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Stop selling your time for $10!

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

  1. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #101
    First, keep in mind that there's a difference between marketing a website and being great at marketing. You might be the best thing since sliced bread (mmm), but show me one writer, like yourself, that's a marketing expert and I'll show you 50 that aren't.

    Let me say that when I say "writer," I'm not limiting that to someone who posts for jobs at message boards. I'm talking about corporate writers, copywriters and anyone else that freelances in some way.
    SEMrush
    I know writers that have made 6 figures writing for others,but couldn't market a website "successfully" to save their life. It's one thing to get paid thousands of dollars to write for someone else, but it's another to make thousands daily, weekly or monthly solely through a website.

    At the low end, it's easy to see how one can swap writing for others with making a living off writing for yourself. However, when you are making 60-70k or more annually, it's another ball game.

    Just to make sure I'm not misunderstood, I'm a writer also.
     
    marketjunction, Nov 4, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #102
    This is exactly what happens to virtually every market these days. Someone from a country with a lower income expectation, some kid in his moms basement, or just someone with absolutely 0 business sense lowballs every chance they get because they are happy with less money.

    What you don't understand with your $1 scripts and $2 for 30,000 ebook packages is that before you came along and made $100 on it someone spent less time than you have and made $5000. If $20 is ok in your country what could you do with $2000?

    I work with people all over the world and whether you believe it or not there are people sitting in the same location you are but making 100 times your income offering the same exact services. Why? Because they don't whore themselves out for $2 so they can entertain a girl for the night when they can get $200 for the exact same service. You and everyone else with the business acumen of an ant are doing nothing but shooting yourselves in the foot. Living somewhere that requires much less income to have a good life is a huge advantage but rather than embrace the opportunity you have been given you nickel and dime your way to mediocrity.

    Think about that next time you sell something worth much more for a few pennies.

    Cheers.
     
    30k Challenge, Nov 5, 2006 IP
    eXe likes this.
  3. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #103
    You're right on this one. Most writers don't know how to market themselves effectively. Heck... most don't even know what "markets" are out there for writers, or they wouldn't be taking these low paying gigs in the first place. While you have to know how to market yourself to get high paying writing work, you have to know a completely different side of marketing to understand a website's target market, who they are, and what they want, if you're going to keep them coming back and yourself earning a regular income.

    I'm in marketing, and that doesn't mean my sites are making me enough to constitute a full time job. With a client, you get the gig, you write, you edit if necessary, and you're paid. With a website, you write and write some more, and then some more.... and after publishing a good deal of content, and promoting the heck out of it, you might get some readers. It's a neverending cycle, whereas with client work, you just have to convince someone that you can write quality material on the subject.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 5, 2006 IP
  4. slava

    slava Peon

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    #104
    People in Asia and Eastern Europe, can use $10 for a lto more then Americans and people in Western Europe can.

    $10 in China is a descent wage for a days work.

    in US $10 is a descent wage for an hours work.

    If American writers can't compete on price then they shouldent complain in my opinion.
     
    slava, Nov 5, 2006 IP
  5. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #105
    Obviously you need to re-read this thread. You're doing nothing but rehashing what's already been said and refuted.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 5, 2006 IP
  6. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #106
    Not sure about copyrights but as far as copyrights on scripting when a work for hire contract has not been signed I read that the purchaser receives all rights with their order by default. I can't find the thread right now but there was a huge discussion from some very sue happy businesses regarding this complete with court cases showing it to be true. It's hard for me to believe that copyrights on text would be the exact opposite.

    In short it was stated and backed up by multiple huge business owners that unless you had a written agreement specifically retaining your copyright the person that hired you was able to do as they pleased. You seem to be saying the exact opposite so I guess I'll look into this more. Ugh...
     
    30k Challenge, Nov 5, 2006 IP
  7. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #107
    Yes, the codified law talks about agreements, but codified law is just a general foundation. You have to look at actual cases, because courts follow stare decisis.

