I spend a fair amount of time on this blog making fun of so-called “employers” who think it’s totally reasonable to pay decent writers a pittance for their hard work. I’ve heard every argument for why they can get away with this. New writers need some way to get started, and these gigs get their foot in the door. What seems like a ridiculously small amount of money to my bourgeoisie self may be a fortune to someone in another country. Blah, blah, blah. Today, I want to look at the other side of the equation, though. I want to know what is up with writers who charge incredibly high fees for their work.
I’ve worked with a couple of coaches now who have encouraged me to go after higher paying gigs. That sounds like a great idea, although it does require a ton of effort on my part to break out of my comfort zone. There’s fear and insecurity, and to be honest, a fair amount of good old fashioned laziness holding me back. There’s something else, though. I kind of think some of these other writers are ripping off clients.
I’m not one for creating controversy on the web, but someone has to say it. How exactly do you justify a $400 press release? I know several writers who charge in that neighborhood (and if they have any extra work, they’re certainly welcome to send it my way). I, on the other hand, don’t charge nearly that. I’ve also seen a lot of arguments for not accepting less than $60 for a blog post. That’s awesome and all, and I’m all in favor of finding those kinds of clients, but I do think it’s a bit odd.
I guess I’m wondering what on earth they put into those press releases and blog posts. I write a lot of press releases, and I think the quality I send out is generally far higher than even the client expected. At most, I’d say a press release, with a phone interview of the client, takes about two hours. Are these highly-paid writers putting in more than that? Do they know some magic formula that clients are paying them $200 an hour to employ?
And $60 blog posts? We’re talking like typical 350-500 word blog posts, right? These generally require a bit of Internet research and some personal insight, and voila! Blog post. Even if you’re not familiar with the topic at first, you’re going to learn as you go along and get faster and more efficient. There are some posts I’ve written that have taken a lot of time, but I would say most are in the ½ hour range. So, that’s $120 an hour for blogging? Sounds like great work if you can get it, but I’m just incredulous that people actually do.
So, I’d love to hear from those of you who get this kind of dough, especially the ones who disparage newer writers for not charging as much. I want to ask where you get off putting people down for not earning in excess of $100 an hour. I also want to ask you where you find those clients with so much money to spare. I think I’m a damn good writer, and I’m pretty pleased when I make $30 to $50 an hour. I used to be happy with $10 because it replaced the crappy job I left to be a writer.