disclose their income to other freelancers. Many freelance writers are very interested in what others earn, so much so that some writing forums have regular threads where many of the writers list their income for the month. While I agree that it can be very motivating to learn some freelancers are earning $4,000 to $6,000 per month, I also feel that this information is useless without [Read more…]

5 Suggestions for Moving Away from the Easy Gigs to the More Lucrative Freelance Opportunities


Regardless of how you feel about low pay vs. high pay, you can’t deny there are plenty of “easy” writing gigs out there. I call them “easy” because they’re easy to land, easy to write and they pay like clockwork. After time, we have to make a decision: Do we stick with the easy gigs or try and branch out to gigs that are a little tougher to land but pay much better money. Perhaps a mixture of both? The choice is up to each individual writer. However, if you’re considering a move away from the easy gigs to more [Read more…]

A Lower Bid vs. Selling Yourself Short

Thumbs down - stock.xchnge

Last week I posted a job ad for a business looking to start a website from scratch. He laid out a flat fee of $5,000 for the project. Now, I can’t speak for him but I’m assuming he received a good response. He offered a fair wage for his project and I almost considered applying for it too. Something interesting happened in the comments – or rather the deleted comments. Though the client already proposed a fair rate, several writers bid lower in the comments. A couple of people bid much lower. As in way too low to make the [Read more…]

Are There No GOOD Freelance Writing Jobs Anymore?

No jobs

I keep coming back to Jodee Redmond’s post “Will Taking a Low Paying Freelance Writing Job Hurt Your Career?” I already wrote about my thoughts on this topic and I don’t wish to bring it up again, however one of the comments is sticking in my mind. In fact, I’ve been mulling it over for days. Content Sites Aren’t Keeping You From Higher Paying Freelance Writing Opportunities In the comments  for that blog post, I mentioned how there have always been low paying gigs, whether they’re with literary journals or as the resident freelancer for a graphic design studio. In [Read more…]

Do You Need to Raise Your Freelance Writing Rates in 2010? 5 Signs to Help You Decide

Freelance Writng Rates

I’m a big fan of clean slates. For me, January 1st is a time for reflection and the best time to get a fresh start going. I like to take time out before the start of the new year to assess my situation and decide if it’s time to raise my rates. I know from speaking with some of the members of the FWJ community, many of you are afraid of raising your freelance writing rates because you don’t want to lose your clients to a freelance writer with a lower price. While that thinking is understandable, it’s flawed. If [Read more…]

Freelance Writing Experience: Does it Matter Where Your Clips Come From?


Credit where it’s due: A few days Jodee Redmond wrote: “Will Taking a Low Paying Hurt Your Career.” Jodee’s post is the inspiration for this one. Disclaimer: This post isn’t encouraging writers to accept low pay, it’s merely a discussion of whether or not your low paying past will hurt you when you apply for other gigs.This discussion isn’t about low pay or whether or not writers should accept entry level opportunities. It’s whether or not these opportunities will cause you to lose work. When I was younger it was my dream to become a newspaper columnist. I couldn’t wait [Read more…]

Freelance Writing for Beginners: Step 2: Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates


Freelance writing rates are a very personal thing. No other topic breeds as many debates between beginning and more advanced writers. No other topic pits the content site writers against the journalists. If there’s a discussion regarding rates, be prepared for the controversy that will follow. We couldn’t do a series for beginners without including a discussion about rates, though. Every day we received letters asking what freelance writers should charge their clients. I tell anyone who writes asking about rates that I can’t make that decision for them. However, I do offer some things to consider when setting rates. [Read more…]

Freelance Writing: What is a Livable Wage?


I just had the most wonderful day at the BlogWorld and New Media Expo talking to freelance writers from around the country. This is the first year I met so many people who were actually looking to break into writing in addition to blogging. I also met quite a few veteran writes with impressive backgrounds. We discussed so many issues and topics of interest to freelance writers today. The most interesting conversation we had was when we discussed a “livable wage.” Before I get into my opinion of a livable wage, I’d like to say the discussions we had were [Read more…]

Free Content: It’s All in the Wording


Every time we talk about writing for free, there’s outrage. Writers from all over the web chime in to discuss whether or not one should pay dues by writing for free and most agree that unless it’s for a meganame magazine or charity, the other party is taking advantage by trading content for exposure. Enter blogging. After blogging took off, many bloggers – me included – began guest blogging for the bigger name probloggers. I also put out calls for guest bloggers here. I had a contest called FWJ Idol where each week bloggers competed for a job here at [Read more…]

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