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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Smriti Tuteja Das
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- Struggles of a Content Writer: For the Love of Writing - April 6, 2017