There is an ongoing debate in freelance writing world regarding how low is too low when it comes to the rate of pay for freelance writing work.
Some seasoned writers who have earned a substantial living freelancing are faulting new writers for the inability to find an acceptable rate of pay for their craft. It is their belief that writers who are willing to accept rates as low as a few pennies a word are contaminating the income earning pool. These seasoned freelance writers believe that publishers are getting work for a steal and it is hurting their freelance writing career.
The Other Side of the Freelance Writing Coin
On the flip side, many newbie writers don’t have the confidence and/or ability to jump into the fray and command a respectable rate of pay. Some feel they need to start somewhere to get their feet wet. Most often it’s not that the writer doesn’t have talent, it’s because the writer lacks confidence and must learn the ropes a bit before commanding a high rate of pay.
As with the traditional job market, when entering a new field, one usually takes an entry level job and works her way up the employment ladder. Those entry level jobs do not take away from the earning potential of those higher up the employment food chain. As a matter of fact, individuals who are willing to do the entry level work take on tasks that more seasoned experienced workers prefer not to do
Publishers Get What They Pay For
Publishers who feel they are getting a bargain at paying .01 and .02 cents per word for an article are getting what they paid for. Many of these publishers require writers to spit out 20 and 30 articles in a batch in order to receive payment. After spending time cranking out articles for such a low rate of pay, many new freelance writers quickly gain confidence in their writing abilities and graduate to more lucrative assignments.
High end publishers could not get away with hiring the very same entry level writers who are willing to accept .01 and .02 cents per word. To maintain the integrity of their publication, they look for seasoned writers with impressive portfolios and resumes.
What the Freelance Writing Future Holds
The Internet has made it increasingly easy for freelance writers to turn down what is otherwise considered too low rates. With residual writing sites such as Suite 101.com, eHow and others, freelance writers can build a foundation of articles that will earn residual income. Although it takes time, eventually the residual income is enough to help the fill in the gaps between high-paying assignments.
Seasoned Professionals Need Not Worry
Anyone worth their writing salts with an established writing record need not be concerned about the newbie writer and her willingness to accept such a low rate. In time she will learn, grow and turn down such low paying work.
It’s this author’s belief that there is room for all types of writers in the freelance writing market. The cream rises to the top and the dregs settle at the bottom. It’s up to the writer to determine where she fits in the mixture. Freelance writers who have developed writing skills and continue to work hard will to rise to the top. Those that don’t will remain at the bottom.
The Freelance Writing Mirror Test
The question that each freelance writer must ask: “Is my career going in the right direction? If not, what do I need to do to make it better?”