Author Topic: Is this the lowest paying job ever?  (Read 3682 times)

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« on: March 19, 2006, 10:53:17 AM »
Just spotted on freelancers.net:


I am looking for people to write articles on a range of topics on an ongoing basis.

Topics would range from Gardening to outdoor leisure activities, sports etc.

You should be able to produce a minimum of 20 per week. We offer 2 per article which must be a minimum of 250 words and written in fluent english without spelling errors.

If you are able to produce more, so much the better.
<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>

Offline igleli

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 03:16:59 AM »
I know--sad isn't it? You know what is sadder? Some poor soul will do it, and be glad for the work!

Offline wealthyblogger

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2006, 12:37:07 PM »
There are people who know how to write, and people who know how to make money from the written word.

The sad thing is that the writers aren't usually the monetizers. Even worse, when a writer does make a nice living by publishing his own writing, either in print or on the web, he's not considered a 'real' writer by his peers.

Offline igleli

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2006, 02:09:12 PM »
No kidding! LOL. Being a "hack" aka professional freelance writer, I know this well. I would NOT write on assignment for that amount of money! My minimum rate is $40 per page. I will write poetry (of my own choosing, not on assignment) for free. That is different. We are not talking about high art here. We are talking about exploitation of the desperate. (or, perhaps, I suppose, apprenticeship, if coaching is included in the deal.)

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2006, 08:22:57 AM »
Wealthyblogger, I disagree with you! How does any writer make money? By selling their work! Which books do people want to buy? The ones that are written well...

Which freelance articles do editors want to buy? The ideas that are presented well, honed to meet the needs of the publication and are by writers they know they can trust...

am I missing something? :)

<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>

Offline igleli

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2006, 02:27:54 PM »
Oh, I see what you mean, and I do agree that bad writing does not (usually) sell. (Celebrity children's books are a huge exception. And then there are those excellent storytellers who do not write well, but whose books consistently top best seller lists--have you read a sex scene by Kellerman? Oh my gosh--and he really is a psychologist. Makes you wonder...) Anyway, back to what we were talking about. Are you a freelancer too? If so, hi! Haven't you met "real" writers who have "books" out who look down their noses at you? I have. Rolls eyes. I make more from one two week assignment than they make in two years, but that just makes me a hack. I will repeat my point, though. The original post cited (from the freelancer's job posting site) is absurd. It is NOT enough money for 250 words! Who would write, on assignment, for so little? Surely, not a professional. Would you do it? You would make more per hour at Wal Mart--with benefits!

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2006, 06:14:15 PM »
No I wouldn't do it! I agree with you entirely. The bit I disagree with is that 'writers aren't the monetisers'. I write for a living.
<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>

Offline igleli

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2006, 09:19:17 PM »
Oh yes. I agree with you!! I write for a living too. (and it took a LONG time for me to earn the right to do it!)

Offline wealthyblogger

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Maybe this will explain where I'm coming from...
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2006, 12:20:43 AM »
I met a guy on a plane about two years ago and we struck up a conversation during the flight. I asked him what he did for a living, and he proudly told me he was an author.

And he was. He wrote unauthorized teen celebrity biographies for a trade publisher. Maybe not a literary genius, but he was certainly an author.

I thought he must be swimming in dough after he told me he wrote two books a month for the well-respected publisher who owned the imprint.

But it turned out that he wrote on a "work made for hire" contract, and got the grand sum of $2,000 for each book.

No wonder he wrote two a month!

I was just starting to play with publishing my work on-line back then, and wasn't making much more than than he was per month from my web publishing efforts, but I could see that he'd make much more over the long haul just by posting the same work on a website with Adsense and affiliate ads.

I told him so, and he agreed. His rebuttal was, "but then I wouldn't be a writer."

I don't try to sell my work any more. I haven't for over a year. To my friends in my writers group, that means I am 'not a writer anymore.'  To  the guy I met on the plane, I'm not a writer either.

But I still write the same stuff. I'm not Hemingway, but I write a mean tech review, a decent case study, and I love getting into a good how-to article.  Simply because I choose to post my writing on web sites and blogs along with some affiliate links and Adsense ads rather than sending them to an editor for a one-time fee doesn't make me less of a writer. It just makes me richer.

I apologize if I offended any working writers with my post. I'll admit this is a bit of a sore spot for me at the moment. It just seems to me that there are so many people *desperate* to acquire the title of 'writer', that they're willing to sell their work for two peanuts and a sunflower seed just to say they've sold something.

And from where I stand, that's a huge, horrid, miserable shame when there's money just layin' out on the Web for those same writers to grab if they could let go of their preconceived notions of what a writer ought to do.

Offline igleli

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2006, 01:37:15 AM »
Hmm. Well. your initial post seemed to say something very different. As I have said, any writer who writes on assignment (makes a living--unless you're J.K.Rowling or Steven King) is looked down upon, not just those who write for sites. The good news is that there many ways (not commonly known) for writers to make a living, if they release preconceptions. As you pointed out in this last post, people should find their strengths--what they know that other people don't know--and combine those strengths with writing. For you it is tech reviews. I couldn't do that! For me, it's education (I was a teacher) + art + poetry + fiction + nonfiction at different reading levels. For others, it might be child raising, house cleaning, classic cars, cameras, world travel, special celebrities--I know a guy who is obsessed with Ancient Egypt--I think it must have been a past life ;) -- my point is, find the thing that would make people say--oh, she can write and get published because she is a--- fill in the blank. I guarantee that there is something. Then, the market will follow. For tech subjects, the internet may be the best place. It may be best for some other things as well (as long as they pay), but print is still best for many subjects. I don't know about you, but I refuse to read fiction off of a screen. It gives me a headache (and I spend ALL DAY working online, so it isn't because I'm an old fogey--though, actually, I am  ;)

Offline Linda Aitchison

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Re: Is this the lowest paying job ever?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2006, 02:38:32 PM »
Yes I think all of this is very interesting (and certainly not offensive,wealthy blogger!  :) Certainly some of the best paid stuff can be looked down upon. So many 'newbie' writers that  I come into contact with (and there are a fair few!) aspire to writing very serious rather high-brow articles for the UK broadsheets (can even admit to doing a bit of this myself ;) but the pay, compared to the highest selling women's magazines is so very low. As I have bills to pay I choose to seek writing work that pays well.  :)
But alongside that I am so very lucky to also still have the resources to work for lower paid markets that I enjoy writing for.
All the best.
 
<a href="http://www.freelancewritingtips.com">"Currently updating and adding to my book on freelance writing</a>