Have you ever seen those websites – “Well-Paid Work for Freelance Writers”?
I spent a couple of hours this week looking at a few, in case there was any work that appealed to me.
After all, it’s good to find new clients: you never know when you’ll need them.
But what a revelation!
There were loads – and I do mean HUNDREDS – of advertisements for article writers, content writers, copywriters, ghost writers and so on.
Well-paid? You must be joking!
A typical ad was offering “well-paid work” for someone who could write 20 unique, original articles a day of 500 words each, in correct, error-free, plagiarism-free English.
For non-mathematicians that’s 10,000 words a day.
Now, I can write fairly quickly if I’m familiar with the subject area, but for fresh, totally unique content written from scratch in first-class English, I would take 3 days to do 10,000 words. And I would charge £800 ($1,200) – there or thereabouts.
You might not believe this
The advertiser was offering $20 (£13) and more than 15 prospective writers applied. That’s $20 for 20 articles, by the way, not $20 each!
Another employer requested an “Expert Marketer with outstanding copywriting skills.”
One submission read ” i am expert typist but i am new at this n i really need this job to complete my higher education.. i promise to do the best and stand at the level of your demand”.
Now, I’m not criticising his command of the English language – I don’t speak a word of Urdu – but that’s why I would never waste my time applying for a job which requested first-class Urdu writing. I couldn’t do it.
Highly misleading feedback
The sites have feedback systems so that employers can comment on individual freelancers’ skills. There were plenty with submissions far worse than our friend from Pakistan. Some had won the job and been praised for their excellent English writing skills!
What worries me is this. If an employer who writes very little English hires an ‘expert’ English writer because they can’t do the job themselves, and goes for the $7 a day writer because they’re cheap, the employer may well accept whatever they get because they don’t know any better.
The moral here is:
I only ever submit an offer if the advertiser writes excellent English himself. That way I know he will appreciate the high quality work he receives from me.