I get these emails from other writers from time to time that make me want to gag. They are usually from “successful” writers in the form of a newsletter blast offering various pieces of advice among which is the ever present, “don’t sell yourself short” article. Now while normally I would agree that no one should sell themselves short, that is not exactly what these articles are touting. Instead these articles are telling other writers to not “settle” for smaller writing jobs. Settle? Really?
I take on all types of jobs. I do bios for business folks, I do newsletters for non-profits, I do flyers for small businesses…I do a lot of jobs. Some of these jobs come via other clients but many come from ads I have posted online offering marketing or writing services. I get paid anywhere from $10 - $5000 depending on the job. Those big paying jobs are great but those little paying jobs, at the end of the day, are often my bread and butter and I’m not ashamed to say so.
Many of those who demand that we “not sell ourselves short” are successful and are getting the big jobs now but they have forgotten that we all have to begin somewhere. While I have enjoyed some measure of success too I do the smaller jobs for other reasons though. I like to stay in contact with the regular folks because that is where I get my inspiration from. Sure I could take the large magazine jobs and get the big bucks all the time but those are often research laden and kind of boring. I like the smaller jobs that have character and allow me to get to know my clients. I also enjoy being creative and often times those big magazine jobs don’t allow that.
So before you say no to answering that ad for a ghost writer or a freelance marketer think again. Everyone wants those large paydays but if you spend all your time waiting for those aren’t you passing up the chance to make more money along the way? And when it comes to charging those smaller clients, be reasonable. We are all having a tough time economically so don’t try and gouge them. Word gets around and besides, over charging just isn’t right.
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