Wanted: Copywriter for tinder
Hourly: Intermediate Est. Time: Less than 1 month. Hours to be determined. Looking for a good copywriter for my dating profiles
If you thought the above listing for a copywriter, shared on what I considered a reputable job search site for freelancers, was a joke, then you would be wrong. And yes, I know Tinder should be capitalized. But I wanted to share the listing exactly as I found it. This was only one of many gems I discovered when scrolling job sites this past week. Along with listings like this:
Starting rate is non-negotiable and is as follows:
$12 for 1250 words
$18 for 2500 words
$28 for 3500 words
I’ll admit that 18 years ago when I was first starting out as a freelance writer, I wrote for a few “content mill” sites that paid me $12-$15 for a 500-word article. I was desperate for a byline and thought being published online, even on a site that didn’t get much traffic, was better than not being published at all. But then I started getting better paying gigs, including freelance writing articles and profiles and editing assignments that paid me $20-$25+ per hour, and I realized my work was more valuable than $12-$15 per article.
Sometimes writers are asked to take on a gig that pays on a “retainer” or monthly contracted rate, and this is where you have to be careful. This week, I’ve had to make the decision to step away from an editing gig that pays me a flat rate, because the scope of the work has evolved over time, such as including the need for me to write more and more business profiles (sold as advertorials), while the pay has not. I found myself trying to juggle the editing of two (sometimes three) publications, writing articles, assigning photography and proofreading, with no colleagues in a position to assist me or paid vacation. There is no downtime. And this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in this position. The difference is that as I’ve grown older and more experienced, I’ve learned choosing my mental and physical health when possible is better than running myself into the ground for a small paycheck.
In a perfect scenario, I would have found a gig to replacement that income before I put in my notice. But in my case, I’ve been working so many hours I don’t have any downtime to look for any replacement gigs. I did create profiles on a few job sites, which is where I stumbled across the gems at the beginning of this post. It was discouraging at first, but then I told myself:
-I’m a seasoned writer and editor who has a large network and proven track record
-I created a podcast all on my own and can monetize it to earn passive income
-I have a platform I can use to sell books, e-books
-I still have one contracted monthly gig that I can use as my “bread and butter” while I search for supplemental income opportunities.
I know my worth as a writer. There are legitimate opportunities mixed in with the not-so-legitimate ones. I’ll be okay. Please don’t ever feel like you have to write 3500 words for $28 unless you absolutely have to. Your talent is more valuable than that.
Have you ever found yourself working on a writing gig that turned out to be much different than what you signed on for? How did you handle it? I'd love to hear your stories!
Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also hosts the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas. Read more of her writing at FinishedPages.com.
Renee--I can see around the corner (I firmly believe this). Right around the corner, something good is going to happen. The realization that Renee Roberson's book is sooo phenomenal is going to bust open soon.ReplyDelete
At the very beginning of my "freelance" career, I did some SEO writing (I think that's the term). I wrote articles about the HVAC business. I wrote other pieces (also on subjects I knew nothing about, so I had to do lots of research). Sometimes the pieces were accepted, sometimes they were not. I'm embarrassed to say that when a piece WAS bought, I got paid a pittance. Sometimes I think it was $5-$15 an article. I thought I could cobble together a career by writing lots of pieces and getting lots of acceptances. In reality, I just felt like I was being used.
Such great advice, Renee, and a good chuckle at that Tinder job offer too! :)ReplyDelete
There are good and not so good writing jobs. And some pay less than McDonalds does per hour.ReplyDelete
I'm kinda amazed that there are people out there who can (and will!) grind out 3500 words for 30 bucks. Though I suspect there's lots more cutting and pasting than writing...ReplyDelete
Anyway, yeah, I've found myself having to do WAY more work--and that impacts my hourly wage--on certain projects. But like you, it's about gauging whether it's worth it. The life of a freelancer, right?
Renee ~ Good for you! I'm glad you put your health and mental well being first. That post made me laugh. Since I've been with my partner for 23 years now, I missed the whole internet dating thing! The idea that you'd hire someone to write your profile to find dates just seems a tad deceptive and weird, but I know it's big business and all the sites do it.ReplyDelete
I personally wouldn't waste your time with job sites...there are too many people competing for low paying work and one-time gigs. Work your LinkedIn contacts instead. Send a few pitches via LI messages or let your know connections know you're looking for work. But if you can afford it, take a breather and destress, focus on yourself before jumping in to something else.
Sometimes I still do lower paying work, but it depends on what it is and if it will advance me in some way. It isn't always about the money for me, and I'm willing to barter. I have a sliding scale that depends on my enthusiasm for the project, whether it's fun or hard, how it'll serve me and those I'm representing, and if it matches my goals. I did write for a content mill site that had an expert program which paid something like $50-$75 per 500-800 word post, and even though it wasn't low paying, I didn't enjoy it, so I quit. You can still see find those horrible posts online. Lol. To me, writing is about inner exploration, graphic design is my day job, so I try to keep the writing part fun. We have to decide what makes sense with our big picture goals.