If you’re a freelance writer, and you’re writing for pennies, stop that.
When I saw this post on Jenn Mattern’s blog I thought the writer was kidding…
As many of you know, I got my start in online freelance writing with residual sites, content mills and cheap SEO content. The lowest I was ever paid was .01 per word—and I thought that was perfectly fine. The blogs I frequented at the time gave me no inkling that there was a bigger, better world out there for someone without a degree, no formal writing training and no desire to query magazines.
I swear, my eyes bugged out of my head, and I was glad I wasn’t taking a sip of coffee because I’d have choked. HUH? .01 per word? The mind boggles.
Someone’s making money from such low-priced cr*p content, and it’s not writers.
It turns out that big companies are getting onto the cr*p bandwagon, as Aaron Wall points out in the article. 2010: The Year Information Pollution Takes Off | SEO Book.com.
They’ll rake in the dollars while the raking is good, until Google turns off the money spigot.
In the article, Aaron suggests:
“If authors are going to get paid for performance on a freelance basis to churn out junk then they may as well spend a few months learning internet marketing, blogging, and WordPress…if publishing is algorithm driven you don’t really need to work for someone else to make a few Dollars per article. It is VERY easy to beat that, so long as you are willing to wait 3 to 6 months for your payout.”
Good advice. But you should also be aware that there are real buyers who pay real money for your words — the writing world does not consist of buyers who are flooding the market with content spam, no matter how much it seems that way to you, if you’re a completely new writer.
Please take yourself in hand, and realize that there’s much more to a writing career than writing for content waste dumps.
This kind of writing-by-the-numbers is bad for you, because it teaches you bad habits.
If you’re really desperate for money, get a day job, no matter how menial. Working at the golden arches is better for your writing career and mental health than tapping your fingers to the bone churning out junk, because sooner or later, junk will be all you know how to write.