Why Freelance Writing Is An Underpaid Business And How Can You Change That As A Writer

What Freelance Writers Need To Do To Be Paid MoreThese past two weeks I’ve writing about tips for freelance writers’ clients should follow and tips for freelance writers to get higher paying clients.

This last post  has got a lot of comment discussions going on LinkedIn, and a couple of such comments inspired me to write this very post here.

In that last post I’m referring to, I had a section titled decide who your ideal client is, and I’ve got some kind of negative feedback about that. Not here from my readers who are rather familiar with positive thinking, but over at one of my freelance writers LinkedIn groups.

Those comments made me pause and think. That’s why I’ve decided to write about why freelance writing is an underpaid business, and how can you change that as a freelance writer.

On this post I will be discussing 4 points that I’m finding to be the problem, and how you could remediate to that as a writer and/or entrepreneur.

#1 – Many Freelance Writers have not Taken a Look at other Businesses

Have you ever took the time to look around and notice the price of services either online or offline out there?

  • Have you ever had to called a plumber?
  • Have you ever hired a lawyer?
  • Have you ever requested the services of web designer?
  • Have you ever hired a coach?
  • Have you ever hired a landscaper?

Well, if you have ever hired any of these or just about any other services, you probably know that they don’t come cheap, do they?

They don’t come cheap, because services and skills have a price. When people either can’t do it or don’t want to do it, their best option is to hire someone to do it for them.  The only thing is – they need to be ready to pay for it. That’s fair enough, don’t you think?

Freelance writing shouldn’t be paid any less than any other business out there.

So, why is it that all the businesses mentioned above, as well as others, are paid well while many freelance writers still are not?

To me it’s because of few main vital reasons, and at least two of them are found in one of the comments I’ve got on LinkedIn in regards to my post from a writer that I will mention below.

What Freelance Writers should be doing to be Paid more?

Look at other businesses? See how much they charge for THEIR services? Why yours should be any less? Learn how to value your unique writing skills more, and learn how to value yourself more as well.

# 2 – Many Freelance Writers Lack Personal Development behind the Business

Now let’s see the comment I’ve got from this writer.

This sort of “Power of Positive Thinking” business advice is barely worth the pixels it’s written on.

I have made a living as a freelance writer for over 25 years and none of the jobs have been easy to come by. Do I now avoid assignments that pay insultingly low rates, like content mills? You bet’cha. Have there been times (not that long ago) when I took those jobs because, Hell, $15 for a short article sucks, but so does an eviction notice?

Choosing what form of freelance writing does make sense, and some types of writing pay better than others.

Extensive networking, doing pro bono work, and most of all, being more professional than most people in your market all help but nothing guarantees those Ralph Lauren assignments. Deciding who you want to work with and not accepting anything less only works if you’ve got the portfolio, the contacts and the money in savings to support your high ambitions.

Now, think about what he’s saying here. He’s been a freelance writer for 25 years which is about the whole life time of some successful freelance writers I know, and yet, not that long ago he had to accept $15 type pay for short articles to avoid eviction notice type situation.

Hum, that’s ingesting…

Now remember that in his opening statement start he says “This sort of “Power of Positive Thinking” business advice is barely worth the pixels it’s written on.”

Now, with all due respect to this writer, whom I’m sure has talent if he’s been writing for that long, but what he’s apparently lacking is the personal development part in his business.

If you own your own business, you’ve got to believe that positive thinking can and WILL make a difference in your business. Who doesn’t? This is 2014 – 21 century!  Hello, never heard of positive thinking bringing positive vibrations yet as an entrepreneur?

I didn’t even realized it before I get this bombarding back and forth commenting thing going on that freelance writer group I belong to on LinkedIn, but it seems that lots of freelance writers have no clue still about what Napoleon Hill wrote back in 1937 – naming the power of positive thinking and belief in yourself.

Being a good writer is a must, no doubt. Networking and marketing is a must, it goes without saying, but so is the mindset behind it all.

Believe me when I tell you that I KNOW for a fact that whatever talent you may have, without the positive thinking/mentality behind it, you won’t get far at all.

If you’re someone who persist on thinking negatively about how hard it is, my guess is that you will have to struggle endlessly.

What Freelance Writers should be doing to be Paid more?

