Not long ago, I got a message from a friend who said that she had found an awesome job. She is registered on the many freelance websites that exist and had found someone who was looking for copywriters and she had been accepted. How cool, she told me, that she would be doing the same as me. I was very pleased for her and asked her about the pay. She enthusiastically told me that she was getting paid a pound for every 100 words she makes. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I make, that would be soul destroying, but then I got worried as well…
I’m not going to tell you what I make. I come from a culture where your income is a private matter and telling about that is either showing off or asking for charity so let us not go there. However, I do make a lot more than a pound for every 100 words I write. So what did I have to worry about? Well, if freelance websites are looking for copywriters at that rate of pay, I’m going to get undercut massively by people from India, Pakistan and Romania and I seriously can’t compete with that. I simply don’t have the means to earn just a pound for every 100 words that I write. I already work 60 hours a week, if I had to make my current income at that rate, I would have to start working a whole lot more hours.
When I heard my friend tell me about her fantastic new job, I figured I would do a little test. Check out the competition as it were. Firstly, I outsourced one of my own jobs at a pound per 100 words. I got around fifty replies – shock enough in itself that so many people are willing to work for pittance – but around half of those made loads of mistakes just in their application, so I dismissed them all. Out of the 25 I had left, I assigned the job to 10 of them and looked at what sort of quality I could receive. The 10 I picked all claimed to be native English speakers, some being from Australia, others from the United Kingdom and the United States. I received only seven articles within the deadline. Out of those seven, only two were passable in terms of quality and content.
After my little test, I figured there wasn’t really any competition. Nobody came close to the quality I could produce. And, to be fair, that kind of quality can’t be expected for that type of money. Worries over, I went to ask my friend how she was getting on. She told me that she had written her first article and was told that it could not be passed through a plagiarism checker. This, I knew, was a lie because I had checked it myself and it passed through Copyscape. She hadn’t gotten paid at all in other words. I came to the conclusion that there is no real competition. Nobody can expect quality for pittance and those who accept those sorts of wages seem to not even get paid. I don’t think I have anything to worry about at all.
Being SEO copywriters is real work and real work deserves a real pay; remember that the work you do generates thousands for those who use it, so you shouldn’t accept being paid less than what you are worth. If you are good at what you do, you can turn this into a real job.