Despite the demise of content mills like Helium and Yahoo! Contributor Network, there are still plenty of bidding sites offering writing “opportunities” to freelance writers- for example, there’s this one on Craigslist:
Let’s face it: making $70 or even $170 for 50 articles is not a realistic way to thrive- or even survive- as a freelance writer. I’ve seen too many writers make below poverty level wages because they didn’t know where else to go besides online bidding sites like oDesk or eLance. I’ve also cringed whenever various freelance writers told me how they were writing “on spec” or “for the exposure.”
Honestly, would you expect your plumber to come to your house and unclog your sink just so you could refer his services to your friends? Would you expect your area car mechanics to bid against each other as to who might replace your alternator for just $10? Doubtful. So why should you view your freelance writing services as sub par to plumbing or auto repair or any other trade?
As the French writer Jules Renard quipped so well: “Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.”
Freelance writing is a profession, just like plumbing and auto repair are professions. Consider yourself a professional.
Because money talks
In light of such (insert your own descriptor here) writing gigs, I decided that I would start paying my guest bloggers $50 for their posts. I decided to do this for several reasons:
1. It’s the right thing to do. Freelance writing gigs that tell you to write for the “exposure,” “fans,” “joy of writing” apparently come from a fantasy land where mortgages and grocery/utility bills don’t exist. Real writers live in the real world and have real expenses to pay. And, as another well-known freelance writer likes to say, “People die of exposure!”
2. To encourage submissions. When there’s a $50 “carrot” dangling in front of your eyes, you’re much more likely to write for me, aren’t you? See?
3. To encourage quality submissions. It’s a fact of life that writing (or doing just about anything) for money brings out the best from people. Also, those guest bloggers are much more motivated to work with me, the editor, to improve their submissions.
4. To train and help new writers. In the freelance writing world, you are expected to send query letters to publishers, bloggers, companies, etc. in order to win those lucrative writing gigs. Writing for this blog will help you get the practice you need to create winning queries and make successful pitches.
5. To build a community. Given that my Haelix Communications blog is fairly new, I am hoping to grow a community of writers and readers and expand its digital borders, so to speak. I can’t think of a better way to do that than to pay for some quality content that encourages views, comments and social media shares.
Want to write for me?
Check out my writing submission guidelines and send me a query email. Let’s get this party started!