What I'm trying to say is that I'm just a lowly student - but I still value my work and time when I take freelance contracts and write for people. I won't write 500 words for $5. I write 500 words for $10. In fact, I won't write 500 words for $20 (unless I get to keep exclusive rights to my work)
If it takes me an hour to write a 500 word article properly, I want to earn at least $30 from that. An average wage of $30 an hour is a good starting point for a freelancer IMO. However, I'm aiming to go up from there to at least $50.
It horrifies me, therefore, to see many writers clamoring for jobs that pay $1/100 words. At that rate, why not just go flip burgers - at least you'll get a hat and some free grub!
If you price yourself in at the "peasant" end of the writing market (or any services market, for that matter) you'll find it impossible to go any higher. The clients you have paying you $1/100 words do so because they won't ever want to pay any better. Even if you were to double your rate to $2/100 words, they would probably drop you as there would be legion other "slave labor" writers willing to take your place.
Instead, sit down and think what the true value of your work is. Be objective - I know I'm not worth $100/hr (yet) but I know I'm worth far more than $10/hr.
If you devalue yourself and sell yourself short, you will NEVER manage to go anywhere.
Break out of the mindset that you have to "whore" yourself out for a pittance in order to ever have a chance of making more money. This is a dangerous mindset that will not achieve anything.