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  1. #1
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    Getting paid enough?

    Hi guys

    I'm not sure if this is the right sub-section to ask but any advice would really be appreciated.

    I am currently working for a seo company as their content writer. For every 800 words I am getting about 8 quid, so about a penny a word. I've started to look around and this seems quite low considering I am a qualified English teacher and most of my work is always placed on good websites.

    To be honest I feel the company has let me down a bit so am looking to move on. Can anyone suggest ways I can make money from my writing rather than through them as I feel I can do better....

  2. #2
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    It all depends on the type of article that you need.
    They can pay you up to $50 for a 450 word article, which is data intensive and needs reasearch on subject matter, and consider it a bargain as the returns are goods in terms of traffic generated through that article.
    Try to sell your articles on constant-content.com
    Or dailyarticle.com

  3. #3
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    As already mentioned content cost is and should be based on the type of content you are writing and roughly how long it takes to write it. That said, 800 words for 8 does seem very low to me...

  4. #4
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    A penny a word is abysmal. Put a portfolio of your work together and start building a decent business for yourself. And just so you know, I charge a whole lot more than $50.00 for any article that requires research. One thing I have found is that pricing by word or hour is just too limiting for me. I base my proposals on an hourly rate, but my quotes are delivered with a price per project. I used fixed rates for some items and scale rates for others depending upon the research the client expects and the information the client can contribute to the article.

    I have looked at sites such as constant content and freelance switch, but honestly for the amount of work you have to do the pay per article is quite low.

    Initially, to set up my hourly rate, I used a couple of resources:

    1. The US Government Occupational Employment site to find out what the average income was for others in my field. If Great Britain doesn't have a similar database, this would be a good starting place.
    2. Neil Tortorella's rate calculator. The best $2.50 I ever spent. Helped me figure out what I have to do each day to make the money I need and want to earn.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by atyqinc View Post
    It all depends on the type of article that you need.
    They can pay you up to $50 for a 450 word article, which is data intensive and needs reasearch on subject matter, and consider it a bargain as the returns are goods in terms of traffic generated through that article.
    Try to sell your articles on constant-content.com
    Or dailyarticle.com
    Quote Originally Posted by laney69er View Post
    As already mentioned content cost is and should be based on the type of content you are writing and roughly how long it takes to write it. That said, 800 words for 8 does seem very low to me...
    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    A penny a word is abysmal. Put a portfolio of your work together and start building a decent business for yourself. And just so you know, I charge a whole lot more than $50.00 for any article that requires research. One thing I have found is that pricing by word or hour is just too limiting for me. I base my proposals on an hourly rate, but my quotes are delivered with a price per project. I used fixed rates for some items and scale rates for others depending upon the research the client expects and the information the client can contribute to the article.

    I have looked at sites such as constant content and freelance switch, but honestly for the amount of work you have to do the pay per article is quite low.

    Initially, to set up my hourly rate, I used a couple of resources:

    1. The US Government Occupational Employment site to find out what the average income was for others in my field. If Great Britain doesn't have a similar database, this would be a good starting place.
    2. Neil Tortorella's rate calculator. The best $2.50 I ever spent. Helped me figure out what I have to do each day to make the money I need and want to earn.
    Thanks guys

    Its funny as all the articles I have had to write have had to be researched. Some examples are the different type of mattresses available on the market, the specifics of a solar power system and most recently certain off road trips to parts of Australia I've never heard of.

    I think I might try to write some articles on what I already know and what I've recently learnt and place them on the two websites mentioned above. At least then I can see if my style of writing is sought after and then take it from there. Just looking on their websites now to see what kind of cut they take.

    Its going to take time to build up a portfolio as the writing I have done hasn't been under my name, its been under a fake blogger's name for company use. I'm hoping this is common otherwise Ive been a bit screwed.

    Is it worth approaching certain companies direct to see if they need anything?

  6. #6
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    The work I like best comes from other web developers who outsource the writing portion of their projects to me. Still, I set my own rates and quote each project. One of the most important things about freelance is to NOT act like someone's employee. Set your own practices, procedures, and rates and stick to them.

    If I had to do things over again, I would start by contacting my local developers and let them know I am available to help with their projects. I'd include my rate sheet and several samples of the type of work for sites they generally develop.

    IMO, the most lucrative types of work are press release writing, technical writing, and writing web content for small businesses. Article writing does take up a whole lot of time in research, confirming and citing sources, and obtaining permissions. In the three types I mentioned above, generally the domain owner has the bulk of the information and needed research is minimal.

    I also use a questionnaire for every new client to acquaint me with their business and their content needs.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    The work I like best comes from other web developers who outsource the writing portion of their projects to me. Still, I set my own rates and quote each project. One of the most important things about freelance is to NOT act like someone's employee. Set your own practices, procedures, and rates and stick to them.

    If I had to do things over again, I would start by contacting my local developers and let them know I am available to help with their projects. I'd include my rate sheet and several samples of the type of work for sites they generally develop.

    IMO, the most lucrative types of work are press release writing, technical writing, and writing web content for small businesses. Article writing does take up a whole lot of time in research, confirming and citing sources, and obtaining permissions. In the three types I mentioned above, generally the domain owner has the bulk of the information and needed research is minimal.

