Know Your Worth!

Posted on May 23, 2011

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Guest Post by Samantha Bangayan @www.whatlittlethings.com

If you’re just starting off as a freelance writer, it can be difficult to gauge how much you should be paid. A lot of freelance writers seem to be doing well making around $10 to $15 per article with content-creating companies, such as Demand Studios — who manages eHow.com — and wiseGEEK. Once you get the hang of the guidelines and depending on your topic, some writers can pop out an article an hour. If this were your full-time job, you would be making almost $2,500 a month. Not bad!

“Not bad” is exactly what I thought until I started connecting with other writers. My new writer friends reminded me that writing is a valuable skill and that I’m worth more than $15 an article. They told me that writers who stay with content-creating companies aren’t taking the initiative to be paid what they’re worth or don’t know that they’re worth more.

Sherry (Writing4Effect) asked me what I perceive to be “great paying” in the freelance writing world and the truth is, I don’t know. What I do know is that you should be paid enough to live comfortably, taking into account the ups and downs of clients and work in this business, and that you should make more than $15 per article if you have solid writing samples. Use this online calculator for an idea of how much you should be charging per hour.

Before Sherry even had freelance writing experience, her very first client paid her $35 per article. I started freelance writing with content-creating companies this past January. After writing less than 40 articles, three months later, I landed my first two clients by applying to ads listed in job search websites. I’m now making around 10 cents a word, which comes out to around $50 for a 500-word blog post. Demand Studios would have paid me $15 for the same article.

I would hardly call myself a successful freelance writer, but this sure is a step up from writing for content-creating companies. Not only am I paid better, but I’m also writing about topics that matter to me in any style that I want with no editors on my back asking for rewrites.

Takeaway lessons I learned:

  1. Connect with other writers. They’ll act as your mentors, encourage you and help you to stay on track with the latest trends in the field. You’ll receive ideas on optimizing your writing, grammar tips, potential job leads and when you’re going through a tough stretch, they’ll remind you of your worth!
  2. Don’t settle for less when you don’t need to. There are going to be times when you need to fall back on content-creating companies and that’s okay. Eventually, you may find that you’re making more money with them as you learn to write more efficiently, but stay on the lookout for better-paying clients because you’re worth it!

I want to wholeheartedly thank Sherry, not only for allowing me to guest post on her blog, but also because she helped me remember my worth!

–Samantha Bangayan is a Canadian freelance writer who followed her heart all over the world and currently resides in the Central Andes of Peru. She doesn’t have it all figured out yet either, but she believes that life’s more about appreciating the little things along the way. Connect with her through her website: www.whatlittlethings.com.

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