Something to Consider Before Accepting Freelance Work (Article Writing)

40 replies
I just read Zabrina's Post on How to Hire a Writer. Very good information!

I wanted to share my opinions with those who are accepting jobs on Freelancer and other sites.

I recently posted about my 1st job on Elance in March, making $250 for 11 articles that I also tweaked for 2 other locations(surrounding areas.)

To me that was great income....but what was different is that I was working within my niche which is health and wellness.

It's absolutely true what someone mentioned in Zabrina's thread about getting what you pay for.

I spent 1 1/2 hours being "trained" last night by someone who had just hired me. I knew what he wanted to say next, but he scolded me for jumping ahead. I sat through the entire session (being the pro that I am ) He wanted me to "be by my email at all times" for updates.....this was for $1 per article. BIG MISTAKE.

I also had one other client hire me last night.

When all is said & done....you ABSOLUTELY MUST FACTOR IN the time it takes to research your topic (especially if it's not your niche) and curate unique content. Then they have their way to format it, review it for mistakes, grammar, and synonyms through software, but in the end, I spent way too much time in the research, preparation stage that all of a sudden the $1 and $2 per 500-word articles didn't make sense. (not that it ever did)

It's my own lesson learned, and won't make the same mistake twice, but I just wanted to pass that on to the newer writers.

Good Luck!

Terri
#accepting #article #freelance #work #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Chloe Clado
    It'll be a cold day in you-know-where before I sit through a 1.5 hr. "training session" for a cut-rate content job.

    And the idea that I'd be constantly reachable via email is laughable.

    If people want to work with professionals, they need to treat people like professionals.

    Of course, you're right about considering research/prep when quoting rates or accepting gigs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    Hi Chloe;

    I feel kinda foolish actually for doing it but I kept thinking we were nearing the end. I realized there are a lot of people/teams that bid on huge jobs and then re-outsource to others and treat them poorly. I guess it was a lesson I need to learn the hard way, but I don't believe in making the same mistake twice.

    He said he works with 20 writers and so he is on MSN ALL THE TIME.

    Yikes.

    Cheers,
    Terri
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  • Profile picture of the author Chloe Clado
    Yeah, I can understand getting "trapped" in a situation like that as someone droned on and on and on about the simplest of things. Yuck.

    If he's on MSN 24/7, he needs to rethink his business. Maybe he should sit through a 1.5 hr training session to learn a better way to run things, lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pipinscott
    Wow what an experience. I think all of us have been there in some shape or fashion.

    Has it been your experience that the client who pays higher fees tend to treat you better?
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    • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
      Originally Posted by Pipinscott View Post

      Wow what an experience. I think all of us have been there in some shape or fashion.

      Has it been your experience that the client who pays higher fees tend to treat you better?
      Hi PipinScott;

      Honestly, I'm just starting out at the Freelance end of things, I do that to supplement my income while I work on my other online endeavours. I had one other client who paid me great fees for article writing. He was fair, asked for a few revisions and that was it, he gave me a great testimonial and I thought I was paid well....but the topics (fitness bootcamps) were in my niche and the content came easily for me.

      I'm afraid I lowered my standards and that is what I've learned here. That is why I wanted to let other new Freelancers to be sure to factor in the prep time needed when you are writing articles that are not within your expertise, or basic knowledge. Researching and making sure your content is unique takes time.

      This was a complete waste of time, but now I know what NOT TO DO


      Terri
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    I couldn't agree more. I wondered how someone can sit there all day and all night, this was at 10 last night. I could see 4 or 5 hours throughout the day, but you're absolutely right, that is ridiculous.

    By the way, just wanted to say WELCOME to the Warrior Forum! Great place to be - hands down!

    Cheers and thx for responding
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      The first thing that comes to my mind is, "Why in the world are you accepting assignments that pay $1 per 500-word article?" That's insane, especially if you're aiming to be a professional freelance writer. It's a waste of time, effort and skills to work for such a lowly amount.

