Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm. That's the sound of my brain cells trying not to calculate the hourly rate I'm really earning at this job called "freelance writer." I start to prepare my taxes each year about this time, always with the same reaction: THAT'S ALL I MADE?!
The good news is (I always tell myself this) that I'm not in it just for the money. This year I've learned about solar integrated roofing panels, EEOC audits, retail security systems, campfire cooking, and a few other things I wouldn't have set out to learn, frankly, if I wasn't getting paid to write about them. Ahhhh, well. I like to tell people "it's like getting paid to get an education." You just can't be too picky about WHAT that education will cover...
For what it's worth, a number of professional organizations have weighed in on what writers "should" make. Most suggest "professional writers" should charge a minimum of $1-$2 per word. That sounds like a lot, I know, but the fact is an 800-word article may take a week to research and a week to write. And even if the client provides all the research, the writer still needs to do quite of bit of reading/learning before the article can begin. So even at the top end of things - two bucks a word - the writer is making $800/week... and yet, folks are clamoring to break in to the biz, even writing for nuthin.' Go figure.
To see what ASJA says about fees, see the organization's website.
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