Friday, June 5, 2009

The Value of Your Freelance Writing

I have been debating about signing up with a freelance job site. To make a career out of freelance writing, I need to be able to find clients, rather than depend solely on content sites. After browsing my options, I signed up with one. I filled out my profile, did a couple tests to prove my abilities in my chosen categories, and then started looking through the jobs.

I'm finding that the pay isn't that great on many of the jobs. Either providers are bidding extremely low or the buyer is expecting professional quality work at outrageously low rates. The buyers know they can find providers at low rates so they have no incentive to pay a fair rate.

While I don't expect top dollar for my work when I'm still fairly new to freelance writing, I have a problem with working for rates that low. I just can't bring myself to work for $1-2 an hour or a fraction of a penny per word. I can make more money waitressing, babysitting or working fast food.

My husband is supportive of my writing and my desire to make a career of it. However, I can't see it going over well if he comes in from work to me announcing that I worked all day and made $8. He would ask me if I was out of my mind and I would have to agree with him.

As freelancers, I don't think we're helping ourselves by undervaluing our work. To make money working at substandard rates, you have to work faster, which often leads to a decline in the quality of work. Also, by agreeing to work for extremely low rates, we're teaching clients to expect high quality work at bargain basement prices.

What value do you put on your work? What are your time, skills and experience worth?

*Photo by Jack Tse.


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