Most successful entrepreneurs, if not all, do know about personal development and practice positive attraction for their business.  One person who commented there (also a writer)  told me that what I’m doing is magic. That statement alone shows me that she has no clue about what the whole personal development topic involves, and that makes me very sad.

Come on now, this is 2014, the internet is full of personal development tips. Please, don’t tell me that you believe it’s magic. If you are an entrepreneur you have no excuse to be that ignorant nowadays.

# 3 – Many Freelance Writers Are Not In Charge

One mistake that I see freelance writers make is that they don’t feel that they’re in charge.  Some even have an employee mindset, that’s why they take what’s given to them rather than go get it.

As long as you empower the client rather than empowering yourself you will pay for it “so to speak.” The way you’ll pay for it is by writing for less than your work is worth.

All the successful freelance writers that I know, have taken charge. They’ve stopped saying that’s HARD to get good clients. They’ve stopped saying that it takes a LOT OF WORK to get them.  And they’ve stopped saying that you need to have this, that and the other to start making good money, like the comments I’ve got on LinkedIn.

They are happy.  They love what they do. They only use positive terms and statements.  They write easy.  They talk easy. They write about their successes. They are eager to help others thrive like they do. And they don’t write the negative tough life type comments I’ve gotten in response to a positive article like mine was.

Are they lying? Are they embellishing?

Well, when you see a freelance writer starting with a small blog only 3 years ago and now hiring a bunch of people to write on his blog for him, you’ve got to believe he’s not lying. When you see how much the design of their blog has changed from basic type to Rolls Royce type, you’ve got to know they’re not lying. Or yet again, when you see them traveling the world with their laptop, you’ve got to know that they’re not lying,even if you wanted to try hard.

What’s very important to realize here is that the difference between those type of freelance writers and the ones who are still struggling after many years are these …

1)      They understand that positive thinking, and personal development is an extremely important factor in their success.

2)      They take charge, and decide what type of clients they are going to take. Not the other way around.

You can deny this fact until the cows come home; if you are a struggling writer or any type of struggling business owner, for that matter, that’s why you are where you are, while the successful ones are where they are.  The proof is in the pudding as they say.

What Freelance Writers should be doing to be Paid more?

In one of the follow up comments that the writer mention above wrote was “get real!” As a reply to him I said, that’s right; what is REAL to you?

As entrepreneurs and freelance writers we create our own reality, but if YOURS is of having a hard time, how can you expect anything good come your way in your business?  How can you expect making a great living writing?

If you want to make more money writing, you’ve got to change that mentality!

# 4 – Many Freelance Writers are not Doing what other Businesses Have Proven to Work

Some writers don’t seem to believe in what other businesses have already adopted and proven to work.

Now, on another freelance writer group where I posted my post I’ve got this comment:

Nice title for the blog, but really, other than generalizations, I didn’t get much out of it. Specifics, examples would help.

Listen, Sylviane, there re a lot us out here like me, 30 years of experience, used to print media, with lots of family obligations, etc. Telling me to brand myself isn’t going to do the trick. Gve me something good, something I can use, more than a simple pitch to read whatever publication you have.

Now, I admit that you cannot put everything in a post, but saying that my article was a generalization, I don’t think it was.

Under my subheading about branding I took Ralph Lauren as an example; I could have taken Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s or Mercedes, depending on what point I wanted to make. It doesn’t matter.  But don’t tell me that branding is not important. There is a post on Forbes that tells you why branding is important for your business.

So, saying that branding yourself isn’t going to do the trick, I beg to differ. Branding yourself as a professional writer could very well do the trick, and it has for many.

If branding is not important, let’s take Mercedes for example. Anyone knowing about cars would tell you that Mercedes cars are not what they used to be, and certainly not the best cars out there anymore, but because they’ve created such high level brand it’s still the favorite car of many who can afford it.

So, is branding important? You bet it is.

What Freelance Writers should be doing to be Paid more?

Even though that’s not all it’s going to take to succeed and be a well paid as a freelance writer, do not underestimate the importance of branding yourself.

If you’re still struggling as a writer, maybe it’s because you haven’t brand yourself at all.


I was kind of taken aback at the rather negative type mind set I found behind some of the comments I’ve gotten, and that’s why it really made me think and want to write this.  Maybe it’s because so many writers have this type of negative feelings that our business is kind of underestimated and often underpaid.

