Thursday, June 12, 2008

Would You Expect A Plumber To Work For $2/Hour?

Have you ever had to call a plumber to fix a leaky pipe or unclog a stopped up drain? If you have, you know they make upwards of $75 an hour for their time and expertise. A good hair salon will charge $25 or $30 for a 20 minute hair cut. Every professional that provides a service which they have trained for and gained experience in charges a decent rate for their time and talents. And yet, you regularly find "job offers" looking for an article writer to produce several 500 words articles for $2 a piece. What's just as sad, is there are writers out there willing to accept this type of "job offer."

In order to produce a quality 500 word article on an unfamiliar topic, I can usually expect to spend at least 15-20 minutes researching- and that's just for a basic article about an easy to understand topic. If it's something more complicated, I can spend an hour or two just researching. Then it's at least 20 minutes to write the article and proofread it for errors. At $2 a pop, I think I would probably be making somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 cents an hour up to maybe $2 bucks an hour.

I really hate to date myself, but when I was in junior high school I made 50 cents an hour babysitting and even then I knew I was getting a raw deal. Back then my biggest expense was getting into the football game on Friday night or maybe buying a record album (they're like a really big CD, only they sound scratchy) once a month or so. Now, my expenses are considerably more than that, especially if I want to sleep on a bed in a shelter of some type and eat every now and then!

I find it appalling that these employers can continue to expect someone to write 500 words for $2. The only way it will ever stop, though, is if writers refuse to take these insulting jobs. I know it can be tough landing gigs and sometimes it feels scary when the jobs aren't lining up very fast, but please, find another way to survive if business is slow. Try Internet Marketing, write an ebook, search out local clients or get a job at the local Dairy Queen, but don't write 500 word articles for little or no money. Respect yourself as a writer first and only then will you have clients who will respect you as a professional.

I would love to know what you think about this topic, so leave your comments and lets talk about it! In the meantime, I'm late for my shift at the DQ, so I gotta go!



Shirley Bongbong said...

lol this is most honest. Appreciate that. Yes, if writers accept work with that amount I don't know if they will survive for long.

Teresa said...

Hi Shirley,
If we all stick to our guns and refuse these ridiculously low wages offered, soon the clients will realize that you get what you pay for . If you want quality, you must pay for quality!

Stay Strong!

kjgiffy said...

Hi! I'm on that Yahoo Copywriter's blog and came across your post. Of course I had to check out your blog! I have to comment because I'm going broke FAST, and I admit that I sometimes bid for projects on Elance to see if I can earn some money! Well, I actually got a nibble to write some articles for a person's blog. The guy said he'd be willing to 'try me out', offering to "Let" me write one article for him for $20!
I thought that was low as I've been paid much more than that to write well researched and well written articles! (He actually wants to pay less than $500 for all 40 articles!! he wouldn't specify his budget!)

I sent him a reply, worded it nicely, but made it clear that here in the US it would be extremely difficult to put gas in your car, eat food, pay a mortgage, pay for health insurance and the gas/electric bill on that kind of money! I said "I'm sure you understand that".

Anyway, I try to stick to my guns about accepting decent wages! Most times on those sites the people just move on and find someone to write for pennies...probably good to note that I never win any bids on Elance...

kjgiffy said...

Comment Update!
I just got a reply from my Elance person... "Unfortunately your bid was not accepted. Reason: Bid too high"
I bid $35 to write one article for him!

Teresa said...

kjgiffy: Hi, thanks for the comments! I have not tried Elance, but have done a lot of bidding through I find it difficult too to get employers to understand that we aren't requesting payment that is out of line or over the top, just what is fair. Keep on keepin on- it's kind of slow right now for a lot of writers, but it will pick up!

Sue said...

Preach it, sister!

It's appalling to see clients paying (and writers accepting!) peanuts for writing gigs.

Think of the most menial jobs out there - the ones nobody would want to do. How much do they pay? Surely more than 50 cents an hour!

So why on earth would it be a good idea to take a job in which you've got to use your brain, your creativity, and your time... and get paid peanuts?

The more we stand united as professionals, refusing to devalue ourselves, our skills, our talents, and our time - the better off we'll all be. Especially our clients!

They get what they pay for... and we deserve the fees we command. A win for all.