I received a very nice email from a fellow writer earlier on today that prompted me to write this post. They pointed out the undisputable fact that magazines generally pay a lot more than many online clients.
There are pros and cons with this though. I found out a couple of years back that it is getting harder and harder by the day to get any articles accepted with magazines. They may well pay handsome sums for anything they accept, but the odds of getting such work – and the work involved in getting it in the first place – make it very difficult indeed. I know I couldn’t be a full time writer if I had to rely on magazine work for my income.
Online writing does receive a bad reputation at times though; people quote those jobs where the pay is a dollar for a 500 word article. Yes, there are plenty of these about, but there are also plenty of higher paid jobs about. It’s just that you only ever hear about the low paid ones.
Believe me, there are some really nice paid jobs available for online writers – but you have to have earned your spurs to get them. Furthermore you need to be experienced, fast, accurate and efficient as well. It helps to know where to look of course, but again that comes with experience. I didn’t know anything about online writing when I started out – sheer curiosity and determination got me to where I am now. No one led me there.
There is no doubt that the magazine market for writers is getting smaller by the day. Conversely, the internet is getting bigger and bigger and there are always countless numbers of website owners and business owners who need writers. And not even good writers – some of them are happy with average ones! You don’t need to be Charles Dickens to write for online markets.
I’m not going to reveal what I get paid for the jobs I do. It varies anyway, but it certainly isn’t a dollar an article. And I have got to the stage where I can set my own rates as well. It’s an interesting topic for discussion, but believe me – there IS good work out there if you know how to find it.
One other thought before I go and write my next batch of articles for the day. For some reason there are some people who expect to start writing for online markets for the very first time and command high fees for doing so. There is a necessary learning – and earning – curve to negotiate before you can do this, just as there is with any job. If you joined the government you wouldn’t expect to go straight in as the Prime Minister, would you? Not that any of us would want his job anyway!
But you get the point. Put the effort in and don’t be afraid to take the odd lower paid job to get yourself started. I wouldn’t advise taking those dollar an article jobs; go for something higher that isn’t too far out of your reach. Experiment a bit. Go for gold. And your writing will get better – and so will your fees.