Stuck With Low-Paying Gigs? Who's To Blame?

Written By: Bhavani Harikrishnan

We grumble about the low rates writers are paid these days. But, it’s also true that the quality of writing has deteriorated. You only have to scan the web to see the mediocre (bordering on atrocious) and useless content that gets published on websites today. Some of it is so poorly written, you wonder why it is there in the first place. Yet someone who calls himself or herself a "professional writer" has written it. What are the reasons for this sorry state of affairs? 

1. Writers who think they are good but aren’t 

How does one rate a writer as good or bad? Obviously, not everyone who can string together a group of words is a good writer. Most people claiming to be good writers, don’t even answer ads seeking writers, in grammatically correct English. If you take the time to look around, you’ll notice that really good writers never ever do this.

2. Content Providing Companies 

Most content writing companies in India are run by people who have absolutely no idea how long it takes to research an article. Some want you to write a minimum of 10 well-researched, plagiarism-free, typo-free, grammatically perfect articles 6 days a week for a princely sum of Rs. 10,000 per month. Some of them honestly believe that all you need is 15 minutes to ‘google’ the keywords, and rewrite whatever pops up. These are clients who can never recognize, leave alone appreciate, quality writing. To them it is all business. I've had people assign me jobs they charge clients $25 to $40 dollars but  were willing to pay me just Rs. 50. Naturally, I refused. Why should I slog, just so someone else can get rich? I'd rather write the article for my blog. 

These companies usually make tall claims to their clients and dump the work on writers. Often, there are no instructions on how they want you to proceed. Yet, they manage to bag all the good jobs while bidding.

Is there something you can do about this? Yes. Start by building an impressive portfolio and say "NO" to these companies.

The Route to Better Jobs 

You have probably signed off the rights to your articles to the company you write for, in a non-disclosure agreement. There is no way you can prove you wrote those articles. So, you may need a brand new portfolio. Start blogging and build one with good quality articles. Blogging will showcase your special talents and if you monetize it, you can also earn a residual income. Here’s how you can go about it.

1. Find out if you have a niche or several niches and work on those.
2. Register with several freelancers’ job platforms. Read the descriptions of the writing jobs posted. If you find a post that’s right up your alley, use the requirements mentioned as your guideline to post a related article in your blog. Use your blog link while bidding. Even if you don’t bag a particular project, you are still getting ahead with your portfolio.
3. Use social networking sites to publicize your articles.
4. Install a stat counter in your blog. This will let you keep track of new and repeat visitors.
5. Form a network with a group of writer friends. If you happen to get a job you can't handle, be magnanimous enough to give it to a friend who can; and pay the friend whatever you are paid for it.
6. Finally, if you think your grammar is excellent, try taking an Elance grammar test. Taking a
 basic Elance grammar test was an eye opener for me. I had to look up ‘pronoun antecedents’, ‘dangling modifiers’ and ‘misplaced modifiers’ and retake the test for a better score. Looking these up has certainly improved my writing. There are several tests here for writers and they are all free. Use them to polish your skills - be it UK/US English, grammar, sentence structure or punctuation.

Here are some of my favourite resources and reference guides:
1. Oxford Language Reference
2.OWL English Purdue

3. Aliscot

Bhavani Harikrishnan is an information researcher, blog writer and needlework teacher. Check out her words and works at Needle Crazy


  1. gr8! I always thought this freelance content writing ads are all sham.But joining your FB group and then coming here make me feel that the eartgh often behave strangely....perception and reality are so far ans wide! Thanks again for being part of it, now.

  2. Excellent article. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this very important topic.

    I have started freelancing as a web content writer from 6 months and have been working for mere 50-60 rupees per 500 words articles. It is ridiculously low compared to the 2 to 2:30 hours of work it takes to produce even a reasonable quality article. They expect us to write a great 500 words piece in less than an hour and make us believe that we can earn substantially even at that demeaning pay.

    Thanks for letting us know that those companies themselves get rich misusing our innocence. Your tips for finding better paying projects on our own are nice and I am certainly eager to implement them.

    Thank you and best luck.


  3. I totally agree with the author, if we lower our standards to accept low payments then employers are only too happy to pay us peanuts.
    its much better to utilize our resources for ourselves and for better options.


Drop your views here...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...