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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-13-2014, 11:01 AM
Success19's Avatar
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This client is getting a huge bargain from you.

That being said - it depends on your other options.

Is this a long-term commitment or will it end soon?

It is quite possible this is an outsourcing job - someone is getting paid a lot more than you and shifting the work to you.

This reminds of my favorite site where clients start off with simple little blog posts to get you hooked - easy to write at a low rate, then gradually they start adding on more demands over several weeks or months until an order that took 20 minutes, now takes 5 hours of research.

I am not saying to quit the job, but what if you did less research and just wrote off the top of your head? Would they let you go? Maybe, but you might be better off.

In the meantime, try to find 1 hour a day or 1 day a week to look for other avenues of income.

Many people have to do fast-food/retail jobs while they pursue something else.

It is tiring and difficult, but you do what you got to do.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2014, 07:16 AM
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Have you considered asking for more money?

I mean seriously, if it takes you four hours to write good content that the editor likes and they've already had one writer tank on them before, they may be willing.

Don't just go in and ask for more money. Ask for a specific dollar amount. If it's $24 per article, $32 per article, or even $40 each, that you want, give them a specific dollar amount above that, and leave them room to negotiate.

The flip side, though, is that you must be willing to walk away if they aren't willing to pay you what you consider to be a fair wage for the work. We can't tell you what's fair for your time. Only you can decide that.

As for putting it on Evernote, though, whether or not it meets the letter of the law, you have to be willing if you're willing to go to court to defend it if they decide to sue. Since it's a "big name company," they may, and they have the lawyers on staff, who are already getting paid, for situations just like this.

Whether you win or lose, if it goes to court, that's money and time you can never get back. Not to mention the damage it could do to your reputation as a writer for the allegations alone. I personally wouldn't. Again, though, none of us can make that choice for you.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-03-2014, 06:21 PM
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I continued working for this client - because I need the money - but I drastically cut down on the amount of time and effort I was putting into the articles. In other words, I was no longer doing the best that I knew I could, but instead I was doing $8 an article worth.

And guess what? Now they want me to do more.

My contact said:
I have been asked to see if you can come up with titles for $COMPANY. as to deal with cloud telephony, hosted telephony, IP, business phone systems, VoIP, unified communication.
At first I thought this would be easy; just look at Google Trends for these subjects and go from there. Then I asked for clarification; she doesn't want titles. She wants me to come up with subject matter and do research on the articles as well.

So I replied
This would require a renegotiation of our working terms, as it's a different job. Not only would I be writing, but I would be researching as well. Therefore I would need to get much more per article. I would also be willing to work on an hourly basis, (rate to be negotiated later) since these new duties would require considerably more time and effort on my part. Heretofore you have been providing the bare bones and starting points for articles, and I've been fleshing them out.
I found a PDF somewhere written by Lynn Wasnak; it appears to date from 2007. It quotes the low end of magazine article rewrites (essentially what I've been doing so far) at $20 an hour. The average rate for magazine research is the same, whereas the average rate for rewrites is $60 and research is $37.

Given what they're paying me now, I'm fairly certain they will not pay anything near those rates. But my contact's reply to what I said above was
"If you came up with your own titles what would you be comfortable with payment wise? I can always ask and see what they say "
What do you all think? I was kind of considering "I'm thinking something in the range $12-18 an article; I'll give you authority to negotiate on my behalf [as I have absolutely no contact with these editors, and she's my only go-between]. Just start high, and $12 is my absolute minimum. I will not do research and writing for less than that."

Last edited by jponorato; 04-03-2014 at 08:42 PM.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2014, 06:11 AM
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You could do that if you want to negotiate. I personally would just say, "That's fine. I can do that for $15 per article, and that would include yada yada yada. If you prefer, we could just stick to our original agreement and I would continue to supply basic articles at $8 each. Let me know what works!"

I would bump up the fee a little so that if they come back and say, "can you do $13 per article?" then you're getting what you want and they think they're getting a bargain.

