You know: the conventional wisdom that contends that taking on low paying writing jobs devalues you and brands you as desperate.
Not true. Not always.
As someone who has had more than my share, before paying my dues, I'm here to give you the 4-1-1.
There are many factors that should be considered in assessing whether or not a client or creative gig merits your time and talent.
Today we'll take a look at a few of them.
WHAT TO FACTOR INTO THE OVERALL EQUATION
- Is it a "passion project" or for a worthy cause?
- Is it a start-up publication with limited funds?
- Is it time consuming or laborious in nature?
- How about the pay? Is it weekly? Monthly? By PayPal or based upon satisfying a certain "click rate" before compensation?
- Can you choose your own topics and titles?
- Do you receive a byline for work and a generous Bio?
- Is it a project that will give you a sense of pride or feeling of making a difference?
- Does it require research?
It sounded like fun, and to top it off, it was in my "specialty area."
So I threw my hat in the ring, and hoped for the best.
I advanced in the screening, to the final candidates. At this point, there was "full disclosure."
In other words, the payrate was finally mentioned. I admit that I was a bit disappointed initially; it was considerably less than I was used to making at this stage of the game.
But, after some deliberation, I decided to take it.
- The current work reflected on the company's site was top-notch.
- It had a beautifully designed site with a Google Page Rank of 5.
- Writers had their own individual "page" on the site, with a generous Bio and link to their respective sites.
- The articles could be written on 6 different subject areas, with low word counts ranging between 400-600.
- Pay was via PayPal weekly.
- There were no "firm" deadlines imposed.
- No images were required with submissions, nor was loading work into content management systems.
- I could buy more chocolates.
The verdict is in.
It was a smart decision on my part. The "client" is easy to work with and interesting.
The position fits very nicely within the frame of other projects, (in that it doesn't take a lot of time).
And it adds to my bottom line and my portfolio.
Here's what I've also found to happen in the past, with these jobs.
That's right. Sometimes a low paying job can "pay off" later down the line.
HERE'S THE "METHOD TO THE MADNESS."
- The client recognizes your value to the project and adjusts your rate.
- A start-up business begins to make a profit and is able to subsequently pay more.
- Your prayers are answered.
It's important to keep in mind too that "pay" is not always monetary; it can be in perks, or satisfaction, or important connections.
Word to the wise: before you pass over a low-paying gig, make sure you've looked over all the factors, to make an informed decision that suits your goals, lifestyle, financial needs, and creative path.
Only you can decide.
Thoughts? Agree or disagree?
What has your experience been in this area?