If you’re a writer reading this post, take a look at your thought process and see how you could adjust it, so you can become a happier and more successful writer, just like other happy and successful other writers are.

So, what do you have to say? Please, leave your comments below.


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46 thoughts on “Why Freelance Writing Is An Underpaid Business And How Can You Change That As A Writer”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    There are so many so called freelance writers out there and yes, they are underpaid. I would think that they don’t have the experience that you have. Between being a professional writer and a certified life coach, you my friend need to charge for your time.

    As a consumer, I would look first at the Mercedes of writers and ignore the McDonalds! If I wanted to hire a freelance writer, I would rather pay more to get better results. With your background of proficient writing and understanding people, you would be first on my list.

    Many people go to fiverr and are so disappointed when they get their copy back. This is because of the poor quality of writing. Plus the lack of understanding of who I am, what I want to say in words like mine.

    I think all that negative noise you received was from people who don’t have a clue of the business. You are a business woman and need to be well paid for your efforts!

    As I think you know David was a freelance writer years ago. He was paid very well while he was growing up his kids. He wanted to be home with them and worked while they slept. He did so for years and made a good living for himself. Now he is burnt out, but from knowing what a freelance writer is all about, I know it is a well paid business.

    Anytime we have experience, we need to be paid well for our time. So whatever it is, if people knock you down or try to tear you apart, just walk away and focus on those who value you…Like I do!

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    1. Hi Donna,

      I’m so glad you’ve given us the example of David, your husband who was a successful writer paid well. There shouldn’t be any of us not paid well, or at least any doubt that it can be done.

      When I post one of my blog posts on any social media, I accept whatever feedback I get, if not I wouldn’t post there, but some of the comments I’ve got were more negative than they needed to be. However, I came to a point in my life, where I don’t take things personally anymore and in the end I saw those comments as a reflection of their own frustrations and issues with not getting paid well, or having to climb a stiff hill to barely make it OK still after so many years.

      Interestingly, I’ve now become aware how many people are still very foreign to personal development, and I feel that nowadays with internet access, there is no excuse to be in the dark about those things anymore. One person told me that I must practice magic 🙂 I was really surprised, but guess what? I’ve got my other post theme in place too because of those comments.

      Thank you for your encouragement and for coming.

      Have a wonderful day ahead!

  2. Hi Sylviane,

    Since many years people are engaging in Freelance profession and still trying their best to make some more money because there don’t get enough money from their business.
    There may be many reasons as you have mentioned that freelancers should look around as they don’t try to figure out the rate list for their hard work.
    Writing for others is not an easy job.
    When I started blogging I was not aware about freelancing but after meeting few freelancers like you I have understood it’s meaning.

    It’s not just a word to be read. It’s much above. Freelancers should have their plans to look around their business and they can handle any other business with this.

    It’s what we call awesome post.

    Have a nice day.:)

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    1. Hi Ravi and thank you.

      No, it’s not easy to write for others, indeed. It takes work and skills, that’s why it needs to be valued and paid accordingly. Everyone can write, but not everyone can write well, so freelance writers need to keep this in mind too when charging their clients.

      Thank yo for coming 🙂

  3. Hi Sylviane,

    I think Branding is very important, not only in Freelance writing, but just about any business there in. If Apple Computer didnt take their branding seriously they wouldn’t be here and successful today.

    As a freelance Writer or Designer, we take pride of ourselves. We are the BRAND. But for those who doesn’t think positive thinking doesn’t work, or doesn’t make a dent in this world, they must be still stuck in stone age. No wonder they are losers!

    We all know that the backbone of any business nowadays relies on “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Even in the days of John, Paul, and Matthews, these Christian followers are all about thinking positive. It might sound ancient but the bottom line all lies in thinking positive always. In fact, if your are a Christian, you should be the most positive person in the world.

    Anyway, I should eat my breakfast. I haven’t had any yet. I think now its brunch. Have a wonderful week ahead.

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    1. Hi Angela,

      Yes, your comment made me smile. True whoever is not aware of the effects of positive thinking nowadays can’t be surprised if they are losers. They don’t have to be, but I wouldn’t be surprised that someone totally unaware of their thoughts wouldn’t live a lavish life, right?