    However, context is everything. For instance, let's say you hire me to write an article for you. You specify the general topic (Widgets). I then write an article under that broad topic. I am part creator, because the article uses my input in the creative process that was not directed nor helped through the buyer, and thus have, unless specified in contract, rights to the work created.
     
    marketjunction, Nov 5, 2006 IP
  8. LadyHoldem

    LadyHoldem Well-Known Member

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    #108

    Not me, not ever. I get the gig, I get paid... then we write ;)

    ~LadyH
     
    LadyHoldem, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  9. Notting

    Notting Notable Member

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    #109
    Strictly speaking thats not true, once youve taken into account all the benefits of being selfemployed.

    Also if youre paying more taxes you need to find yourself a better accountant!!

    Notting
     
    Notting, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  10. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #110
    You're completely wrong, and I already expanded upon that in another post. They're entirely different, and every profitable freelancer (in the US) will pay additional taxes if they owe them federally b/c of the self-employment tax (unless of course they cheat on their taxes or ignore them altogether).
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  11. Mike S.

    Mike S. Active Member

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    #111
    You guys aree getting a little off track here. You have acknowledge the fact that a lot of the DP members that sell out their services are in fact under 18, and don't feel the need to pay taxes. One of the cheapest, but rapidly growing businesses online is the forum posting business. Say you are being paid 10 cents per post, but each post may take you around 3-4 minutes. At most you are being paid $2 an hour. Now, lets go back to article writing. Most writers write about a topic that they feel comfortable with. I tend to write about technology (ie. Graphic Design, Web Design, Hosting, etc.) I can write a 500 word article in anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, that $10 is now about $10-20 per hour, which is a lot better than any part time job most students can get.
     
    Mike S., Nov 6, 2006 IP
  12. Notting

    Notting Notable Member

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    #112
    i'm not wrong at all I dont live in the US. The point of this thread is that we are talking about world economics (on a small scale).

    Notting
     
    Notting, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  13. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #113
    You're missing the point. This thread isn't about forum posters, or just DP writers. It's about writers in general and the crap rates they accept when they don't have to. Also, it doesn't matter if someone is under 18... they still have to pay taxes, at least in the US. Even if you don't owe taxes because you earn too little, you're also still required to report your income anyway... so taxes and age have absolutely no bearing on this discussion.

    And no, that $10-20 per hour is NOT that much better in the end than working a minimum wage job. Why doesn't it seem to sink in no matter how many times it's said??

    Minimum wage job (what is that? $5.30/hr still? - let's assume that for a full-time job at 40 hrs per week. Here's what you get:

    40 hrs x $5.30/hr = $212 / week - out of that, you would pay your basic federal, state, and local taxes, but that's generally it. You also would likely have some kind of benefits on top of that income, like health insurance, even if basic, but nearly always much cheaper monthly than when you're self-employed for the same benefits.

    Now let's look at a freelance writer working for $10 / hour. For that same 40 hr work week (and don't give me BS about how they can work as many hours as they want over 40 - so can someone else by getting off their butt and getting a second job, so it's not applicable, and I'm tired of hearing that repeatedly in different places). A freelancer, working a 40 hour week, can only BILL an average of 22-23 hours. Let's assume the high end. So for working 40 hours at $10/hr as a freelance writer, you get:

    23 billable hrs x $10 / hr = $230 / week - hmmmmm... not such a big difference, now is it? You'd still deduct the same taxes as in the employee situation. However, now you also have to deduct self-employment taxes (which includes the other half of your medicare / social security taxes that's usually paid by the employer). That in itself would easily even them out.

    Now, for the same basic health benefits a lot of full time (even minimum wage) employees get on top of their income, you'd have to pay that out of pocket, which is almost always more expensive monthly b/c you don't usually get a group rate like with an employer, and easily would make the minimum wage job a better option! That's still not even factoring in other business expenses, like increased cell phone or home phone bills, part of your internet access cost would generally be a business expense (all if you have a separate business account), office supplies which add up ridiculously over the course of the year ... there are a lot of expenses in running a business or freelance career, even if it's from home... heck, if you accept Paypal, their fees alone are a business expense that can add up significantly! Learn to crunch the numbers correctly before you assume the two things can be compared. They can't ... at least not directly.

