Freelance Writing Jobs: Fuzzy Math Edition

When I was a fledgling writer, I subscribed to a lot of different feeds for freelance writing jobs. Although most of my gigs these days come to me directly through my freelance writing website, I still browse my aggregated feeds from time to time to keep up with the state of the writing market and, truth be told, to amuse myself.

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A Quick Note on Job Postings that Qualify for Ridicule on Suess’s Pieces

Many people from all over the world are more than happy to take jobs that pay $1 for 500 words, and I’m not here to judge what’s decent pay for all of humanity. So low pay in and of itself isn’t enough to warrant attention. What I’m here to highlight are the employers who write funny or insulting job ads.

Like This Guy Who Thinks Freelance Writers Can’t Do Math

I am looking for some great writers or team of writers… I have hundreds of articles to be written every week. So the more you write, the more you earn. I pay $2 per 500 words and $3.75 per 1000 words. The pay will be monthly, as most of my clients pay me monthly. Since, I can work on this trust, I need the same from my writers too.  (emphasis mine)

Apparently, my esteemed writing professionals, the more you write for this guy, the less you earn. If you’re going to work for this guy, I suggest slapping a page break in your next 1,000-word article or saving it in two separate files and billing him twice for 500-words. Apparently, this is how employers Do More with Less on oDesk (now UpWork).

Also, if any of you reading this are freelance writing n00bs, be very wary of submitting an entire month’s worth of writing without any pay.

A Little Unsolicited Freelance Writing Advice from Emily

If you want my professional opinion, trust is not a currency you should deal in – especially with clients you don’t know and haven’t worked with before. When getting started on oDesk or a similar freelance writing jobs site, always request a minimum of 25% paid upfront from new clients. As a one-person business, you have every right to CYA. (If you want to offer some leeway to long-term clients after they’ve established rapport, that’s up to you.)

The ABCs of Freelance Writing: J is for Jalopy

J is for jalopy: n., what you’ll be driving if you don’t learn how to set competitive rates and manage your freelance income.

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I’m no financial expert. But thanks to the magic of the Internet, I don’t have to be. Browse these resources at your leisure and learn more about setting competitive rates, managing your freelance income, and preparing for retirement.

Setting Freelance Rates

  • How to Set Your Freelance Writing Rates by Brian Scott
  • The Pay Rate Chart (requires subscription)
  • Setting a Freelance Writing Rate Equal to the Task by Deborah Ng
  • Talking Money With Clients: Increasing Your Freelance Writing Rates by Jennifer Mattern

Freelance Spending & Budgets

Retirement for Freelancers

There is a wealth of information out there to help freelancers manage their income and expenses and plan for the future. Keep digging!

What are you doing to manage your freelance money wisely? J is for jalopy.

The Liberal Freelance Editor's Creed by Emily Suess

Freelance editing can be challenging if both parties aren’t on the same page*. This creed is basically just my personal philosophy spelled out so that potential clients can make an informed decision about hiring me.  If you have questions about this post or want to discuss rates, please use my contact page or email me directly.

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The Liberal Freelance Editor’s Creed by Emily Suess

  1. For a fee I am willing to edit or proofread your documents.
  2. As an editor, you’ll find me opinionated and judgy**.  I might even hurt your feelings, but I promise that’s an unintended consequence. In this capacity, I might suggest you stop using triple exclamation points at the end of every sentence. Not because a person can’t use triple exclamation points if she wants to***, but because I personally think your writing is better without them.
  3. As a proofreader, I am not going to judge the content or style of your writing. I’m just going to try to catch the things you would change yourself if you had the time to look them up and your eyes weren’t already bleeding from your first thousand readings. I’ll let you keep your triple exclamation points and will promise not to touch any part of your writing that is clearly part of your voice, no matter how much it pains me.
  4. Regardless of what you may have learned in middle school, there isn’t just one way to write. Take the serial comma, for instance. The AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style don’t agree on its use****. Assuming you’re not obligated to follow AP or Chicago or whatever, just pick your favorite and enjoy the opportunity you have to call the shots. I’ll go along with it.
  5. My editor’s marks are not insults; they are suggestions. You are – at all times – free to ignore them.  It’s always your piece.
  6. I don’t like red ink either, but blue ink doesn’t offer enough contrast and no one is taking my glitter pens***** seriously.

* Ha! I’m such a hoot.
**It’s a word now. I’m a liberal freelance editor, remember?
*** I believe in breaking the so-called rules, particularly if you have a good reason to do it.
**** A quick note on stylebooks: If you’re writing in an industry that requires you to adhere to one particular style, you should tell me that before I start working on your document.
***** I don’t really have glitter pens. I was just trying to be funny.

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