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Should I Negotiate? Ask Anne The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

questions and answers for writersI got all excited because I got a nibble from a large organization for an editing job that was posted on your site. They said they selected me from an original applicant tool and asked me to do a sample edit.

But I now gather that they only pay $10 per entry and it’s going to take me just about an hour to edit each entry.

No way! I’ve served my time as a low pay writer and my rates for this kind of work are much higher. So I’m pissed.

Part of me wants to write to the person who sent me the test and just tell them that price is way too low. Or would it make better sense to do the test and then try to get them to raise my rate?

I know this kind of work and feel like their offer is insulting. I don’t know if I should respond or just move on.

What are your thoughts on this?



Hi TH,

Freelance writing can be frustrating. Believe me I know.

The first thing to consider is exactly what you want to accomplish.

Do you want adequate pay? Do you want to make them wrong? Do you just want to vent? Or something else?

If they’ve told you you’ll only get $10 an entry that takes an hour, that’s what they’ll pay… lots of folks out there unfortunately who will work for $10 an hour and be grateful. In fact, it’s not unfortunate. In many places, including in the United States, $10 an hour is ample.

If, however, they haven’t been clear about the pay  you can just ask them. You know, something like What are you paying per entry and how can I earn more with your company? I’d ask them what their rate is at this point rather than telling them what yours is.

You say the company is a large one. That means the person sending the test probably has no idea what’s really what’s going on and can’t give you a higher rate. So see if you can move up the food chain a bit. This may take a phone call or two

Not returning the test is an option too. I might return it unanswered saying thanks for the opportunity but my rate is $x an hour. Let me know if you have work in that range.

I’d probably include either a resume or a link to my website or both.

Then I’d move on.

It might be worth noting that the statement, you’ve been chosen from our applicant pool, can be a ploy. It’s not always a scam, but do consider if they had enough information to choose you or if they are “choosing” everyone.



Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Great advice! New freelance writers usually take the $10 editing and writing jobs because it helps them to build a portfolio. Once you have your editing/writing legs under you, ask for more pay. Otherwise, you’ll keep attracting low paying jobs. If you’re experienced, negotiate the price. I always say, “…you get what you pay for.”
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Burned Out Freelance Writers Find Solutions =-.

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