5 Reasons Why Taking Cheap Writing Jobs Just Isn’t Worth Your Time

By on June 17, 2016
5 Reasons Why Taking Cheap Writing Jobs Just Isn't Worth Your Time - WritersLife.org

Relying on freelance writing as your sole income can be a scary business. There is no guarantee of work for a start, and if you are just beginning your new career, knowing where to find work, how to write great pitches, and building good relationships with editors can be daunting, and feel like a mammoth and overwhelming task.

However, no matter how new you are to the freelance writing game, you shouldn’t feel like you have to take those insanely poorly paid jobs. You may think ‘some money is better than no money, right?’ and while we are not suggesting that you starve yourself, or stop paying rent, there are still some gigs out there that just aren’t worth your time.

Here’s why:

They won’t pay the bills

Imagine your old boss told you they were cutting your salary by 3/4’s. You would think it was a joke right? And you certainly wouldn’t stand for it.

Most people wouldn’t be able to survive on a quarter of their normal salary, so why should you lower your writing rates by that much just to get some work?

If you think about it, there aren’t enough hours in the day to write as much as you would need to make enough money to pay the bills. So even though it’s ‘something’ if you end up working 24 hours a day and still not having enough money to live, then surely it is just a waste of your time?

The end up being the fussiest clients

There is no such thing as an ‘easy’ writing gig.

You might think because a client only wants to pay you peanuts that they won’t expect a well-researched, high-quality piece of writing, that it’s something you can get done in 20 minutes and make yourself and easy buck or two.

Well, you're wrong.

Often the stingiest payers end up being the fussiest clients, and suddenly a job you thought would take you no time at all ends up becoming a laborious and lengthy task, and you have very little to show for it at the end.

It is bad for the industry

It is not OK to charge writers pittance for their services. Writing good quality content is a skill and should be respected.

If a client isn’t willing to pay a fair price then they should have to do the work themselves. Accepting low paid jobs makes them think they can get away with it, and so will continue to do so.

It’s not good for the industry, so think of your fellow writers and shut them down.

It’s not a productive use of your time

When you are well into your third hour writing a 2,000 word article about tax returns for 4 dollars just stop for a moment, and think about what else you could be doing? Accepting these low paid writing gigs wastes time that could be spent coming up with ideas and perfecting pitches to clients that are willing to pay a decent price for your work.

It lowers your self esteem

At the end of the day, as a freelance writer, it is important that you know what you are worth. Don’t let clients pay you next to nothing for your services, or soon you’ll start to believe that’s what you deserve!

When you are just beginning your career as a freelance writer it can be hard not to panic and envisage yourself bankrupt and homeless by the end of the week. It is a tough business and can be scary at first.

However, while it is OK to take lower paid jobs while you are building up your portfolio and reputation if someone is offering you work for next to nothing, don’t take it no matter how much of a newbie you are, and remember you are worth so much more!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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