Welcome to the first weekly celebration of Writers Worth Day! As promised, this will be a week of tips and advice to help you frame your career in a more positive light. I ask all of you to join in. In fact, this year’s contest requires your interaction.
All week I’ll be asking for your tips on how to improve the career, expect more, and work toward your earnings goals. Your ideas are needed, too. For every tip you put here in the comments section or send to me at lwbean AT gmail DOT com is an entry in the contest to win, on me, one of Peter Bowerman’s Well-fed Writer books. How you win is simple – send me the tip that I publish on Friday, Writers Worth Day. I’ll post the best that appears, and you get to choose from Amazon or Peter Bowerman’s site the book you’d like. That includes e-books if we can work out how I’ll pay for it and you get to download it. Prize limited to one book.
So send your tip as soon as you can. Deadline for entries is Thursday at 5 pm EDT.
Today’s tip: know the signs. If you’re new to answering blind ads on the Internet or offers that come into your email, knowing what to expect can save you untold amounts of wheel-spinning and aggravation. Here’s how to decipher the offers and find those red flags that tell you it’s not worthy of your talent:
Addressed to Writer. If they don’t know your name, they don’t know you and are sending to the entire planet of writers. That means they’re not discerning enough to look carefully. That means also that they’re not paying what professional writers require.
Bulk hiring. If they’re looking for “writers” with a plural, again, they’re not picky enough to demand quality writing for adequate pay. And yes, these thoughts are connected. Rarely does a client hire three or more writers simultaneously and pay a fighting wage – unless the fighting is amongst the writers trying to grab the measly amount allotted for the entire pack.
An easy job for the right person. They should just type “We expect this to be done perfectly in one pass and if there’s one comma out of place you’re not getting that $1 we promised!” Too many variables here. They can, and will, contend you’re not the right person if you expect fair wages. The job is never easy. The pay is always abysmal.
Exclamation points. When was the last time you saw Wall Street execs place a job posting and include any exclamation point? Consider them red flags waving wildly. They’re trying to make crap sound exciting. Thankfully most of these people haven’t taken marketing courses.
We have a limited budget, therefore, bid accordingly. Two things wrong with this sentence. First, their budget limits are not your problem. Second, their budget limits do NOT influence your bid, nor should they be expecting it to. What about your budget? Do they care what you need to make in order to run a business? No? Then don’t waste time with people who try this sideways attempt to lower your rate and get something for nothing.
Great job for students and stay-at-home moms. Grrrr…. how can you insult three segments of the population in one sentence? Post that under “writing gigs.” It’s akin to saying “Students, moms, and writers are all worth less than minimum wage and none take writing work seriously enough to expect a real job.”
If you pass our editing/writing/proofing test… No. Even if you’re a new writer, you should never agree to doing any work for free. In fact, answer these ads with “Here is my rate for the test.” Fifty bucks gets them a sample of a few paragraphs, too, NOT a few chapters.
Since our new venture is a labor of love…. This sentence is always used as rationale for not paying you much, if anything. Let them love it all they want. Let them have the labor, too. Their lack of budget or paying for help is not your problem to solve. It’s theirs.
Writers, what signs bug you most?