August 22nd, 2009 by Bob Bly
Here are 12 truths governing (as I see it) the state of the freelance writing profession today. Do you agree? Disagree? Are there any you would add to the list?
1?There is a lot of competition. When there it is a lot of competition in a market, it becomes a buyer?s market, which puts downward pressure on the prices you can charge.
2?A lot of your competitors are amateur writers who just want to get published ? and therefore will happily write for free what you want to get paid for.
3?The Internet has accelerated the decline of many types of freelance writing from a profession into a hobby.
4?The scarcer something is, the more you can charge for it. Therefore, you can make more money by writing about subjects that most other amateur and professional writers avoid.
5?Most writers gravitate toward topics they can write off the top of their heads or from quick online research (e.g., leadership); consequently, the pay scales are low.
6?If you choose a topic that is just a little bit technical or complicated or a little less well known (e.g., managing inventory in retail stores), the number of competitors decreases and your fees increase almost exponentially.
7?Clients will initially pay writers decent fees to provide writing in areas that are hot or trendy (e.g., blogging, social networking), but the pay scales quickly plummet when other writers discover the niche and jump into it.
8??Write what you know? is old advice but can give you a huge advantage as a writer ? providing you know something others will pay to read about.
9?Don?t study creative writing or marketing in college; study a subject you can specialize in and write about (e.g., economics, computer science).
10?Getting some real-world experience in the topic you want to write about can greatly enhance your marketability and increase your fees. For instance, if you want to write about precious metals, become an active investor in gold and silver.
11?Any time the client can make more money from what you write for them than they pay you to write it, you can charge high fees. This is why direct response copywriting is so lucrative.
12?Internet information buyers will pay little or no money for content from a writer, but lots of money for content from a recognized expert. So you should take steps to establish yourself as a guru in the subject you write about.
This entry was posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 9:45 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.