Every writer cannot succeed in the freelance industry if they only expect a lucrative pay.

Zafar Siddiqui

Beginners shouldn't run after higher rates.

A female journalist is writing notes on her planner.Image by Monstera on Pexels.

I came across a post by a freelance writer on Facebook a few days back about the detrimental, potentially long-term effects of not accepting rates as low as $5 for 1500 word articles at the initial level of a freelance writing career.

The post was from a lady who presented a logical argument by sharing her experience of accepting low rates at the beginning stage.

While reading that post I've just talked about, I realized I had been wrongly criticizing clients for offering such lower rates for providing a well-researched, full-length article of 1500 words.

The thing is, if we stop running after money at the initial stage and focus on gaining efficiency in our writing, we can impress our prospective clients by creating an outstanding portfolio.

I have been mocking people for offering as low as $5 and advocating for a minimum of $10. The standard rate needs to rise, I agree, but the rate as low as $5 for beginner freelance writers isn't a bad bargain.

I mean, getting a 50% against your hard work wouldn't exploit you as a writer, but not doing a project just because you want a higher rate would.

Your first shot can impress your client, but remember they're looking for freelancers available for the long term at cheaper rates. Imagine yourself submitting high-quality 1500 words every day for $5 to the same client, which would make $150 at the end of the month. That could also assist you in building a high-quality profile having an impressive portfolio — recruiters always ask for it.

That's the exact path the lady claimed to have followed, winning high-paying projects soon after and then establishing her agency.

The journey of my failure as a freelance writer.

My first content writing internship was at an immigration consultant company back in 2019 that offered me an $85 monthly salary for writing at least 2500 words a day. I know it's even lower than what I've discussed above, but it has taught me a lot.

The company wanted to change my status from intern to employee after completing my internship for higher pay ($120 a month). Still, I had to let the opportunity go because of my approaching exams. I inquired if I could work from home as I couldn't go to the office; they weren't open for that.

Since then, I've never been willing to work for clients because I felt their offers were ridiculous, though I neglected the long-term benefits of working on lower rates. Other than that, I never wanted to engage with clients. Working for others appeared as the worst headache to me, which I never wanted to bear at all.

Had I not overlooked the importance of working for little offers and bearing inconveniences from clients, I'd have established my agency by now.

I'm now striving hard to get replies on my Upwork proposals because I have recently chosen to work with clients — late, I know, but not too late. Of course, better be late than never, but why not learn from the realities I have just explored? No, I'm not harsh at all, but I don't want you to ruin yourself the way I just did.

The key takeaway

The instant takeaway I have for you is not to run away from the responsibilities. If you take the hassle right now, you will achieve many milestones in the future.

Zulie Rane's, Tim Denning's, and Sinem Günel's are a few examples to mention here. They have given their full potential, bore all the inconveniences in past years, and have already achieved the Entrepreneur title. Hard work pays off!

It would help if you didn't run after money, but the experience. There are plenty of lessons waiting for you out there. If you believe money is everything for you right now, you would never taste success. Learn from my struggles, at least.

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