with Mir Kamin
I'm a freelance writer and mother of two working from home, which theoretically means I can set my own schedule so as to best accommodate my family. In reality, "flexible hours" often equals "working too much." Yes, I'm my own boss; no, that doesn't mean life is easy. It's hard to leave the office when you live there. But I love what I do and feel very lucky. And not just because I get paid to work in my pajamas.
To learn more about Mir, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! or visit her blog at http://www.wouldashoulda.com/
There are many things in this life that mystify me.
Topping that list is the sheer volume of “writers” (quotation marks necessary to indicate their dubious status as such) willing to sell themselves for next to nothing.
I wasn’t able to be at the BlogHer conference in Chicago this past weekend, but I gathered from several sources that one of the more scandalous topics (ooh! scandal! worse than someone wearing tacky shoes, even!) was that PayPerPost was one of the conference sponsors and during panel discussion on monetization, several people expressed the opinion that PayPerPost is more or less the pimp of the blog world, prostituting unsuspecting bloggers.
Predictably, some people who have availed themselves of PayPerPost’s “services” were miffed. How dare you insult a conference sponsor! How dare you suggest my writing is less than yours! Etc.
I don’t really know (or care) about the politics involved in dissing a conference sponsor right there at the conference, but I do know that PayPerPost and places like them should be reviled by any writer worth her salt. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You deserve a decent wage for your work, and settling for less makes it harder for every working writer out there to get it.
$5 for a blog post is not a decent wage. Period. (Don’t even get me started on the whole “write a post pretending you love this product” scheme they have going on there, because there are not enough words available to express my indignation over the thousand reasons that that’s a poor business model at best and condescending/dishonest at worst. This is not about their shady marketing schema, only their crappy pay.)
If you’ve got a minute or 30 to spare, go read this post on fair freelance writing wages and be sure to peruse the discussion in comments as well. Some of the comments are actually more interesting than the post itself. In fact, one of the comments points to this piece on wiping out price resistance which is a must-read for every freelancer.
There is no one-size-fits-all model of pay scale; what you need to live on and what I need to live on may differ, maybe by a lot. Geography and even lifestyle need to be taken into account. Likewise, $10/post for something that takes you two hours is a very different proposition than $10/post if it only takes you five minutes. Don’t go looking for absolutes. Do consider what your time is worth, though, and behave accordingly.
Something to consider: Places like PayPerPost wouldn’t exist if no one was willing to settle. Don’t settle. (And if you do settle? Don’t waste your breath telling me why it’s okay. It’s not okay. I feel sorry for you and I’m annoyed that your willingness to prostitute yourself makes it harder for me to command the wage I deserve.)
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