    Jenn
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  14. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #114
    No, actually, it's not. And it's been repeatedly brought up. And I did already reference my points in past posts as applying to the US. The point we've been trying to make is that "writing" in and of itself is NOT one global market, but several smaller markets, and writers need to learn that and how to find better markets to earn a real living. And on top of that, being a field relying on communication and not something more basic like manufacturing that can be done by anyone anywhere, it will never been an entirely global market.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  15. marketjunction

    marketjunction Well-Known Member

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    #115
    Min Wage in Washington State is somewhere around $7.90 per hour.

    Some states, like Washington, have higher minimums than the federal law.
     
    marketjunction, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  16. Notting

    Notting Notable Member

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    #116
    No actually....it is. As a undergraduate of economics/business I could bore with exactly how it is, but I wont bore you!

    Actually I will because I like talking about economics.

    What you are refering to is how "writing" or articles have been "commodified". When products become commodified suppliers tend to compete only on cost differentiation. Market will reach equilibrium very quickly in a digital economy such as we are talking about (or some people are, youre not per se). This is the goal of classic economists and is the most economically efficient outcome (a different issue to "fairness)

    Of course you do not have to compete in the "commodity market" for articles. You can differentiate yourself by writing high brow. Academics who write for journals get relatively high £xx,xxx for the articles that they write.

    You choose which market to compete in, and markets will change over time. But you can't complain about markets, you have to either compete efficiently in them or get into another market.

    In essence I agree with what you're saying (but maybe for different reasons)

    Notting
     
    Notting, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  17. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #117
    I know some do. But unfortunately, if it's not standard, we have to assume minimum wage means "minimum" wage. And in that example, minimum wage works out to a heck of a lot better than $10 / hour freelancing. ;)
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  18. Notting

    Notting Notable Member

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    #118
    Not for people in undeveloped economies
     
    Notting, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  19. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #119
    This issue was already brought up as well. It's also been said that we're not talking about "writing" as in simply stringing a bunch of keyword phrases neatly together (which anyone can do for people who care nothing about quality and only about SEO), but instead about actual writing ... which is a craft. If that's what we were talking about, then yes, you'd be right.

    But the point you're missing is that writing is NOT like other markets, for the sole reason that it's communication-based. You don't need to write "high brow" to earn significantly more than the BS rates far too many writers settle for. Not in the slightest. The majority of mid- to large-sized clients hire people only writing in their publication's or site's native language. That in itself makes the probability of a truly global market for writers more of an impossibility. It will never happen.

    Is it happening in the SEO "writing" market ... yes. But as I've repeatedly said in this thread, that's not the issue... most native english speaking writers shouldn't even be wasting their time in that market. The fact of the matter, is that I'm trying (apparently to no avail) to show lower-paid writers that they need to look to these other markets. I'm not saying webmasters should start paying the same rates as corporations and print publications. Won't happen, and I won't waste my breath. But they do need to stop demanding high quality, native english speaking writers, who will fork over all of their rights for pennies per word, if that even. There's too much of a demand for their services, and none in their right mind would take that when they don't have to. The problem is that most don't know how to find those other clients, and so they "enable" webmasters and others to take advantage of them and drive a buyers' market, when it simply shouldn't exist. Writers need to wake up.

    And you're essentially just saying what I've already been saying throughout this entire thread. ;)
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
  20. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #120

    You obviously need to re-read the thread from be beginning before you keep throwing the same lines that have been used and answered repeatedly. :rolleyes: Or heck... just re-read the post you're trying to contradict, and you'll realize it has nothing whatsoever to do with underdeveloped economies, as it was in response to a comment regarding various minimum wages in the US.
     
    jhmattern, Nov 6, 2006 IP
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