OP-ED: The more we write for chump change, the more they’ll stay the same

When I sat down to write this blog post, I was sure I had a lot to say on the topic and that it would take no more than 15 minutes to write. But then I started thinking about the readers and visitors of this site and time sped by quickly…beyond the hour mark. I thought that if these visitors bothered to click, then the blog should offer content that will present actual ideas instead of mere eye strain, yes?

Within my period of contemplation arose the basic human quality that is being eroded by online marketing hype: consideration. Consider the following screencap of one blog article teeming with condescension:

The blogger actually believes he or she is doing writers of the online world a huge favor by offering five bucks for a niche article. Wow. This nut goes to bed confident in the justification that paying 150% more makes them Mother Teresa. And the sad thing is we writers created this Jabba the Hutt who will make thousands of dollars off the article, which cost next to nothing.

Now, if one’s idea of niche articles leads to “Dear Diary” pieces, then laboring for the price of a can of Coke is probably enough compensation. But even a half-decent 500-word write-up involves research, actual writing skill, and an ample amount of grey matter. Sorry, but two bucks for one of these is a big fat lie.

Why writers settle for chump change is beyond me. There are those who will argue that it’s for the love of the craft but that, of course, is a load of bull.

You are going to dedicate a serious amount of time to produce an article that will be read by tens of thousands and probably even sell products worth as much. Don’t you think one of the first things to understand is what that’s worth to you? And that is where the problem lies. Not everybody knows what their work is worth, which results in people being taken advantage of.

Here’s one piece of advice I’d like to share to both writers and those looking to hire them: consider! Consider what the person is giving up in exchange for what you are offering. If all you’re “more than willing” to pay is five bucks then you’re giving that writer enough motivation to throw that article into the trash.