Struggles of a Content Writer

So, you are a writer? And, tell me, why do you write?

Are you passionate about writing or you think that writing is your best bet for making a good buck?

With the advancement of technology and the entire world going online, content is the king and there is an ever-growing demand for good content. Content marketing has become a requirement for all businesses and blogging is in vogue. While most of the people out there consider it just a money mine there are people for whom writing is a passion. We do justice to our passion and convert into a profession just because we have the talent to monetize it.

I have been an avid reader all through my life and writing comes naturally to me. I have hated my 9×5 jobs and have finally decided that writing is what I want to do for good. However, a few years into the profession and I realize that it is one of the most exploited professions. And both writers and clients are equally to blame. There have been times I have thought that talent has no value and I should also start compromising with the fact but yes there are a few people out there who still value the art of playing with words. But those who don’t, make it extremely difficult for us to trust the genuine ones.

Why We Write Blogacious
So, why do you really want to write?

So, if you are thinking of taking to content writing, sit down, grab a cup of coffee and read all the struggles that you will face as a content writer.

1. Finding good clients in your niche

While I enjoy blogging about fashion, parenting, and entertainment but finding the right client is always a challenge. The internet is already crowded with numerous bloggers. Talent is abundant and so is competition and often choosing a client that realizes your worth is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

finding good clients for content writing Blogacious
Wish one could just Google good clients

2. Finding someone who pays your worth

The workspace is full of people who think writing is worth Rs 20 or 30 per article. Finding someone who recognizes your worth and is ready to remunerate your efforts is an extremely tough task.

Paid Content Writing Blogging Blogacious
Show me the Money

3. Extracting payments from clients

Clients want the best work from you as per their deadlines but payment has no deadline! Their banks are probably not under the bank regulatory system. They think you are clingy asking for your own money. You got the work, pay for it, and the modern banking system takes a maximum of an hour to make payments. And, their calculations round off the bill to the lower side. While you may think that I am being grumpy for Rs. 9, you have to realize that it is 10-20 words and you slashing that figure is bringing down my average price per word.

Paid Blogging Blogacious Paid Content Writing
Didn’t I send you a third reminder last week?

4. Sending samples that are never paid and no responses received

You don’t like it, say it, we don’t mind. What is the point of keeping someone waiting forever, it hinders our path to finding other clients. If you ask for customized samples, pay for them or be satisfied with our past work.

No Response Never at Blogacious
And you thought dating is hard?

5. Deciding a payment cycle

You don’t want to pay advance and you want us to accept being paid monthly, what if you never pay 15-20k that we accrue writing daily. I have experienced and read numerous horror accounts of people getting work done for the entire cycle and never responding post completion of the period.

6. The struggles of Multi-Level Brokerage

Too many middle men want a cut. Get some generic samples > show them > get work > hire people to do the work, who in turn again outsource it at a lower price and the poor writer has to go home with peanuts.

Cut Out the Middle Man at Blogacious
“Hi! I am a middle man!”
“So am I”
“Who isn’t”
“Excuse me, do you want a middle man?”
“My dog is a middle man”

7. And the Worst

People without any knowledge of the language want to teach you writing for your good (how generous!). One person even went to the extent of telling me that work for a week for me for free and you will learn to write professionally. Thanks but no thanks.

work for free fuck you
Btw, Grumpy Cat has made more than $100 mn in his career so far

8. People ready to work for as low as Rs. 20 spoiling the workspace for you

Okay, I guess I am repeating this but this is worth repeating. Guys content is not a get rich quick scheme. First, you need talent. And then you have to work your ass off. Ask for the pay you deserve and if you are not good at it, take up something else. Doctors also earn well, do you pick up a stethoscope and an injection and become a doctor. Do it only if you have the skills.

One of my friends once told me that people don’t value art and literature because there are bigger issues to address like poverty and unemployment and for them, you haven’t put in any money so whatever you earn is profit. Please realize that we have put in time and efforts and that is far more valuable.

A Word of Advice to the Clients

Stop trying to pay us in experience.

Write for a week, I will pay you in experience, paint for me, I will pay in gratitude. Did you ever try to pay your electricity bill with gratitude or does your grocery guy accept experience for a kg of sugar? We also use the money to pay for our basic needs, our life is not a video game that we buy some vegetables and 10XP gets deducted. We are real people, we survive on food and have bills to pay.

Now I understand, why writers are associated with a khadi kurta and jhola and artists with torn jeans and a scarf because the guy at the mall did not accept experience as a form of payment.

