Is It Ever OK to Take Less Pay?
As freelance writers, we often have lofty ideas about earning hundreds for our Pulitzer-worthy prose, yet we are constantly bombarded by people who want to pay pennies for the work of a blog content provider. While it is easy to thumb your nose at those low paying jobs, there are times, like when those little ankle-biters want to eat and the high-pay work has been slim, when it does make sense to take a little less. Sure, there are plenty of writers out there who will give you a tongue lashing for doing so, but in the end you have to do what is best for your needs. These are times when it makes sense to take a little less for your work.
Keeping Standby Clients for the Slow Times
The problem with freelance work is that you always have to be on the lookout. Even the busiest content sites can have times when they don’t have quite enough work for you to pay your bills. When those times come, it’s great to have a few old standby clients or websites you can turn to as you fill the gap, even if those clients are a little on the tightwad end.
Use Lower Pay to Fund Unexpected Expenses
Did your electricity bill bring an unexpected surprise, or did you just learn that you needed four new tires on your car? These types of unexpected expenses can strain a tight budget to the breaking point, but put in a little extra time with some lower paying work and you might be able to fund those unexpected expenses. Sure, you aren’t going to make a million with these jobs, but you may be able to make enough to cover that unexpected bill.
Consider the Convenience Factor
Some clients pay monthly, some pay every other month and some pay the day the job is complete. At times you will need to weigh the convenience over the lower pay. If that bill’s just got to get paid, and a lower pay job will get it paid today rather than next month, then don’t feel any shame in taking the lower pay.
The Ease of the Job
If you have been freelancing for any time at all, you know that some jobs are easier than others. If you can write something in 10 minutes and get paid $5 for it, you are still making $30 an hour. That’s not bad money, at all. If the piece takes you two hours and you only get paid $20 for it, it’s actually less cost effective. If the job is easy enough to crank out in just a few minutes, and you need the money, then take lower pay.
In a perfect world, every writer or blog content provider would refuse to take the low-pay work, and clients would be forced to raise their rates, but let’s face it: This world is far from perfect. There will always be clients offering lower rates and writers willing to take them, so when you need some cash now, don’t feel ashamed to grab those jobs. In the end your bill will get paid, one word at a time.
Nicole H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.