      As far as the training, did he not tell you how long it would be? If not, you should have asked.

      One of my Elance clients gave me specific details about the length of training which basically talked about how their automated system worked for submitting articles I write for them. That client paid me $15 per 500-word article which, to me, is still low for a pro. But at the time, I had to take what I could get. $1 per article would not even fit that consideration.

      Getting freelance work requires thorough investigation into those potential clients. Check them out just as they will be checking your claims and references. Check any feedback they've given to previous writers. Check those writers and see what feedback they gave to those clients. That's one of the great things about Elance. You can get that important background information before taking on assignments.

      When I go through Elance clients, I check all of these details. I check any sites they provide. I look specifically to see if there have been any problems with these clients. I look at their rating and how many times they have re-hired the same writers.

      You must do your homework, and it sounds like you didn't.

      Beyond that, you absolutely must decide how much you are willing to charge and stick to it. Don't devalue your skills by taking on those cheap jobs from demanding clients who want more for their money. Study what other writers are charging for similar work and set your scale accordingly.

      Be professional. Get what you're worth. Accept nothing less. Clients like that who think they can get great work for measly pay make it that much more difficult for the rest of us to ask what we're really worth. While searching Elance myself, I had a hard time finding any clients who were willing to pay more than $12 per article.

      Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    Sylviad;

    I've already acknowledged I made the mistake, the lecture is not needed. I am just starting out in Freelance, this was my 3rd hired job....and it wasn't Elance, it was Freelancer and I can clearly see the difference in quality to be honest. I did due diligence by reading the Reviews (9.8/10) so there must be ppl willing to do the work for the price. I realize now I am not one of them, not even in an area that I am knowledgeable about.

    My Elance experience was very positive and paid well, I wanted to pass my experience on to someone starting out like I am, I don't need to be scolded....good grief.
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by Terri LC View Post

      Sylviad;

      I've already acknowledged I made the mistake, the lecture is not needed. I am just starting out in Freelance, this was my 3rd hired job....and it wasn't Elance, it was Freelancer and I can clearly see the difference in quality to be honest. I did due diligence by reading the Reviews (9.8/10) so there must be ppl willing to do the work for the price. I realize now I am not one of them, not even in an area that I am knowledgeable about.

      My Elance experience was very positive and paid well, I wanted to pass my experience on to someone starting out like I am, I don't need to be scolded....good grief.
      Interesting that you feel "scolded" when people respond to you. I was merely pointing out that there are ways to avoid in future what you went through this time. If you are so sensitive to criticism and instruction, maybe freelance writing is not for you. Believe me, clients can be much harsher than you perceive me to be.

      Sylvia
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Benjamin
        Originally Posted by sylviad View Post

        Interesting that you feel "scolded" when people respond to you. I was merely pointing out that there are ways to avoid in future what you went through this time. If you are so sensitive to criticism and instruction, maybe freelance writing is not for you. Believe me, clients can be much harsher than you perceive me to be.

        Sylvia
        You're intentions are good, Sylvia. But I don't recall reading
        her post ASKING for advice on where to improve.

        She's just "sharing" her experience and her lessons.

        I could turn around and tell you that you shouldn't spend a
        lot of your time telling people what they may NEED to hear,
        but aren't LOOKING to hear.

        ...then I'd be telling YOU what you should and should not do.

        :rolleyes:

        By the way, you're right. Clients CAN be harsher...if you let
        them. It's about Confidence, Control, and Positioning.
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        • Profile picture of the author sylviad
          Originally Posted by WhoIsBenjamin View Post

          You're intentions are good, Sylvia. But I don't recall reading
          her post ASKING for advice on where to improve.

          She's just "sharing" her experience and her lessons.

          I could turn around and tell you that you shouldn't spend a
          lot of your time telling people what they may NEED to hear,
          but aren't LOOKING to hear.

