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What's the highest you've ever paid or been paid to write?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. #1
    Well, just hope to see some good figures which are so often missing here.

    I'm gonna refer to this thread time and again so that it keeps on strengthening my belief that 'writing is a (very) lucrative career' …. and hopefully does the same for everyone reading it.
    SEMrush
    Thanks in advance for your replies.:)
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015 IP
    SEMrush
  2. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #2
    I do direct work with small clients, so no big business or magazine prices for me. My regular everyday pay is about $30 per hour (it's in GBP so doesn't convert to a nice round number); best ever was double pay for an urgent job, at around $60 per hour.
     
    WLEadmin, Feb 5, 2015 IP
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  3. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #3
    I'm mostly gonna target urgent jobs now.:) My earnings will shoot up.;)
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015 IP
  4. Jake The Competition Man

    Jake The Competition Man Active Member

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    #4
    Hey Content Maestro! I think there are too many competitors asking for very low prices, to keep this career "lucrative". In theory, we should all agree on the same price list and ask others to follow the same prices. But this will never happen.
     
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  5. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #5
    Annoying client, it has to be said, but the pay's nice.

    I also forgot to answer your part about the highest paid. I once paid $45 for an article for a blog, with the stipulation being at least 500 words. It came out a lot longer, at about 850 words (if I remember right) so turned into a two-part post. The lowest I ever paid was $2 a pop - funnily enough to someone who wrote REALLY well, and with whom I ended up working on a bunch of projects for much better money.

    That assumes that everyone writes equally well, which isn't the case. I've seen people charge more than I do and write utter crap, and people charge a lot less and write just as well. I think it's more important to set your own rate and stick to it - weed out the low-pay clients yourself and find your "sweet spot".
     
    WLEadmin, Feb 5, 2015 IP
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  6. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #6
    No doubt competition is fierce, but that DOESN'T mean writing is not a lucrative career. Most sellers lowball just to have an edge on others and buyers go for the cheapest. This trends almost in every industry, not only in writing.

    You need to find out where your place is. People charging low are anyway not your competition. Those buying cheap often end up in a mess. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR – this is always true. Real quality gets the better of everything else and makes it to the top ultimately.

    The writing industry, for one, has not been spoiled by lowballers and cheapsters. Lucrative opportunities ARE there, just that they have moved to a different place. Big or corporate companies still pay hundreds and thousands for their copy. There are so many magazines and publications that pay top dollar. We just don't focus enough on this market segment and that's why miss the lucrativeness writing actually has.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015 IP
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  7. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #7
    I've also experienced this quite often. Some clients are very reluctant to pay what you want from the outset. You don't really feel like taking them up. However, as time goes by, they raise the pay and the relationship often turns out much more profitable than you initially expected. A lot of clients test the waters at first. When they're convinced that you can successfully deliver the quality they expect/want, they're more than willing to pay what you charge. Not every client will show it explicitly though; you've to be a bit tactful and even persuade them sometimes.
    That's exactly why being only a good writer ISN'T enough; you must have the business acumen necessary to make good money as well.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015 IP
  8. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #8
    I should point out that I always work out pay rates in relation to time. I didn't expect an hour's work for $2 - I just wanted quick, short posts. I'm not a cheapskate, honest. :D
     
    WLEadmin, Feb 5, 2015 IP
  9. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #9
    Haha, I wasn't implying that.;) Sometimes, prospects deliberately avoid paying what the writer asks at first because they're not assured about the returns on their investment. It DOESN'T mean that they're cheapsters, just that they're careful about investing their money. No one would want to risk a big amount when dealing with a writer for the first time. When I take up projects that pay lower than what I expect, it's because of the potential growth I see down the line. It is the same clients in most cases who later hike the rates surprisingly.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 5, 2015 IP
  10. TextServices

    TextServices Active Member

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    #10
    I wouldn't participate. Besides, there is no way one could implement such a list, maintain it or enforce it.


    As to the original post... I could toss out figures and boast about awesome writing gigs and clients that I have had over the years... Blah, blah, blah... What good is that going to do for you or anyone else who reads what I wrote? My clients aren't yours. My income and expenses are not yours. Reading those appealing numbers might give you the kick in the ass that you need at that moment, but it will be short lived. The high wears off and you get frustrated and pissed off, start thinking negatively, because you failed to land a $60 per hour gig etc.

