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Pennies for words

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
1 of 14

What was the lowest amount you agreed to when you were first starting out?

 

I understand that I will be taking jobs where the pay isn't going to always be the greatest but I know what my bottom-dollar is and I'm sure as hell not going to do a 20k work piece for $.01 per word.

 

What I'm curious about is, have any of you ever taken a significant pay-cut for things such as getting your work published with a valuable source? I don't mean Amazon either. Maybe I'm being ignorant, but, Amazon isn't what I would call the best-seller reputation. They just sell stuff written by best-sellers.

 

The reason I'm asking this is because there was a job I was looking at that was asking for $.01 per word but offers the promise of having your name published with the book on Amazon. It's not exactly what I would call prestigious or worth the reduction in pay but I could be wrong.

 

I've seen some of the stuff on Amazon and I'm not taking less pay just so that I can say I was published on a platform that has work which looks like it was completed by a 7-year-old.

 

It could be that I'm tired and a little cranky or maybe it could be that this is just another example of clients looking for the cheapest work possible. 


Any thoughts?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 14

Benjamin P wrote:

 

It could be that I'm tired and a little cranky or maybe it could be that this is just another example of clients looking for the cheapest work possible. 


That.

 

Anyone can be published on Amazon.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 14

re: "The reason I'm asking this is because there was a job I was looking at that was asking for $.01 per word but offers the promise of having your name published with the book on Amazon."

 

That's funny.

 

Print out the order page for a book you have published on Amazon.com.

 

Take that page with you to the grocery store.

 

See how much of a discount the clerk will give you when you show her your name as author on the book.

 

That is how to determine the monetary value of the client's promise.

Community Leader
Aleksandr S Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
4 of 14

My first contract was $15. Worked two evenings. The client was very generous and paid me $16 Smiley Happy

Another contract was $250. I worked for the whole month on it. Primarily in the evenings because I had a full-time job. Handing out flyers would be more profitable and ten times easier. But that was my decision. I wanted stars and feedback.

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
5 of 14

Yea, there's no way that I'll ever work for peanuts. My time would be better spent figuring out how to better market myself than spending an entire month spending my nights to make a couple hundred bucks, but that's me.

 

I know my value and the only way I'll ever go below my bottom-dollar is if there's something to sweeten the pot other than promises.

 

I knew that this guy, offering up being published on Amazon, was totally on BS. I just wanted to get some feedback and get thoughts from people that have seen or been in similar situations. That being said, thanks go to those who offered some insight.

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
6 of 14

Benjamin P wrote:

 

I know my value and the only way I'll ever go below my bottom-dollar is if there's something to sweeten the pot other than promises.

 

Benjamin, in fairness, you're not giving your prospective clients anything other than promises either. Smiley Happy Have you started working on that portfolio yet? If I were in your position (this is just what I'd do), I wouldn't be spending time worrying about this or about marketing myself further, I'd be writing some pieces. How else can they know you can do what you claim to do? 

 

Your clients don't just want someone who can write. They want someone who can follow through, who is organized, and who won't need to be babysat through a project. If those things are lacking, that's where working for peanuts comes in, and yes, there's a market for those, too. If you don't want to be included in the for-peanuts crew, put your money where your mouth is. Smiley Happy 

 

Write something! Show your clients what you can do. And I'm not talking about your profile. Anyone can make statements that are similar to touch points on every single marketing website on the internet. Write something to put on your portfolio. Did you start that blog yet? Write something clients would find valuable on their own websites - not the subject matter, necessarily, but something that's informative, has perhaps one to two authoritative links, is relevant, shows your writing style, and so on.

 

You state (this is from memory, sorry if I'm not 100% correct) that you know SEO and can get people ranked on first Google page search results. So, for instance....start a blog, any old blog...have it be opinion pieces or political pieces or anything...call it Benjamin's Bits or The Not So Real World of Ben or I don't know...just any old thing. And include those SEO phrases, naturally incorporated, that will get past G. Panda and blah blah (if that's still Google's current hurdle, not sure) and has a few links to authoritative sites. Then add it to your portfolio, put a great pic in (search Pixabay, any free pic site), and list in the portfolio piece exactly which phrases will rank and what the SEO rank was in various categories.

