Today, I’m pleased to share with you a post written by my friend and colleague, Anne Hurley. Anne is the brainz behind the force of nature that is www.zombienomics.net, a site dedicated to surviving in an economy that’s more than a little cray-cray. This post in particular deals with the plight of the copywriter:
Let’s also take a closer look at the current market-rate value of writing, shall we?
- A talented copywriter I know, whose personality and flair have informed the entire tone and voice of a very popular retail site that you may know and love is paid barely over the minimum wage. She’s a fulltime staff writer there. She has a mortgage that is threatening to sink her.
- Another talented writer, editor and content strategist friend recently filled out a profile on Elance, the site where freelancers can post their services for whoever needs a writer. He was contacted today by someone who needed two “longish articles” for which he could pay a grand total of… $3. That’s $1.50 per article. My friend Mark might as well have offered to pay that potential “client” to do the work.
- Postings from respected recruiting agencies on the West Coast seek “talented, experienced web writers” and “social media content managers” and hope to pay them $15 an hour.
- And if you really want to be depressed, go to your local Craigslist and click on “Writing/Editing” jobs.
I admit this bothers me more than it probably does most people, since this is my background. But the power of using the right words to connect with the right audience at the right time, even for commercial websites, is not a trifle. Smart companies, like Microsoft, will pay prime rates for content jobs. But many more seem to think that since “everyone can write”–write an email, say–why should writers be paid a living wage?
As I posted recently on the Poppermost Facebook page, “Copywriting: if pretty much anyone can do it, everyone would. . .right?” Huh.
To read Anne’s full blog post, just click on over to the Zombienomics site.