How Much Would You Write For? By Angela Hoy

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the crappy writing jobs posted online by people who will only pay around a buck or two for an article/blog posting. We’ve also been getting complaints about writers getting writing jobs and then subbing those jobs out to other writers, unbeknownst to the publishers, for only a buck or two. It seems there is an increasing number of fast-food type writing jobs and, disturbingly, there seems to be no shortage of so-called writers who are willing to write for pennies on the hour.

Recently, I ran a link to a job that paid $9 per hour. I received a pretty scathing email from a reader. Here’s what she said:

Why do you denigrate our profession by including low-paying gigs in your listings? My note was prompted by a $9/hour listing. It’s hard enough to earn a living by providing creative services; giving these raparees publicity only encourages them to hold their fees at minimum-wage levels.

I appreciate (in every sense of the word) that you provide a free service, but you do us all a disservice by not discriminating against these bottom-feeders.

And here’s my response:

While I agree $9/hour isn’t anything to shout about, there are many people working for minimum wage (or lower, if they actually track their hours when working on a flat-fee basis) that would be very happy to earn $9/hour. In our town, $9 per hour would be a very welcome wage as this is a low-income part of the country (our minimum wage is $6.50/hour). Many people are working really crappy jobs for minimum wage here and would warmly welcome a $9/hour, home-based job. But, the cost of living is lower here, too. In New York City, $9 can’t even buy you parking while, here, you can buy yourself dinner for $9. So, you really have to consider the circumstances of the individual writer and their geographic location, as well as the work involved.

A job paying $9/hour at 40 hours a week means $1440/month. I don’t run those $2 per blog post ads or those 1 cent per job listings, but $9/hour is an acceptable wage for many.

The reader never responded.

So, readers, do you agree with me? Is $9/hour low-ball pay or is that a home-based wage you would accept? What do you estimate you are you currently earning per hour on your writing jobs? What are you really earning and how much would you like to earn? I’ll run your comments, anonymously of course, right here next week. Zach will be compiling your answers so please respond to: zach – at –