      You’re so right. In he Bible there are tons of expressions and statements from people of old who knew all about positive thinking (Jesus was a positive thinking teacher). If they knew that back in those days where they certainly didn’t know a lot of other things we do know now, we have no excuse. But like I said I’ve just realized how much even people with an online presence still are not familiar with that concept.

      Thanks so much for coming to my blog that early for you 🙂

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    It’s not just freelancing where people are underpaid. I see it all the time in IT. For the same position, some people charge $120 per hour and others are willing to work for $47 an hour and still struggling.

    It all depends on that person’s self-image because one thing I know – you can never be wealthier than your self-image. It just won’t happen!

    For others to value us, we need to value ourselves and that is how the world works. People whom you quoted, surely lacked self-image, knowledge of marketing and basic success principles.

    Thank you for sharing this and this is a testimonial that personal branding, personal development is so important no matter what industry we are in.

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    1. Hi Kumar,

      Sorry for replying so late, but this ha been a trying week for me.

      You’re right on that one, you CAN”T be wealthier than your self image is. Growth in any form need to happen inside first. As a coach told me a very long time ago, I can tell what’s in your subconscious mind just by looking at the car you drive. That is so true, whether we want to hear it or not 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming and I’ll see you soon at your place.

  5. I’m with Donna on this one Sylviane. I would much rather pay for good services, an experienced writer and a positive attitude. As Donna noted, go with the Mercedes thinking.

    I also agree that the negative comments you receive probably came from people who really don’t have experience either. I find LinkedIn full of people who think they are professionals. ;(

    I’ve always been willing to pay for good quality no matter what. I’ve paid for good writers whenever I needed a ghost writer because I want the best, however, I have run into people who were really good, but definitely underpaid.

    Good article and you should make sure you place it on LinkedIn so those folks can see it. 🙂

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    1. Hi Barbara,

      The guy who’s comment I mentioned first in the post says he’s been writing for 25 years, but anyone working for that long as a freelance writer should be quite wealthy, so I was really puzzled by the fact that after a life time of being a writer he’s still accepting miserable low pay.

      Maybe it’s as you said, there’re some people not as professional as they think they are, but still wonder how on earth is that even possible to be at this level after 25 year.

      Then you have this lady who doesn’t remotely knows about the law of attraction/personal development. Wow, still in America in 2014! That’s blows my mind too. I don’t even think I could live right now without the knowledge that personal development has brought me. It’s a tough life for those who don’t know how to use the low of attraction to their benefits. Believe me I know 🙂

      Thank you for coming by Barbara.

  6. It is definitely possible to make a good income as a freelance writer. I do it and so do many other freelance writers I know. Here are the most important things to do, in my opinion, to increase the probability of success:1. Develop strong writing skills2. Market frequently to high-quality prospects 3. Specialize in multiple niches that pay writers well4. Be persistent

    1. Hi John and welcome to my blog.

      Sorry for the late reply, but I’ve been having a challenging week.

      Your four points are very correct indeed, and on the practical side of things that’s the way to go. Of course having a high view of ourselves along with that is also very necessary too.

      Thank you for your comment.

  7. Hi Sylviane,

    Oh dear, it amazes me when I see how people think nowadays that we are in the 21st century. Still negatively thinking and settling for less.

    It all boils down to the personal development factor that you mentioned. You are who you think you are and you are where you are also because of how you think. The mindset is the compass here and if you believe you can or can’t, you are right.

    Lack of Positivity leads to lack of confidence too and those negative writers will remain where they are if their mindset remains the same. I hope they heed the advice and do some self-search and grow for the better.

    I am so sorry to read those negative comments but at the end, it reflects who they are as we all know who you are Sylviane, your brand and your knowledge and what you stand for. Keep up the good work!!

    Thanks Sylviane for pouring your heart and sharing your experience. Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

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    1. Hi Neamat,

      So sorry for replying so late on this comment of yours, but as I’ve mentioned on Facebook I’ve been having a trying time, so my blog hasn’t been the most important thing to attend.

      I was kind of shocked to see lots of so called professionals that didn’t even seem to have any idea about positive thinking as if we were living in middle age. I’m not trying to be mean or condescending here, I was really, really surprised.

      Unfortunately, I do know for a fact that when one lives this way, they must be prepared for a tough life. I so know this for a fact. I really wish them the best.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful day.

