I loved this article by the awesome Heather Lloyd-Martin, who has a great website, SEO Copywriting. It’s basically about discounting your rates as a freelance copywriter at the request of a client and ways to deal with it. The strategies I like the best are taking an step out of your creative process with a client, or offering to do a smaller part of a bigger project. The one I don’t like is simply saying no. Which is what I’ve had to do with some clients, even though I still consider myself just starting out.
So I’ve done this twice, on an online freelancing site (one that shall not be named), where I’ve done work that would’ve been better to be done for free than for what I got paid. The people wanted to hire me again, but give me the same jaw-dropping low payment. Then I got hired to write blog posts, four at a time for dodgy websites. I didn’t get paid much better for those, and I dropped them too.
Amazingly, I don’t blame these people who hired me to do their indentured servant work. Especially the one from the online site. In that situation, I was competing with people from all around the world, who would be more than happy to have a wage of $2-5 an hour for their time.
That’s what most of the jobs were going for, with the higher paying ones few and far between. To me, it just wasn’t worth it to try and compete with those jobs. To those who can do this and succeed, bless them.
Now, maybe I’m being elitist when I can’t afford to be. But there’s one thing I’ve learned, and that is I can get paid a worthy sum of money for my writing efforts. That’s happened with one of my clients, who has given two very good-paying jobs for almost $2,000 each. I don’t have to settle and get penny-pinched wages for a fairly robust assignment.
And working with a coach this past month (thanks, Nick!) has certainly helped me to cement that belief. I would much rather pass up a lot of crappy pay work and get one or two well-paying ones a month instead.