If you have read this far, probably, you are one of us.
Join a growing gang of wonderful wordsmiths, rebellious writers, zealous journalists and blogacious bloggers!
We are building Blogacious into an open platform for content creators.
Register here, complete your author profile and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Struggles of a Content Writer: For the Love of Writing
The following two tabs change content below.

Smriti Tuteja Das

Smriti is a writer, artist, feminist, a new mother and a lot more. When not writing or painting, she can be seen cooking or travelling.

Latest posts by Smriti Tuteja Das (see all)

Tagged on:             

8 thoughts on “Struggles of a Content Writer: For the Love of Writing

  • April 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Smriti that was quite a rant!
    What is your take on pay per word metric? Do you think its a good idea to measure the worth of a post by counting the number of words ?

    • April 13, 2017 at 7:57 am

      I feel that definitely is a valuable metric because each word we write goes ahead in creating an impact. Measuring the value of a post by the number of hours is what is followed in many countries but that is again a tough one track. While I have come across clients who do not want you to title the article because that adds to words, there have also been quite a few who pay heed to the detail you have instilled into each word. The impact of a post is the most efficient measure of its value but that is also dependent on community, following etc. PPW is hence the best way, a writer can be remunerated.

      • April 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        Won’t you say there should be other measures for measuring the quality of content writing? A video cannot be measured by its length alone and a picture cannot be measured by its size alone.

  • April 13, 2017 at 6:11 am

    An Unpaid Content Writer:

    I would start by saying that working as a freelance content writer is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most of the people think that it just requires a little bit of research on Google and then some playing around with the language. If that’s not all, some of them even come up with “it’s just copy-paste work bro, anyone can do that”. Well, to all those who underestimate the skill and dedication of a content writer, I would urge them all to try working as a freelancer for atleast once in their life.

    If it’s about grabbing some work, well it’s not that difficult due to a lot of related groups and portals. If it’s about writing and delivering, even that’s not difficult due to ease of access to Google and of course the emails for the purpose of delivering the content. If it’s about getting paid, wait, what did I just say?

    Now that’s something which would be considered inappropriate by a lot of employers. “Concentrate on work, you will get paid soon, don’t worry”, “It’s bulk work, ask for payment accordingly, not more than 20 ppw”, “Oh stop crying for money, I will transfer the amount as soon as I get it from my client, you just carry on with the work” and many such statements are so commonly passed to the writers as if their words will automatically generate food for their stomach and money is not even required by them. There are many who don’t even respond to emails or texts or phone calls, and when they do reply, it’s to inform the delay in payment!

    You ask for 50 ppw or more, you are considered too costly and ignored, you agree to 20 ppw and you are taken for granted considering you as just another writer working for just any available amount. At times, you work for an employer for weeks and then he/she vanishes with all your hard work. And when that happens, you are left clueless as to where to lodge a complaint and whether such an extreme step should actually be taken or not. A person like me prefers taking such a step to teach a lesson to the fraudulent souls out there, but there are many who just regret their alliance with such a person and let it go with a heavy heart.

    Content writer is someone who earns his/her bread and butter in this era of cut-throat competition by writing through sleepless nights and foodless hours in order to continue with the ongoing flow. Those who respect and pay well on time, I am thankful to them for respecting the caliber of a writer. However, those who misuse the talent of a writer, I urge you to mend your ways or the time is not far when you will be treated in the same manner. If we can explore, search and write unimaginable stuff, we can surely find you and treat you equally for your unexpected behavior with us too. If someone has not taken that path yet, better don’t provoke him/her for the same.

    • April 13, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Very well said. We are in a world where there is no or minimum value for skills. For them you aren’t investing any money, so you don’t deserve any money. The core principles of business are crumbling the core value of skills and this extends beyond writing. Artisans, craftsmen and all others stay meagrely paid while the retailers and middlemen relish the revenue and profit. Art and skills are in a sorry state because our practicality doesn’t allow us to see the value of efforts.

    • April 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      I can feel your pain man, I have seen similar things in design and even software development!

      Would you say an open transparent platform built for writers would be a good idea? It could keep the money in escrow like upwork does and release when client is okay. Disputes can be arbitrated. Now upwork keeps 20% which is quite high, what would be a good %cut that a writer would be okay with ?

  • May 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I transcribed three files for Hazelnut company. They haven’t paid me yet. Nor has there been any communication from their end as to why they won’t pay me. I have tried reaching out to thwm several times. Have also sent them mails but they don’t even reply as to whether or not they intent to pay me. If they don’t they atleast need to communicate a the reason with me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *