Every now and then I feel the urge to stick up for writers everywhere and to tell potential clients to pay up if they want high quality content. You’d think it would be obvious. You get what you pay for you don’t you? Apparently, in the world of freelance writing, top notch writers are still getting lumped in with those who can hardly string a sentence together. Quite frankly, it’s not the reason I went into writing, and I’m sure many freelance writers out there would agree.
I really get sick when I see job adverts that express the importance of hiring someone with excellent skills and yet want to pay them peanuts. In fact, for some of the payments offered, I think a writer would struggle even to buy a large packet of peanuts from their wage. It’s ludicrous that a professional writer is expected to write for next to nothing. I suspect that for some people, their earnings per hour is less than the national minimum wage. Scandalous.
I’m not greedy. When I quote for writing projects, I put in a fair offer and ok, sometimes do reduce my rate, it depends on the job – little research, very quick job, or if it gives me a new string to my bow, but my low side, compared to a lot of writers, is vastly different. So come on clients! I can appreciate that the economy is tough right now, I’m a business woman, I know that the figures have to tally but if you want good quality writing, then please pay up.
I’m lucky, I get repeat work from clients and I don’t work anymore for people who are rude, who let me down or, who keep me waiting for my payment. I am not keen on hourly rates, because if I feel like taking longer and slowing my pace, then I’m not over-charging my clients. I do not write manically for anyone. I do not apply for jobs that say ‘ Fantastic Job! We want 400 articles and pay an AMAZING 800 USD! What? Then the others that say, LOW BUDGET but MASSES of WORK! Are we supposed to be grateful that we can work for very little but get to juggle our little shirt buttons at the end of it?
I have written about this topic before, moaning at writers about getting some self-respect and charging what they are worth, but I see that nothing is changing.
So this time, my heartfelt plea goes out to clients the world over, please, please, please consider that you are hiring professionals. You are hiring someone who can make a huge difference to your own financial income by writing books, web content or articles for you. Don’t advertise for a high-quality writer but say, ‘It’s an EASY Job and expect to pay little. If it’s easy, why are you NOT DOING IT?
Don’t offer a writer revenue based on sales thereafter, because if the marketing is not good following on after the job is completed, sales will be next to nothing. Instead, do the decent thing, pay a reasonable wage, one agreed by both and look after your writer, even if you are only working on minimal projects together. Decency and kindness goes a long, long way and you can be confident that the writer will work even harder for you if you appreciate their skills.
I firmly believe that you get what you pay for. You may be lucky and pick up a good writer who happens to have a low self-esteem and does not know their own worth, but what are you going to do when they burn out through writing long and hard and not being able to pay their way?
I know that businesses are struggling right now, but if you wanted to get a receptionist or a secretary, wouldn’t you have to pay the going rate?
Sometimes writers don’t have a voice, so I’m standing up on their behalf. Look after your writers and they will create the high-quality content that puts your business on the map.