          ...then I'd be telling YOU what you should and should not do.

          :rolleyes:

          By the way, you're right. Clients CAN be harsher...if you let
          them. It's about Confidence, Control, and Positioning.
          Interesting view. So if you see a post that misses some points or offers wrong information, you're going to ignore it? You aren't going to come forth and offer information that the poster omitted or got wrong? You're just going to let readers also miss those points?

          Hm. That's certainly not my interpretation of a Warrior. We're here to help one another, not deliberately let people make mistakes when we can help prevent them.

          BTW, people often tell me what to do and what not to do. I take it as a lesson to be learned, because often they have a valid argument. I'm open to suggestions and ready to change my opinion if need be. It depends on the argument and my final interpretations of the evidence.

          As Tiffany says, every thread and post on the WF is here to help others, not just the OP.

          Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Glad you liked my thread -- I hope it helps both writers and those who hire them.

    Based on your posts, it looks like you have good English skills, so you should never have to take a job that's under $10/500 words. You can probably double that, too. Another idea -- check out Constant Content as a way of getting cash for articles without silly clients getting in the way of your writing. :p

    And I don't think Elance is a particularly good deal for either party. Some writers and some customers like the site, but I haven't had good experiences, and those I've talked to haven't, either. It tends to encourage undercutting... "She'll write them for $5, so I'll write them for $4!" Flee and be free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    Yes I remember you saying that Zabrina about Elance. I am in the process of making my own website.

    I love writing, got 110 in grammar in school, lol, took Journalism courses, etc.,

    THANK YOU for the positive feedback. I think those looking to hire writers also need to factor in research time and preparation if they want quality unique content.

    I think Constant Content is for Americans only?

    Cheers,
    Terri
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    • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
      Originally Posted by Terri LC View Post

      Yes I remember you saying that Zabrina about Elance. I am in the process of making my own website.

      I love writing, got 110 in grammar in school, lol, took Journalism courses, etc.,

      THANK YOU for the positive feedback. I think those looking to hire writers also need to factor in research time and preparation if they want quality unique content.

      I think Constant Content is for Americans only?

      Cheers,
      Terri
      Here's another piece of advice: capitalize on the journalism courses, especially if you have a degree.

      Nope, CC pays out to other countries too. I'm Canadian and I've made a good chunk of cash there. Associated Content is the "American only" site (for revenue sharing, etc).
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      • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
        Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

        Here's another piece of advice: capitalize on the journalism courses, especially if you have a degree.

        Nope, CC pays out to other countries too. I'm Canadian and I've made a good chunk of cash there. Associated Content is the "American only" site (for revenue sharing, etc).
        Hi again, thanks for that clarification with CC....and you've got it right about beautiful Canada....I'm in the mid-West.

        I love writing and now I realize I can provide it as a service.

        Cheers,
        Terri
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        • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
          Originally Posted by Chloe Clado View Post

          Yeah, I can understand getting "trapped" in a situation like that as someone droned on and on and on about the simplest of things. Yuck.

          If he's on MSN 24/7, he needs to rethink his business. Maybe he should sit through a 1.5 hr training session to learn a better way to run things, lol.
          Too true!

          And about competing on price... I've encountered several situations recently where someone tried to get me to underbid 99cents articles. Uhm, no thanks!

          In fact, I'm moving more towards writing for myself, something Bev C had suggested in her course! Either by creating PLR which I'm just getting started with) or by creating my own products (I guess PLR falls into that category too!)!

          Elisabeth
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          • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
            Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

            Too true!

            And about competing on price... I've encountered several situations recently where someone tried to get me to underbid 99cents articles. Uhm, no thanks!

            In fact, I'm moving more towards writing for myself, something Bev C had suggested in her course! Either by creating PLR which I'm just getting started with) or by creating my own products (I guess PLR falls into that category too!)!