  8. Hi SylvianeFreelance industry is un-regulated industry all across the world. It does not have any tariff, nor is it documented and nor it falls under any relgulation related to employer-employee relationship. Most importantly it does not have any entry or exit barrier. That is why whoever knows ABC of any field tries his luck as freelancer. In blogging situation is still worst. First of all blogging is an online industry. Secondly here also there is no criteria to start a blog and whoever can buy a domain and hosting easily start a blog. So here in this field freelancing is much easier. But just getting into this field is easier. Staying here consistently is heck of the task. If you don\’t deliver you will be kicked out or will have to make living with peanuts. That is why there is flock of freelancers in blogging but those who are enjoying the full comfort of their life are hardly in a few thousands. Thanks a lot for sharing a wonderful post with very practical tips to increase the worth as a freelancer.

    1. Hi Mi, and sorry for this late reply.

      Yes, all you’re saying is true, but one can still make a great living at freelance writing. It all depends how much we want it.

      Thanks for your educated information.

  9. Yes Sylviane,
    Branding is important if one is to enjoy higher pay with freelance writing. Branding makes the freelancer an authority in the field. Clients would often pick a popular brand in lieu of an unknown brand. So, I could not agree with you more, branding is relatively the key to earning higher pay with freelancing!

    I upvoted this post in kingged where it was shared for online marketers and bloggers.
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  10. You said it all right here Sylviane >> “Being a good writer is a must, no doubt. Networking and marketing is a must, it goes without saying, but so is the mindset behind it all.”

    I with everyone here. I don’t mind paying a little extra if it means I would get top notch service.

    Thanks for sucn an informative post. Definitely passing this on! Happy Tuesday :).
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    1. Hi Corina,

      Thank you so much for coming and for your input. So sorry to reply so late, but my emotinal life is not at its best right now, to say the least.

      I’m glad to see that some people like you are willing to pay more for better quality writing. I hope this can send the right message for those who undervalue themselves out there.

      Have a great week.

  11. Hi, Sylviane! 🙂

    I must agree with your points. delivered in the article above. You’re right with the reasons you’ve pointed out why freelance writers are underpaid.

    As what I’ve read, one of the reasons why they receive a little amount of charge is because they lack of personal development behind their business. As for me, it is important for every one who makes money online to have a personal development on what they are doing.

    Positive thinking is a must in order to keep yourself motivated, in which (as far as I know) helps to achieve the success you desired.

    I’ve indeed realized some important lessons in here. Thanks for the post! 🙂

    I’ve found this post shared on Kingged.com and leave the same comment there.

  12. Hello Madam Sylvianne,I d o think the number one reason has to do with Fear. I have had some freelancing jobs of late but fortunately or unfortunately, some of the deals didn\’t go through simply because with someone else owning my intellectual property, it has to come at a much appreciated price but the issue here is, most freelancers think those offering them the job are doing them a favour instead so will therefore do everything possible to keep it.That is way I love it the most when you made mention of negative thinking. It is of course what is killing many and it cuts across all spheres of life and not just through freelancing.Thanks for sharing with us this insight.I found this post shared on kingged.com

    1. Hi Emmanuel,

      You’ve made such a good point here! You are right, that’s where some writers are coming from “they feel that the potential client is doing them a favor.” I can’t tell you how true that is, and I used to be this way myself in the past.

      When we think this way, all we can expect is get crumbs and frustration. It’s a must that we get OUT of such mindset.

      I appologize for the late reply. Have a great day!

  13. Hi,

    Personal branding is indeed a very important step. For me there are some steps with which I decide the pay I should be getting.

    I compare my writing skills with industry standards like Adrienne’s blog, Ryan’s blog, Neil’s blog and then come to a conclusion. Once, I set a price, I don’t make it any lesser.

    In past, I did wrote for less pay rates. As of now, I have mt fixed rates for my awesome articles.

    Loved your post. I found this on Kingged.
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    1. Hi Rohan,

      Good point. Once can compare his or her writing skills with what’s out there and decide how much their writing is worth, especially if the writer is still new.

      Thanks for your excellent feedback.

