Either people think writers are magicians or they have no clue about what it takes to craft meaningful content. Here are some *actual* requests I’ve come across:
“I will pay you $175 for 20,000 words.” (that’s like 80 pages btw)
“Need to hire for blog post writing- will be quick, it only takes me 20 minutes to do one. I just don’t have the time.” <– a blog post in 20 minutes?? You’re lying to yourself, or to the person you are trying to hire. Either way, thanks but no thanks.
“Extremely creative *expert* needed to write well-researched fun articles, $22 per 750 word article.” <–this is magazine length, and it takes several hours to complete.
Great opportunity! Write a 1200 word outline that I can turn into a book. Budget is $25 per outline- long term opportunity! (hours and hours of work for $25? Hard pass.)
If you are experienced enough, it shouldn’t take that long to do a 1,000 word article. Must be free of mistakes, perfect grammar, and well-researched. $10 per article. (I can’t even with this…)
Writing is one of those things that technically everybody can do, so they think it should be cheap to pay for. But let’s really look at that… there is writing, and there is writing well. If developing good content really was that easy or quick, why then would you need to outsource it? Because the above statements are all completely unrealistic and insane. These are probably the same people running around complaining that nobody wants to work. No, they just don’t want to work for crappy rates.
If you are a new worker in the gig economy, a freelancer trying to build a portfolio, or a creative who doesn’t have confidence in their abilities, people will try to exploit your ignorance. You do not have to work for these rates! I encourage you to do the work required to level up your skills and get some education in business development and marketing so you can move from a service provider to an expert.
Value is non-negotiable. If you want to cut down your prices for a client, that’s your choice. Sometimes it makes sense when you are trying to build a portfolio. But just know that someone offering you a crap rate doesn’t now, and will never recognize your value and their loyalty is only attached to the lowest bidder.
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