The Death of Freelance Writing: Outsourcing and Microjobs

If you’re a freelance writer and aren’t used to being ignored, neglected, and generally given short shrift, you must not have been in the business very long.

~Poppy Z. Brite

Freelance writing pays my bills, but I know that it won’t always be so.  As you know I have been covering Fiverr as a reviewer and user for some time.  I have been ever-watchful of the types of clients who approach me, the questions they pose to me, and I look daily into the Buyer Request list to ascertain what are the expectations people have of writers, as well as, the expectations writers put upon themselves.  Today I stumbled on this ad:

Hi, I am looking for article writing work. I can write 2 articles of 400- 500 words article on daily basis in only $3 each


I don’t have to tell you that his name was foreign.  No American, Brit, Canadian, or Australian could work for $3 for 1000 words.  Why?  Fiver will take $1 leaving him with $2.  Paypal charges their percentage beyond that.  He is now writing 1000 words for about $1.35.

For me to write 1000 words well I would be writing for close to an hour after research, writing, proofreading, and editing is done.  Writing for business promotion and branding is not easy work.

Who in the United States can afford to work for $1.35 an hour?  If an employer tried to pay you that they would watch a lawsuit come over them so fast their heads would spin.

Now, as a voluntarist at heart, I believe that people have the right to work for pennies if they want.  As a communitarian I believe that communities have the right to get together and say “no, we don’t want to work for pennies” and I would like to urge Fiverr users to come together and do just that.

Here’s why: if you don’t you will find that within a short period of time you will either need a career change or work 24 hours a day to make $24.

Yesterday I wrote a blog post titled: This is What Your Client Thinks of You.  I cut and pasted from an article written by a man who sells ideas on how to cut costs and enhance a company’s profit margin.  In the article he admits that what they are asking people to do is insane and implies we’re all stupid for going with the insanity.

He isn’t wrong.  We are stupid to accept these types of wages…if we do.

They are stupid for purchasing because that $3 for 1000 words will be 1000 words that are not worth $3.  Why?  Because it will be written using Google Translate.

People want funny and engaging copy.  Not dry articles that make use of an online translation tool.


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