Don’t Be Backwards in Asking for a Higher Rate of Pay
Starting out as a novice writer holds enough obstacles, so much so that I was happy to accept almost any writing project no matter what the pay. That soon changed as the compliments started coming in and I realised that actually clients were being sincere. Initially my clients were Americans and you can never be quite sure that they are being wholly honest with you or are they just saying nice things because they think it will “motivate” you?
I understand that actually they were very sincere, they meant the compliments not because they wanted to motivate me but because they wanted to keep me sweet so they could use my writing services in the future. I couldn’t understand why that would be as I’m no writer. A greater understanding of the worldwide writing market soon started to put things into perspective.
There are two great advantages I have over the bulk of my competition, the first is I write and speak English as a native and the second is that I am organised and stick to deadlines. Note I have said nothing about delivering great work, in my experience it helps, but you don’t need to deliver great work just delivering a reasonable standard of English and on time will put you ahead of 95% of the competition.
Putting your rates up
Very quickly I learned that I can charge more for my writing efforts. Initially I thought I had fallen on my feet when I was offered a long term writing deal paying me $10 per 1,000 words. Now I’m paid $20 – $25 per 1,000 on average and given I can produce 10,000 – 15,000 words a day you can do the sums to work out my earnings at the moment.
This dramatic increase in my rate has happened quite recently, since the start of the year.
How have I managed to do this?
Quite simply by being very hard about dismissing projects that are below my pay level and holding out on projects for a good rate.
Last week I bid on a project to provide web content for an existing website that is being revamped. I was pretty clear and comprehensive as to what I could provide and offered myself at the rate of $25 per 1,000 words, the first time I’d pitched that high. I was surprised when I received an email from the site owner asking for a chat and we closed the deal – at $250 per 10,000 words.
Get bidding more
My competition were bidding far less but the site owner wanted quality for the e-commerce aspect of the site from which he is already earning thousands of dollars a week. From a business point of view it made no sense to skimp on a few dollars an hour for good quality content that will help him make even more money.
My point is, that once you have lost your writers virginity don’t be afraid to look for better pay. The market you are in is not saturated and your competition for the most part is not very high. English is the lingua franca of the business web and there are a huge number of businesses that require English content delivered on time – you don’t have to produce great work, just English and on time.
Delivering great work helps your reputation though!