    I also use a questionnaire for every new client to acquaint me with their business and their content needs.
    Thanks for your advice

    I think setting your own rules and sticking to them is the way to go, otherwise you may get taken advantage of.

    Can I ask when you say local developers, what do you mean..?

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    I believe they are taking advantage of you. A penny a word is nothing unless you write each 800 word article in 15 minutes. Set your pricing and stick to it. Build a portfolio.

    - Daniel
    Managed VPS - tmzVPS.com - Florida, US/Los Angeles, US/UK
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  9. #9
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TmzHosting View Post
    I believe they are taking advantage of you. A penny a word is nothing unless you write each 800 word article in 15 minutes. Set your pricing and stick to it. Build a portfolio.

    - Daniel
    I like your math. Even so, an 800 word article that only takes 15 minutes of time isn't written. It's typed or even worse copied/pasted from some other site. The worst part of that is it degrades the writer's skills if he/she has any. Readers see it and if you leave any impression at all, it's probably a bad one.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  10. #10
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    I must agree this rate seems very low.
    I am often astonished that either multi lingual skills or English language skills and evidently now your work are poorly rewarded.
    I found the same with script editing.
    BEFORE! you even indicate you may leave I believe you can start earning externally via web sites such as those below
    I have purchased from people on these sites and am staggered how good they can be. (I do not work for these sites!)
    I should add I feel it is good to see who comes first in the rating leagues if you are a shopper but you can enter your skill set
    offer a fee and wait for orders. Clearly you should use a screen name to protect your ID from your employer BUT first please do look at your contract of employment
    IT MAY SAY you are not allowed to do this. If this is the case then maybe a route is to speak to HR and ask for authorisation, this lets the secret out of course but better than
    leaving and with no new role in place.

    www.fiverr.com or http://www.peopleperhour.com Good luck - ps I would use your service

  11. #11
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james24 View Post
    Thanks for your advice

    I think setting your own rules and sticking to them is the way to go, otherwise you may get taken advantage of.

    Can I ask when you say local developers, what do you mean..?

    Web design and development firms in your area that you contract with as a freelance writer. SEO firms for that matter, too. However, the difference is you set the rates and as much as clients choose you, you also choose your clients. Actually, setting your own rates and procedures often "separates the men from the boys". You are always free to negotiate a lower rate than usual if you choose, but when you do make sure your reasons are sound reasons that will advance your business. Additionally, you are always able to thoroughly check them out before you contact them.

    Depending on where you live, you might also scout around your neighborhood or your village for local small businesses. Make a list of them and look them up on the web. See what they have for a website or if they have one at all. If you think you can improve their content or write it from scratch let them know through a phone call or a cover letter that you are interested in helping them advance their businesses.

    Online, make sure you build a web presence for yourself. Join groups like LinkedIn. If you know who your clients were at your last job, ask them for a referral. That's actually how to build your business. Referrals and testimonials mean a lot to a freelancer, but you generally won't get them unless you ask for them. Now, some people might disagree with me on this, but if you know where your work is on the web, I would contact the businesses and let them know that you are the person who wrote their content (unless you have something in a contract that explicitly forbids it). I wouldn't ask them for work, but I would ask them if the content is working out well for them and if they would be willing to give a testimonial or referral. I would be clear to them that you are beginning freelance and not contacting them as a representative of your former employer.

    Start a blog or a hub page and write about what you know and about what you are passionate. If you have the money to invest, build a portfolio website.

    If you are an English teacher, then you must have a good grasp of the mechanics. Start as an editor. Find things that could use improvement and propose to improve them. You will certainly have the background to show prospective clients.

    As a freelance writer, your possibilities are endless. Aside from content for web pages, think newsletters, press releases, manuals, web interviews. You can even go beyond the web with brochures, direct mail sales letters, etc.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  12. #12
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    Thanks fpr your help

    Im gonna really start hitting it from now on, just wrote something today which I was quite proud of and a bit gutted I got paid a small percentage of what I could.

    My boss is a good guy, I wouldn't hurt his business in any way, but at the same time I cant live on what he is paying me

  13. #13
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    I was first thinking of writing for some people off some of the writing job websites on the net, Im just a bit scared of not getting paid

    Does this happen alot, people writing for people and not getting paid?

  14. #14
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    You probably aren't going to find any better pay at the writing jobs on the net than you are getting right now. Competition is fierce and the buyers know it. Most of them don't care what their content looks like. Here again, you will be treated like someone's employee and not an independent business person. I used to be a member of several of those freelance sites but closed all memberships. Got sick of seeing long lists of keywords that had nothing to do with the content and specs with ridiculous word counts for ridiculous pay and offers to pay a price as if they were bidding at a horse auction.

    Generally writing sites also judge your work as a "work for hire". That means that they retain exclusive copyright and if they feel like it, they can put their name on your byline so your chances at finding new clients from your work is limited. Moreover, in their terms, most of those sites don't allow you to sell your services at competing writer sites and they have the final say over whether or not you get your cut of the money you have earned.

