Pay is determined based on your experience. (Pay is determined based on your self-confidence.)

Jan Erik Waider

Dear fellow freelance writer…

I made this handy reference listicle to aid you in your quest for freelance writing domination (and to laugh/cry at our shared journey through professional freelance dysfunction).

I’ve even put them into helpful categories.


19. Pay is determined based on your experience.

Pay is determined based on your self-confidence.

18. Pay is on a per-article basis.

On the days you turn in writing you’ll be able to feed yourself.

17. Seeking 2–8 articles per month as needed.

We’ll do our part to help perpetuate your feast-or-famine lifestyle.

16. A writing degree is preferred.

We pay a flat rate of $15 per article.

15. Pay is negotiable.

A.) I’m afraid you won’t apply if I list this gig’s low compensation.
B.) I’m afraid every goddamn writer on the planet will apply if I list this gig’s good compensation.
Note: You’re both right.

14. Pay is on a NET 90 basis.

We’ll send you a check three months after we’ve started financially benefiting from your published work. Hope you enjoy ramen and scurvy.


13. We have an impressive worldwide readership.

Three guys in Azerbaijan keep visiting our site. We’re not sure why.

12. We’ve grown our readership to over 10,000 monthly uniques.

We’ve probably got a smart enough business to actually be a long-time client.

11. We’ve grown our readership to over 50,000 monthly uniques.

I hope you like gossip news clickbait, because that’s all you’ll write here.

10. Experience moderating post comments a plus.

That post you’ll write for us on “Easy Container Gardening Hacks” is likely to get you called a whore by at least 10 anonymous strangers.


9. Looking to hire ASAP.

We’re a fairly disorganized shop.

8. Need to get this project completed ASAP.

If you thought the evacuation of the Titanic was disorganized…

7. Need a writer who can write 5+ stories on daily events as they happen each weekday. $15 per piece.

We’re hoping to monopolize all your workable time and pay you terribly for what should be a $50k per year gig with benefits.

6. Must be quirky / witty / fun / snarky / passionate…

I’d like you to write it exactly how I would.


5. Looking for social savvy writers who can promote their own posts.

We don’t care enough about our company to learn about social media or hire an expert, but we still realize it’s probably important to the future of our business. Hope you can just do that part for us.

4. You pitch your ideas for pieces, if we like it, you write it up and get paid!

We’ve been able to turn a profit despite having no real editorial direction.

3. You pitch your ideas for pieces, if we like it, you can write it up and publish it on our site!

We haven’t been able to turn a profit because of our lack of editorial direction.

2. If we hire you as a contributor, you can submit future ideas whenever you want.

After we buy your first article, we will become stranded on a desert island, never to answer your emails again.*

1. Startup seeks experienced web content writer and blogger.

We have no idea how to market our product/service. Help.


Disclaimer: Dear job poster, if you think i’m calling you out, I’m not. Probably. There are hundreds of posts just like yours. But you could always consider doing your part to give better content to the world, written by people who are proud of their work and paid accordingly. It couldn’t hurt. Love, LCW.


*I hope you get off that island one day, Gabe. Really enjoyed writing that piece for you.

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