  14. Hi Sylviane.

    “Traveling the world with their laptop,” I swear, I know a guy who does that….:)

    We’re so aligned on this, you literally took the thoughts out of my head. All 4 points are gold. Many freelancers are alleged writers who see themselves as other people, so they fail, because if you don’t see yourself as a freelancer, you’ll not see success in this niche.

    Take the PR person with family obligations. Life is a struggle freelance-wise, and she is so critical, because she sees herself as a busy family person, who has 30 years experience in PR. Who cares? Seriously, if you don’t brand yourself as a freelance writer, and open up, and allow me to trust you….why hire you?

    Why would I hire a person with 30 years of PR experience to write my articles? How many years’ worth of experience does she have working as a freelancer, creating web content? OK, if she shares that, and brands herself, and opens up, and is transparent, then maybe I can begin to trust here, so maybe I’d consider hiring her down the road.

    She may say, a PR person has experience writing content. I have experience unclogging my bathroom, but when I need to get a job done, I call a plumber, and I pay their rates, because a plummer is a pro, and I am an amateur who works in a different niche.

    SHE needs to work on her mental tools, to change her attitude, image of self, and to clear out limiting beliefs, to be able to vibe high enough, to tune into the successful advice your offering. She’ll be blind to it, as long as she ignores personal development, just like most freelance writers ignore PD.

    Sylviane, I’d be here for months responding because I have so much to say on this topic. I digress, as it’s late breakfast time here in Fiji, and we have to walk into the village, to chow down.

    Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. You’re doing a great service to freelance writers.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Enjoy your day 🙂

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    1. Hi Ryan,

      Here you are my guest post today and I’m just replying to your last week comment because I’ve promised myself that I will still do it later rather than never.

      I was shocked to find so much low self esteem and lack of PD knowledge amongst those writers, and frankly I didn’t even realized it was so common, but yet again, whoever accepts to write a 500 word article for $5 can’t have a high self esteem, can they?

      Thank you for your feedback.

  15. I have been into this field for more than 5+ years and what I have realized is that the market has been getting super competitive and that’s one of the significant reasons of being underpaid in this field. Most of the wannabe content writers want to get rich overnight and they prefer to have bulk amount of works and charging very low price for that and it literally ruins the prospect of other content writers who their their real value.

    1. Hi Adi, and sorry for the late reply here.

      Well, while I understand what you’re saying and also that it may be true, you need to put your focus somewhere else. Besides being a writer I’m also a life coach and I would tell you that if you focus too much on the competition, competition is what you will get.

      Try to mangle with writers who make hundreds of dollars per article,and who never use words such as hard, difficult, competition, or low pay.

      Think top of the pile, think success, and incredible opportunities will come to you. I’m not kidding. I know for a fact that the writers who do succeed are the once who think that way.

      Thank you for dropping by.

  16. Hi Sylvianne, thanks for bringing this up now.
    Freelancers are often underpaid for the jobs they do and there are several reasons why this happens. Once you understand why you’re underpaid, you can find ways to increase the money you make. It will help you expand your business and build your writing career.
    According to Lisa A Mason, Here are three reasons why freelancers are underpaid:

    Firstly, Not venturing out and looking for higher paying projects- Many writers are afraid to seek out the higher paying jobs because they haven’t built up the confidence they need to excel in this business. However, if you don’t get out there and try, you’ll never know what you can accomplish.

    Secondly, Not marketing your business correctly- The clients that hire you are interested in what you can do for them. They have a business to run and they’re simply looking for ways to get the most for their money. When you market yourself and your business correctly, the client will see your worth and be willing to pay more for the job to get the best.

    And thirdly, Not fully understanding the project- If you don’t fully understand the project and what it entails, it can end up being a lot more work than you originally thought. When this happens, writers end up doing more work than they expected for a set rate. Know what you’re getting into and if you have questions or don’t understand something, find out before accepting the job.
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    1. Hi Emebu,

      I’m glad I’ve finally get the chance to reply to your comment here. The points that you’re mentioning here are excellent, and I couldn’t agree more with that.

      I’ve written at least a couple of articles about how to find high paying clients. Most of the time, at least at the beginning those clients don’t come to you, you need to go get them.

      In a post I’ve written a while back I even said that high paying clients don’t even bother advertising for writers, because writers come to them. Well, you need to be one of such writers if you’re a writer seeking higher paying clients.

      About the second point, that’s why it’s very important to have a portfolio, so people can know what you’re capable of, your skills.