    I have looked at constant content and freelance switch as alternatives to sites like elance and rent-a-coder (now changed to V-worker -- I think). The cut they take for the work they do is exorbitant and there again, you are just one of a herd of writers, many who will take whatever they can get. You have little chance to build a decent reputation and smaller chance of standing out from the crowd.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  15. #15
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    By the way, the biggest issue I see today with many freelance writers on the web is that they are not well-grounded in their craft which is writing to sell. Either they are good writers who don't know a thing about sales or they are good sales people but don't know how to write. The second biggest issue is that many of those who do know how to write, how to sell, or both don't know how to write for reading on the screen. Before you start trying to freelance for the web, make sure you know all three.

    1. How to write
    2. How to sell
    3. How to write for reading on the screen.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  16. #16
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    All sound advice, guess alot is trial and error from now

    I've sent out a few emails asking some q's about content to certain companies, Ill let you know what I hear back :-)

  17. #17
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    good English wouldn't make good website content. people are looking for something really useful and don't want to spend time reading the keywords. think how you can change it and start asking for more.

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    Generic writing may not pay that much, that's for real. If you are ready for more intensive research but a more lucrative income, you can opt for technical or scientific writing. Scientific writing can let you earn up to $450 for an original work.

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    There are lot of freelancing sites in which there are a lot of employers who always require quality content writer for writing articles about their websites and on thousands of other topics make a good profile and create a good portfolio in which mention all your previous work and you can easily get a lot of work and also good money. Try it i am sure you will make lot of money in very less time and also you can also do your own small business. But main thing is that your article quality should be great.

  20. #20
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audiotx View Post
    I must agree this rate seems very low.
    I am often astonished that either multi lingual skills or English language skills and evidently now your work are poorly rewarded.
    I found the same with script editing.
    BEFORE! you even indicate you may leave I believe you can start earning externally via web sites such as those below
    I have purchased from people on these sites and am staggered how good they can be. (I do not work for these sites!)
    I should add I feel it is good to see who comes first in the rating leagues if you are a shopper but you can enter your skill set
    offer a fee and wait for orders. Clearly you should use a screen name to protect your ID from your employer BUT first please do look at your contract of employment
    IT MAY SAY you are not allowed to do this. If this is the case then maybe a route is to speak to HR and ask for authorisation, this lets the secret out of course but better than
    leaving and with no new role in place.

    www.fiverr.com or http://www.peopleperhour.com Good luck - ps I would use your service
    Freelancers are not employees, they are business owners. Any real freelance writer doesn't get offered a "contract" they propose (quote) a project from specifications found in an inquiry from a prospective client. This is one of the biggest problems with these kinds of sites. They put the contractor in the frame of an employee instead of allowing him/her to build a partnership relationship with a client, a facet of freelance that is crucial to success for all parties.

    My proposals tell my clients what i need from them to make their project a success in information, feedback, timeliness, and payment. It explains my process to them in full. They don't get that with an offered contract.

    Creating a good proposal-project agreement has allowed me the privilege of not having to bend over to some client's will. Instead, I am able to choose the clients who help me succeed in my business as well as me helping them to reach the business goals that they have for their web content.

    Both of the links you left turned me off at the get go. One says, that their patrons can get anything done in as little as an hour. You certainly have to wonder about the quality you can get from something typed up in an hour... and that's what it would be, typed up. Good writing generally takes substantially more time. The second one's big selling point was "starting at $5.00". I wouldn't even bother turning on my computer for $5.00.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  21. #21
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    There are a lot of job opportunities for writers out there. I think those who have native English speaking and writing skills are mostly sought-after. You can check out sites like odesk, elance, and freelancer. Do a quick search like writer, blogger, or article writer.

    But then again, talk with your current company first. Don't just leave them hanging. Inform them about your concern/s and if you two don't settle things out, be honest and tell them you no longer feel compensated with the quality of work you are giving them.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Member socialcron's Avatar
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    In my opinion 0,01$ a word is pretty good deal, i know that some people get 0,02$ or 0,03$ a word but they are really good, very high quality writers.

  23. #23
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socialcron View Post
    In my opinion 0,01$ a word is pretty good deal, i know that some people get 0,02$ or 0,03$ a word but they are really good, very high quality writers.
    In that case they are under valuing their services and in doing so, hurting the market for all writers. Why let someone exploit you for so little?
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by backlinksrocksta View Post
    Generic writing may not pay that much, that's for real. If you are ready for more intensive research but a more lucrative income, you can opt for technical or scientific writing. Scientific writing can let you earn up to $450 for an original work.
    Their's a phrase you hear sometimes in web development 'content is king'

    A site I'm involved recently paid some freelancers $1000+ for 2 articles, about 2000 words in total, for industry specific articles where they had good knowledge. These were also published in a related magazine and needed to be a good read, informed, opinionated, well researched, not just seo drivel. Relative to the time required for this kind of content, I don't think this is expensive.

  25. #25
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    Most people write article on fiverr.com claim only 5$ for 400-500 word, many poople write very good. So, you can refer to the price that you think is good


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