If you want a real writing income, you need to protect yourself from being pecked to death by ducks. The writing marketplace is global, and this means that there are “writers” who will write for pennies.
I’m always wary of content marketplaces, but this article caught my eye:
It’s not just pennies per word either. Co-founder Chad Fisher explained to me that when they launched seven months ago, they attracted a lot of “users” looking for writers, but paying just pennies. “It was a race to the bottom, price wise. And we know there is a market out there for another class of writers,” he says. So they launched “Offerings,” where writers can create a profile, explain their area of expertise, include writing samples, links to social media profiles, and set their own price.
Creating a profile on the site is free. Add your specialties, and buyers who want content can hire you. Please don’t take this as a recommendation: I know nothing about the website. The benefit of the site is that you can set your own rates.
Speaking of which…
Should you mention your fees on your website?
Several writers have asked about this recently, and there’s no standard answer. I lean towards “no”. Creating a briefing form on your website cuts down on time-wasters. You know that if a prospect won’t fill in a form, he’s not likely to hire you for anything.
One writer said that when he mentioned his rates on his site, he got messages informing him that they were “too high”. 🙂
I suggested that he thank his correspondents for getting in touch, and leave it at that. As with everything else, there’s a huge spread in fees which writers charge. A new writer might charge $20 for an article for which an established writer would charge $500. Just as you can shop at Kmart or Gucci, there are no standard rates for writing.
Your writing income depends on YOU: you set your rates
Years ago, my then-husband collapsed in a mall. He was a loaded into an ambulance, and the paramedic started asking questions. I reported on how he’d just collapsed, and the paramedic said in a dry tone: “It’s the prices they charge.”
Similarly, the prices you charge may cause prospective clients to collapse, and that’s fine. They don’t have to hire you. There are writers who will work for peanuts. (Not you, I hope.)
Your writing income depends on YOU. You set your rates. I created SYWON 2 (Sell Your Writing Online Now) so that writers would get experience in a hurry, and be confident in setting higher rates.
As your experience in writing grows, you’ll become confident in setting your rates, because you will KNOW the value you give.
Writing income: specialize, and charge more
We’ve discussed specializing, and there’s a lot of material in SYWON 2 (Sell Your Writing Online Now) about developing specialties. Once you’re known as a writer in a specialty, you can charge more, because the client can relax. He knows that you know the topic, and write with authority.
So, if you’re stuck charging minimal rates, think about how you might specialize.
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