I received a freelancing request last night, and the communication spilled over to this morning.
The request was to create a 15,000 word piece on female masturbation. In the job spec, they were looking for writers from the UK, USA, or Canada, and wanted a number of sample pieces before the interview process began.
This came through oDesk (a freelancing site that I used at the start of my career and still keep a profile on). I don’t actively seek out work on oDesk any more, but I do keep the profile up and running as sometimes those looking for adult writers come across my info, then make their way to my site. I tend to brace myself when I get oDesk job interview requests through, for a number of reasons. First, it’s not unheard of for the interviewees to take the samples you send them and do a runner. Get 100 people applying to a job, you’ve got yourself 100 free pieces of writing. The site is also used by a large number of contractors from countries where the standard of living is quite low, and as a result, the payment rates are very minimal. I’ve often seen writing jobs posted for less than half a penny a word.
Given the fact that the job poster was very specific about wanting native-English speaking writers, though, I was thrown for a bit of a loop with the offer – $250, or around $0.017 per word. I usually just click the ‘Decline’ button on these and send the reason as “Rate Too Low”, leaving it at that. For some reason, I thought I’d find out a bit more about this, so I accepted the interview and sent this message.
Now, I must confess – my miminum rate for this kind of work is greater than $0.04 per word, but I think if I went any higher, I wasn’t going to get any dialogue back. Just an immediate “End”. Looks like my technique worked, as this was the reply.
Seriously. Read it again : “As long as some are that stupid, I rather outsource, than write it myself.”
I’ll leave this post as it is. I don’t want to rant and rave about people undervaluing their writing. Just keep in mind that there are many folks like Erlend Walle out there who think you are a sucker for selling yourself short.
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