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Stop selling your time for $10!

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by LadyHoldem, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #61
    My friends from Africa each send a little bit of money back to their family every paycheck, and through all of those little bits of money .. their families live like the rich..

    My friend told me that for $1000 a month, I could live in a beautiful house with servants where he is from..
    SEMrush
    A bit of topic, but a point of view.

    ~ladyH
     
    LadyHoldem, Oct 30, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Phynder

    Phynder Well-Known Member

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    #62
    So, LadyHoldem - where do you stand on your original rant? There has been a lot of interesting debate going on!

     
    Phynder, Oct 30, 2006 IP
  3. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #63
    I still wouldn't pour my heart and soul into an article for $10, however, I can now see why others do it.

    ~LadyH
     
    LadyHoldem, Oct 30, 2006 IP
  4. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #64
    Actually, they're not at all the ones I was referring to. I was referring to english-speaking companies, in english-speaking nations, who pay top dollar for native english-speaking writers with a niche specialty. As a matter of fact, I also specifically said I wouldn't expect near those rates coming from a Chinese company (in my example if I remember correctly), or from companies in other countries.

    Tariffs don't have the slightest thing to do with it. Like I said before, you can't even begin to compare writing with manufacturing in a global economic sense. It's not the same thing. You can manufacture something in any country b/c instructions can be translated, you can be trained in your own language, and the machines don't care where the operator is from or what language they speak. The difference is that you can't sell writing in your non-native language in an english-speaking market, expecting to make a good deal of money, when writing revolves completely around language and communication, whereas manufacturing does not. Can an Indian writer with mediocre english skills sell some work to webmasters? Sure they can. They do it all the time. But there's a huge difference between SEO'd "writing" that lacks creativity and originality quite a bit of the time, for the simple sake of repeating keyword phrases in as many ways as possible, and people who truly "write" for a living - unique content with the ability to appeal to masses, and written with true skill rather than copycat formatting and the most basic of Web research. I have no doubt that some of these non-native english speakers could write compelling and unique content in their native languages, and I've seen a handful who have done it in English. But the truth of the matter is that most don't. So the webmaster market versus the market for "writers" are completely different, and there's really no comparison whatsoever with any manufacturing industry, where communication isn't key.


    I know niches are usually high paying. I've repeatedly said that. ;) I never said they should be avoiding a niche - but avoiding general webmaster writing gigs... big difference. As I said too, it fits for some - amateurs starting out who honestly believe this is how you eventually get to the big bucks (it's usually not), to part-timers or students just wanting to earn a little money on the side, to people who don't care about anything but seeing their name published so they can call themselves a writer - if it works for them, that's fine. But there are far too many writers here who discuss publicly, or come to me or other writers privately, asking how to earn more. Many have degrees, some even doctorates, and others have strong levels of experience in their field... they just don't know how to do it. So since my point has apparently been missed, here's a breakdown:

    1. "Writers" doesn't just mean "content writers" for webmasters

    2. Those who think that are going to get themselves stuck in a rut, that's awfully hard to get out of.

    3. There's no reason for a quality english-speaking writer, from any country as long as the skills are developed enough, to be earning $10 / hour or a few dollars per article, competing in a market with people who aren't even truly competition. They're simply looking at the wrong market.

    4. To earn better money is extremely easy once they stop expecting jobs to be handed to them on forums, and instead put effort into finding them, learning how to find markets, and getting brave enough to send off pitches and proposals to companies on their own. And the markets that pay the most often won't even consider those lower-bidding writers, because they're simply not taken seriously.

    5. I never said they should "adapt" to a global market - they need to realize that there's not "one" writers' market - there are many. If webmasters are content with content that's a poorer quality in english skills, for the sake of cheap prices and SEO, writers who want to actually earn a living from their work and be paid what they're worth (and obviously on a global scale, since it's what many of the biggest corporations and publications in the world pay writers, no matter where they're from), then they need to simply forget about webmasters. (Not all webmasters have that view, but the fact evidently here in the forum is that quite a few, if not most, do.)

