So a couple of months ago I got hired for a job. It was writing blogs about video games. I offered the person 3 cents a word because the work sounded fun and they accepted this. They were happy with my work with the exception that I rewrote guides on how to complete levels. Now understand it’s all my own work. It passed plagiarism checkers and all. Plus they use AI programs to rewrite articles themselves. So imo they’re hypocrites. How do I know this? Because they wanted me to go through the ones that were written using AI and edit them. But the price wasn’t worth it. But whatever. My boss even said they were going to have me write more difficult ones because they were happy with my work.
Then a couple of weeks ago they cut back on how many words I could write. They said it was temporary. Finally I asked him what was going on. Apparently he got people who are willing to write for 1 to 2 cents a word. That’s what I was making 15 years ago! I’m still working for him because I have no choice. But I’m definitely looking for something else.
The dumb thing is that this website is not unique. These articles are all over the place for walkthroughs for video games.
No. The whole creative/freelance market is like that. I did work in it for a while years ago and found the same thing. A race to the bottom with cheaper prices from freelancers in countries with lower wages in general. (And forgive me for saying, but usually less quality)
The problem is that people want quality work for cheap prices, and like most creative jobs don’t actually understand the pricing behind it.
They think churning out content (original at that) is easy but it takes a lot of knowledge and research unless you’re overly familiar with the subject matter. (It doesn’t help that they don’t actually want content, they want to spam google results. They don’t care that people read it, only that they click on their website)
I plan on returning to the freelance world in the future but I hope to specialise and market myself to a certain group where I’m more likely to get a decent wage because that group understands/respects the need for quality over cost.
Would it be worth looking at jobs that are more specialised? Video game stuff might be dime a dozen but if you have experience or knowledge of something more obscure it might help. I got a fairly decent wage out of writing articles for a travel agency once, because I could research the heck out of local stuff like airport layouts and unusual, non-touristy things to do. Etc.
(Or maybe not do blog content? Freelance authors are aplenty and might pay more for an editorial eye or some ghost writing than a dime-a-dozen blog earning next to nothing in ad fees. They’d be less interested in churned out content)
Having said that, easier said than done I know. One reason I stopped doing it was because it became exhausting pitching myself for jobs only to lose out to the cheaper bids. It’s incredibly demoralising to not be able to ask what you’re worth.
I use online game guides, and it is very annoying to find crummy guides. So you quickly gravitate to websites that reliably give the best content for your game, and ignore anything else that comes up in the search results.
So the folks that go for cheap content will ultimately be driving their readers away with useless content.
However, this is scant satisfaction when you’re watching the ship start sinking.
Not to mention those who don’t even pretend to think they understand how much goes into a creative process, but are so cynical as to use the fact that they can get it done cheaper by others as a threat to force quality contributors to lower their prices.
(“You want 4c per word now? You know I can replace you in a couple of minutes with someone who only charges one, right?”)