    Focus on the things that you need to do to make yourself appealing to the clients willing to spend the big bucks. The more you apply your skill, the more you write, the better of a writer you will become. Find the niche, the area where your skill is best applied, and capitalize on it. Each writer has something he or she excels at. Find yours and master it. Sure, accept jobs that will pay the bills. There is nothing wrong with that. Just don't lose sight of the writer you want to be. The income goal you want to achieve. Set reasonable and attainable goals for yourself, both short term and long term. Whether you want to use writing as a means to feed a slush fund, part-time income, or full-time income, figure that out and work towards it. Always, always be writing for yourself. Use your skill to generate additional income for yourself that doesn't rely on clients. You can do this while working for others. It's having a game plan and putting it into motion. Time management is the key.

    Believe in yourself that you can actually achieve the goals you have set for yourself. You want the high paying gigs? You can have them. You just need to be in the right frame of mind and have the writing skill that is going to attract those clients. There's no magical resource that's going to appear that tells you where to find those clients. They are everywhere. You have to put the effort forth into finding them. To do that, you need to have confidence in yourself, in your ability, and have the right mindset. This is where finding your niche and capitalizing on it comes into play. What is your forte? Figure out what that is and then find the people who could use the service you provide.

    Every single writer should have their own website. Buy a domain name. Pay for hosting. Create a contact email on the domain. Do not use a free host or a free email service, even Gmail. Having your own site adds credibility. It portrays that you are serious about being a writer. You are not just one of these nameless writers who seem to be everywhere, applying to every job offer known to man. The personal touch goes a long way with higher paying clients. They want to know the person on the other end is a real human. They will go to your website. They will look at your picture, read your bio and scan through your published work. They will also read your website text copy, so make sure it reflects your level of skill. (I've seen sites of writers that had typos, poor grammar, horrible formatting and chosen font, font color and size, etc. Make sure your portfolio is a true representation of the quality of work you can produce.)

    Put a bit of time into developing the writer you want to be and you'll reach those goals you set for yourself. There will be bumps in the road, there always is, but the work does pay off. Read the numbers if it helps motivate you, but don't dwell on them. Don't play the comparison game.

    Always network with other writers. Some writers will actually play nicely with other writers and pass on referrals... (Another good reason to have a website.)
     
    TextServices, Feb 5, 2015 IP
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  11. Jake The Competition Man

    Jake The Competition Man Active Member

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    #11
    probably the best way to achieve success in this market is to build strong relationships with the customers, so you have a bunch of trusted customers working with them for years on a big number of projects. They know your value, and you don't need to worry about competition.
     
  12. coreygeer

    coreygeer Notable Member

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    #12
    My highest ever paid content was 1,000 words for $100. This wasn't a regular work type of deal but it was nice and she got a lot of traffic off of it.

    My highest paying clients are from the UK.
    My lowest paying clients on average come from America and India.
    Oddly enough, the lowest offers I get are usually from America.

    This is usually because it's another freelancer trying to act as a middleman and outsource their already cheap paying work to another writer.
     
    coreygeer, Feb 6, 2015 IP
  13. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #13
    Thanks for your reply.:) $100 for 1000 words is really awesome, but I know such types of deals happen rarely.

    Yep, clients from UK pay good as I can confirm from my experience, but I find it a bit surprising that clients you've got from America are offering the lowest prices! As far as my Indian clients go, they offer me fair wages (though it's mostly a case with longtime clients), but if they're paying the same to a writer based in US, I can understand that it comes out to a very low price due to factors like currency conversion, transfer deductions etc. On the other hand, if it's the other way around, i.e. if clients pay a writer here in India what they would usually pay a US-based writer, it's a very high-paying job for us as the monetary value of a US dollar goes much further here in India. So, all in all, I think, the clients also need to consider from where the writer is while paying.