    6. And in the end, the writers who end up whining about the low rates they're being paid (not how this thread began) are the worst of the bunch, b/c they emphasize the fact that they're clueless on how to survive as a writer, how to gain recognition as one, and they "allow" themselves to be paid less than what they're worth, b/c they throw a fit rather than taking that same time to learn or ask for help. There are plenty of writers, here and elsewhere, willing to help them and teach them if they'd ask. So I have very little sympathy for those who slave away on hundreds of articles to make what many of us do by working an hour. As I've said before... it's about quality of life. And the more they overwork themselves for pennies in comparison, the less likely they're going to continue to love writing in the long term. And that's sad.
     
    jhmattern, Oct 30, 2006 IP
    highflyer likes this.
  5. Zaizen

    Zaizen Peon

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    #65
    wow...thanks for great offers.
     
    Zaizen, Oct 30, 2006 IP
  6. TheSyndicate

    TheSyndicate Prominent Member

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    #66
    pr0xy122
    Damn your lucky lol.

    Lets take today for example already made 30 dollar with Adsense made 2blogs for 20 dollar thats 50 dollar total. Thats more then i can spend on the beach sucking ehhh right yeah coconuts:) For me fine if people want to charge more thats up to them for me its the easy life. Last one in the water ....
     
    TheSyndicate, Oct 30, 2006 IP
  7. Pat Gael

    Pat Gael Banned

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    #67
    Just got a similar imput from a friend who says that in her country (in the Americas) the minimum wage is about $8 for 8-12 hours a day, working on a factory or doing jobs that require more effort that a few hours sitting comfortably at home doing some research and writing.
     
    Pat Gael, Oct 31, 2006 IP
  8. Jasonb

    Jasonb Well-Known Member

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    #68
    Im in the hosting business and yes, supply allwasy beats demand. I have 15 servers available and only 4 used.......
     
    Jasonb, Oct 31, 2006 IP
  9. odonata

    odonata Peon

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    #69
    Never thought of that as a source of money
    I always write content for my sites, for my LJ blog, for the sites of my friends
    Some years ago I worked for one little newspaper - and they gave ne 5$ for each article and I was quite satisfied (i live in Russia)
     
    odonata, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  10. Barti1987

    Barti1987 Well-Known Member

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    #70
    To live in the states, you only need to write 10 articles a day to survive.

    100 articles will make you a millionaire :D

    Peace,
     
    Barti1987, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  11. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #71
    That would depend entirely on what rate / length you're talking about. ;) To be a millionare with only 100 articles, you'd have to make $10,000 / article.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  12. eko

    eko Peon

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    #72
    you must write i think 100000 articles for 10$ each to have 1 million...;)
     
    eko, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  13. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #73
    jhmattern, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  14. DeniseJ

    DeniseJ Live, Laugh, Love

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    #74
    Jenn, I admire you for having the strength to tackle this conversation.
     
    DeniseJ, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  15. telegraph.hill

    telegraph.hill Peon

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    #75
    Jennifer, thanks! I'm learning loads from this thread.

    The impression I get is that I need to be sending out more query letters to magazines, etc. Plus browsing the websites that will have details of publications that are more likely to have high paying jobs.

    I quit a low-paid writing job today. I decided that my time would be better spent on the above.
     
    telegraph.hill, Nov 2, 2006 IP
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  16. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #76
    Me too! and I started it!
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 2, 2006 IP
    jhmattern likes this.
  17. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #77

    Congrats!!!
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  18. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #78
    Thanks Denise and LadyHoldem. :)

    And congratulations telegraph.hill! :) That's the first, and most important, step in being able to earn more as a writer... just realizing your time is worth it, and finding the courage to make the first move. :)
     
    jhmattern, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  19. fathom

    fathom Well-Known Member

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    #79
    I do applause your efforts but you really should not justify based on status of self-employed or employee status.

    A freelancer really does not pay more taxes - you (freelancer) can hold back revenue for taxes, employement insurance and other deductions so that at years end you don't have a lump sum to pay.

    At the end of the day $10 is $10 and the employer (with an employee as a writer) must still market the writer above and beyond what they pay the writer and if that writer isn't 8 hours productive - they still pay... in the freelance case you are both employer and employee you have choice to work on whatever & whenever - 16 hours a day if you wish.

