Who Knows Where $50 May Lead? By Jodi Helmer

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When the editor of a small community newspaper called to ask if I would be interested in writing several freelance articles for the paper, I hesitated. He was only offering $50 per story and I was concerned that the articles would require much more time and effort than the pay warranted. But, with the holidays around the corner and few deadlines during November and December, I agreed to take on the assignments.

In the course of two months, I wrote 17 articles for the paper, and had to admit that I was really enjoying the work. Despite the small town feel of some of the articles, I was meeting some truly amazing people and the editor was one of the best I’d worked with, frequently taking time to call or e-mail to tell me how much he appreciated the quality work I was doing.

A few weeks after my contract ended, the editor called to tell me that he had given my name to a local business owner who needed a freelance writer to work with clients in his advertising agency. He assured me that he had given me an excellent recommendation and wished me luck landing the contract.

The owner of the advertising agency called a few days later. He was impressed with the glowing reference the editor had provided and we agreed to meet the next day. After a 2-hour meeting, I left the advertising agency with a contract to write 6 articles, for which I would be paid $1.00/word.

I immediately called the editor to thank him for recommending me for the job. When he asked if I would be interested in continuing to freelance for $50 per article, I said yes.

The next time an editor calls to offer me an assignment, even if it only pays $50, I will take advantage of the opportunity. Who knows where it may lead?

Jodi Helmer is a freelance writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. Her work has appeared in the Portland Tribune, Oregonian, HOMEBusiness Journal, and Clamor. Visit her on-line at http://www.jodihelmer.com.