            Elisabeth
            Hi Elizabeth, thanks for responding.....good luck with the writing career. The good thing is that I recognized I was grossly under selling myself and didn't write a word for this guy. I wrote him and said, I changed my mind and advised him to change his communication style.

            Cheers.
            Terri
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        • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
          Originally Posted by Terri LC View Post

          Hi again, thanks for that clarification with CC....and you've got it right about beautiful Canada....I'm in the mid-West.

          I love writing and now I realize I can provide it as a service.

          Cheers,
          Terri
          I'm originally from BC, love it there. The only unfortunate thing is having fewer options for writing sites sometimes.

          If you decide to go with Constant Content, drop me a PM and I'll provide you with my to-be-released ebook on succeeding with CC, free of charge.
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          • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
            Originally Posted by Zabrina View Post

            I'm originally from BC, love it there. The only unfortunate thing is having fewer options for writing sites sometimes.

            If you decide to go with Constant Content, drop me a PM and I'll provide you with my to-be-released ebook on succeeding with CC, free of charge.
            ZABRINA;

            THANKYOU! I'd appreciate that.

            Terri

            (I'm in Saskatchewan, from the Prairies to the Rockies - love B.C.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Pipinscott
    Sylviad,
    I like your post, it is important for professional writers to set real livable fees for the craft.

    But my gosh you were a bit hard on Terri, she did acknowlege she goofed. And she laid it all open here, for the benefit of others who may entertain the thought of low balling their price to get some references.

    Terri: Thanks for being candid, I think your penance was served with the phone call from the hot place...
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Originally Posted by Pipinscott View Post

      Sylviad,
      I like your post, it is important for professional writers to set real livable fees for the craft.

      But my gosh you were a bit hard on Terri, she did acknowlege she goofed. And she laid it all open here, for the benefit of others who may entertain the thought of low balling their price to get some references...
      Perhaps, but her post covered only one small aspect of the problem she experienced, namely that she didn't factor in the research. My intent was simply to provide even more insight so she'd have a more comprehensive and successful method of seeking freelance work in the future.

      Plus, she admitted that she previously made $250 for 11 articles in a topic that required no research - so I question why she'd take such a drastic drop in pay for work in an unfamiliar niche?

      It appeared to me that despite her lesson learned, she also missed a few things. Not that I claim to be perfect, you understand.

      Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Funny how people interpret text differently. I read Sylviad's post and it came across as her giving the OP a Warrior-friendly, motivational swift kick in the ass, in a good natured way, not as a scolding.

    Even if she was interpreted as blunt, it's understandable to vent frustration because ghostwriters trying to get paid $15 per page or more are competing with writers like the OP who bend over and take it from clients who feel they can bully others for $1 per page.

    I'm glad she learned her lesson already. Many haven't.

    Remember, Sylviad's post isn't just for the OP - it's for all Warriors who are here to learn and maybe some of them haven't learned yet and aren't confident enough to tell a $1 per page client where to stick it, so her post might be the OOMPH they need to do just that!

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    I appreciate everyone's opinions and the advice....and you're right Tiffany about interpretations.

    Valuable lessons this weekend!

    Cheers!
    Terri
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  • Profile picture of the author Julie McElroy
    Wow! $1 an article? Don't even waste your time as a professional. It is frustrating when people continue to expect that kind of price!! Constant Content is nice because YOU set the price, write about what YOU want, etc. For even $5 an article (not more than 300 words), I would not expect to do a whole lot of research, if any. $1 is just not even worth my time, unless that is the 50 word rate. If you have talent and a skill, don't sell yourself short!
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    • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
      Originally Posted by Julie McElroy View Post

      Wow! $1 an article? Don't even waste your time as a professional. It is frustrating when people continue to expect that kind of price!! Constant Content is nice because YOU set the price, write about what YOU want, etc. For even $5 an article (not more than 300 words), I would not expect to do a whole lot of research, if any. $1 is just not even worth my time, unless that is the 50 word rate. If you have talent and a skill, don't sell yourself short!
      Hi Julie.

