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Writers Wanted to Work for Free – Apply Here.


Be Happy!

Be Happy! (Photo credit: _william)

Here I am, apologising for any sarcasm in advance, based upon a client wishing me to work for between one and two dollars per hour.

They had previously contracted with another writer to complete five blog posts for their website. The brief was quite poor so the writer would need to guess and search into the virtual mind of the client to decide what should be written. Of course experts will suggest that a Skype call with the client would have sourced more information, but time costs money and when the client was only prepared to pay $10 for each of the blog posts, 30 minutes or more with the client would rapidly bring down the value of the pay.

The client came to me because they didn’t consider the other writer’s work to be of a high enough standard for their website and cited a number of reasons why the writing failed, none of which were in the original brief.

The client had the audacity to suggest that a number of people should be interviewed, to provide content for the blog posts. This would have been perfectly normal under standard journalism rules, providing you were being paid for your time, but the client thought that their final price would include everything to achieve their specific needs, including the difficulty of finding individuals who were willing to be interviewed.

The subject would have been a difficult one for most writers to take on unless they were lucky enough to have previous experience in the specific field, or know enough people working in that trade.

The client expected a minimum of 600 words and a perfect edit for their $10. The research and interviewing could easily eat up 3 to 5 hours of good quality time to find enough detail for the five blog posts. If this was 600 words on a subject you already knew and understood, a small amount of research would have helped you to complete the job in half a day. This client’s requirements for work would take at least one full day and then when they pay by PayPal, you’d have to suffer the loss of PayPal charges.

Although some people would be perfectly happy to earn $50 for a day’s work, once you have removed the fees, paid your electricity and stationary bill, updated and maintained your computer system and realised that you can’t even claim the work to be your own because it is ghostwritten for marketing purposes, you would have very little left to show after paying taxes and insurance and leaving sufficient for a rainy day, your health bill and extras like food.

Unless clients are prepared to pay sensibly for their work, they will have to expect that some writers will lower their standards to complete the task in hand. I would prefer to say no at the beginning, but some writers are struggling for work. The client could turn to other parts of the world who will be pleased to work for just a handful of dollars, but in reality, once you have taken off the cost of your marketing to try and source clients in the first place, those one or two dollars per hour are not enough to keep you away from the alternatives, like a day at the beach or in front of your television, but more likely to be spent marketing for better paying clients..

Realists will suggest you should market to clients that can afford to work with you at whatever your pay grade is, but sometimes your marketing can attract different and all sorts and types of clients.

Of course, after all of this, you still don’t know if the client will accept your work and pay you or whether they’ll just take it away and use it elsewhere and you may never know, as you wasted a whole day’s work for nothing.

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STEPHEN HALL online