Depending on who you are and what kind of writing you do:
It could be $1
It could be $5
It could be $20
It could even be $50 an article
As long as it is much less than what you deserve and what you really want to earn, there’s a reason why you’re getting paid lower, and I bet you’d want to find out what this reason is!
How I Went from $100 an Article to $40 an Article in One Year
If you’ve been reading blogs dedicated to freelancers and professionals for a while now and have paid attention to articles on pricing, you’ll notice that the general consensus is that your rates will increase the more you work, and the more experience you ha.
But let’s be honest, this isn’t always the case for everybody!
I knew it wasn’t the case for me awhile ago.
I had written earlier about how my first client was willing to pay me $100 per article with my first contact, a year ago. What I didn’t say, explicitly, was how the amount I was paid per article (for the same client) eventually simmered down to $40 per article.
That wasn’t just a little reduction in price per article, but significantly less than half of what I used to be paid when I started.
The funny thing was I’d have thought the problem was with the client, but when something similar happened with one of my other clients, I realized that the problem was with me.
The same way it is with a lot of writers reading this now, who are probably experiencing the same thing.
The Worst Enemy of Any Professional
Whether you’re a writer, a blogger, a musician, a programmer, or even a politician, not getting rid of this enemy can spell the end of your career.
It is the reason why my payment per article reduced from $100 to $40 in one year.
It is the reason why a lot of people reading this can only make $3 per article, and it is the reason why so many writers find it difficult to get any clients at all.
It is STAGNANCY.
Read that again, aloud!
Stagnancy can be in many forms.
For some people, it is doing the same thing you’ve been doing for the past 5 years the same way you used to.
For other people, it is learning that new technique which just expired.
But irrespective of which category you fall into, stagnancy will always be a threat to your career.
Let Me Explain…
To get my point across, we need to dive into economics.
According to Wikipedia, the 3rd law of demand and supply states that:
If supply increases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and higher quantity.
I have highlighted the 4 important points related to the current state of freelance writing online at the moment, and I hope they get my message across.
Here’s how things are playing out.
1. The economy in the US (and all over the world) is tanking every year. The rate of unemployment keeps increasing, and more and more people are starting to see that the best way to feed themselves is to be self-employed. They are starting to see that the best way to feed themselves is to be a freelancer.
2. Since the majority of the new population of freelancers only have general skills, the general market has a lot more supply of articles and freelancers, but an almost unchanged demand for freelancers and articles.
3. This only leads to higher quantity of everything – as a result the value of the “commodity” becomes lower.
*By “commodity”, I’m referring to the service being offered by freelancers.
4. Due to the above 3 factors, not only are new freelance writers affected in regards to low pay, but even existing highly paid freelance writers will be affected, since the overall perceived value of their service has reduced.
Note: Nothing was said about quality above. The market dictates what “quality” is, and even if you’re writing the same article everyone used to drool over 2 years ago, it could be entirely useless today.
Taking a look at the above points, we can easily say two things:
1. It is not your fault. After all, it isn’t that you’re giving your clients dross – compared to what you used to offer a year ago.
2. It is not your client’s fault. No, they wouldn’t pay you $50 for the same article everyone else is paying $5 for, especially when there are more than enough people willing to write them for a lower price.
Is There a Solution?
There is indeed a solution, and that solution is to specialize, improve, and evolve.
Instead of being complacent with where you are today, keep learning new skills every day.
Instead of writing in the same marketing space where everybody else wants to get their own piece of the pie, go into more competitive fields like health and law.
Of course, what you learn is totally up to you, but the only solution is to evolve.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but, no matter how great you are, if the general population in your field can do the same thing you’re doing, you probably don’t deserve a higher pay; or at least, according to market standards.
If you’re writing the same article you used to write a few years ago, you probably don’t desire a higher pay!
Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results – Albert Einstein
Learn new skills, keep improving, keep looking for better ways to write better articles that help your clients get better results, and don’t be afraid to dabble into unknown but profitable markets.
You don’t need to be an expert at it, yet.
It is going to be very difficult, but you should also realize that if it is easy, everybody would be doing it!
Do you think you deserve more than $3 per article? What are you doing to constantly increase your worth?
Share in the comments below, and spread the word about this article!