      Thank you, I definately will check out Constant Content.

      Terri
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Clark
    Thanks for telling your story, Terri.

    As someone breaking into the freelance game myself, I appreciate hearing about other writers' experiences.
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  • Profile picture of the author Julie McElroy
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Never, ever take less than a nickel a word. Never respond to an ad with the word easy in it. Never do business with someone who tells you how long a task should take.

    Stay away from ALL crowd sourcing.

    Remember that you can make much, much more from a pre-sell page than you can make writing an article.

    If your client can profit from your writing, so can you.

    Package your articles in PLR packs and turn crowd sourcing to your advantage.

    Stop financing people with your writing.
    Bravo! and thank you!!! This is a great point that many people do not think about! It takes time to come up with quality work for this niche and that niche. We write about stuff we may not really have an interest in because we are diverse and want to attract a wide range of clients. It also pays the bills and keep our skills up.

    It really is a thankless job and I think people that can afford (and do) pay for quality content will reap the rewards. Without content, well your product has.... hmmmm. Not much. Just sayin!
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    If you can not afford to pay for unique content, why not get limited PLR articles for your website?
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    • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
      Originally Posted by Julie McElroy View Post

      Bravo! and thank you!!! This is a great point that many people do not think about! It takes time to come up with quality work for this niche and that niche. We write about stuff we may not really have an interest in because we are diverse and want to attract a wide range of clients. It also pays the bills and keep our skills up.

      It really is a thankless job and I think people that can afford (and do) pay for quality content will reap the rewards. Without content, well your product has.... hmmmm. Not much. Just sayin!
      I think you and Ken both make great points and with quality content being what Google looks for, research is important.

      Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author incliner
    Remember that these articles are a direct reflection of your business. Cheap articles will often be full of spelling errors, won't flow in English and in general don't say much more than some mealy mouthing around the topic. Delivering top quality work demands top pay and those who don't want to pay for it get what they deserve in the long run. Hire quality writers and pay quality prices and you'll get quality results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    I think you generally get what you pay for. Higher quality work demands higher pay and i never hesitate to pay what is due for a good work
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  • Profile picture of the author Dean Jackson
    Wow... you actually sat through the lecture?

    I would have exploded! At least you know what NOT to do lol

    Dean
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    • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
      I think you were way too polite after the first 30 minutes went by....sounds like $1 articles requester was on a real power trip.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    There will always be people who expect the world for little to nothing. Still boggles my mind that people think they can get a world class 500 word article for $1 to $2.
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    There seems to be a general trend that those who pay the least, are more demanding. I too am an expert in my niche, and won't write for peanuts. The only really frustrating client I have had was when I needed some fast cash and agreed to a reduced rate. Never again.

    If someone is happy to pay you a fair price for your work, it indicates they respect you and acknowledge your worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Never, ever take less than a nickel a word. Never respond to an ad with the word easy in it. Never do business with someone who tells you how long a task should take.

    Stay away from ALL crowd sourcing.

    Remember that you can make much, much more from a pre-sell page than you can make writing an article.

    If your client can profit from your writing, so can you.

    Package your articles in PLR packs and turn crowd sourcing to your advantage.

    Stop financing people with your writing.


    Thank you Ken;

    That's valuable advice.... for anyone starting out. Thank you for responding.


    Terri
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  • Profile picture of the author bonk12
    That definitely makes sense, that's why I never opted in to writing articles as a freelance writer. I much prefer being on the other side having other people write articles for me while I make the big bucks and they make the pennies.

    But then again, without freelance article writers, my job would be much more difficult as well.

    Cheers,

    Steven Patterson
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    the $1 and $2 per 500-word articles didn't make sense.
    Oh bummer..it did you how long to figure this out?

    Needless to say the "i pay $2 per 500 words" people are often the most picky ones....doesn't surprise either...
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