1/6/09

How to Earn MORE Than $2 per Article

Some lovely anonymous person left me some feedback after a previous post saying they found it difficult to find clients that pay more than $2 per article. I find this so upsetting and so horrific that I need to post about it. (no, I don't find the comment upsetting. I find the pay rate upsetting LOL) ;)

My own freelance business has some lovely high-paying clients who I treasure dearly. It also has some medium-paying clients who I love to bits. But I also have my share of low paying clients and this is for a specific reason (more on this in a moment).

However, none of my CURRENT clients is mean enough or disrespectful enough to insult my time and effort with a pathetic offer of $2 per article. That's just wrong. It's below minimum wage!

Yes, there's one word in the last sentence in bold font for a reason. I had a lovely client last year who was happily paying me the prices I set for my time and effort. Then one day he said he'd been on a forum and found plenty of writers begging to write for him at $2 an article.

He asked if I would drop my price to match this or he'd get his articles elsewhere. I told him I wouldn't drop my pricing - especially not that low. He went elsewhere.

Are you seeing what I saw in this tale?

He said: "There are plenty of writers begging to write for him at $2 an article."

I decided to call his bluff and asked him to prove it. He did. He sent me a link to a place called Digital Point Forums. (you might recall an earlier post on this here: Freelance Job Boards to Avoid )

Sure enough, there were LOTS of writers lining up to beg for the $2 per article jobs. If you ask for work at this pay rate, then you're going to get it. There were lots of greedy article marketers trying to push them to even lower prices on that same forum.

Seriously - those article marketers earn quite a LOT of money from those articles. They're just increasing their profits by cutting down what they pay writers.

Freelance writing Tip 1: Don't line up to beg for $2 work

If you want to make a career out of freelance writing AVOID places where newbies are lining up to accept $2 per article jobs. If you see others doing it, encourage them to get OUT of the $2 ranks as quickly as possible. But don't follow them. Then leave any forum that begins to encourage pay rates like this. Go hang out with the pros instead.

Freelance Writing Tip 2: Act on Advice Given

If somebody is earning more than you are and they offer you a paying writing market that is more than the amount you're currently earning, APPLY FOR THAT WRITING JOB.

Here are some links to the Paying Freelance Markets I've listed on this blog so far:

Paying Freelance Markets

WiseGeek

Demand Studios

Bright Hub

They're not high paying. Each of these is around $10 per article. Short, quick, easy work designed to top up your income - not replace it. Apply to them. Write these quickies while you're searching out the HIGH paying stuff. Submit. Get paid. Be pleased it's more than $2 per article. Search for more high paying markets while you write a few more of these lower paying articles.

You might decide to upload your articles to sites like  Constant Content where you're able to set your own prices. You'll still need to keep your prices competitive, but if you write on popular topics, this can be a nice income generator.

Rinse and repeat as many times as required.

Freelance Writing Tips 3: Find Alternative Writing Jobs

Freelance writing doesn't always mean 'write articles'. You could write almost anything and you'd still be earning income from your writing.

Writers are creative - right? What other options for your writing can you think of that will earn your freelance business some income?

You'll find a few ideas for alternative writing jobs at this link: Alternative Writing Income


Freelance Writing Tip 4: Learn How to Find HIGH Paying Jobs

Yes, there's a trick to finding and applying for the high paying jobs. I have a lovely assignment this week for a 1,500 word feature article in an investing magazine. They will pay me a lovely $1,100 for my work, my research, my effort and my time. That's for ONE article - not 100 articles.

That beats $2 doesn't it?

It took a lot of negotiation, communication and co-ordination to win this job over several other freelance writers. This happens every time I write for the same magazine.

So how did I find this peachy little writing market?

I found it on a writing markets database. I've given you all the link before. Use it. It's great.

Here it is again: High Paying Freelance Markets

Freelance Writing Tip 5: Sustaining Your Freelance Income

High paying markets are great, but they're not consistent and the competition is fierce. Don't let that stop you from trying though! Always jump in there. Get your name known by that editor. It all helps.

Sometimes the lower paying markets can be helpful for topping up your other income, but at other times they can help keep cash flow coming into your freelance business when the high paying markets are scarce.

Please keep it in mind that when I say "low paying" markets, I DO NOT mean $2 per article. Anything this low lives in the "pathetic slave-labor" pay ranges.

Here's another previous post outlining why a few lower paying markets can be helpful:

High Paying vs. Low Paying Freelance Markets


So.... if you're still considering jumping into the queue to beg for work that pays $2 an article, then go right ahead. I can't stop you.

But I can tell you the only person you're hurting is yourself.

:)


p.s. if you DO find a way to earn more money after reading this post, please leave me a comment and let me know if I'm helping anyone out there at all with this blog. A little encouragement sometimes goes a long way towards keeping me motivated too...







11 comments:

Bianca Raven said...

I can think of several writing markets that pay $2 per WORD - not per article.

Even budding writers deserve to be paid properly for their time and effort.

Ed said...

The first link you provided is taking me to the google sign up page for some reason.

Bianca Raven said...

Oh. Sorry Ed. I'll edit the post and fix the link now. Thanks for letting me know.

Ed said...

Sorry, it was the second link. The one that says Freelance Paying Jobs. I was interested in checking it out.

Lindsey Rainwater said...

I'll leave some positive feedback for you Raven! I was floundering a week ago, making no money at my writing, not getting any leads, nothing! I own my own freelancing business. I have business cards and everything, and NOBODY is calling. I was beginning to lose hope, and wondering if I was going to have to take on some work in these 'pathetic paying' markets. But then I met Raven and visited this blog. Now, I've actually got work to do! It isn't paying a fantastic amount, but it is paying. She kept me from wasting my time with clints who would have shafted me as many times as they could. Thank you Raven!

Bianca Raven said...

Hiya Ed - I've re-entered all the links on the page. Hopefully they all work now.

Hi Lindsey - You've made a start and that's what counts. Money into your business is always a good thing. From here things will only get better! :)

shubham said...

even on many freelance sites people ask about 0.50$ per article,thats too low.

Michael Rivers said...

Hi Raven,
I want to say thanks again for all the wonderful advice you give here. Because of you, I know I don't have to take $5 (or less) for a 500 word article. My time and talent is worth way more than this (even though I don't work full time freelance; I'm just starting out). Last week I saw another add looking for ten articles all requiring 500 words. Of course, these articles were SO easy to research and write that the pay was $10! I heard you say, "No Way!" Instead, I sent 30 friends a link to a funny posting on my blog. I had 3 friends ask to hire me to write something for them! I also educated myself on the paid forum posting. Right now I'm doing two jobs on topics I LOVE. The pay will be twice what the 10 articles would have been. Plus, the forums are fun and take no research and hours of writing.

Bianca Raven said...

Hi Michael, I'm glad you're getting your freelance writing career off on the right foot. I just love to hear that I've helped ANYONE to avoid those slave-labor jobs.

Keep us updated on your progress!
:)

beybes_08 said...

You know, I always felt unworthy of high paying job because I'm not a graduate yet. But since I've been writing for so many years, and I have confidence in my writing and many people say I do have talent, I have decided to raise my price for my writing. I think this is what some writers have in mind. They think that they're not worth it.

Jim said...

Hi,
I just ran across this page by accident because I did a Google search for keywords that made it pop up. I started writing on Helium. I have ten articles there. I was hoping to get a start at this kind of thing, partly for some extra money, and partly because I want to force myself to improve my writing. I don't know that my writing is worthy of high paying markets yet. Does anyone have any advice about how to get the right kind of start, get organized, and--I hate to say it--whatever else I have no idea what to ask?