Monetization: Writers Are The New Slaves

Are you willing to write articles for money?
How much do you expect to get?

Don’t give away your work for free

Please read the following. Read twice:

We would like 5 blog postings per week. Each post must be 250+ words. Pay is $55 / month to start.

Source: Software company seeks blogger (November 17, 2007 – 12:21am in Blogger Jobs)

  • Reading the whole offer I expected an angry loud and clear stream of comments.
  • I expected every freelance writer would stand up and show his/her antipathy (read: spit out).
  • I also expected that this offer would be taken offline because of ‘business nonsense’ and being a bad job offer for the community.
  • Instead: “I am interested in this opportunity where can i contact you” and “I’m very interested in this job.”.

Hello! What is happening here?

Money from your articles

  • If you are able to write five articles per week then don’t give 20 of them away for 55$.
  • Create your own website and publish yourself.
  • Put AdSense on the page.
  • Get some knowledge about affiliate programs.

If you are not able to make 55$ per month from ads after six month then get a real life and realize that you are not born to be a writer or web publisher.

Example for a sustainable (!) money stream

I have one local website where I write one or two articles a week. Sometimes I don’t publish new content for six weeks and still this site makes ~ 300$/month just humming along. No nudity, no big subjects, not even in English, just my nose which tells me what people are interested in. Income comes from AdSense everywhere, four sold links on the front page, Amazon everywhere and a few affiliate links in certain articles.

Please! Believe me it works.


The Internet is full of resources for freelance writing jobs. Performancing had some great articles about being a freelancer and how to make money with with freelance writing jobs.

Just search on Performancing: Freelance

And read!

18 thoughts on “Monetization: Writers Are The New Slaves

  1. “We would like 5 blog postings per week. Each post must be 250+ words. Pay is $55 / month to start.”

    Dude. Your offered fee is about $1945/month short.

  2. > drvynum: “I said that its not a child’s play to get in affiliate business .”
    Yep, you are right. Sorry for quoting/using your argument in the wrong content.
    > “Its some what like cost v/s quality.”

    > m38967: “no one can live on $55 a month. C’mon.”
    I never said that. I am arguing about the money/work relation.

    Speaking of portfolio gigs: Top Ten lies every freelance writer or artist must know

  3. A newbie writer/blogger would accept that $55 a month offer, if only to claim it as a gig, and then show it on their portfolio, etc. As someone else similarly mentioned.

    This “employer” will have a revolving door of writers, because as soon as the hired gets a better offer or gig, they will move on. But what can this employer expect with such low pay scale.

    Also i don’t think anyone who would apply for this gig, is thinking of living on the wage, no one can live on $55 a month. C’mon. It would be like side money or gas money, etc.

    I myself sometimes use paid bloggers, and my rate is $5 per post, with no minimum word count, it is what i can afford to pay, i usually just outsource a piece or two. It is not meant as employment for anyone, just a small gig.

    I also blog for money, and get paid bi-weekly. I don’t plan on doing it forever, but for the time being and the near future, im satisfied with the arrangements. I can pay my bills and then some, so for me and my particular situation, it is fair.

    Paid-to-blog gigs are NOT a one size fits all type of job. It varies and one has to look into what fits best.

    Good article/argument.

  4. Its some what like cost v/s quality.
    If you are a better writer as you are you wont write for me if i pay you $5 for 250 words.But if you are somewhat like an average copywriter you will agree with my price.
    “its not a child play” was remarked for your notes on affiliates.I said that its not a child’s play to get in affiliate business .
    I think this debate will can go .We should stop it here.

  5. > JamesC: “Pride in what you do is another good way to feel…”
    Good point!
    > “ offers Canadian freelance writing rate guidelines.”
    Good hint. I will go there and check. Other links from the crowd?

    > Raj: “… use blogging as a supplement to earning in other ways.”
    > “But let’s leave me out of this.”
    You are a special person. But my growl is aimed against people offering such absurd rates and as you say my argument combines the 55$ with the will to accept that shameless offer. A good writer will always find ways to write and earn money.

    > drvynum: “Its not a child’s play.”
    Exactly. It’s a money game and people try to cheat the community (!) of freelance writers.
    > “You are eying the correct issue but few things doesn’t encourage me to support you. ”
    Exchange “doesn’t” against “do” and you are on the right side of the table. What would encourage you to stand up for a better payment?

    > pholpher + debng: “getting cheap labor”
    But lowest quality possible. It is simply not possibly (except in countries like Somalia) to work for such sums.

    @Everybody: Thanks for commenting. Next week I’ll try to post a follow-up with arguments and links. More help, hints and links are very welcome!

  6. They’re thinking they’re getting cheap labor. They’re thinking they really don’t care about content as long as they can bring in the advertising dollars.

  7. What are companies thinking when they post such low rates?! Do they really think they will get quality content?

    In my experience, the old saying is true, “You get what you pay for.”

