The bottom feeders debate

By Katharine Swan On Monday, February 20, 2006 At 9:44 PM


I've gotten into a bit of a debate with Angela Hoy, over at Writer's Weekly, about bottom feeders. As you may remember from my past blog entries, Angela Hoy has ranted about bottom feeders in the past. Usually I agree with her - writing an article for $1-$5 is downright insulting - but it seems we have come to a difference in opinion. I mentioned to her that I kicked off my freelancing career by writing for internet databases, earning $15-$25 per article. At first I was somewhat naive about it, but pretty quickly I learned to only write on topics that allowed me to pound out an article in about an hour's time; eventually, I set my standards at the equivalent of $15 per hour (which was about what I got at my full-time technical writing job, so I figure that's my break-even point). Although I still write these from time to time, for the most part they served their purpose as a jumping-off-point for my career, while earning me a decent wage.

However, Angela disagrees; she thinks that $15-$25 is not enough if I'm signing away all rights. I see her point, and if the article were anything I'd want to reuse, I would completely agree - but most of these articles, while well-written, are certainly not groundbreaking. For work that I put a lot of time and creativity into, I would never sign away all rights for $25, but I just don't see the harm in it with these. Besides, higher paying gigs are harder to come by for newbies like me, and I still have bills to pay in the meantime!

For examples of my one-hour wonders, see my articles on pets, parenting, cars, and beauty.

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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