    I've had many instances where buyers are either outsources or middlemen as you say, but I find that out pretty soon usually. In such cases, I keep a track of where the content I write for such people ultimately goes. It's listed in Google quickly most of the times and I come to know the site for which it was to be composed. Then I contact the site owner and try to strike a deal with them directly. If the deal's successful, I get paid much better from the site owners (directly) than from the middlemen and outsources.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 6, 2015 IP
  14. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #14
    I do agree with you. However, I don't mean writers should brag about the best they've been paid. Yes, business setups and models are different, but when you know someone in your profession is making good money, it gives you a boost to perform better and hunt for higher-paying work. This is not about competition or comparison entirely, though some of it's beneficial as far it's healthy. It makes you think, 'If one person in my profession can get paid well, so can everyone.' and enforces your self-confience. There are times I feel low when good-paying work is not seen so much around and it starts to wane the belief that making good money by writing is possible. This precisely is the moment when I need the kick in the back and though short-lived, it helps me to take one step ahead and come out of the rut of negative thinking. Beginning is what is most important in such a situation. And even if I fail, it's fine with me as I take a great satisfaction in the fact that instead of just doing nothing and grumbling about good-paying work not being available, I at least tried something.
    Nope, I certainly don't intend to dwell on the numbers, but to use them as a motivation to land better jobs.

    Thanks for the reply. It's helpful as always.:)
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 6, 2015 IP
  15. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #15
    It's like those people who post quotes and "daily inspiration", I guess. Neither of those do anything for me (except annoy me and make me wish those people would shut up), but some folks love that stuff - it really motivates them. Earning figures are the same: they mean nothing to you or me (as long as we're making decent wages for where we live and the work we do), but they might motivate someone who's feeling rubbish. :)

    That's really interesting. US writers are the ones who go on and on about how their clients pay the best and so on, which just goes to show how wrong you can be. I think the US clients are frequently those trying to maximise their profit or find ways to earn without doing the work, so they pay low and sell high - the middleman approach you mention. Nice to know we UK folks pay well, too!

    No, no, no, no, no. And no. The price is the price and it shouldn't matter where you are: that way lies prejudice and low-paying jobs because you live somewhere relatively cheap. Your location has nothing to do with your work quality or how much you should be paid. How would you like it if you saw a 1,000-word, $100 job and, when you applied, you're told you'll only get $30 because you live somewhere cheap?
     
    WLEadmin, Feb 7, 2015 IP
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  16. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #16
    I see your point. I guess I missed that sometimes, it can backfire too.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 7, 2015 IP
  17. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #17
    Has anyone worked for or done work for the big advertising and/or direct marketing agencies? I am talking about agencies like Arnold Worldwide or Hill Holliday on the high traditional agency end and also the Epsilon's of the world (many more such boutique agencies, of course.) These are the first folks that I think of when I follow threads about compensation in this section. They are the industry in constant need of specialized content and who pay top dollar for services. And they regularly have rush jobs. Also, they are accustomed to using freelancers because they are a project driven business and one big order can mean all hands on deck. I used to be VP Sales & Marketing for a very large mailing/fulfillment house many years ago and we were vendors to some of the big agencies. It could be a very lucrative relationship if you can get in and they like your work.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 8, 2015 IP
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  18. Content Maestro

    Content Maestro Notable Member

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    #18
    I guess what you said also holds for ad agencies from the small and mid-sized segments. Last year, I did some product brochures and copies for a local one. The manager there is an old contact and had approached me when he needed the content done. He hired me on a freelance basis and threw a lot of good-paying work my way. The jobs were a bit demanding, but the pay, on the whole, was comparatively much better than any other projects I had taken up last year (which made up for whatever extra I had to put in ;)).
    Thanks.:) Your point is a very helpful input esp. on finding lucrative work.
     
    Content Maestro, Feb 8, 2015 IP
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  19. jrbiz

    jrbiz Illustrious Member

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    #19
    Yes, one of my examples, Epsilon, is a small to medium-sized direct marketing agency (high tech-based.) Any such agency should have a regular "stable" of freelancers (not just writers, but graphics designers, etc.) because when they win a new, large project they generally do not have the time to hire new people.
     
    jrbiz, Feb 9, 2015 IP
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  20. WLEadmin

    WLEadmin Active Member

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    #20
    The down-side is that you have to be a copywriter, not just a writer/editor - it's a very specialised branch, so it doesn't apply to everyone, despite a common confusion that copywriting is just writing.

    From a personal point of view, those clients are simply not possible for me: I don't do marketing content because (a) I suck at it and (b) I don't want to. :)

    I guess that's another reason these discussions can be nothing more than vaguely informational and/or motivational - everything is so widely varied in the industry that it's impossible to put figures or useful stats on the whole picture!
     
    WLEadmin, Feb 10, 2015 IP