How much did you write your first article for?

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$5 - that's all I wrote my first article for. I had read all there was to read about starting as a freelancer and every freelance blog screamed at me to not sell myself so cheap. They told me I shouldn't give in to pressure of getting my first gig. That I should hold out for better opportunities and pay.

Trust me - it's easier said than done. I cracked from sheer impatience and wrote my first article for $5. My PayPal had been set up 3 weeks ago! An empty bank account was mocking me for not having any money to put into it. Hours and hours of job searching with no results. Countless rejections because I had no prior experience. My self esteem was taking a severe beating and my fingers were itching to send in an article in exchange for pay - which is why I accepted the first writing gig that came my way.

I got paid $5 for a 800 word article. But soon after those $5 came in (of which 50 cents were deducted as service charges), I realized I wouldn't be writing for that client anymore. There was no feeling of accomplishment and no satisfaction. I also didn't do a good job. Without meaning to, my article reflected the amount that was paid for it. You can chalk it up to the article being my first and beginner's nervousness but I honestly feel that I would have striven to do a better job of it had the pay been decent.

Its been two month since the $5 article and my PayPal is sitting at $4.50. I got work this month but the pay for that won't come in till next month. Don't get your hopes up though! The pay isn't much better that $5.

Stay tuned to find out how much I'm making per article in my current gig and why I accepted it.

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9 comments:
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Sal said...
November 23, 2008 at 7:44 PM  

For my first gig, I ended up with $5 a blog ~200-250 words, so nothing to write home about, but at least it is steady. I also have a few more feelers out there on some print articles and copywriting for books and such, but we will see about that. For now, $100 per month is all that I am making on the side.

BTW, that link you sent me, did you ever hear back from them? Because I sure haven't :(

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Samar Owais said...
November 24, 2008 at 12:12 AM  

$5 for a blog post of 200-250 words is still respectable vs $5 for 800 words. But as you gain experience, you can raise your rates for future gigs.

About the link, I haven't heard back from them either. First I though it was because of the weekend. I guess it was too good to be true.

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Tony said...
November 25, 2008 at 7:21 AM  

Look on the bright side - this will turn out to be one of those things you talk about later in life when you're a sucessful writer.

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Sal said...
November 25, 2008 at 7:47 AM  

@Samar: It happens, would have been nice though, but you never know, the gig I have now, it took them a week and a half to get back to me. Now we email multiple times a day.

@Tony: Very true. Hey, remember when we wrote for $5 a post *group laugh* Man, that was good times but I am glad we get $100 per post now.

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Samar Owais said...
November 25, 2008 at 9:23 AM  

Tony, got so many arabic words in my head right now as prayers! All of them basically mean one thing: Amen!
Thank you for the moral support :)

Sal, I heard back from them. I hope you did too! They need a signed form emailed back to them. But it's in pdf and I don't know how to edit a pdf doc to sign my name on it.

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Sal said...
November 25, 2008 at 9:25 AM  

I got the email too. Imagine that. Print it out, sign it and find a place to fax it back to them. They listed a fax number.

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Anthony said...
November 26, 2008 at 9:52 AM  

Are you guys working on a project together - that would be pretty cool

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Samar Owais said...
November 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM  

Sal, just sent them signed form. Let's hope things work out.

Anthony, Welcome to the blog. We're not working on anything together. We're budding freelancers applying to some of the same jobs :)

What do you do? Leave a link to your blog next time!

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Sal said...
November 26, 2008 at 6:45 PM  

@Anthony: The one thing that I have learned since I started freelanceing is that it pays to help other people find leads and point them to potential income because when times are tough, they might just do the same for you.

@Samar: Let me know what they say.

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