Writing for Dollars - Kathryn C. Lang

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Writing for Dollars

Working online is a great way to control your own employment destiny. The hours are up to you. The work load is up to you. The price is up to you – sort of.

Online writing is notorious for low pay. Many “writers” are accepting jobs for $2 an article (around ½ of 1 cent). I assume it is because they either want to write so bad they don’t care how much they make or else the buyer doesn’t care about the quality of work received.

I was a cheap writer for the first few months online. As a matter of fact, I made all of my money writing posts on forums for a whopping 15 cents per post. It didn’t make me feel like a writer, but I was learning about the internet, making a few connections, AND getting some money along the way.

As I began to understand the online world of writing and I started getting more regular work, I determined that I am worth more than I was charging. Now when I bid for work, or a potential client asks for a fee, I have a genuine idea of what to charge (I start at 6 cents a word, which I know is still cheap). There are some things you have to do to be able to ask for more.

1. Start writing online. If you have a personal blog, be sure to make each post quality content that you would be proud for an editor to view. Other wise, visit some other sites and inquire about doing a guest post for them. Even if you don’t get paid, you are building up clips for editors (and potential employers) to see.

2. Evaluate your pay before accepting a job. Set a per hour limit that you are willing to accept and don’t go below that. Instead of accepting $2 jobs, use that time to build up clips on other sites and to tweak your own site as well.

3. Meet your deadlines. The internet lends itself to an extremely casual work environment, but meeting deadlines is not where you should be lax. Do what you say you are going to do, on time, and with quality.

4. Ask for an increase. As you continue to work for the same person repeatedly, as for an increase in pay. If you are doing a good job, consistently, then you just might get what you ask for.

5. Be willing to learn. You may have little (or no) knowledge about parrots, but don’t turn down a job because of that. Put a little time into research. You’ll learn something AND make money along the way.

6. Overlap jobs. If you can do the same research for several jobs, you will end up making more money per hour. Use your time wisely.

7. Look to print. Use some of the articles and ideas from your online work to query print publications. DO NOT submit the same material you sold to someone else (unless you have a contract saying you retain control). Create new material from the information that you now have stuck in your head.

Working online is a great way to make extra income or start a new career. Remember to charge what your worth. Selling yourself short cuts into your ability to make an income but don’t over price yourself out of the market. Look for some solid opportunities to stretch you gifts and talents and then ask for compensation that you and the site owner can both live with.

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