by Deb Ng
We get letters here at Freelance Writing Jobs. We also receive many comments on our job leads blog. While most comments are positive, some thoughtful comments aren’t so favorable about a few of the jobs we post here because they don’t pay a lot. Though we do offer a good mix of writing jobs, I do get that not all gigs will be to everyone’s liking.
Now, those of you who remember me from back in the day when I was just starting out will remember I was kind of vocal about the low payers too. Then I had an epiphany. It wasn’t the people who were accepting the low paying gigs who were keeping me from getting the good jobs, it was me.
Why You’re Not Getting the High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs
If you’re spending a lot of time ragging on the low payers and not getting the high payers, there could be a very good reason behind it.
1. You’re Not as Good as You Think You Are
I know. Harsh, right? The fact is, great writers command great pay. That’s not to say you’re worthy of $5 writing jobs, but if you want to be paid $1 per word your work has to speak for itself. Many editors do like to reward good writers with good pay but if they end up doing most of the work for you, it’s not very cost efficient. Turn in clean work. Why would an editor want to pay you good money when she has to practically rewrite everything you turn in?
2. You Don’t Have Much Experience
I don’t every believe a writer has to earn next to nothing to gain experience. Even the newest writer shouldn’t earn $1 a blog post or $1 an article. With that said, I understand starting out at $10 or $20. Though it’s not totally unheard of, not too many brand new writers will get thousand dollar gigs. As your experience grows, so should your pay.
3. You’re Not Asking
If you feel you’re deserving of a pay raise, ask. Many writers don’t ask for an increase in pay because they don’t want to lose their clients. If you’ve been working for the same person for years at the same rate, that person is taking advantage and you need to get aggressive. Inform your client you’ll be raising your rates. If he balks, decide whether or not it’s time to move on. If your client values your writing and your customer service, he’ll pay the increase.
4. You’re Not Looking in the Right Places
We talk often about where to find the higher paying freelance writing jobs. The truth is, you won’t always find these online. We do try to bring these desirable gigs to you here, and though some might laugh, I know Craigslist often has very high paying jobs. If you want to find the really high paying gigs, you may have to close up your laptop and do some cold calling. If you’re not going to take the time to really look for work, quit complaining the jobs aren’t out there. They are, you just have to stop looking in the “easy”places.
5. You Don’t Have a Very Good Reputation
It’s true. Editors and webmasters talk. I’ve been contacted many times and asked what I know about certain writers and I’ve seen this in a few editors and bloggers’ groups as well. If you have a reputation for arguing with your client, flaking out on projects, turning in sloppy work, or talking smack about your employers online, some might take offense. Whether you like it or not, it’s now the practice to Google potential employees. Be careful what you say out there.
6. You Don’t Apply for The High Paying Freelance Writing Jobs
Stop looking at the high paying freelance writing jobs with an “if only” mentality. If you want the gig, if you’re suited to the gig, apply to it. The worst that can happen is the employer says no. If you’re a good writer with the work and references to show for it, apply. Don’t let lack of confidence keep you from good gigs.
7. Your Cover Letter and Resume Aren’t a Good Representation
Hate to sound like a broken record here, but your cover letter and resume are the first impression a potential client will make. Sending in a cookie cutter, lackluster representation will get you cookie cutter, lackluster jobs. If you’re not very good at resume writing, it may be worth the investment to have one professionally made.
8. You’ve Given Up
Looking for work is a job in itself. Why look hard when the Internet abounds with the easy jobs. You can do that…toil along writing 50 articles about drain plugs for a few bucks, but that gets old quick. If you really feel you’re a good writer, you just haven’t hit it big yet, don’t give up. Your hard work WILL pay off, you just have to be willing to put in the time.
What do you think are some of the reasons folks aren’t getting the high paying freelance writing jobs?