Lori Widmer at Words on the Page has declared today as Writer’s Worth Day to encourage writers to expect and get decent wages for their work.
I haven’t looked at any of the bidding sites in a very long time, but I’ve read other bloggers talk about the ridiculous prices that some projects pay. Often beginning writers have no idea what a fair price is for their work, and they’re excited to have an opportunity to write and get paid for it. They accept low pay because they think they have to do so to get started.
I’ll talk more about setting rates in a future installment of my series-in-progress on starting a freelance writing business. This post is just a reminder that freelance writing is a business, even if you’re doing it part-time. Businesses have to earn enough money to pay expenses and make a profit. As a freelance writer, you don’t have an employer providing insurance, vacation, holidays, and other benefits. You are responsible for the full amount of your Social Security tax; as an employee, your employer contributes half of it. You have to pay for your own computer, phone, and Internet. And your time is worth something!
Think about those things when you’re tempted to write an article for $1. If you want to give away your work, volunteer to write for a worthy cause as a charitable contribution. Start your own blog and write posts to your heart’s content. But if you put yourself into the market as a professional writer … expect to be paid like one.