What Are You Worth?
By Lori Widmer
The news a few weeks back about the writers who worked for free suing Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington for $105 million of the $350 million she received when AOL bought HuffPo was shocking. Yet it wasn’t because the writers were suing – I think anyone could have predicted that given the amount of money involved. It was shocking because these writers were demanding fairness after the fact.
It’s issues like this that inspired me to start Writers Worth Week, my annual awareness campaign where hopefully another writer will be motivated to understand their market value. If one more writer makes one more smart business decision, then the movement is worth it.
But it’s not easy changing our business behavior. We get entrenched in doing things the same way because we’re getting by. But wouldn’t you like to do more than that?
You can, you know. You can shift your thinking right now and start seeing the results almost immediately. I did. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
So writers, make today the day you change one thing about your business. If you need me to require it, let’s call it your homework.
Your homework: Start thinking of your writing as a business. It is. Changing your mindset to business mode makes it easier for you to stand firm in your rates and conduct business as a professional. Take control of your business. You're no longer apologizing for wanting to charge for doing something you love. Baseball players charge for doing what they love – why shouldn't you?
Okay, that was a pretty cake assignment, so you're getting two.
Just for today, turn down one offer that doesn't meet with your income goals. Drop a low-paying client or renegotiate your current pay rate. Do something that says, "Thank you, but I'm worth more."
Second part of the assignment: this week, identify at least three more potential clients who will pay your rate without question.
Do you think of your writing as a business?
When was the last time you sought out higher-paying work?
Lori Widmer is a veteran writer and editor who is worth every penny her clients pay. She blogs about all things writing-related at Words on the Page.