Pay peanuts, expect monkeys
I recently joined a freelance writing website to which I posted my credentials and have regular ‘matches’ for articles and editing, etc, emailed to me. I’ve perused other sites in the past and have found jobs either difficult to find or the sites themselves cluttered and confusing. The hardest bit is getting a foot in the door of this industry in order to achieve reviews without underselling oneself when bidding, made more so when there are folks willing to write a 500 word article for only US$1.00. These writers are not from countries where a buck goes a hell of a long way, and this annoys me along with a small ton of fellow writers whose barrage is testimony to the bad taste it leaves.
Bidding on underpaying projects not only entices more buyers who think paying a pittance is acceptable, it devalues other qualified and experienced writers. In fact, it downright laughs in their faces whilst kicking them in the shins. I know times are tough economically and businesses need to start somewhere, but $1.00 for a 500 word article is, frankly, ludicrous.
Peeps, if you really want the hard slog for a measley dollar, all you’re really doing is encouraging this kind of pay. That’s fine if you want minus minimum wage to the power of Mandelbrot. I don’t. I’d like to be recognised for my merit and skill, thanks, without having to sell myself cheap. I already do a number of writerly things for the love of it, and a girl’s gotta eat. As for buyers consciously expecting to pay that whopping amount, even if you’re starting out, why not set aside a budget (a real one) for writers, or, hey, perhaps even write the articles yourself. You might appreciate the time and effort involved.