      Third, that’s why a specific contract should be written before any work begins so both parties understand what’s involved without the shadow of a doubt.

      Thank you so much for your excellent input here 🙂

  17. Hi Sylviane,

    I think many freelance writer online really want to get better paid today than ever before. Writing is not an easy job for sure, especially for those experienced one. On the flip side, the situation is not so beneficial for writers themselves because some market do provide services in low rates. Many afraid to loose the chance of having client just because they charge to high. So, I do agree with those saying FEAR is the biggest reason on some freelance writer being underpaid.Thanks for this encouraging post.

    Wish you enjoy the weekend
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    1. Hi Okto,

      Yes, fear and lack of self confidence are two big factors for those writers not charging enough money for their hard work.

      Thank you for your input, and have a great rest of the week.

  18. Great article Slyviane!

    You made several excellent and relevant points for sure.

    It sounds like the (all too typical) feedback you got from some those active in the groups where you posted, are merely suffering primarily from little to no income syndrome!LOL!

    And since (unlike you) they have no real clue how to effectively separate and or differentiate themselves from the pack.

    And therefore they are basically treated like any other commodity that\’s in great supply.

    So they kinda lashed out at you because they are not earning the type of income they either want to or that they would be.

    You told it like it is! Now it\’s up to them to either get with the program asap, or continue to struggle!

    You did a excellent job of putting things in perspective!
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    1. Hi Mark,

      Yes, the reactions between the well paid writers and the non-well paid ones are always quite different, they’re like coming from two different worlds, and they are in two different worlds really.

      My only hope is that all of us writers are paid well someday, and good bye the minimum wage kind of pay that some writers do accept to write for these days.

      Thank you so much for coming by, and see you around 🙂

  19. Thanks for sharing this great article. This is the most effective way to know and learn why Freelance writing is an underpaid business. This article will be very helpful and useful on how can you change that as a writer. I had fun reading this and many great insights here. I will share this information with my friends and they will certainly love to read this. Very informative, I’ll definitely give these 5 stars.
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  20. Hi Sylviane,

    Really interesting post.

    You brought up something that’s really interesting that I never thought out. It relates to the whole branding side of things.

    “Branding yourself as a professional writer could very well do the trick, and it has for many.”

    I think that’s so true. Alot of times, especially these days, people look for cheap articles and they get cheap quality and people who want to get into freelance writing try to compare to those types of prices because they figure that’s what will work. But if you spend and devote time on branding yourself as a professional writer and have above average samples to go with it, being underpaid will be a thing of the past.

    I mean WHY should writers online be paid so low? Like you said, you’re providing a service to people. The written word. People need to smarten up and start making the right decision and strategize to be the successful writer they want to be.

    Great post.

    – Andrew
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    1. Hi Adrew,

      First off sorry for the late reply here.

      Yes, branding oneself is so very important. Look at what big companies do? They pay ton of money to brand themselves.

      Thanks for your input.

  21. Hi,

    I recently did some work as a freelance writer, and I think people who enjoy writing can really become successful as an freelancer, but I just found that it was not or me. I love writing, but when it is forced upon me, I feel subdued creatively. That’s just me though. You have made some very good points here. I think in any business, or any entrepreneur should learn to personally develop themselves, and learn to create a brand for themselves. Warren Buffet said that the best investment you can make is in yourself, and I agree with him and you 100%. I recently found that personal development is another one of my many passions in life. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Lawrence,

      I’m sorry for this late reply here, but here it is.

      I’ve heard that many times as well, some people who love to write don’t necessarily like it as much when they have to write for someone else. Hey, here is a secret, even me, I like to write for myself more, but I love it when someone tells me that they love what I’ve written for them too 🙂

      By the way, I do have a personal development blog too, did you know that?

      Thank you for coming and I’m looking to get to know you better.

      have a great one.


  22. To make my opinion short, I concur with the takeaways “One mistake that I see freelance writers make is that they don’t feel that they’re in charge. ”

    Why? Only because freelancers who act and do their work professionally, are the freelancers who can have bigger pay. Not the usual, but the unexpected. If they make their customer or client happy with the result of their work, sure, they will give you something.

    Your post has been shared on Kingged.com, IM social bookmarking site, enabling me to find this good piece.

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