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Should I accept Low Paying Freelance Writing Jobs?

This is not the first time that I have addressed this question. But since I have received so many emails in the past week concerning low paying freelance writing jobs, I figured that it was time to revisit the topic.

Whether or not you accept low paying projects depends on many factors. In my opinion, if you are struggling to find work and are not insulted by working for lower wages, you should definitely move forward with this type of project. After all, it is better to build your skills and get paid, if only a little bit, than to sit around and hope that a big time project falls into your lap.

One thing that people always forget to include when emailing me this question is what they mean by “low paying.” A $5 per article job may seem like a joke if you live in the United States and rely on your freelance writing income to support yourself. But on the other side of the world, this could be considered an above average payment.

When pondering this question, make sure that you are being honest with yourself. In other words, make sure that you are not being unrealistic in how much money you want to earn. While it would be nice if I could earn $1/word on every project that I take on, this is far from realistic. I cannot expect to earn this much from everybody, and remember, not every client has a large budget.

If you spend time on any of the freelance writing message boards, you will have no problems finding a large influx of people who are against writing for low wages. While I agree with them to a certain extent, new writers need to break in where they can. As of I have said in the past, my first job was writing 400 to 500 word articles for $1 apiece. Was I crazy for doing this? Looking back, it is easy to say that I was not earning what I was worth. But at the time all I knew was that I had to get my foot in the door. That project gave me valuable samples which I used time after time to secure higher paying jobs.

Don’t let anybody influence whether or not you accept low paying jobs. Set a minimum that you are willing to work for, and then go from there. Soon enough you will have a solid grip on what the market can bear, and how much you are worth as a freelance writer.

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2 Comments »Freelance WritingMay 4th, 2008

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