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!