It's Hard Out There for a Writer (Update)
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
I was fishing for opportunities at the beginning of the summer and nothing was biting, so I decided to do daily professional challenges until I hooked something. The moment I turned away from the lake, fish were springing from the water, flinging themselves into my canoe. Not exactly big, juicy salmon, but eager, wriggly tuna. Regardless, I was (and still am) grateful.
I've been getting these gigs off of a website that hooks freelancers up with anyone looking to hire. They sustain themselves with a hefty 20% and freelancers are only allowed to contact a certain number of job posters per month (unless they pay a little extra). It's difficult to find work on a platform like that (I'd been trying since before the summer began), but it's much less intimidating than cold-calling and freelancing in your area.
With that being said, the platform has made me realize how little people value writers. So many writing gigs I've come across want to pay writers cents. The last posting I ran across was offering 80 whole cents for 100 words. Whaaaaa? Not even close to minimum wage. They're looking for research, grammar and great content but no one wants to pay for it.
I recently lucked out and snagged one consistent writing gig that pays me what my articles are worth - I honestly feel like I hooked the Loch Ness monster. With all of my writing experience, I have one writing job. All of my other catches have been graphic design...and voice acting. Don't get me wrong I'm stellar at those things as well, but I've been calling myself a writer since I was 5.
It takes skill to paint the Mona Lisa with your mouth, especially when brevity is valued so highly in this day and age. In the one writing gig I spoke so highly of, I have to provide value in 100-150 words. I research for an hour (sometimes two), and I read through or watch every piece of content I link to in these articles because I want to make sure that it makes sense and is on target with the brand. I spend one (sometimes two) hours writing, editing, re-reading, re-writing because every sentence has to be worth reading. It's exciting because I learn a lot, and I truly take pride in my craft.
I guess what I'm saying is...I wish there were more Loch Ness monsters swimming around.
About the Author: Katria Farmer is a freelance communications consultant in Wilson, NC specializing in copywriting and graphic design. Her B.A. is in communication studies and her M.A. is in strategic communications. She serves Wilson, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas. Learn more about working with her: https://www.katriafarmer.com/about