  8. For some aspects you may be right but it doesn’t go always the same.I have seen people who made just few dollars for their first month, i am saying just couple of bucks and then after a long one year they be earning for then xxxxx$.
    It doesn’t have to be the same,but its all about your instinct.If you think you can do then you will succeed,its just matter of time.
    Though if i am a newbie copywriter i will expect the articles from this website, hard for 1month and buy myself a domain name with all other requirement.This can help me out easily then writing at blogspot or some other place.You talked about affiliates.Its not a child’s play.People says its very easy just as you understand the basics,but those basics can take a hell lot of time to get in your head.
    There is no one or may be not you who will pay 55$ per month for 20 posts for a newbie or for some noob.
    Still its Well written
    You are eying the correct issue but few things doesn’t encourage me to support you.
    Good post.

  9. Markus, I have to disagree with you. You suggest that if after 6 months you’re only making $55 then maybe you’re not born to be a writer or web publisher.

    I make my living mostly freelancing, and I am a long time writer (and author) and editor, with publication in many places. If I put as much time into my own blogs, no doubt I’d make more than I do. But let’s leave me out of this. While it’s true most bloggers won’t earn a full-time living from their own blogs, I don’t recommend giving up after 6 months. If you want to do this, and you work towards improving your writing and blogmastering skills, you’ll move closer to the goal. Give up in six months and you’ll never know.

    On the flipside, if you’re basing your entire life on surviving on the $55/mth, then you’re in trouble. But as I’ve said multiple times, use blogging as a supplement to earning in other ways.

  10. Well said, and well called.

    I think there are a few factors involved in many writers accepting these sort of pay rates:

    1 – they don’t know any better
    2 – they feel they haven’t got the experience to back up higher rates
    3 – they’re just starting out and want to build a reputation
    4 – they are fearful of rejection
    5 – they feel that high rates equals less work
    6 – they feel that’s all they can get because that’s what so many others accept
    7 – they would rather work at low pay than not work at all

    Education and informing ourselves, no matter what our job is, is essential. Otherwise, wading around cluelessly is business suicide.

    Pride in what you do is another good way to feel that you deserve wages that compensate you fairly. Too much pride isn’t a good thing, but not enough pride can be just as bad. offers Canadian freelance writing rate guidelines. They suggest starting off somewhere around $45 CAD per hour – and that’s not just the time spent penning words to page. That includes research and everything else involved in copywriting. These rates are pretty close to suggested rates for US writers, from what I can tell.

    Generally, decide what you’re worth – as a person, and as a skilled worker. Then charge accordingly.

  11. > Research, writing, promotion

    Three jobs in one and more hats to follow.
    Will web employers offer appropriate resources?

    > Price yourself accordingly

    That must be the reason why most ‘pro’ bloggers are kind of ‘self employed’

  12. @ Markus Merz: It’s hard to quote a price. It all depends on how much work goes into a given project. Research, writing, promotion? If you’re spending all day writing for a monthly $55 something is seriously wrong. I always ask myself, “would I accept this gig in the outside world?” Would you go to an office job for $55 a month? Hell, would you even flip burgers for $55 a month? Of course not. Price yourself accordingly. Figure out how much your time is worth and don’t settle. Every writer/blogger accepting these rates drives the wages down for the rest of us. Can you tell I can go on and on about this?

    If you’re running a sweatshop, you’ll get the flakes. If you value your workers and let them know you value them, they’re likely to stay for the long haul. Really, you give what you get.

  13. -Raj- Ryan (sorry): “intangibles” You know words 🙂

    But can some employers and freelancers pls. make some concrete statements? How much money is ‘good money’ for what, where and when?

    Chris: Respect is a good base for a relationship. The disrespect in that offer was the reason for my growl.

  14. If people are paid fairly then they are more motivated. Not just because of $$$ but because they feel they are getting respect and because they would feel the loss more if they mess up.

  15. > … would have more motivation if they were paid higher wages?

    For sure. And quality writers could develop their individual style to satisfy the individual need of a customer. Searching for good quality, paying for good quality and offering good quality will create a win-win situation.

    Knowing the above quoted offer I would never ever think about buying their 69$ product. Speaking of link love: This is another strength which good bloggers have to offer. Positive or negative.

  16. I find that when I pay higher rates I get the intangibles like long term commitment. Not having to hire a new writer every few months is priceless.

  17. One of the reasons I started Freelance Writing Jobs is so that I can help newer writers see they don’t need to work for peanuts. Yesterday Ryan wondered about the trustworthiness of his employees, I wonder if many of the people who work from home would have more motivation if they were paid higher wages?

    I think writer and bloggers are seriously being taken advantage of. The problem is, as long as people accept these gis it’s not going to change.

    Nice post.

  18. Yep, Deborah is doing a nice job at ‘freelance writing jobs’. The tips in her ‘Freelance Writing Jobs for (insert date)’ are a great preselected freelance gig source.

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