Every freelancer must determine if they are willing to work for low, or no pay when writing copy for him or herself.
This is the nice part of being a freelancer; you can choose assignments, and the pay rate. There may be times when the freelancer decides to guest blog for no monetary compensation because the freelancer feels a special connection with a particular subject, or cause.
As a freelancer, I have guest blogged about animals, and diabetes. I do this for personal reasons. These I choose for the information passed on to people wanting information, or have an interest in the subject for others such as a life partner, friend, or relative.
When it comes to paid assignments, many places offer varied rate of pay options. Many are what I call very low pay, and leave these assignments for others; I have rate limits that I will not go below for writing copy. If others choose to accept them, that is up to them. Many of them are outside America. This is not to say that these freelancers are less than the ones in America; only that the cost of living may be lower in some countries then in America.
Some of the jobs on job boards specify U.S. of UK writers only, yet the pay for the request is less the $0.05 per word. To me, this is an insult for what the purchaser of the quality original copy asked for.
Many opportunities to write for no fee come up, that will help all freelancers to improve their copy. Even writing for the local Chamber of Commerce newsletter, a church newsletter, letters to the editor of a newspaper, and more. All of these are an opportunity to improve one’s writing ability. Writers write, this is more than just a job, but more of a lifestyle, at least it is for me.
Writing is like breathing, one must do it to feel alive. Whether one makes money at it is another question. When first starting out as a freelancer, it is not as easy as some would make you believe. Yes, there are freelancers that make very good money, but it has taken them years to build a reputation and a brand that stands for something. If a new freelancer thinks they can make good money from the outset, think again. There are many freelancers from many countries all trying for the same jobs. It really boils down to how you present yourself, and how well you do on the job because word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. A current CV/Resume and writing samples (portfolio) is also essential in the freelancing job market.