    Professionally, I see little value in a word cost count whether its $0.01/word or $0.50/word since it costs money for repeated uses of: and, a, the, it, as, of, etc. and when you add all these common words up - (by mere words only) the wordsmithing isn't 90% of the job and yet wordsmithing is what is the implied scope of why I pay a writer $100/hour.

    It's interesting to note - I am not a writer but when investigating copyright I get paid $500/hour... and with all the professional writers I have dealt with they overwhelming know very little about copyright.

    We "assume" way too much as being "in the know" when it comes to copyright.

    It is even more interesting to note the difference between "high paying" and "low paying" writing gigs - these are critically diversed. One protects their rights "ABSOLUTELY" the other is more "come by chance". (it isn't a major issue until they see infringement).

    I was amazed to find that many freelance writers assume their copyright equity in what they write. However, when it is a commissioned work - the moment you accept the gig - the copyright is not yours.

    Be that as it may... IMHO that's where you should be focusing your efforts.

    I can see anyone giving away a page of text for $10... I however, wouldn't give exclusive copyright away for life without being duly compensated. (high pay assumes this)
     
    fathom, Nov 2, 2006 IP
  20. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #80

    You're misunderstanding a few things:

    First, you're incorrect in freelancers not paying more taxes (and I'm speaking in a US perspective.. I don't pretend to know anything about taxes in other countries).

    Freelancers and other self-employed individuals do NOT pay a lump sum at the end of the year (with limited exceptions, such as having that ability during their first year, if they didn't owe taxes their previous year, etc.). In general, they're required to make what's known as "estimated tax payments", usually on a quarterly basis. That's how freelancers "withhold taxes".

    They do in fact pay more, and it has nothing to do with the time in which they pay those taxes. The fact is that they pay the "self-employment tax", which accounts for medicare and social security. When you work as an employee, half of that is paid by you, and half is paid by your employer. When you're self-employed, you ARE both the employee and employer, so to speak, and you pay the full amount - that's where the added taxes come from.

    And besides the point, even without added taxes, $10 is NOT still $10. You're completely neglecting the fact that in working for yourself you automatically assume business expenses which cut into your profits (which is what you'd call your net income as an employee). Where you normally lose taxes, you now also have to deduct everything from transportation to client meetings if you work face to face, any office supplies throughout the year (which adds up), the office space or other workspace that you allocate to your freelance writing or other work, etc. Not everyone chooses to deduct all of the expenses they're entitled to. That doesn't mean they don't exist.

    The reason a per word rate is important is simply because that's the industry standard of how writers are paid professionally. Contact any major publisher hiring freelance writers, and the vast majority will quote a per word rate as to what they'll pay. To ignore it means you're blocking out a huge section of the freelance writing market... something people serious about making this a career shouldn't be doing. Hourly pay, if anything, is the odd man out. As I've repeatedly said in other threads here, hourly pay for freelancing and consulting in general has been on a decrease for years (aside from select specialties, such as law and some branches of IT consulting). Many are moving to "value-oriented" pricing models, and for good reasons. But this post is too long already to get into the cons of hourly fees in freelancing.

    You're also misunderstanding some basic copyright issues. I also don't "assume" what I know about copyright. Writers aren't wrong in assuming copyright equity in what they write. They don't lose copyright without signing what's commonly referred to as a "work for hire" agreement, which explicitly says the buyer retains the copyright, or unless they're presented and formally agree to an "assignment of copyright." While many writers don't value their copyright enough, I certainly do. To get a copyright on something I write there's a 4-5 figure buyout fee (to discourage people from asking for more than exclusive online or offline rights), or the company has to be so well known that I'm willing to make the allowance to have that experience in working with them. So the fact of the matter is that you DON'T lose your copyright the moment you accept a writing gig, UNLESS you actually agree to a document / contract stating such. If you don't agree to it verbally, via email, etc., and you're not presented with a work for hire agreement or copyright assignment agreement, the copyright remains with the writer. And the fact of the matter is that most writers who are accepting low-paying gigs here aren't presented with those documents, or often even requests.

    I do agree that no one should give away copyright for low-paying writing gigs, or $10/page. But that's secondary to trying to help budding writers earn what they're actually worth, as opposed to working for pennies and having to write hundreds of articles to make a living.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 3, 2006 IP