When I recently lost both my primary clients due to financial issues, I did what I really did not want to do: began searching the job boards for listings. Yes, I knew these were not the best paying gigs, but I needed something to tide me over. I needed something quickly and couldn’t just sit back and do nothing while I rebuilt my database of active clients. I found a few very good paying ones, but didn’t have any luck with those–I had signed up with one in May and still haven’t received any offers (apparently the same is true of many writers according to their forum), and the other one actually turned me down for two categories in which I have extensive experience, so I gave up on that possibility.
Reviewing some of my newsletters brought some possibilities, but one possibility called HireWriters.com was a complete joke. I filled out the information, sent in the sample, the entire works, and when I got their response they had me listed as “Beginner.” Really, I thought? I’m not trying to brag, but if you go to my website and read my bio, you will see I have been writing full-time for the past eight years! That means I am in no way a “beginner.” As if that isn’t insulting enough, they thought I was going to write for $1.18 for 500 words I think the job posting said. Do you know what you going to get for $1.18? If you’re really lucky, you might get 50 words (if I’m in a good mood), but in all likelihood you’ll get a maximum of 25.
I’m not quite sure I can begin to understand the line of thinking of these job boards–a/k/a content mills. What makes them think writers have all the time in the world to write for such horrid rates? I’d have to write for 24 hours straight without any sleep in order to make enough money to help with the household bills, and my last two clients paid me way more than that–10 articles a week gave me enough to buy groceries, pay the electric bill, pay a credit account I have AND have money left over to help my two daughters who are struggling financially. Now am busy networking and trying to get back into the swing of writing on a regular basis again.
It’s very disheartening when you get so little respect as a writer, and there are so many people who think you will work for a pittance. I had another response that offered a penny a word! I can’t remember the last time I worked for that measly amount–I have one occasional client remaining who pays me .02 a word but that’s only because he is a long-standing client and never asks for more than rewrites thus no research involved.
I have to admit through all this I am beginning to learn how to recognize scammers and those who truly have no respect for a writer’s time. It is for this reason I invested some cash into setting up a new website, one that is inexpensive but not free. Perhaps this step will put me in touch with some clients who have respect for my time and writing skills. Yes, I will brag about my writing ability because if I don’t have faith in myself, who will? The effort we take to write and write well is important, and we cannot let anyone take advantage of that.