Of course, I understand that you are really counting on the money. I would be more flexible if it was a desperate situation. Otherwise, my rates are my rates and I have found that if you just give them a price, they tend to say "okay" and just pay it. I do have one client whom I've negotiated with, but he gives me between $1,500 and $2,000 worth of work to do each month, so I'm okay with making less per article and occasionally doing other small tasks, because the volume is there and he's a great, steady client. So that might be another consideration; if they are giving you loads of work, then it might pay off to be easier to deal with, as opposed to more difficult.

Good luck!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2014, 03:50 PM
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$8 an article is still content-mill money.

If you want to find the content, just use CopyScape or Google with " ". But you still can't use it.

As others have said, guest blogging is a great option.

Also, get that site up ASAP!

Last edited by TjCharles; 04-04-2014 at 04:02 PM.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2014, 06:37 PM
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yeah - these people are notoriously cheap. It's a huge company that these articles are ultimately getting posted for, so you'd think they could afford to pay me more. But apparently the posting agency is some outfit in India, so who knows how much the company is paying them. And as we all know, the fecal matter accelerates on a decline.

TjCharles - can you say more about CopyScape and Googling with " "? I haven't heard of either of these tools.

I still haven't gotten my website up. I can't technically put these articles on there when I do. But I have put together a portfolio that I can send to people - it's an Evernote document that links to other EN files (since ultimately all of my work gets filed there).
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2014, 08:11 PM
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Go back to one of your old articles and copy the last half of one sentence and the first half of the next. So, for example, if you were going to do it with my post, you would copy the part that I italicized. Then go to Google and enter what you copied, then put quotation marks around it. Press search, and any matches will come up.

Or, go to Copyscape.com. Searches are five cents each, but I think you have to put up a minimum of $5 (so 100 searches). Copy one of your articles, and put it in the box, then hit search. Again, any matches will come up.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 04-18-2014, 02:07 PM
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that whole me doing the research and bucking for more money thing fell through - they called my bluff, so we're back to $8 an article.

*grumble*

But they took their sweet time getting the next assignment to me, and I picked some other things up in the meantime. When they got back to me and gave me their usual deadline of "ASAP" I told them as much, and gave them a return-by date of somewhere between the 2d and 5th of May.

Just heard back from them, and they said that wouldn't work, and they'd have to pass on the articles to someone else, as the 20 article assignment had to be done in no more than a week. 20 minutes later I hear from my contact again; she's spoken to her editor and apparently he's said that if I can do at least some of the items before the 25th that would be great. They now want to know how many I can do in that timeframe.

These blogs are supposed to be for April, which is already over half done with.

I am tired of these people thinking I am their b*tch for a lousy 8 bucks an article. (And this is minus PayPal fees, to boot! so I don't get paid $64 for eight articles, I actually get paid $62.16 or something. It's not going to break me, but still.)

So here's what I wrote back:

Quote:
there are 20 articles exactly in the assignment.

I can certainly get some of them done before the 25th. That's next Friday - I expect I could get at least between ten and fourteen of them done by then.

You've already seen the high-quality work I can produce. If there were more motivation, in the form of more compensation, then I would be able to get all 20 out earlier than the timeframe I originally quoted.

John
Now that I think about it, maybe I should have been more precise - asked for $10 or $12 an article, say. What's sent is sent, though. If they're willing to talk about it, then I'll hear back.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2014, 03:46 PM
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If you want to carry on doing 2-4 hours work for $8 less transfer-fees, John, then it sounds like you're in the right place.

However little people are willing to pay for articles, unfortunately, they can find suppliers of them, because it's a worldwide market and you're effectively competing with people who live in countries where $8 is nearly a day's pay.

I'd switch to writing at Constant Content, myself, but what do I know?
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2014, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuliya Mironova View Post
If you want to carry on doing 2-4 hours work for $8 less transfer-fees, John, then it sounds like you're in the right place.

However little people are willing to pay for articles, unfortunately, they can find suppliers of them, because it's a worldwide market and you're effectively competing with people who live in countries where $8 is nearly a day's pay.

I'd switch to writing at Constant Content, myself, but what do I know?
it's not really worth it to me. it's a place-holder, at best. The articles aren't fun to write, the pay isn't good, I don't get a byline, the deadlines are back-breaking, and perhaps most importantly, I can't support my family on this sort of income. In essence, it's time better spent on other things -- I just have yet to actually find those other things.

What does Constant Content pay?
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