As a freelancer many of us have a dilemma. What’s our worth?
We all want to believe our writing is the best thing since sliced bread but the truth is – we all write words – but can we do it well? Simply: no. Everyone can sing too – but you’re not all Pavarotti, right?
I am a freelance writer on eLance – and just like anyone chasing a buck I bid on jobs. Here is an example of an ad that absolutely drives me crazy:
- I want an excellent writer
- Research is involved
- Minimum 500-word articles
- Need 6 a day
- No more than $2 per article
Really? I mean… REALLY???
Let’s break that down a little bit.
6 articles a day at $2/article = $12.00
That’s a minimum of 500 words each article * 6 = 3000 words a day
– not impossible or even difficult if you’re writing on subjects you already know and love
Now factor in your TIME.
Let’s say you are putting in a minimum of one hour of research per article. Realistically it’s 2 (or possibly 3) if you are very thorough PLUS about an hour to write and self-edit. That’s anywhere from 2 to 4 hours per article.
Even if you are dedicating 2 hours per article times 6 = that’s 12 hours of time.
So you tell me. Are you worth more than a dollar an hour? I know I am!
As a client looking for quality work – what are your chances of finding a really good writer at that rate? That’s less than what a waitress makes without tips!
I’ve been writing for a long time – from silly rhymes to academic papers and everything in between. A dear friend summed it up well for me. Mr. Bruce once said, “Ink is in my blood.”
It is, indeed, Mr. Bruce! I know what I am capable of and the time frame in which I can accomplish things.
A quality writer doesn’t wake up, snap their fingers and magically become a wordsmith. It if was that easy, everyone would be doing it! Right? Time, experience, and education all play a part. Before a writer bids on a job they know their time constraints, skill level, and the approximate time it takes to properly research and write content.
Mark Twain once said: “I never write ‘metropolis’ for seven cents because I can get the same price for ‘city’. I never write ‘policeman’ because I can get the same money for ‘cop’.”
Freelancers, do your clients know what you’re worth?
Clients, if you have a quality writer at $1 an hour you’ve got a gem – but you won’t have them for long. Chances are you hired from a word mill and the lack of quality will show. If you have to pay someone else to fix the first edition, did you really save any money?