 

Give your clients real data. Do what you say you can do, show what you say you can do. Show clients not that you can write words that will make them sigh and then move along with their day, but rather, will make them money. 

 

Do it, Ben! You can. You've got this.

 

Good luck!

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
7 of 14

Oh, sorry, I didn't answer the question. I don't know how many pennies per word I've worked for. I'm really bad at math and too lazy to pull up Calculator to figure it out, but the least I've worked for here on Upwork was $15 for 400-500 word blog posts that required little to no research. 

 

I thought (and currently think) of my work in terms of time and quality/difficulty more so than in actual words being worth X amount of pennies. So for example, my $15 blogs took me probably 30 minutes or so each to write. None of them hit exactly 500 words, that much I'm sure of. If they needed more or less writing, that's what I did. I thought of them in terms of total time, difficulty, and as whole projects. God only really knows how much per word I was paid on them.

 

I generally steer clear of "I'll pay X per word" people, because I get the feeling they think a word is a word is a word...and that's just not true. Some projects of 500 words take 45 minutes. Some take two hours with intensive research, pic foraging, and facts-checking. Some are opinion or humor; others are about serious and difficult to navitage subjects such as alcoholism or cancer. I can't believe that a client who thinks every word is worth three cents is looking for quality. Just my view.

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
8 of 14

Hey Melanie,

 

I was just speaking in a hypothetical sense. If I found myself in that position, that's probably how I would have reacted.

 

I've been staying busy working on a several blogs for a client. It seems to be working out great and there's potential for more work. I'm not counting on continued work and I'm just focusing on finishing the blogs. If extra work comes through later on, I'll just consider it a bonus.

 

Fortunately, I don't need to be babysat and being ahead of deadline has left me with a happy client who decided to add more milestones to the contract.

 

I have a few other things that've been keeping me busy outside of the Upwork platfrom. I think the progression with my new client, in itself, puts "my money where my mouth is." I've never claimed to be anything that I wasn't and my main concern is having happy clients.

 

It would be excellent if more work came from this client, but either way I'll let you know how the blogs turn out.  As for my blog that is yet to be published, I wrote an article but I haven't decided what platform to put it on. I know there are hundreds out there, but do you have any suggestions?

 

Community Guru
Melanie H Member Since: Nov 2, 2017
9 of 14

Benjamin P wrote:

Hey Melanie,

 

I was just speaking in a hypothetical sense. If I found myself in that position, that's probably how I would reacted.

 

I've been staying busy working on a several blogs for a client. It seems to be working out great and there's potential for more work. I'm not counting on continued work and I'm just focusing on finishing the blogs. If extra work comes through later on, I'll just consider it a bonus.

 

Fortunately, I don't need to babysat and being ahead of deadline has left me with a happy client who decided to add more milestones to the contract.

 

I have a few other things that've been keeping me busy outside of the Upwork platfrom. I think the progression with my new client, in itself, puts "my money where my mouth is." I've never claimed to be anything that I wasn't and my main concern is having happy clients.

 

It would be excellent if more work came from this client, but either way I'll let you know how the blogs turn out.  As for my blog that is yet to be published, I wrote an article but I haven't decided what platform to put it on. I know there are hundreds out there, but do you have any suggestions?

 


Meh, I have like a gazillion blogs (some monetized) and I KISS. Wordpress all the way. I played around with Wix and Weebly once or twice and just found Wordpress the better fallback.

 

I also have a couple of purchased Godaddy .com domains, but I don't know whether that's necessary if you're just talking about having a blog in order to show examples of one's work. I mean you can, but I personally wouldn't bother unless I were planning on keeping the blog for my own interests indefinitely. (I have one of those, too.)

 

Re: GREAT that you landed a project. That will be something for your portfolio.

Ace Contributor
Benjamin P Member Since: Feb 26, 2019
10 of 14

 


Melanie H wrote:

 


Meh, I have like a gazillion blogs (some monetized) and I KISS. Wordpress all the way. I played around with Wix and Weebly once or twice and just found Wordpress the better fallback.

 

I read an article, not too long ago, that said 58% of websites created in 2018 were created with WordPress

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